June 27, 2013

Science is Fun!

My OC tendencies have surfaced again. This week I have manually scrubbed our apartment's floor. It's hard work! I am exhausted everyday but I can't stop myself. I just need to scrub the whole apartment for my peace of mind. LOL!

Wonder why I am not visible in my blogs lately? Well, there's the reason.

Last Saturday, we brought EJ to Science Gallery at Kids City. I knew he would love it because he's our little science geek at home.


At the Space Dome. A fun and fancy way to look at the planets and their properties. Looks like Dad is having more fun than EJ, no?


Who's that tall woman in the mirror? Concave mirror makes you look taller or shorter. I love my tall version.  Haha!


Science that day was indeed fun! EJ loved tinkering and exploring the many exhibitions at the Gallery.


Hubby and I tried riding this bike suspended on air with only a cable wire for support. It was scary but it was also exhilarating. Yay for me for doing something which scares me!

Entrance fee to Science Gallery is $10 for adults and $8 for kids. You can stay inside for only an hour and a half.

June 17, 2013

Celebrating Father's Day at Sofitel Phnom Penh

To all the awesome Dads in the world, Happy Father's Day!

Yesterday, we celebrated the occasion by having a feast at Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra. We chose Sofitel's La Coupole (International buffet restaurant) because they have the best buffet in town. And believe me when I say that, because, we've been to almost all the buffet places in this town (we LOVE to eat)!

EJ's dad only deserves a buffet fit for a king because in our house, he is our king. Before, I used to give him a cheap cigar and that'll do as a gift. But now, it's useless because thank goodness he has stopped smoking!

{Sofitel's Lobby}

These two will be game buddies for life! EJ is so lucky to have a Dad like you, hon!

We had sparkling wine because it was a special day!

 My husband's plates, or some of it. LOL!

{Roast pork}

Sushi and Sashimi section. Not La Coupole's strongest point but they make it up in everything else. My personal favorite is the grill section with choices of lobster, prawn, beef, lamb, salmon, squid, etc. The dessert section is not to be missed as well. Actually, in my opinion this is the star of the show. This is EJ's favorite section. Ok, mine as well. LOL!

Different tarts. Too pretty to be eaten!

I love the berries! You usually don't see this in a buffet. But in Sofitel, you get these and more!

Macarons and chocolates. Love the set-up!

More sweets for your sweet tooth!

Thanks hon for all the many wonderful things you do as a husband and father. We are so lucky and blessed to have you in our lives. We love you so much. Hope you enjoyed the feast yesterday!


La Coupole Restaurant
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Sunday Brunch:
$55++ per person
$75++ per person with unlimited Sparkling Wine

June 15, 2013

Restaurant in Phnom Penh: The Teppanyaki (Japanese) in NagaWorld

My husband and I were supposed to eat in Korean Grill in NagaWorld last Thursday lunch. On the way to the restaurant, we saw The Teppanyaki (Japanese) Restaurant has already opened. So instead of going Korean for lunch, we chose Japanese instead.

We were ushered into one of the four private dining rooms.

My husband ordered a teppanyaki set of chicken, venison, prawn and vegetable. The set costs $33. It already includes salad, rice, soup and fruit dessert. But I still find it expensive so I ordered sashimi and sushi for myself instead.

A 6-piece of sashimi will set you back $12. Still expensive, methinks.

My salmon and shrimp sushi $8

 Our Teppanyaki Chef in action! I guess this is why it's expensive, it's because you pay for a private chef cooking for you, complete with acrobatic moves and tricks.

Surprisingly, they gave us two sets of salad even if I did not order the teppanyaki set. They also gave me miso soup and dessert.

Prawn and Chicken

Tofu and Venison oozing with lots of butter!

Fried rice with bits of salmon and veggies

Fruit dessert

To be fair, the teppanyaki set seemed like it was good for two people. It was also very good. Hubby couldn't finish the entire set by himself. I guess $33 is reasonable if it's for two people.

