This page is a work in progress. Please check back often, as I'll continue to add as I have the chance to catalog all of our travel information!
Photos, reviews and observations about our travel experiences are listed below. The names and locations of the places I've mentioned were accurate at the time these posts were written; if you have any questions, please contact me!
When in Siem Reap, we stayed at the Tara Ankgor hotel, a lovely place located not far from the temples. We liked its location, the great breakfast included (housemade yogurt!), and the widely available tuk-tuks (pedicabs) that were parked right outside the hotel and could take us just about anywhere for about US $1-2. For our tour of the temples, we relied on Beyond Unique Escapes, a local startup, and we hired a guide and a tuk-tuk driver for around US $40 total. Our tour guide, Kunthea, took us on a tour based on our requests (fewer crowds, major temples only). Dinners we enjoyed were at Viroth's and Amok.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Cambodia:
In Beijing, we stayed at the Jade Garden Hotel, a clean, well-located hotel right near Tiananmen Square. Highlights of our trip included the imperial cuisine (see below), and, of course, The Great Wall. We highly recommend hiring a driver and a guide to take you around the city if you have limited time; while public transportation is widely available and easily accessed, the traffic can be a nightmare.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Beijing:
- Chingrish at Olympic Park (Beijing)
- Peanut Ice Dessert (Beijing)
- Imperial Cuisine (Beijing)
- A Slice of Life at the Temple of Heaven (Beijing)
In Hong Kong, we love Hotel Jen (now Trader's Hotel) for its location and great design. We highly recommend the roast lamb at Hutong (see below) and the Hong Kong Museum of History in Kowloon, which is one of our favorite museums, ever.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Hong Kong:
- Dim Sum with Suckling Pig (Hong Kong)
- Hong Kong Harbor at Night (Hong Kong)
- Must-Eat Roast Lamb (Hong Kong)
- Raw Meat Coming Through (Hong Kong)
- Refined Shanghainese Cuisine and Pork Buns, Too (Hong Kong)
We stayed on Cubadak Island, a private island in West Sumatra, and absolutely loved its quiet tranquility and Indonesian-Italian fusion food. It's a little rustic, but as everything has to be brought on to the island, understandably so. Be prepared for a harrowing hairpin drive along the coast, followed by a motorboat ride, in order to get there.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Sumatra:
Bali is a large island, and there are many places to stay depending on what you're looking for. We went for the culture and the rice paddies of Ubud and stayed at Kajane Mua Villas (see below for my post). Everything -- from the service to the scenery to the private massages overlooking rice paddies -- was perfect.
Food-wise, I highly recommend a dinner at Mozaic, a French-infused haute dining experience that draws from the freshest Indonesian ingredients. Arrive early for a drink at the bar. Ibu Oka is the site of the famous coconut water-bathed roast pig that Anthony Bourdain tried, and it's a must. As for other restaurants in Bali, I loved Ibu Rai and Batan Waru, but be forewarned that most restaurants in Bali also have a "Western" menu in addition to the local menu that would surely be the death knell of any authentic restaurant anywhere else but Bali. But, due to the touristy nature of Bali, a Western menu is almost inevitable.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Bali:
- Amazing Artwork (Ubud, Bali)
- Delicious Handmade Jams and Home Goods (Ubud, Bali)
- Kajane Mua - Beautiful Rice Patties, Amazing Service at a Villa (Ubud, Bali)
- A Noteworthy Warung (Cafe) in Ibu Rai (Ubud, Bali)
- Photo Summary of our Honeymoon (Ubud, Bali)
When in Singapore, we've enjoyed staying at Scarlet Hotel, a cute little boutique right in the middle of Chinatown and next to two of my favorite food hawker complexes, the Maxwell Road Food Center and the Chinatown Complex.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Singapore:
- Hawker Centers - Chinatown Complex, and the Best Dessert Soup Man
- Singapore Makes an Effort to Speak English Well
Charleston, South Carolina
I grew up in South Carolina, so no matter where we travel in the world, the Deep South will always be home. People always ask me what the best part of Charleston is; to them, my answer is always, "eat, eat, eat." I highly recommend The French Quarter Inn for those looking for a fancier stay; budget, but still amazingly located, accommodations can be had at The Hampton Inn on John Street.
For families, the South Carolina Aquarium is a must. Those looking for a taste of history should visit Middleton Place, and no matter what, make sure you visit one of our beautiful beaches. We love Kiawah Island.
Previous Gravy Train posts on Charleston:
- Al Di La - Casual Italian
- Big Nasty Biscuit at Hominy Grill
- Eccentric Crowd at Down-Home Bluerose Cafe
- Chicken N' Waffles at the Early Bird
- Big Meat at the Fat Hen
- The Glass Onion Restaurant
- Gullah Cuisine's Amazing Fried Chicken
- The Macintosh
- Classic Southern Shrimp and Grits at Magnolia's
- Ms. Roses' For Must-Eat Wings
- Tristan Restaurant (PS - You Can Have a Wedding There)
- Peninsula Grill - A True Special Occasion Meal
- Red Drum Gastropub
- Taste of Thai (yes, there is Asian food in Charleston)
- Three Little Birds Diner Has Sweet Potato Benedict - Run, Don't Walk
- Trattoria Lucca - Must-Eat Monday Night Family Dinner
New York City, New York
Despite our initial hesitation at taking young children to the city, New York is amazingly kid-friendly! From subway rides to the Central Park Zoo, we took our (then) 2.5 year old and 5 month old and had a blast. We highly recommend The Element Hotel, a centrally located, budget-friendly Starwood property with kitchenettes. The kitchenettes were great for fixing a quick snack or preparing baby food. A definite must-see is the High Line, an old elevated subway line converted into green space. Grab a Blue Bottle coffee and let your little ones run wild.
Previous Gravy Train posts on NYC: