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Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Letters #35

Happy Friday Y'all! 

I hope you had a wonderful week. To be honest with you- our week was pretty awesome, and I can't wait to share a sneak peek with y'all through these letters. These might get a little long, but such is life. 

Dear Saturday, We started the day off bright and early with a 5:00 am train ride to the airport. Matt and I actually pulled an all nighter. We tried to fall asleep, but when it hit midnight with no sleep- we figured- what the heck- and just stayed up. We passed the hours playing Rumikub and watching Bones on Netflix. 

We made it to the airport and checked into our flight to Cambodia. It got a little dicey when we got to the counter the signs said to go- to only to be told to go somewhere else… to then be told to go somewhere else! Oh Korea- how difficult you make things sometimes. But we got through security pretty quickly and all was good. 

We had a 4 hour layover in Guangzhou, China. The layover wasn't long enough to leave the airport, so I just put my cardigan on the ground and took a nap. I don't know about you, but when I travel I do anything to be comfortable. If there isn't a huge crowd around the gate- that includes laying down to catch a few zzzs. I know this probably bothers some of you, but for me a happy and non-tired Alex is the best Alex to travel with. :) So for the sake of Matt's happiness- I sleep.

Around 6:30 pm we arrived in Siem Reap. We made it through immigration easily and when we got to the arrival gate the driver from our hotel was waiting for us. I felt so fancy having someone standing with a sign that had my name on it! We got to the hotel, which was amazing by the way, and then went straight out for our first dinner out on the town. 
Dear Saem SiemReap Hotel, You were amazing and wonderfully beautiful. I can't believe the deal we got on you. Every day we stayed with you was wonderful. The staff was great. The room was beautiful and clean. And the pool was amazing. 

Dear Sunday, Another early morning started off with a TukTuk ride to the Angkor Wat ticket center to get our park passes. We opted for the three day pass to explore the temples. I was so excited to finally be on our way to explore this famous place. 

Dear Angkor Wat, Seriously- Every temple we explored was amazing. The heat that we experienced towards mid-day was a little extreme, but the views were totally worth being uncomfortable. Sunday we took the 'little' tour and were able to see the three big temples -Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prom- and a bunch of smaller ones along the way. It was really a dream come true. It was a long day of sight seeing and being out in the heat, but I don't regret a thing. Our TukTuk driver was awesome and always had cold water waiting for us when we would come back from looking at a temple.
  Dear Mr. Khen TukTuk #10, You were the best driver we could have ever hoped for. I'm so happy you were with us every day of our trip. It was nice to have consistency and someone we could trust to take us where we needed to go. You gave great recommendations and our trip was that much better because of you. 

We got back to the hotel around 2 and then hung out at the pool for a few hours. Since it was so hot during the day- we didn't feel guilty for being at the pool and relaxing. We had planned on having a lot of down time just for this. Our hotel wasn't crowded, so most of the time we had the pool all to ourselves. I must admit I got pretty hooked on the hotel's Italian Sodas. Yummy! 

After our pool time, we got ready and went to a show called Smile of Angkor. It was pretty interesting. Then we went down to Pub Street and Market Street to have some fun. It was an experience walking down the street and seeing the night life of Siem Reap. Matt and I both got a foot massage for $3 for 30 minutes. It was heaven. 

Dear Monday, Today we took a break from the temples and decided to take a cooking class at the hotel. This was mainly for Matt because I don't cook and really have no desire to learn. We met the Sous Chef and Kitchen Manager at 8:00 and headed to see a local market to get some ingredients. It was an interesting place to say the least! 

Dear Cooking Lessons, I have to admit- it was pretty fun. And the food was amazing. The whole time we were eating I was like- I helped make this! I had a fun time getting to know the kitchen staff a little better and really interacting with the staff of the hotel. If you ever get the chance to take a cooking class in Cambodia- do it! The food is awesome. 

{Yes we made that! I folded and stapled the banana leaf into those cute bowls. And I chopped the ingredients for the Fish Amok.} 

After the cooking class we hung out by the pool and Matt treated me to a facial at the hotel spa. It was amazing. Then we got ready for our evening out to the circus. 

Dear Phare Cambodia Circus, I am so glad I happened to see this and tell Matt we should go. It was worth every penny. I really can't wait to share this experience in detail with you. But for now I will say it was the best thing we did on our trip. At least tied with seeing Bayon. 

Dear Tuesday, Today we did the sunrise at Angkor and then the 'grand' tour of the temples. It was the perfect last day in Siem Reap. The weather wasn't that hot and we got to see some more temples. After the temples we had some pool time (of course) and then we did a couple massage. 

{Yes- we like taking pictures in the hotel robes- it makes us feel fancy} 

I'm telling you- when we want to have a vacation to relax- we go all out! This trip was the perfect blend of sight seeing and relaxation. Tuesday night we went back out to the Pub Street area and walked around. It was the perfect way to end our trip. Matt got a fish foot massage. I found a Costa's coffee shop. We ate at the Green Star non-profit restaurant. We shopped a bit. It was great. 

When I was living in London- my friend and I would visit Costa's probably three times a week. I haven't been to Costa's since, so it was amazing to see one in Siem Reap. And it was as delicious as I remembered. 

Dear Wednesday, Today was our travel day back to Seoul. It was sad to say goodbye to Siem Reap, but I'm so thankful we got the chance to visit this country. I didn't expect to fall in love with it, but I did. 

Our travel day went pretty smoothly- except for when Matt left his wallet in the hotel car that took us to the airport! Luckily, he called the hotel and they got it back to us quickly. I had the passports so I checked us in while he waited outside. I'll be honest with y'all- he was waiting in a different area because I was pretty pissed and didn't want to say anything until I had calmed down a bit. I guess I should have been saying 'Do you have your wallet?' Instead of just Passports Passports Passports?
(No trip is perfect right?!) 

We got back to Seoul safety and then from there made it to our apartment. 

Dear Thursday and Friday, Boo- back to reality. We both had to finish our work week. I actually woke up with some sort of stomach thing on Thursday morning. I will just leave you with the term stomach thing without going into any details. :) To say the least- I wasn't feeling too hot. 

But now this whirlwind of a week has come to a close. If you can't tell- I loved Cambodia. I would visit Cambodia again and again. I know our hotel and the people we met were a big part of why I loved the place. I look forward to sharing our trip with y'all. 

I hope you guys have a wonderful weekend! 

Love, Alex 


  1. It looks like you had an amazing trip and omg, those temples!!! How cool is it that you got to do a sunrise trip and with your husband, too. I know that when my husband and I travel he is always about the massages and pool while I'm trying to gallivant around like Tomb Raider. Your trips sounds like a perfect mix of the two. I hope you're feeling better!!

    1. Thanks! It was a pretty amazing trip. Luckily my husband and I are on the same page when it comes to what type of travel we want to do. I think we are pretty split, but really it just depends on how long our trip is and what we really want to see.

  2. I have been wanting to visit Cambodia for so long. When I went to Vietnam, I didn't have enough time to go there - I am hoping to get there in 2015!

    1. I hope you get there- it's an amazing place. I really can't wait for our trip to Vietnam this July.

  3. Nice post! I like how you alternate "rest and relax" time with sightseeing time. Good job on the bamboo leaf bowls. Thanks for sharing your adventure.

    1. Thanks Bree! I was pretty proud of the bowls.

  4. I would LOVE to visit Cambodia!


Thanks for taking the time to comment- I appreciate and read each and every one of them. All replies will be in the comment section, please check back to read them!

- Alex