At NagaWorld's lobby

The Teppanyaki (Japanese) Restaurant
NagaWorld Phnom Penh
Opening hours :
Lunch daily - 11:00am to 3:00pm
Dinner daily - 6:00pm to 10:30pm

June 13, 2013

How to Apply for a Japanese Tourist Visa in Phnom Penh

I wrote about our tourist visa application to Japan in my travel blog but I am writing about it here again because my travel blog will be inactive indefinitely.

~~~

Our tourist visa application to Japan was a breeze!

We submitted our documents to Japan Embassy here in Phnom Penh and after 3 days we got a call  from the embassy that our tourist visa was granted and our passports were ready for pick up.

We were surprised at how fast the application process was. There was no interview, even. In the Japan Embassy (Cambodia) website, they say that the application process usually takes a minimum of 5 working days.


{My Japan Visa. Never mind if my face looks like a round pork bun. LOL!}

Here's the list of the documents we submitted for our tourist visa application:

  1. Filled out application form (can be downloaded at their website)
  2. Valid passports
  3. Photocopy of our Cambodia visa
  4. 1 Passport ID (2in x 2in)
  5. Certificate of Employment (Salary mentioned)
  6. 1 current Payslip
  7. Air ticket booking confirmation
  8. Hotel booking confirmation
  9. Birth certificate of our son
  10. Marriage certificate
  11. Travel Itinerary

Our visa was gratis or free. This too, surprised us because according to the website, a single entry tourist visa costs 3000 yen.

A fast visa application and a free visa grant, what a great welcome to Japan!

June 11, 2013

Climbing Fun at Kids City

Two Saturdays ago, we went to Kids City and EJ played at their Playground. Hubby and I wanted to try their Clip & Climb (even though I am scared of heights) but we did not have time anymore.

Last Saturday, we went back there again. And this time hubby and I did climb. EJ was scared to try so we did not push him.

I think there are more than 10 climbing walls ranging from easy to a little difficult. Hubby had an easy time climbing the walls and reaching the top. Show off! Haha!





I am not sure how many climbing walls he climbed. But definitely he wasn't able to try all the walls. He said his arms and shoulders were a little sore after about an hour of climbing.

As for me, well, I had an easy climb alright. It's just that I had difficulty reaching the top.

{My first attempt}

On my first attempt, I only reached halfway. I couldn't bring myself to climb anymore. It's not that it was difficult. I was scared because I made the mistake of looking down. I have height issues so when I saw that I was 5 meters up, I panicked. 

{My second attempt}

On my second try, I did manage to reach almost the top. But again, I got scared and my mind refused to go any further. But I did not give up! I looked for the easier wall to climb. 

{My third attempt}

{Go Josiet! You're almost there!}

{I reached the top! I did it!}

I was about to give up again when I reached half way because of fear. But I pushed myself. I remember a quote from Bill Cosby, "Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it." and a Moorish proverb that says "He who fears something gives it power over him." Yes, I remembered these quotes while hanging in the middle of the wall. LOL!

So I said, it's now or never. And I did it! I am so proud of myself for trumping over that fear of heights even if it's only that time.

{EJ's reaction. Haha!}

After that, I climbed the first two walls that I tried but never reached the top. Guess what, I reached the top of both walls. So hurray for me!

{The couple that climbs together, stays together}

It sure was scary at first but when you get the hang of it, it becomes easier and it becomes exciting. I might do this again soon. I had a lot of fun!

The entrance fee to Clip & Climb is $10 for adults and $8 for kids. It's good for 1 hour and 15 minutes only. But don't worry, before your time is up, you'll be too tired to climb again. Unless you have the energy of a 10 year old kid!

June 10, 2013

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa in Cambodia

This post first appeared on my travel blog, My Travel Folio. I am copying it here because I am going to integrate my travel posts again in this blog, like it first used to be.

I've successfully kept and updated my travel blog for two years, but lately, I just don't have the time to open it anymore.

So starting from now, my travel posts will be posted in this blog.

