Swindlers, scammers and con artists: Here’s what to stream if you love a good fraudster film
Swindlers, scammers and con artists: Here’s what to stream if you love a good fraudster...

Sarah Gill

This simple acronym has the power to defuse tricky parenting situations
This simple acronym has the power to defuse tricky parenting situations

IMAGE

How to repot your house plants, and the signs that you need to
How to repot your house plants, and the signs that you need to

Megan Burns

A three week isolation for monkeypox has just been introduced in Belgium
A three week isolation for monkeypox has just been introduced in Belgium

Amanda Cassidy

The truth about flying with children
The truth about flying with children

Amanda Cassidy

The transformative power of changing your hair
The transformative power of changing your hair

IMAGE

A beginner’s guide to journaling: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the self-care ritual
A beginner’s guide to journaling: Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the self-care ritual

Sarah Finnan

Emma Thompson is embracing her naked body, and her poignant comments might just inspire you to do the same
Emma Thompson is embracing her naked body, and her poignant comments might just inspire you...

Sarah Gill

Travis Barker’s house is… surprisingly tasteful?
Travis Barker’s house is… surprisingly tasteful?

Megan Burns

‘Before having a baby, I was a woman who knew her children would be screen-free’
‘Before having a baby, I was a woman who knew her children would be screen-free’

Dominique McMullan

Image / Editorial

Cambodia Travel Diary: Part 1


By IMAGE
15th Jun 2014
Cambodia Travel Diary: Part 1

La Residence - bedroom

blank
blank
blank
blank
blankSee More Photos
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
blank
In this two-part series, Annemarie O’Connor travels to South East Asia to experience Cambodia’s unique culture…

Adventures by definition require bold undertakings of uncertain outcome. Travelling 24 hours and over 10,000 kilometers to South East Asia is hardly the stuff of Ferdinand Magellan (more like Emirates) but given this was my first trip to Cambodia; you could call it a risk. Prior to having boarded three planes: Dublin to Dubai, Dubai to Bangkok, Bangkok to Siem Reap, my knowledge of the ancient kingdom was limited to the historical scars of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge; with cursory references to Angkor Wat and, of course, Angelina Jolie. Once there my limited expectations would create room for an ineffable experience.

Here are the highlights:

SIEM REAP

DIGS

My travelling companion and I started our 10-day trip at Siem Reap: the gateway to Cambodia and home to its crowning temple, UNESCO World Heritage site and 7th Wonder of the World – Angkor Wat. Our digs, the French colonial Belmond La Residence d?Angkor, made a handy hub for sightseeing (2-minute tuk-tuk to the centre of town) and equally for relaxing (think 1-hour post flight Ylang Ylang massage.) The helpful staff was spot on with recommendations, such as guided temple tours (effective for the time-strapped) and local restaurant bookings (try the Chanrey Tree for Khmer cuisine like crispy sticky rice and Beef Lok Lak.) They also provided a traditional Cambodian water blessing from the monastery’s resident monks – a ceremony to impart good luck, long life and happiness.

TEMPLES

With only 48 hours in town, we opted for a two-pronged approach to tackling the vast network of temples, many of which are best viewed at sunrise or sunset and prone to heavy tourist traffic. A 45-minute helicopter tour targeted Angor Wat – a Khmer temple designed as a microcosm of the Hindu cosmological universe – without having to resurrect our jetlagged bodies at 4am. Bonus. Moreover, the pilot provided staggering evidence of reclining golden Buddhas carted by elephants to the top of the Kulen mountains. Keen to supplement this ariel overview, we took a guided tour of Ta Phrom, the ?Tree Temple? and film location for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider; Bantey Kidei, famous for its female aspara (dancing deity) and devata (divine guardian) carvings; and climbed to the top of Pre Rup – a symbolic mountaintop residence of the gods.

NIGHTLIFE

The frisson of Pub Street with its overflowing bars and night markets may not be everyone’s cup of green tea but it would be remiss not to experience it. Swathes of embroidered silks, food vendors selling fried tarantula (yes, that’s right!) and artisan Buddha statues provide much of the nocturnal theatre. Warning: If buying a Buddha, opt for replicas as opposed to antiques or reliquaries, which are forbidden under Cambodian law. And as for that nightcap, head back to The Martini Lounge at La Residence for a lemon meringue basil libation and a promise to return.

BLACK BOOK

Stay ??www.belmond.com/la-residence-d-angkor-siem-reap

Eat ??www.chanreytree.com

See ??www.helistarcambodia.com

Buy ??www.senteursdangkor.com