From a luxurious perch, Janiqueel and Mx C enjoy the heart of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia has a real grip on me. From the very first time I went there, it was a fulfilment of my childhood fantasies of the way travel should be.Anthony Bourdain
As soon as we opened the door of our Sambok Deluxe Plus room, we knew we were in for a four-day treat. Our swift, quiet ride from the airport gave us a visual taste of the culture and atmosphere of Siem Reap. Now, with the Aviary hotel as a hub, we looked forward to leisurely jaunts around the bustling neighbourhood later when we are not basking in the comfort of the Sambok Deluxe Plus room.
Opened at the beginning of the year, the Sambok Deluxe Plus rooms are plush and efficient, yet with a definite edge of casualness. Appointed with care and flair, the rooms are rife with bright colours and light wood. Hanging chairs feature prominently in some Sambok rooms. They sway gently in the air and, yes, can induce sleep – even in the afternoon!
Once rested, we’re at the front door to find Pub Street. Oh, there it is – 400 metres away – close enough to be convenient to the multitude of trendy restaurants and colourful bars. At night, the area is a magnet for fun-seekers. On this afternoon, though we are happy to find a seat on the street. A beer for me, a plate of fries and sweet water for C, and we are ready to discuss plans for tomorrow. Appreciating, amid the colourful parade of passers-by. The fact that we are sitting in the heart of Southeast Asia discussing the next day’s adventure even as we sit in the middle of today’s. Life is good.
In consultation with the Aviary Hotel staff, we have chosen “Angkor Small Tour Circuit” as our adventure. Including hotel pick-up, entrance fees, and a guide, the circuit is just the right length for the two of us. The tour includes an early visit to Angkor Wat, as well as other nearby sites like Bayon, Chau Say Tevoda, and Ta Prohm. At one point, we rode a tuk-tuk, C loves this mode of transportation for its shaky thrills and the immediacy of the streets. Honestly, it IS a thrill. Depending on where you want to go and for how long, you’ll find a variety of tours from which to choose. For us, the “Angkor Small Tour Circuit” was just right.
Declaring our outing a big success, we hopped back into the lap of lux. Capped by a trip to The Flock Café for an afternoon’s light repast where Asian bowls and small meals meet western burgers – including my choice – the vegetarian burger. Later, we’ve decided, we’ll try Fumizen Japanese Restaurant. We’ve peeked at the online menu and it seems that sushi and gyoza to get started will suit us fine. Then we’ll share a tonkatsu. Hungry? We are! Tomorrow, as my young partner enjoys the company of some of the hotel staff.
Upon my arrival, I found a serene space bathed in earth tones with soft ambient sounds and floral fragrances that melt your troubles away. I opted for a full body massage with special attention to my feet. I had made an excellent choice. I left feeling refreshed and calm – like Sokkakh Spa Riverside itself.
Sometimes, when you are well taken care of and relishing the moments, time can pass a bit slower than usual. I felt that after my spa experience and after the amazing things we have seen and done – and we still have two days left!
Can you sense we enjoyed The Aviary Hotel in Siem Reap? Oh, my goodness, YES. It’s a great place to stay and enjoy the culture of Siem Reap and have excursions out and about. Inside, the artwork and attention to detail around every corner immerse one in the Cambodian atmosphere.
“… the way travel should be.”
Research and writing help from JKJ