My hotcake breakfast.
I woke up early again - it'll be nice to get home and have a real night's sleep in my bed. Can't believe my trip is coming to an end soon, but then I do miss home.
For breakfast, I had room service - hotcakes with grilled palm bananas - again, ok, but not great. I had no plans other than a spa day (hot stone massage, facial and mani/pedi at Visaya Spa located at the FCC) so I lounged around waiting for my appointments to start. There are many spas around town for a lot cheaper, but Visaya was very well rated and I was just lazy. Anyways, I had already scoped out the facilities and was pleased.
At 10am, I went to the spa and realized I was literally the only customer that morning...weird. The lady who led me into my treatment room was a lovely, slight person.
A's breakfast at Le Grand Cafe.
I later discovered she would be my masseuse and facialist - I had never had a hot stone massage before and didn't really know what to expect. Boy, was I in for a nice treat! It was the best massage I've ever had, and I've had many many massages all around the world. It was $70 for 90 minutes (again, expensive for Cambodia, but a real bargain in the US). I was so relaxed and happy...My massage led directly into my facial and mani/pedi (... never had a mani/pedi while flat on my back before ... a bit weird but nice); the facial didn't include extractions so was more aromatherapy and soothing. The sessions ended with a lovely tea break. All in all a lovely lovely morning. (As a hotel guest, I got 30% off the treatments, so for everything I only paid $112.
Around the Old Market.
I also tipped the ladies - they aren't used to tips here so it can be awkward knowing how much to give - so I gave 10%.)
Happy and pleased I left the spa to find A enjoying the pool (finally). She had spent all morning shopping the Old Market, enjoying croissants at Le Grand Cafe and the Blue Pumpkin. She was so pleased with the pastries here - we had thought we would get great pastries in Vietnam but that turned out not to be the case; whereas Cambodia surprised us with butter, flaky pastries, much like you would find in Paris. After listening to her adventures, it was my turn to go nap in the room. Ahhh... I love lazy days.
In the afternoon, I ventured out with A to the Blue Pumpkin to have ice cream.
A had a very rich caramel and cashew nut and I had pineapple with candied pineapple with a cone - yum! I felt like a little kid. A thinks I look happiest in photos when I'm eating - I guess that's true, but sort of a sad comment on me, huh? :) The Blue Pumpkin has a great a/c lounge upstairs - it's like a cool haven from the unrelenting heat. There are these loungey sofas with white sheets and pillows (which they change everytime someone leaves the space) - very comfy. Afterwards, we did some last minute souvenir shopping and then returned to Red Piano
for drinks and dinner. A had the steak sandwich (two little baquettes filled with steak and caramelized onions - tasty). I had the spaghetti carbonara - most people do this incorrectly, with some sort of cream sauce.
The correct way is to use an egg mixture added to the pasta while hot to create the creamy sauce. At Red Piano, they did it the correct way and it was really good! (only $4.50) Flushed with good food and decent wine, we headed over to the Temple
which offers free traditional Aspara dance shows at 7:30 and 9:30 nightly. We had some drinks while we waited for the show to begin. Once it began, we noted how similar this was to traditional Thai dance - filled with colorful costumes, symbolic gestures, elaborate headdresses. Very interesting and elegant.
Can't believe tomorrow we head back to Singapore (where we need to pack all the stuff we bought!) and then head home to LA. What a great trip!
[more to come]