Phnom Penh

My mom probably has a fettish for planning last minute trips. Just on 4 Aug, she said that we will be going to Phnom Penh, and then we were in Phnom Penh's best hotel (according to TripAdvisor) on 9 Aug.

The hotel was really awesome. They have someone stand guard at every single door, to open it for anyone who walks past. The staff also remember their guests by faces, which is probably cos there are only 30 rooms in the entire hotel. And even though we only decided to go there 5 days in advance, they managed to provide us with a driver and a car who met us at the airport, and even a guide. I thought they would all be booked alr. 

Also, the food in the hotel was good. Which hotel was Maison Eric Kayser as it's in-house cafe omg O: Breakfast was buffet-style, except I never had to leave the chair because someone brings whatever I want to eat to me. I just need to read off the menu as many times as I want. Dishes were even customisable to suit the guests' tastes. Celine wanted her noodles without the 葱, and then she wanted another bowl which my mom ordered for her. When it came, my mom indicated to the person that it was not for herself, but for my sister, and then they automatically wanted to bring it back to the kitchen to make another one because the person remembers that my sister does not want the 葱. That is just sooo thoughtful. But of course we couldn't trouble them like that.

We had poolside dinner on the first evening, and when we were catching our flight on the last day, they packed breakfast for us. I love how they seem to know everything about our schedule and are so helpful about it. We only told the driver to come at 6am to bring us to the airport, but when we entered the hotel after the tour, the receptionist came up to us to tell us that they will pack breakfast for us to eat in the car on the way to the airport. How the receptionist ever knew about our flight timing would be a mystery. But this is what I call truly good service with initiative.

We visited some ruins which is famous for its well-preserved carvings;
Angkor Wat is famous because it is big, but the carvings have alr disappeared from the faces of the rocks. This temple may be small, but this one has a lot of carvings still intact.

And the Royal Palace;
I was wondering why the King would allow people to wander around his compound. Isn't it very disturbing? But I didn't feel like the palace was very grand, unlike in 紫禁城 or the Gardens of Versailles. It was more like someone has a very big house. Maybe the King is trying to feel close to his people by living like them.

For lunch on the second day, we went to a lake;
This was a very good recommendation by the hotel staff because there were no toursts! :D we were the only non-locals having our meal there that day. I felt like I was living authentic.

But this was seriously too much to ask of me just to have lunch;
I was so worried for my life. But the locals were swimming in the lake so I guess it would have been fine even if I fell in. And they cross the log bridge like it was no kick. They didn't even have to hold on to the shakey rails.

I think a good guide and translator is really impt. Just following guidebooks would never have brought us to these wonderful places as recommended by our guide and the hotel staff (: I came back to google for them and they hardly even exist in travel itineraries.

Phnom Penh right now, is a growing city. The place resembles Vietnam probably three or four years ago. The outskirts of town haven't met with much tourists yet so it really is the right time to go now, while the tranquility is unspoilt and the scenery beautiful.