Bento Box Bits of everything

25Nov/110

Thanksgiving (Rib Roast try #2)

Hosted Thanksgiving dinner with some friends. Got a 3-rib Choice grade rib roast this time. Set internal temp target for 113F because I was too chicken to try 110F like I suggested to myself last time. That's what I get for not trusting myself- the rib roast turned out to be more medium than medium-rare again. Pre-heated oven to 250F, took 2.5 hours for it to hit the internal temp target, took it out of the oven and let sit for another 30 minutes while the internal temp continued to rise. It hit a max of 130F and then I sliced. I did not broil on top like I did last time- the crisp fat on top would have been nice to have, but we were all hungry!



The brined, bagged Turkey by Kathy was amazingly moist

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25Nov/110

Vietnam

My favorite destination of the whole trip. Wish I spent more than 2 nights here. It felt like 'real' Asia - not sure what that even means, but I liked how it felt like having one foot back in time with all the scooters and street markets, but still have modern conveniences around. Favorite part was signing up with Vietnam Vespa Adventures - did the day and night vespa tour. It was thrilling to zip through the streets of Saigon, dodging through traffic on our way to local sights, eateries, and markets. I barely saw any other tourists while I was in Saigon- felt nice having a local take us around to hidden places; I got to really feel the 'local experience'. People are incredibly friendly and open. It was easy to relax and have fun. More pics here



The Vespa I rode pillion on


Local park cafe


Weaving through traffic


4 on a motorbike, a common sight


Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica - the bricks come from Paris


Market


Intersection


Speakeasy where they played melancholy Viet and French music


Rock band at Yoko Bar


Escargot, the French influence


Frog legs

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23Nov/110

Cambodia



Entrance to Bayon


Getting around by tuk-tuk

Siem Reap was very eye-opening. My first time in a 3rd world country - first time seeing so much poverty. Even though it was a tourist town, still really hit home how fortunate we are in America. Found it amazing that people are so friendly and happy despite the poverty and tragic history. It was hard to have fun in Siem Reap without feeling exploitative- $1 goes so far to them. A family can be fed on just $4 a day. Lots more pics here



Pub Street - closed off street of bars and restaurants


Angkor Wat


Angkor Wat carvings


Angkor Wat


View from Angkor Wat


Bayon


Faces of Bayon


Faces of Bayon


Angkor Thom


Apsara dancing


Sras Srang


Landmine Museum


Banteay Sreay


Intricate carvings of Banteay Srey


Overgrowth at Preah Khan


Preah Khan


Sunset from Phnom Bakheng

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17Nov/112

Singapore

Singapore is one huge mall. Shopping malls everywhere you go- most connected via MRT tunnels. It felt like another huge Asian metropolis, but much cleaner and orderly. It's such a shopping mecca that I wish I brought an empty suitcase. Incredibly easy to get around- everything clearly labeled and even bus schedules are clearly marked. Stayed 2 nights in a tiny room at the Ibis hotel in Bugis, and another 2 nights with Will at the Marina Bay Sands (comped by Msft!). Escaped the city to the last bastion of nature in Singapore: Pulau Ubin island. Rented a bike and went to the Chek Jawa wetlands- in the monsoon rain. 1 hr journey back to the hotel: had to sit on the bus and MTR completely soaked through and covered in mud. Like KL, tons of pictures taken, some shown here:



Orchard Road- the main shopping strip of Singapore- reminded me of Ginza but with way more malls. I thought KL had impressive shopping, but Singapore is even bigger


Went to the National Museum of Singapore. Great exhibit on the history of Singapore- and they had an art exhibit as well with art from Monet and Van Gogh


The Night Safari was fun- tricky to take good photos of nocturnal animals


Huge bat


View from the Singapore Flyer- a huge ferris wheel - Marina Bay Sands on the right


At the Infinity Pool of the Marina Bay Sands


Went to the Singapore Zoo during the day


I like ~aminals


Cheetah says 'sup


Asian elephant show


Hawker Stalls


Went mountain biking in the monsoon rain at Pulau Ubin island


Various food:


Bario Ramen - from the 'Ramen Champion' event. Noodles were thick and chewy


Will and I had black pepper crab and chili crab- both were awesome


Hamburger steak with vegemite gravy at a Western Japanese restaurant

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