Happy New Year!

Andrew and I just rolled back into Poipet after a long weekend holiday in Thailand. I know, you're thinking we haven't worked long enough yet to earn one yet, right?!? Well we lucked out in arriving to Cambodia shortly before the celebrated Khmer New Year...which, coincidentally, is also the Thai New Year, Laotian New Year, and anywhere-else-New Year. The office was closed for 3 days, and fortunately our project manager, who speaks fluent Thai, invited us along on holiday to Koh Chang, Thailand, a small island about 4 hours south of Poipet.

This was our first view of Koh Chang.

And, we have to say, it only got better from there. The beach was a 2-minute walk from our bungalow-on-the-lagoon that we discovered after an initial unsatisfactory night at a hotel with mildew-scented towels and a bed that felt more like a torture instrument. Needless to say, we switched quickly.

Our first day on Koh Chang, we took a Thai cooking class at our hotel. It was scheduled to be 5 hours long, but somehow stretched into an 8 hour long class, as we learned the ins-and-outs of making tom yum soup, tom kha soup, sticky rice, pad thai, sweet chili sauce, spring rolls fried and fresh, laab gai, and four different curry pastes - red, green, panang, and masaman! Whew! But, we have to say, sitting down to a Thai feast right at sunset was worth all the effort.

The rest of the days were spent exploring the island's tropical beauty, frolicking in the gentle waves, and getting a colossal sunburn while snorkeling. Yes, we wore sunscreen. Yes, I snickered at the other tourists who all wore long sleeved shirts and floppy hats. And yes, I cried, sucked my thumb, and whimpered, "Momma..." when the next day I woke up with a back like this.

"X" marks the spot of the stupid tourist.

This is the view from our little bungalow on the lagoon. The opening between the trees is the view of the beach.

This is a photo of the front of our lovely bungalow.

This is a photo of the open area I crawled through to retrieve our key when we inadvertently (okay, I inadvertently) locked it inside our room. 

The staff didn't carry extras; they said the other tourists lost the extras, and they hadn't bothered to get new ones. So I took it upon myself to climb up and over the bathroom wall which perching precariously on a wooden railing over the rocky bank of the lagoon while my husband held me up by my feet.

Somehow, by shear force of will, I squeezed myself through, stepped down on the sink, and retrieved the misplaced key. All ends well.

Needless to say, our trip wasn't all drama. Except for the sunsets.

For now, we have arrived safely back in Poipet, and I am glad to be back home. No doubt, the vacation was terrific, but it feels nice to be settled back in our little flat, preparing for the week of work ahead. Which, I promise, we will actually blog about soon.

With love from Cambodia,
Andrew and Whitney