It’s hard to believe that this luxurious Ballsbridge home used to be an eye clinic
It’s hard to believe that this luxurious Ballsbridge home used to be an eye clinic

Megan Burns

Uma Thurman shares her private abortion heartbreak in response to new Texas law
Uma Thurman shares her private abortion heartbreak in response to new Texas law

Sarah Finnan

Esther O’Moore Donohoe: ‘Back in the formal office structure, what have I taken away?’
Esther O’Moore Donohoe: ‘Back in the formal office structure, what have I taken away?’

IMAGE

The five beauty products to know used backstage at London Fashion Week
The five beauty products to know used backstage at London Fashion Week

Holly O'Neill

Kate Winslet wanted a ‘bulgy bit of belly’ left in one ‘Mare of Easttown’ scene and we love her for it
Kate Winslet wanted a ‘bulgy bit of belly’ left in one ‘Mare of Easttown’ scene...

Sarah Finnan

How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? 
How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? 

Sinead Brady

12 contemporary tile designs to inspire a kitchen makeover
12 contemporary tile designs to inspire a kitchen makeover

Shayna Sappington

Dogs Trust is encouraging Irish employers to allow dogs in the workplace
Dogs Trust is encouraging Irish employers to allow dogs in the workplace

Sarah Finnan

The HSE will provide free online counselling for those with anxiety and depression
The HSE will provide free online counselling for those with anxiety and depression

Megan Burns

The secret rage of motherhood: ‘I never imagined that my child could be both the trigger and target of my anger’
The secret rage of motherhood: ‘I never imagined that my child could be both the...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Cambodia Travel Diary 2


by IMAGE
16th Jun 2014
blank

Song Saa Koh Rong Surf

blank
blank
blank
blank
blankSee More Photos
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
AnnMarie concludes her two-part series with a guide to Song Saa, otherwise known as The Sweethearts…

THE SWEETHEARTS

Buddha once said, ?It is better to travel well than to arrive.? I’m guessing he never made it to the Song Saa private island resort.? After taking a plane to Phnom Penh and a subsequent three-hour car journey to Sihanoukville port, we were greeted by cold towels, cold drinks and a white-hot speedboat journey to Cambodia’s untouched Koh Rong Archipelago. The trek was worth it; not least the vista of overwater bungalows that flank its secluded harbour. Song Saa (Khmer for ?The Sweetheart?) boasts two islands, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, linked by a bleached wood bridge. Small and perfectly formed, Song Saa’s intimacy is part of its charm, especially when guests get a meet-and-greet from the barefoot staff at the pier. This is the point at which we literally kicked off our shoes?

DIGS

As an eco-friendly sustainable resort, the island mantra is ?luxury that treads lightly?. The 27 open-plan villas, each boasting their own superlative view, are sustainably built and conversant with the surrounding environment. Try Ocean View for sunrise, Overwater for sunsets or Jungle for rainforest-clad privacy. We chose the Royal Villa for our five-night stay complete with private jetty. Each property boasts its own infinity pool, private deck, outdoor showers, four poster beds, Aesop botanical bath products and all-inclusive mini bar. Oh, did I mention the mojito starter kit? Nice.

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness defines the very essence of Song Saa. Take a barefoot stroll through the rainforest for quiet time at the Koh Bong meditation rocks. Practise sunrise yoga in the outdoor sala or unblock your chi with a Kundalini back massage at the Sanctuary (unbelievable, trust me!). It’s all part of the prevailing Buddhist tradition of ‘metta bhavana?, or loving kindness, which also finds expression in the resort’s community development projects. Having established a marine reserve to safeguard the islands? reefs and exotic marine life (sea turtles, anyone?), not to mention local initiatives from book drives to organic composting, the karma factor is undeniable. A trip to neighbouring Koh Rong with Song Saa’s resident botanist helped give us a more well-rounded understanding of Cambodian culture and the foundation’s full-circle values.

BESPOKE

The beauty of Song Saa isn’t just in its lush surroundings but in its personal touch. When you’ve finished reading that 600-page novel beside the plunge pool or snorkelling villa-side, why not avail of the organised activities on offer? We chose to kayak through the Koh Rong mangroves followed by a guided walk through the rainforests and a beachside catered picnic (five miles of unblemished coral sand… sigh.) The irony? Survivor Bulgaria was being filmed only a short distance away (if only they knew!). After we mentioned that we were keen to see an indigenous hornbill, the team also organised a lovely surprise – two seats at sunset and a bottle of prosecco at the mouth of the Koh Bong rainforest, a breeding colony for bats and roosting site for sea eagles and owls. Special? Yes.

 

CREATIVE DINING

Dinner menus are customised by the head chef and general manager and delivered daily to each villa (rolled parchment tied to your door handle with twine). Each evening offers a unique culinary experience in a different location of the island, from the 360-degree Vista overwater dining room to the beachside Driftwood Bar; you can dine poolside by candlelight or be catered to in your villa. The locally sourced Khmer ingredients make for light, fragrant cuisine worthy of anticipation. Should mouths water before dinner is served, do as we did and start with a barefoot aperitif on a bean bag overlooking the harbour.

The most disappointing thing about Song Saa? Having to leave?

SONG SAAA

Book your holiday at www.songsaa.com

Song Saa Foundation from Song Saa on Vimeo.

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

alternative asthma treatments
EDITORIAL
Three alternative asthma treatments to try this hayfever season

Approximately 80% of people with asthma also suffer from hayfever, which can make summer days a nightmare. These three alternative...

By Grace McGettigan

blank
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

brain
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

blank
CULTURE
Reality Bites: TV shows like Love Island are warping our minds

It may be the most unifying show on television, but shows like Love Island are promoting some pretty damaging messages....

By Amanda Cassidy