Welcome to the second instalment of Treat Yo Self. Taking inspiration from Parks and Recreation’s very own Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, ‘Treat Yo Self‘ involves exactly that – treating yourself to a whole day of good food, pampering, relaxing and shopping. Our first instalment saw us eating crepes, having massages and enjoying sky-high cocktails in Bangkok.
The second instalment in this ridiculously self-indulgent series sees Asha and Ryan taking in a much-needed day of pampering in Siem Reap, after sweating it up at Angkor Wat. This was out last day in Siem Reap and the following day we were due to return to Phnom Penh, where our travelling would stop and our job search would begin. So after nearly 6 months travelling around south-east Asia, it was kind of our last day of travelling. So we wanted to do it right.
Sleep late and hotel breakfast
Treat yo Self starts late – because the first step is sleeping in. At around 10am we head down to breakfast at the hotel (not really a treat – but it’s included with the room. What are ya gonna do?).
Be chauffeured around town by our own tuk-tuk
We have said it a few times (in fact I think it requires a blog post on its own), Cambodia has the best tuk-tuks. Its kind of like a little carriage being pulled along behind a motorbike. They have lots of leg room and are super comfy. We drive a hard bargain, scoff at prices, pretend to walk away a few times, and soon we have organised a tuk-tuk to squire us around town for the day.
Massages at Devatara Spa
The tuk-tuk drops us at Devatara Spa for a couple of hours or proper relaxation. Asha and I both elect for a 90 minute swedish oil massage, followed by a 30 minute indian head massage. Cambodia’s strongest woman enters the room and decides that I have been very bad and need to be punished, or something like that. I think she was raised on a farm, and developed ultra-strong hands by milking a herd of cows each morning. After wincing and groaning a few times as she tries to tear my calf muscle from the bone, she starts to relent and it ends up being a good massage.
The indian head massage gets pretty weird, pretty quickly. The massage involves a young Cambodian lady brushing my hair for half an hour, and occasionally pressing on different parts of my head. Half an hour later and I feel ready to go the ball.
Lunch at Viva
On legs that feel like tenderised meat, and with brushed hair forming an affro around my head, or tuk-tuk drops us at Viva, a mexican restaurant we heard was pretty good. Soft tacos with plenty of salad and carrot juice have us feeling pretty good. A post lunch affogato at Blue Pumpkin cafe has us feeling even better. But we aren’t relaxed enough yet.
Afternoon by the pool
We are dropped back at the hotel, where we grab a couple of lounges poolside, and spend a few hours lying around, swimming and drinking wine.
Shopping and drinks in Siem Reap laneways
Once the late afternoon clouds have rolled in, we head back into town in our trusty tuk-tuk. We spend a few hours walking around town and engaging in some retail therapy. There are a surprising amount of decent shops in the back lanes of Siem Reap – albeit mostly boutique clothing stores aimed at girls.
We head to Pub Street, where we find that the name is pretty accurate, and order a few rounds of Kampot pepper Mojitos.
Dinner at AHA Wine Bar
Dinner is a very fancy affair at the upmarket AHA Wine Bar. The main course isn’t anything special, but the entrees and desert are simply fantastic. We share two different tasting plates – a cheese plate and a contemporary plate – and it is some of the nicest food we have had all year.
Shopping at the night market
We finish the night with a stroll around the night market where we buy some traditional Cambodian scarves. Treat Yo Self, complete.
Sitting in the tuk-tuk, my new purple scarf blowing in the wind, I’m sure Tommy Haverford would be proud.
Treat Yo Self Siem Reap
Massage treatment (2 hours) $20
Lunch at Vida $6.50
Affogato at Blue Pumpkin $3
Dinner at AHA $30
Scarf at night market $6
Total price = $65 each