Singapore: What to do

What to do (aside from shopping your mind out on Orchard Road)

Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Rd, Singapore 189673

Raffles Hotel is like the “Cheers” of Singapore.  It’s a super touristy site that you kind of have to go to if you’re in Singapore for the first time.  The hotel itself is pretty cool; it’s one of those turn of the 20th century looking, old school hotels that gives you the feeling when you walk in that you’re a European on some grand, exotic journey.

It costs a pretty penny to stay there, but most people only visit for its claim to fame–the site of the creation of the Singapore Sling.  Note: There is no dress code to get into the bar, despite what the guidebooks say.  There is however a dress code to enter the hotel, but when we visited they weren’t letting non-guests into the lobby to take pictures anyways, something they supposedly normally do.

Singapore Slings

I had heard of this cocktail before, but as far as fruity cocktails go I never really tried it because a Pina Colada, Mojito, or Daiquiri was always closer to the top of my preference list.  When in Singapore though, get a Singapore Sling.  So we went to the bar, waited a generous 20 minutes or so to get in, dove into the free bowls of roasted peanuts they have out (there are peanut shells all over the place so if you’ve got an allergy, stay away) and ordered our whopping $31 SGD Singapore Sling cocktail.  The drink itself is essentially pineapple/cherry juice with gin (a whole lot more juice than gin I’m afraid…).  Was the drink worth that price?  No.  Was it good?  Actually yeah, it was super refreshing after a hot day of walking around.

Afterwards, you can pop into the nearby St. Andrew’s Cathedral which is down the street.  It’s worth seeing while you’re there, but nothing special so you can just make it a quick stop.

St. Andrew’s Cathedral

National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road, Singapore 178897
$15 SGD

The museums aren’t worth visiting just for the historical lesson; they are a great excuse to get out of the heat!  If you only have time for one museum, this is the one that I would suggest prioritizing.  From this museum we discovered that for such a small city, Singapore does have an incredibly rich history. The closest thing I can compare it to is Jerusalem.  Singapore, like Jerusalem, is a giant melting pot of so many Asian, European, Arab, and Australian cultures, and much of that history is on display at this museum.

National Museum of Singapore

A lot of the museum is dedicated to Lee Kuan Yew who in 1965 was elected the country’s first Prime Minister after years of French, Dutch, and Portuguese colonization.  The highlight of the museum is watching him give his acceptance speech and pointing out that Singapore is “not just Malay, not just Indian, not just Chinese,” but a the “multi-racial” country that values all its diversity.

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One rather unique exhibit is the Glass Rotunda upstairs.  In there, projection lights shine through stain glass displays creating a pretty cool revolving show.  And if time permits, stop into the Food for Thought café in the museum lobby.  The food is more expensive than you would typically pay for in Singapore, but a portion of the proceeds go to aid charities.

Peranakan Museum
39 Armenian St, Singapore 179941
$10 SGD

The Peranakan Museum is dedicated to the local Peranakan culture and is an idealistic showing of how their local culture is a successful mix of several races into one.  The museum is broken up into separate rooms, each displaying different parts of Peranakan culture: weddings, religion, home life, education, etc.

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The big exhibit consists of really impressive glass beaded artwork from blankets to kitchenware to clothes.  Other items on display include a cool food and feasting gallery, a room filled with shrines worshiping deities (including an odd Asian Christian one that has Jesus Christ surrounded by bunch of Asian stuff) and funeral room exhibit.

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The funeral room in particular is a little creepy to be honest (there are signs warning visitors that it might not be good for children) with a coffin on display and examples of unsettling mirrors marked with a big “X” to mark the death of a family member.  I’m not usually weirded out by that kind of stuff, but it did send a bit of a chill down my spine (though nothing compared to what would come in Hanoi…more on that later…).

Fort Canning Park and Marina Bay

Singapore has a ton of green space and a great harbor that are fantastic areas to just lounge around, people watch, and relax.  Problem for us was that it was raining–a lot.  So our trip from Marina Bay to Fort Canning was a deluge of a mess.  As such, we opted not to spend the $$ to go to up to one of the popular rooftop bars on the water just to get the same sight that I saw on Table Mountain in South Africa…

On a cloudy day, the view is awesome.

That being said, the walk around Marina Bay is worth doing.