~~~~

We applied our Schengen Visa here in French Embassy Phnom Penh. Hubby and I went to get the application form personally at the embassy. What we didn’t know is that you can print the form from their website.

When we got the list of required documents, we worked on it right away. After completing our documents, we called up the embassy for the appointment.

I was naive to think that the appointment time could be set immediately. In our case, the schedule they gave for submission of documents and interview was two weeks away from the time we called them up. If I had known this, I would have called them up first to set up the appointment date and then prepare the documents.

But in any case, there was really no harm done. Our travel date was still two months away. I was just excited.

Documents to submit (Original copies)
1.) Completed form – one per applicant
2.) Colour passport ID photo – 35mm x 45mm (width x height)
3.) Passport and old passports if any
4.) Flight booking – it doesn’t have to be a paid booking. Just a confirmed booking.
5.) Hotel booking – same as the flight booking
6.) Travel Itinerary
7.) Birth certificate and Marriage certificate
8.) Employment certificate
9.) Company payslip
10.) Bank Statement
11.) Health/Medical Insurance – minimum coverage of 30,000 Euro
12.) Visa fee application worth 60 Euro per applicant, 35 Euro for children 6-12yo and free for children under 6yo.

We also submitted a photocopy of all the original documents we submitted. It’s part of their requirement, by the way.

We went to the embassy on our appointment date. When it was our time, we were called to go inside an office. A gentleman asked for our papers. He leafed through it and then asked us some questions.

It did not feel like an interview at all. He just asked about hubby’s work, our itinerary in Paris, about my son’s school and if we happen to know their neighbor? It turned out, the son of their neighbor is EJ’s classmate.

After that, he took a picture of each of us and took our finger prints (only hubby and I) for biometric visa. Kids under twelve years old are exempted.

After that, the gentleman said we can follow up for our visa after 5 working days. Our visa application experience was smooth and easy contrary to what I have heard. When hubby called after the 5th working day, we were informed to collect our Schengen Visa and the original documents we submitted.

Yay! We got our Schengen Visa!


EJ's Schengen Visa, valid for a month with multiple entry.

June 8, 2013

Bodia Spa in Phnom Penh

My friend, Ate Elma, treated me to an afternoon of pampering last weekend at Bodia Spa. It was her last year's birthday gift for me. It came late because we were both busy.

She booked us both a 60-minute caudalie anti-aging & firming facial and a 45-minute natural jasmine rice body scrub.

{Reception Area}

{Reception Area}

I arrived first at the Spa. While waiting for my friend, they gave me a cold towel and a tea. I don't know what the tea was but I tasted a ginger.

{Lovely tray!}

{Spa Room}

{Spa Shower}

I like:
  • The Spa room was cozy and relaxing. I almost feel asleep while having the scrub.
  • I liked the scrub. I haven't had a body scrub in a long while. My body welcomed the removal of the dead skin cells. LOL!
  • The therapist who did the scrub was gentle.

I didn't quite like:
  • The shower area had no curtain. I didn't like the fact that after the scrub I had to take a shower while the therapist was still inside the room cleaning up the massage bed in preparation for the next treatment. I know I am being a prude but privacy should be given to clients whether they prefer it or not.
  • There was no towel inside the shower area. I had to call the therapist to ask for one.
  • The facial felt so quick. It was mostly an application of the cream and that was it. My friend, Ate Elma, told me that her facial included a massage in the head and shoulder.  But mine didn't. I guess it depends on the therapists.
  • I think the $42 price tag for the facial is a little expensive.

Despite a little disappointed with the facial, it was still a good afternoon! I had a relaxing scrub. Thank you so much Ate Elms. We should do this regularly. We deserve it.

Bodia Spa Phnom Penh
(above UCare Pharmacy)
Sothearos Blvd cor St 178
Phnom Penh
Tel: 855(0) 23 226 199

June 4, 2013

School Break Travel Plans

It's June already and we're almost half-way through the year! Can you believe that?

