I wish I could accurately describe the feeling I had upon arrival into Cambodia - it was a beautiful balance somewhere between exotic and familiar. The lush landscape conjured up memories from my roots in Hawaii, yet felt reminiscent of my most favorite parts of our new-ish life in SE Asia. It was peaceful, a welcomed break from the chaotic metropolis back home. The soft faces on the Khmer people expressed a joy and kindness unlike any I've encountered. And...don't even get me started on the region's mouthwatering cuisine! This bucket list adventure was just getting started.
We stayed at Siem Reap's Borei Angkor Resort & Spa on their exclusive Privilege Floor where their staff was as inviting as the magnificent lobby. At the suggestion from their concierge, we booked the last table at the upscale Malis Restaurant for dinner, just a $2 tuk-tuk ride away on Pokambor Avenue. We returned to the same neighborhood the following night and enjoyed more delicious Khmer food at Chanrey Tree, also highly recommended.
Booking a private car and tour guide directly through the hotel - perhaps not the most economical, but certainly the easiest - we ventured out for an all-day tour of the temple ruins of Angkor visiting both Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. I knew immediately upon taking my first picture, we had not planned for enough time here, but traveling with a 3-year old comes with a certain unpredictability. My husband and I both left expressing our desires to return, perhaps next time on a bike trip through the UNESCO World Heritage Site. As for having our preschooler in tow, he was a champ! Respectfully exploring the temples and grounds like the biggest playground he's ever seen, and even foregoing a mid-day nap, he delighted us all seeing this historic site through his eyes.
Until next time Cambodia...