It’s also not hard to see that Fort Canning Park is a great spot to take a long walk as well on a sunnier day.  One thing we did miss out on that I really wanted to see was the Battlebox Museum.  Our Lonely Planet guide gave us incomplete visiting hour information–while the museum, yes, is open during the range of hours that the guidebook provided, it’s only open to those who have a guided tour, which happen only at 3 or 4 selected times during that range of hours…I was none too thrilled to discover that.

Also, if you happen to be around Fort Canning on a Sunday, and you time your walk right, you can catch the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Istana (President’s residence) on Orchard Road.

Ceremonial changing of the guard

Singapore: Where to Stay and Eat

Singapore is the perfect Asia layover.  It’s what I would call “Asia for the non-ambitious traveler.” What I mean by that is Singapore is incredibly comfortable, making it also incredibly standard.  It’s a very, very easy city to negotiate; it’s super clean, modern, and everyone speaks English.  The tap water is potable, and you really don’t need to worry about the food at all.  The money is in Singapore dollars (SGD) and the exchange is an easy 1 SGD for every 75 U.S. cents (essentially making everything there a tad cheaper).  Also, the subway is the most user friendly public system I’ve ever been on; it puts the subways in the U.S. to shame.

So would I go to Asia to visit Singapore specifically?  No.  But I would definitely use it as a jumping off point for the rest of the continent as it’ll help ease you into the area while you recover from jet lag.  Which is what we did for a weekend before heading off to Vietnam for 2 weeks.

Where to stay

The Quincy Hotel
22 Mount Elizabeth, Singapore 228517

I would highly recommend the Quincy Hotel, but only if you don’t mind walking about 20-30 minutes to get to the historical sights.  Keep in mind, it can get really hot in Singapore, so that 30 minutes walk gets pretty long. If you’re okay with that walk every day, then stay here.  Also, it’s located just off of Orchard Road, the main boulevard with dozens of shopping malls (literally dozens of 9 level shopping malls), so if shopping is your thing you’re right where you need to be.

This surprisingly chic hotel has super modern rooms with some perks I’ve never really seen at any other hotel I’ve stayed at. The first big perk is this: free minibar access in your room.  Yes, free. Every day they restock it with a few sodas, juices, and a couple beers that you can dive into without costing you extra.

Free minibar, restocked daily.
(If you don’t watch “Fresh Off the Boat”, you should. It’s funny as hell.)

The second perk is they’ll wash 2 pieces of laundry a day for you. Again, because you’re in a country that’s right on the equator, you’ll want to take advantage of cleaning up some of your sweaty garb. The breakfast buffet is excellent and the gym and pool are extremely nice.  The pool in particular is outdoor, but covered, and the water runs to the edge giving it an infinity pool feel right into the Singapore skyline. And the hotel is relatively affordable; it only cost us a reasonable $150 U.S. a night (through Expedia).

Where to eat

Singapore is world-renowned for having amazing food.  I don’t see why.  I don’t mean to sound snobby, but the reality, in my opinion, doesn’t live up to the hype. I’m not saying the food was horrible; quite the opposite, the food was actually very good. It all tasted very fresh, and was super cheap (most entrées are under $5 SGD).  And the Kopi coffee is delicious. But is it deserving of this whole, “Oh my god, Singapore has the best food in the world” reputation?  Nope, not in this travelers opinion.  But I’m fully willing to admit that maybe I didn’t go to the right places or maybe I am just a snobby dick. Who knows? But anywhoo…

Hawker Centers & Food Courts

These bad boys are where the local folks, tourists, pretty much everyone goes to get their grub. Many locals told me they rarely cook because it’s just cheaper to eat out. The Food Courts are usually located in the giant malls that I mentioned before on Orchard Road and other areas.  They are a step above Hawker Centers which are their own standalone collection of food stalls.  Both offer the same types of food, it’s just that the Food Courts are a little cleaner and a bit more expensive.  We went to both, and both had very good fare at a very cheap price. But again, a lot of the food that you find in the Hawker Centers and Food Courts you can easily find in an American Super 88 Asian market. People would rather travel 10,000 miles to get the “real thing” than go probably 30 minutes down the highway for the same thing in the U.S.…

Keep in mind, not all Hawker Centers are 24 hours (a mistake we realized after going to one and finding it closed for lunch), so check the times. Also, for some reason Singaporean food centers seem to hate napkins.  I don’t know why, but there were no napkins anywhere.  So either bring your own or I hope you like having food grease on your pants (thank god for the free laundry service at the Quincy…).

The Hawker Center we ended up going to is the popular Lau Pa Sat, which is open 24 hours, and got a slew of entrees including Char Sew Noodles, Hainanese Chicken Rice, Basil Chicken (from a Thai stall), and Fried Kway Theo (essentially chow fun noodles).

We also stopped into a Food Court chain called Food Republic and had their version of Hainanese Chicken Rice, and a roasted duck dish.

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fungs are located throughout Singapore, and I later realized when we got there that it’s actually an international chain that we’ve been to! We went to the location in Sydney in 2015 (I clearly need to read my own blog more often…). So it’s not exactly a local spot, but the locals themselves seem to love it as the location we were at inside the Wisma Atria on Orchard Road was packed. As with most of the locations, the Din Tai Fung kitchen is open for all the customers to see the dumpling chefs hard at work.

Just like in Sydney, I wasn’t blown away by the good, yet unspectacular food. However, their claim to fame in Singapore is the Truffle & Pork Xiao Long Bao, a steamed truffle/pork soup dumpling (I legitimately don’t remember this offering being in the Sydney location, and looking through the Aussie menu now I don’t see it). It ain’t cheap, even in American dollars. One dumpling is $5 SGD (to give you a reference, 6 of the regular pork dumplings is $8 SGD).  But that one dumpling…ooh boy…it was damn good.  It’s a delicious mix of truffle mushroomy, earthy, salty pork meaty, brothy, explosive flavor–all packed into one little bite.  I chewed very, very slowly and let the flavors just marinate on my tongue.

Truffle & Pork Xiao Long Bao

Quick Hits: Do NOT take Air China

My love of travel didn’t come out of no where.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents who have taken me around the world and see the benefit of exposing their children to the vast diversity of cultures on our planet.  So with that, our guest post today comes from none other than Mom!  It’s a little lengthy, she’s big on narrative, but worth a read to avoid having to go through the horrible experience she just went through.  Here she is:

“I have always enjoyed travel.  The last few decades had seen me in many countries around the world and since my retirement, the frequency of my travel has increased.  I just recently returned from a trip to Bangkok, flying from JFK, with a lengthy layover in Beijing on Air China.  The flights to and from Thailand were so terrible that I need to share the experience with you.”

“As any seasoned traveler would know, one usually chooses an airline based on price and service.  The Thailand trip was actually a vacation package deal including all airfares, international as well as domestic.  The price was very reasonable because they booked us on Air China, which offered the lowest airfares.”  

“Both the outbound trip and return trip each took approximately 15 hours in the air.  Two meals were served between JFK and Beijing.  The flight attendants could not speak English well (I think they probably understood English much better than they spoke it) so with the first meal served, I could only grasp the concept of either duck or beef for choice of entrée–I chose duck.  The duck tasted like the back end of the fowl; it was absolutely offensive.  The accompanying rice was cold and dry.  I ended up eating just a dinner roll with a pad of butter.  The second meal came maybe 8 hours later.  Again, I could barely understand the choice of beef or chicken.  Still reeling by the duck experience, I chose the beef and onion stir-fry.  I had one bite and stopped.  The beef and onion had a slimy texture, the type of slimy food would get just before turning rancid, usually after a day or so without refrigeration.  I was nauseous for the rest of the flight.”

surely 

“Also, for the entire 15-hour flight, beverages were served only twice when the two meals were served.  There were no beverage carts going up and down the aisles for the passengers at any other times during the other 14 hours.  Fortunately, I had an aisle seat, so I was able to make frequent trips to the galley to beg for water.  And when I did ask, the cabin crew had the audacity to give me attitude for asking!  For water!  Food and service on the return flight was no better; I chose not to eat and I was so hungry and dehydrated when I got off the plane.”

“Now, let’s get to the bathrooms on the plane.  With over 200 passengers sharing 6 bathrooms in the economy section for 15 hours, it goes without saying that maintenance of these bathrooms is pretty critical.  I’m not sure of the airline’s policy, but I was not impressed by the condition of the bathrooms on either flight.  There was a clogged toilet in one bathroom and I stepped into a giant puddle of some liquid which I’m assuming was urine in another.  Needless to say those shoes didn’t come home with me.” 

