Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

The cruise line sponsored a special New Year's Eve dinner for us in the hotel. I decided to sit with some of the "yellow" team people to get to know them better. To my right were Richard and Shannon, across from them were Terri and Richard, and across from dad and I were Bud and, and, I don't remember. Unfortunately, Amiko was sitting on dad's left. Her travel partner, Judy, is very engaging, and dad and I had a very nice conversation with her at breakfast in Hanoi, but Amiko tends to be very quiet, and dad and she said nothing to each other.

We heard a little more gossip about the "problematic" person on the "yellow" team; apparently, he has been making offensive remarks to various Vietnamese and Cambodian people randomly through out the trip. Terri asked if we were all getting along, and I said that I thought so, and Richard then offered to trade three "greens" for two "yellows," a reference to this person. We had a very pleasant conversation about traveling, and coping with rats and snakes in the plumbing (back home, not here). We also learned that Bud bought a bottle of snake wine in Hanoi. This wine has a real, dead cobra inside. Apparently, this is believed to improve one's virility, which has led to them all calling him "Bud the stud."

The conversation was so nice that I glanced at my watch as was shocked to see it was after 9:30. Dad had just asked what time it was and I told him it was the latest he had stayed up on the trip so far. He left for bed around a quarter of 10.

I should add the meal they prepared for us was excellent. Dad loved his cream of pumpkin soup, and I really enjoyed the scallops in broth with tomatoes and asparagus. We both got the skewers of beef in khmer sauce, which was cooked just right to what the French call au point. The other option was the sea bream cooked in a banana leaf, and I saw several people leaving that over almost untouched.

I suppose I should give a better description of the hotel. The hotel appears to be laid out as a triangle, with a reception hall in the front, and two residential wings. There are restaurants on either side of the reception hall: a long one with a veranda (where they served breakfast and where we also had lunch), and a smaller room jutting out on the other side (where we had dinner). There's also a small patio between them where we had the buffet last night, and tonight we saw frogs hopping about.

Each of the residential wings is about three stories tall, with a large, dark wooden railed stair case in the lobby of each, along with a small elevator. The rooms all have verandas. As you enter our room, there's a wooden bench for a suitcase, followed by a wooden wardrobe, then a hospitality bar. Next to that is the credenza with the television, followed by another wooden suitcase bench, and the desk. On the right wall is the bathroom followed by two full-sized beds with a small night stand between them (holding two pieces of what was originally six french macarons in a small glass - I ate the others). There's also a chair and lamp.

Between the two residential wings and the reception is a large ornamental lagoon containing lotus flowers and a canoe with Santa. There is a wide, tiled, covered walkway, decorated with Cambodian designs, that runs from the reception to the middle of the pond, and then turns right leading to our building. There's also a large gazebo for sitting that branches off from the walkway in the middle of the pond. If you want to see pictures, click this link:

1 comment:

Steve said...

Hey Jeff:

My friend Sheryl asks:

"Steve - we are flying to siem reap on monday. Can you ask him where he is staying and how long he will be there? I tried to post on his blog and it did not work. Our experiences in hanoi have been nearly identical!"

Sheyl's email addresses are: