Being Pampered in Siem Reap

We arrived at the Sofitel Angkor Wat mid afternoon. When Budi heard where we were staying he said, “Oh, they open the doors for you.” He’s right. Just as we approach a door someone appears out of the woodwork to open it for us have to say I like that!!

Somehow we again got an upgraded room. The grounds at this place are something out of the French Colonial era, as are the buildings. The staff throw in a little French at every opportunity. Here are some photos from the grounds.

Steff researched restaurants and found Haven. It was established by a Swiss couple to help Cambodian youth who come from rural areas and from orphanages, in their late teens/early 20’s to learn to work in the restaurant industry. They are trained for 16 months and then go to permanent job. The food is locally grown and prepared fresh.

We got there via a $4 tuk tuk

Ride through the city.

The meals were very flavorful, each ingredient standing out yet blending in. I had Cognac Marinated Pork Ribs. Yum!

This morning our driver, Mr Sophal, picked us up at

8:30 and we drove out of town a ways. Such very poor villages. So much plastic waste piled high. Naked kids running here and there. Extremely skinny white cows wandering free. I paved roads. Minimal toilets. Here’s a smattering of what we saw in our drive.

Driving on a dirt road for about 15 minutes brought is to a muddy canal with lots of primitive boats.

Here’s our cute boat man.

We rode through a remote floating village. The rainy season is just getting started so the boats are pretty high up now. Soon the water will rise to almost the bottom floor of these houses.

Our destination was a floating shack out on Tonle Sap Lake that served as a beer break for us.

Look at this cute baby playing with mom nearby.

The boat ride was an eye opener to the poverty and lack of services to these people.

Now back into the city and out the other side to a silk farm. To me, this was absolutely fascinating! Step by step we learned the prices and had hands on experiences. I even held a silkworm.


We walked through the whole process of making silk. No wonder it’s so expensive — unless you get machine made from China.

Stephanie got into the tying routine quickly.

Like any good artisanal workshop, this one exited through the gift shop. I may or may not have made purchases. Hmmm I did need a new eyeglass case…

Now we are pooped and hungry and so Mr S drives us back to the hotel. We went into the bar/lounge where I had a tuna sandwich and a wine flight. You know what happens after a wine flight at 3 in the afternoon. Zzzzzzzzz

Tonight we ate at the hotel and watched a Cambodian dance review. The costumes were elaborate and I don’t know how they made the quick changes. It was fun seeing one group get the giggles. I could relate to that.

The first part of the show was instruments only. Or maybe they were just tuning up. Hard to tell. You decide.


Tomorrow we meet our driver Mr Vantha at 4:40 am for a sunrise trip to the temples of Angkor Wat. The hotel is providing a box breakfast.

Here’s the thing that bothers me most. I sweat more than the average bear. It is so very hot and I can’t be outside for two minutes before my face starts melting down to my chest. Kleenex can’t keep up. I look around — no one else sweating like me. In Florida I just stay inside, but now we’re viewing great wonders and I just have to put up with it. Anyway.

Bed all turned down and calling my name. Bon sour, as they say here.

One Reply to “Being Pampered in Siem Reap”

  1. Oh my gosh this brings back memories! I remember the dancers and musicians. We bought silk scarves for very little. I just wish I had bought more! I can’t believe your room!


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