“And that’s not all.  At the Beijing Airport, I chatted with a family waiting for the same flight back to JFK (Two parents, an elderly grandmother, and a 10-year old son). Air China had scattered them all over the plane, not keeping this party of four together.  The father asked the ticket agent at counter for, perhaps, just two seats together so that one parent could be with the young son.  The counter agent couldn’t accommodate such a humble request of finding any two seats together on a Boeing 777.  She told them to ask the agent at the gate for the seat changes.  When they spoke to the agent at the gate, they were told that they should have had the counter agent to change seats, not at the gate. Ultimately, the family was able to switch seats with other passengers so that the child would not have to travel alone without parental supervision.  It was the passengers who resolved the problem.  The airline was no help at all.”

smh

“This brings up the most important issue to anyone traveling and my final note–the airline’s willingness and ability to help during an emergency situation.  Air China could not deal with a simple problem like seat changes for a family booked as one party.  I doubt the company will assume responsibility for major issues like damaged luggage, lost children, or injury.  On an international flight between Beijing and New York with passengers from different countries, the inability to speak fluent English by the flight attendants worries me greatly.  If an emergency arises at 35,000 feet, I doubt the ability of the Air China crew to help me.  I would not be able to understand their emergency instructions.  Knowing the words duck or beef will not help at all.  Personally, I will avoid flying Air China in the future.”

cabin

Cambodia Quad Bike Tour and the Floating Village

My last post about our SE Asia trip will conclude with a couple other activities that we did – one which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend as a must-do, and the other as a very much must-do.

We’ll get the Floating Village out of the way first.  I was underwhelmed by it.  This isn’t to say that the attraction wasn’t interesting.  It was just a bit too far out and a bit too expensive to waste time on if you’re on a time budget.  The Floating Village is about 30-45 minutes drive from Angkor Wat.  From there you pay $20 to hop into a boat and take another 30 minute boat ride down a river to the lake where floating houses reside.  Remember, the $20 fee is in American money, so in relation to everything else, it’s really expensive.

It was a nice day, so the boat ride wasn’t too bad.  But at the end of the day, all you really saw were a lot of poverty-stricken shacks.  In that sense, it’s good to see in that it reminds one of how much the rest of the world actually lives, and how we should be grateful for everything that we have.  And seeing this community living literally on the water (floating schools, stores, etc.) was very unique and something that I hadn’t ever seen anywhere else before.  But at the end of the day, I’d probably skip it for more time at Angkor Wat or other activities.

What was cool?  The Cambodia Quad Bike tour we took.  Now this is an activity worth doing.  The $35 we spent on taking the ATV tour in my opinion was the highlight of Cambodia.  This isn’t a knock on Angkor Wat by any means, but when I travel I do like to get my heart racing a bit and get the adrenaline going; this tour was the fix.  If you do sign up for the tour, sign up for the sunset ride.

The ATV tour takes you out to the countryside where you can ride through the rice fields past water buffaloes, beautiful landscapes, and Cambodian farmers at speeds up to I would say 40-50 mph.  Our guide, Heng, was great as well, stopping at various points to let us take photos and take photos of us.  But the best part of the tour was the sunset.  We stopped at a rice field with practically no one else around.  In front of us a family of about 50 ducks marched along without a care, and a water buffalo chilled beside us.  The sunset itself was incredible, so serene and vibrant with color.  Whereas the Angkor Wat sunrise was amazing to see because it was both iconic and awe-inspiring, the sunset we saw in the rice fields was spectacular because of the zen-like calmness it brought.  I can’t imagine a better way to have wrapped up what was such a whirlwind trip.

Angkor Wat

The main attraction of any trip to Cambodia is undoubtedly a trip to Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples of Angkor.  The impressive temples are not only profound because of the sheer size of how many temples are in the area, but because the detail on them is still remarkably intact.  The temples span across miles and miles and it no joke takes several days to see all of them if you’re so inclined.  Because of the popularity of the attraction, I highly recommend getting a personal guide and I would very highly recommend having your hotel reserve you one in advance.  We made the mistake of not planning ahead, so when we arrived in Cambodia, our hotel said that most of the guides were already booked, so we had to scramble to find someone for the next morning.  We did get a guide eventually, so all’s well that ends well, but don’t go through the stress we went through.  Book in advance.

