Cambodia has always intrigued me. As I child, during the Vietnam War I remember hearing about the US bombing Cambodia (even though we were not supposed to) after the Tet Offensive. The whole region always intrigued me. If you were a child in the Sixties, Vietnam and Cambodia were part of your vernacular. The People’s Army of Vietnam had utilized a portion of eastern Cambodia as sanctuaries into which they could retreat from the fighting in Vietnam. I have not yet ventured to this region, but Patricia has. I am not sure there is a region she has not explored. She is off to Korea at the end of the month.
I think it’s remarkable to think about Cambodia as a region all about serenity and well-being. I love that! Patricia said, “I had never felt as peaceful and happy in my life. You are surrounded by Monks with gorgeous orange saris and people with big smiles on their faces no matter what…”
If you think about our culture, it is rare we find big smiles “No matter what.”
“Kids , everywhere,” Pat told me. “Kids who want to touch you, feel the fabric of your clothes. Kids curious to know where you are from.”
Angkor Wat is the main attraction in Cambodia, and I’m not surprised to hear from Patricia that she found it very touristy. Despite the buzz of people, Patricia felt unbelievably serene.
“There is definitely a mystical and magical atmosphere that is very tangible. Whether or not you are a religious person, spirituality envelops you with every step you take.”
As always, Patricia does her homework before she travels. And it pays off. “One of the highlights of this unforgettable adventure was the splendid little gem of a hotel I stayed at in Siem Reap, La Residence d’ Angkor http://www.residencedangkor.com. Impeccable service, close to the city if you wish to visit the markets and galleries and a few minutes from all the temples.”
Although Patricia is very thin, food is always on her mind. “Cambodia may not be on the radar for foodies, but I had the best chicken curry of my life in a small village in the middle of nowhere.”
“In the same village I was talked into trying various bugs and cured lizard meats and I complied…
The cockroaches were crispy on the outside, yet tender and juicy on the inside.
It was tough but I lived and now I’m ready to take on anyone on Survivor!”
“The french cuisine influence was a nice surprise,” Patricia who hails from France delighted. “Especially with respect to their desserts. I came across the most amazing street vendor run by a mother-daughter team who were making the best beignets I have ever had.”
I believe Patricia when she says, “If you need to hit a reset button in your life to get a different perspective, take the first plane to Cambodia.”
Sounds like sage advise from a woman with a bit of age and tons of wisdom!