Saturday, January 2, 2010

Enjoying the Palace

This morning I managed half a dozen hotel inspections and none of them came up to the level of my bed for the night at Angkor Palace. I must find out where they got the mattress 'cause it was the best night's sleep I've had in ages. By comparison, my mattress at home is definitely on its last legs. As for the breakfast first thing, it was pretty good though incredibly busy - not surprising as they have over 250 rooms - but I still rate the breakfast at the Tara Angkor as the best I've tasted in Siem Reap in the last couple of years. The pool at the Palace is the largest in the city I'm told and though we're at the height of the high season and occupancy is very high, the soundproofing must be good as I can't hear a thing outside my room. Don't get me wrong the hotels I saw this morning were fine and the staff very accommodating, but they don't come up to the standard of the Palace. I'm off in a little over an hour to the annual Hanuman staff party so I'd better get my glad-rags on. Unfortunately I'll miss the opening night of the latest photographic exhibition at 4Faces which is being blessed by monks at 6pm tonight. I popped into Wat Damnak this afternoon as I've been invited to the opening of their new library wing next week, alongwith King Sihamoni, but I can't make it, so he'll have to carry on without me. It's a very attractive addition to the renovated buildings at Wat Damnak and it was great to see the existing library being used by so many youthful Cambodians, all eager to use the opportunity to read and learn. Also on my visit list was Shadow of Angkor II guesthouse, which was full and the pool looks very inviting. I hadn't seen Shadow II since it opened, but it was only a whistle-stop visit and great to touch base again with my friends at the Shadow. Lunch was at Viroth's, who impressed me with a neat pork curry.


Friday, January 1, 2010

The lull is over

As you may've been aware, I've been a bit quiet over the last couple of days. Yesterday was spent travelling up to Siem Reap and enjoying the arrival of the new year, whilst today has been spent out and about until now, half an hour before midnight. Kbal Spean and Banteay Srei were this morning's destinations, whilst the floating village of Mechrey on the Tonle Sap Lake grabbed my attention later this afternoon. More later. Then it was off to the Shadow of Angkor with Now for some chicken amok and a final pause to see my pals at 4Faces, then back to my bed for the night at the pretty swish Angkor Palace Resort. I'm spending a couple of nights courtesy of the folks at Angkor Palace and I'm impressed. I'll reserve judgement until tomorrow's breakfast, but so far, very good. Tomorrow is the Hanuman staff party at HanumanAlaya, with a few hotel inspections thrown in before lunch for good measure. Now where is that connecting cable so I can download some pictures from my travels earlier today...