I’m going to again let the pictures do the talking for this blog post, but I will mention a few tips/highlights:

  • A 3-Day pass is $40.  You’ll need to have it on you at all times to get in and around Angkor Wat.
  • It is an extraordinarily hot place, especially during the summer.  Bring a ton of water.
  • The early sunrise is worth seeing, but I don’t think the arrival time of 5 am is necessary.  You could probably leave a little later and still catch the best part of the sunrise over the temple.  For a good picture, take a spot at the edge of the pond in front of the temple so that you can see the reflection in the water.  It’s not a secret, so you’ll see plenty of people around that area.
  • Obviously Angkor Wat is huge, so there’s too much to get into in this one blog post, but my favorite parts were
    • the magnificently preserved Monkey vs. Demon carvings on the main Angkor Wat temple;
    • the tree wrapped temples at Ta Prohm with their giant roots where they filmed Tomb Raider (something they were proud to point out incessantly);
    • the Banteay Srei aka “Pink Temple, which was like a mini Angkor Wat made of pink stone with easily the most detailed carvings of all the temples that had been preserved; and
    • the 49 columns with Buddha/the King’s face at Angkor Thom.
  • One last note:  There are so many temples aside from the main Angkor Wat temple that aren’t as highly regarded or populated with tourists.  At those temples, be on the lookout for wildlife.  Even though the temples are marked off as tourist attractions, they’re still in the jungles of Cambodia.  As a case in point, when we went to Beng Malea, as I was taking a picture, my buddy and tour guide abruptly told me to get the hell out of the way fast.  I had no idea what they were talking about until I looked up and saw a giant green snake on the branch above me.  I promptly shit my pants and stepped away.  The guide told us that type of snake was actually quite poisonous and he used a branch to try and get it to slither back up the tree to at the very least give it some distance from the path.  Quite a scary moment indeed and one that should be a reminder to be vigilant.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Going back to a more industrialized, urban country was a bit jarring coming from the serenity of Laos.  After our exhausting delay, and relatively frightening flight, we landed in Cambodia for the final leg of our trip.  Again, when you get to Cambodia, you’ll need to have cash on hand for the $35 visa.

Our hotel was The Golden Temple Hotel, which arranged for a tuk tuk to pick us up and bring us there.  The Golden Temple Hotel’s staff welcomed us with tea and a snack when we arrived. The folks there are incredibly helpful and accommodating.  The place itself is brand new, and only has 30 rooms so the staff does their best to get to know their individual guests.  The rooms are equipped with all the amenities to make a comfortable stay (HD TV, free WiFi, A/C, nice clean and new furniture).  The hotel also provides a cell phone for you to use (which is HUGE for those of you without an international plan), a free wine happy hour, a very generous complimentary breakfast every morning with a box breakfast for those who leave early for Angkor Wat, and when you leave they give their departing guests a free T-shirt and scarf as a thank you gift.  The deal we got through Expedia also included for each of us a free massage at the hotel spa and a free Khmer dinner cooked and delivered to your room.  What did we pay?  $80 a night.

So, yeah, that hotel might be the best value I’ve ever gotten at a place I’ve stayed traveling.  There’s only two things that they could improve on.  One, they need a few more lounge chairs by the pool.  And two, while the staff was great (and I really want to make sure that’s clear, they were GREAT), they were a bit overbearing in their attempts to accommodate every need.   While I do feel kind of like a dick for saying that a negative is that people were too nice, I do wish they scaled it back just a notch.

The location of the Golden Temple Hotel is also a huge plus.  It’s within walking distance of the Siem Reap Night Market as well as Pub Alley.  My first impression of these places was this: I hope that Luang Prabang doesn’t turn into it.  The Night Market in Siem Reap is the exact opposite of what was in Luang Prabang.  It was loud and seedy, with tuk tuk drivers and whores coming up to you constantly.  I almost punched a guy in the face because he grabbed by arm and spun me around so that he could get my attention.  Despite that, knowing that it is what it is, it is a rather fun place to go out if you’re looking to have drinks and a crowd.  Pub Alley is essentially trying to be the Bourbon Street of SE Asia, so there are plenty of different types of bars with large quantities of cheap drinks to be had.  Most of the bars have outdoor seating for people watching.  Our experience was even cooler because there was a power outage (not uncommon for SE Asia apparently), so half the street had no electricity and people were using candles for lighting giving the street a really cool, rustic, exotic look.

