My heavenly holiday in Cambodia - Travel Diary
When I found out my friend was getting married in Thailand i thought it the perfect excuse to do a long 2 week holiday. I wanted to feel amazing when i came back. I wanted to be rested and feel restored and feel like someone had looked after me. We have always wanted to go to Cambodia and a friend had recommended a place called Song Saa Private Island. I looked it up and loved what they stood for.
The owner brought this Island 15 years ago and slowly has turned it into her sanctuary. Working with locals to give back to the community and to protect the environment around it. When i was there one of the things i found so wonderful was the foundation and conservation programs they had created. You can paddle over to the neighbouring island where there is a village the Song Saa foundation has helped set up to be self sustainable. They have created a beautiful after school house for children of all ages to go an learn more. Not just to read but to learn how to grow food and to how to look after a village so that they are not always taking from the land but giving back to gain more. The island is clean as they have an amazing system that the foundation has taught about recycling and getting rid of waste in a sustainable way. All these things are so important. Through the learning of growing vegetables the hotel will then buy them from the locals so that they have a business as they are so far from the mainland
Now about the hotel itself and the luxuries that come with it! You arrive and are handed a ice cold refreshing green juice. (I am literally in heaven what better way to start the holiday for me?!) We get shown to our amazing water villa that looks out to the view that is so well known to the locals but to me is breath taking. The pool is salt water which flows into the sea below, we have our own mojito bar giving you instructions how to make your own, a ipod doc beautiful interiors which are made from drift wood from the island. My fiance and i joke that we never have to leave here that it has everything we need! We decide that we just want to flop on the big round beds and sleep after a long flight. Before we do that someone comes to wash and massage our feet while we have a questionnaire on what we like and don’t like so our itinerary can be made for us. (my inner child literally just wants to squeal and jump on the bed i am so excited!)
In the afternoon we get a rolled up note left in our room saying that we are to have a romantic dinner in a private dining spot. We head down to where the restaurant is and see a table on the end of a pier with lanterns all around it. It was the only table! Well this was the start of very special moments to come. We head back to our villa and find a little present of a rose quartz and some lavender sleep spray on our bed. Now this i could get use to!
Each day started with breakfast on our veranda and a swim in the sea (they made me gluten free bread!). They had early morning yoga or pilates on the deck and a juice bar you could make your own combinations. We found out that we had spa treatments most afternoons so we filled our days by paddle boarding, kayaking and sunbathing. One day we went on a mini adventure where we hiked and kayaked for a couple hours and found ourselves on a deserted beach where we had lunch all laid out for us. It was like out of a movie. All the experiences, as they call them, where so well thought out and thoughtful. The most amazing touches were things like after your massage you pick a scroll and on it has a thought of the day which seemed to always be so relevant to that moment in my life.
Underwater meditation was something that i had to try! at 7pm as it started to get dark we got invited to go down the beach where candles were lit and our teacher was waiting. We did a 15 minute guided meditation on the beach to prepare us for what was to come. We waded into the water up to our waste and with a mask on and an oxygen tank we lay on the sea bed next to each other. The first few minutes were horrid thinking something was going to bite your feet but once you remembered the breathing and just watched the bubbles hit the surface i started to relax. The bubbles started to awaken the phosphorescence in the water so it looked like little lights dancing around the water. It was beautiful. After 15 minutes i started to get soggy to stood up. I later found out 15 minutes later my fiance had actually fallen asleep under the water and we had to wake him up!
Having a massage on the rocks with the waves crashing underneath us became a daily ritual. Watching the crabs fight on the rocks while i worked out in the gym was island entrainment, home made almond milk placed in my fridge each day was heaven and having gluten free pizza’s made for me in a wood fired oven was the best! The chefs were so lovely. We had an amazing cooking lesson to make traditional Cambodian dishes and i of course talked to them about putting green smoothies and raw mango cheesecakes on the menu for when I returned. I even showed them how to make a green smoothie which they all loved and ended up making for me each morning which I was so grateful for. Nothing was a problem or task for them it was sustainable luxury at its finest. I was one lucky girl to get invited out there and I will be sure to return.
Watch my green smoothie video i made at Song Saa here…