Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kicking off the Cambodian Leg

We woke up to the realization that, though only a short distance away, Cambodia is not within the borders of Vietnam and therefore is an INTERNATIONAL destination and maybe we should considering getting to the airport immediately.  We scurried around a bit, made it onto our flight and and short time later, touched down in Siem Reap.

We made our way to Frangipani Villa, and after the semi-sketch lodging of the previous nights, we were definitely ready for this place.  It was beautiful.  The lobby is open air, with billowing white gauze curtains, and the room is accented with the work of local artists.

I could happily have moved into the lobby, but they took us to our cute little room.  Probably one of my favorite things about it was the picture in the bathroom- it was a framed picture of that very same bathroom.  I'm not sure if they were trying to be funny, modern artsy, or just ran out of artwork to hang, but I thought it was highly amusing.

Since we had been on the go for so many days in a row, we planned to take full advantage of hotel amenities and just relax.  We had a delicious lunch in the hotel restaurant, during which I challenged the allergy gods and went for the Panang curry containing pineapple, and then moved to the garden side pool.  The most difficult decision I had to make for the rest of the afternoon was whether to enjoy my margarita from the comfort of my chair, or the hot tub.

When it was time to eat again, we met up with Nattie and Heggie's friend Ben from college.  He and his girlfriend Kim took us to Studio 26 for some Cambodian cuisine.

Ben is the founder of an amazing NGO called Everything's Gonna Be Ok that is based in Cambodia.  His organization is dedicated to providing educational and vocational training for young Cambodians who want to enter the hospitality industry.   I really admire the work that they are doing and found myself entertaining the possibility of coming to volunteer with them in the future.

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