One place in particular that I’d recommend for drinks is Beer Battle, which has a bit of a calmer vibe surrounded by all the madness.   I would also recommend walking to the Night Market from there and grabbing dinner at Genevieve’s Restaurant.   This restaurant was the closest thing to a Mom & Pop place we went to all trip.  We honestly weren’t expecting much, but it ended up being a surprisingly good meal.  The owner is an Australian who opened up the place, named after his wife, and sends a portion of his proceeds to charity.  The staff he hires are all local Cambodians whom he hopes will one day take over the restaurant and make it their own.   He came by our table at one point, and it was had not to feel good about eating there after speaking with the kind, grandfatherly figure.  One thing to note – if you ask for spicy, they will give you spicy.  My buddy on the trip is Indian, and he had been noticing that there wasn’t any really spicy food so far on the trip, so he specifically asked our waitress to make our beef salad spicy, spicy.  I lasted one bite; literally one bite.  He on the other hand impressively finished the dish, but at the cost of practically not being able to eat the next day!

Coming up: The signature attraction of Cambodia — Angkor Wat.

Morning Alms Ceremony and the Royal Palace

Our last day in Luang Prabang was a short one since we were supposed to fly out for Cambodia in the afternoon (more on that later).  So we got ourselves up early in order to catch the morning tak bat alms ceremony in the center of town.  This ceremony is performed every morning at sunrise by the monks at the center of town.  I don’t know the actual count, but I’d say around 100 monks, dressed in their bright orange robes, ages ranging from young boys to grandpas, walk in a single file line down the street accepting sticky rice from worshipers.  This rice is not eaten by the monks, but offered to the Buddha when they return to the wat.  It’s a unique experience to see and one worth waking up before sunrise for.  If you do go to observe, don’t be a douche; respect the locals worshiping.  It’s poor taste to get in the way of the procession to take flash photos, and in my opinion if you’re not going to actually participate you should keep back a bit.

After the tak bat alms ceremony, we walked over to the Royal Palace Museum which is located where the Night Market is held.  The Royal Palace cost 30K kip to enter and houses an impressive display of royal thrones, garments, Buddhas, and swords.   Outside the palace, you can see the 83 cm-tall gold-alloy Buddha statue, which supposedly is what the city is named after.  Sadly, no photos are allowed once you get into the palace, so I’ll just need to describe to you some of the highlights.

The interior architecture is made up of a lavish Japanese glass mosaic that is truly impressive.  The bedrooms, throne halls, and reception rooms are all view-able throughout the palace.   Be sure to look at the paintings of the story of Prince Wetsantara as you walk down the hallways; its actually a very interesting fable and the story is broken up into a dozen paintings or so.  Also, one thing to check out is the reception room with all the gifts from other countries to the king.  Most countries gave a precious artifact or something that represented their country (for instance jade bowls, swords, jewelry, things of that nature).  Then you get to the US display.  What did they give Laos?  A shitty model of the lunar module that looked like a 12-year-old put together.  Now, that’s what we thought when we first saw it – my buddy and I were laughing in the museum about it.  It wasn’t until we looked it up after that we found out that the model itself wasn’t the gift.  Unlabeled was an actual piece of moon rock that was offered as a gift.  Well done US.

Heading off to Cambodia

After that, we made our way back to Le Bel Air to check out and headed to the airport.  On a trip as ambitious as ours, we would have been really lucky if we didn’t hit any travel snags, and in general we didn’t.  But inevitably, if you do do a trip like ours, something will come up and in our case it was a 6-hour delay at the Luang Prabang airport.   Annoyingly, our Vietnam Airlines flight was delayed due to mechanical issues coming out of Hanoi so we were stuck in the airport for half the day.  If we had known it was as delayed as it was, we would have just stayed in Luang Prabang for the afternoon.  But instead we were bored out of our minds in the tiny Luang Prabang airport and missed some valuable sightseeing time in Cambodia.  Vietnam Airlines did try to accommodate the passengers by providing food, but the “hamburger” they gave us was…well…pretty gross.  We did eventually make it to Siem Riep, Cambodia, although late at night, for the final leg of our journey.