Anyway, EJ's school ends on June 28. That's less than a month away. And we're excited about his 2-month school break.

We do have a lot of plans on how to spend his school break. We plan to go home to the Philippines for four to six weeks and then probably a week or so in Australia.

The trip to the Philippines is confirmed. I just haven't finalized the exact date. However the trip to Australia is not definite yet.

{Sydney Opera House. Photo from Google Image.}

Hubby's friends in New Zealand suggested we visit them instead. It could be a sort of reunion for them. And then there's also the lure of going to the US, to visit Disneyland and complete our Disneyland adventures.

All these plans are actually driving me crazy! All I want is just to travel...wherever.

I do believe a travel to a new place, a new destination is an education travel on its own already. I am sure EJ will have a stock of knowledge and memories later on from his travels with us.

I am still busy researching and looking for deals in all the places I've mentioned above. I guess whichever is cheaper, wins our next destination. LOL!

June 3, 2013

New in Town: Kids City

Kids City Phnom Penh has just opened last Saturday, June 1. Coincidentally June 1 is also International Children's Day. What perfect timing!

Kids City is an indoor entertainment and educational center for kids. It has 10 floors of different activities including ice skating and science discovery.

We brought EJ there last Saturday. But we had to wait for 30 minutes because they just finished with the opening ceremony and they had to clean up the place.


Kids City is conveniently located in Sihanouk Boulevard, just beside Lucky Grocery.


Reception area. This is where you buy the card, your access to the activity you want.


Different activities and the access fee/price


EJ chose to go to the Playground. He's got his access card ready and a toothless grin in place. Hehe.


Gloria Jean's Coffees is located at the ground floor. There are no tables and chairs so it's for take aways only. I don't know though if they will put tables and chairs later on.


A shop for new born and infant clothes is also located at the ground floor.


Playground is located at the 1st floor. It's a multi-level playground where kids can climb though a jungle, slide, jump on the trampoline, play basketball and play with the soft ball air canon which EJ found enjoyable.

The price for the Playground is $8 for unlimited time.


EJ likes the slide because it's not very steep.


EJ had a ball playing with this soft ball air cannon.

But hubby and I got tired waiting for EJ because the waiting area wasn't comfortable. They only had benches. In Monkey Business, another playground here in Phnom Penh, you can lounge on their big sofas and comfy chairs. You can also order drinks and food while surfing the net with their free wifi. I hope Kids City will consider these additional features. It will make the parents/guardians waiting time more pleasant.


There's also a playground for the smaller tots just beside the big one. The price is $4 for unlimited time.


A clothing shop for the toddler/teens is located at the 3rd floor.


On the 4th floor is the Clip and Climb area. This looks fun! Hubby and I want to try this soon.

{Clip and climb}

{Clip and Climb}


There's also a refreshment area at the 4th floor called poptea.


On the 5th floor is the Blue Pumpkin. If you're afraid to climb on the clip and climb, you can just watch the climbers over the mezzanine while having your coffee, ice cream or cake.

{Blue Pumpkin}


On the 7th floor is the Laser Tag. It's like playing video game in real time.


On the 9th floor is the Science Gallery. I wanted to check this out with EJ because I am sure he will be fascinated with the displays (he is our little science geek!) but that day he couldn't be peeled away from the playground.

{Science Gallery}

{Science Gallery}


On the last floor is the Ice Skating Rink.


I'd like to try this too. Maybe I'd finally learn how to ice skate.

We stayed in Kids City for almost 3 hours but we spent the whole time in Playground. Maybe next weekend, we get to try the other activities.

I am glad someone has brought something like this to Phnom Penh. Sure, there are parks around the city. We have been to a couple of parks actually. But with the heat and the dust (EJ is allergic to dust), it's not just convenient. So this new entertainment center is really a welcome change for kids and parents alike.

KIDS CITY
162A Sihanouk Blvd. Phnom Penh
012-523218

Opening Hours:
8am - 9pm weekdays
8am - 10pm weekends and holidays