Monday, November 5, 2012

Sweet Dreams

As most of you know I am currently in Siem Reap, a town known mostly for the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat. It is chock full of tourists from all corners of the world and as a result there is a seemingly infinite amount of places to stay ranging from five star hotels to backpacker hostels, but the most common form of accommodation here in Siem Reap is the guesthouse.

My guesthouse in Siem Reap

Unlike hotels which are owned primarily by foreigners, guesthouses are normally owned and operated by a Cambodian family. They are basically like budget hotels with simpler rooms, amenities and much lower prices. Most of them also have a restaurant and/or bar. They have a more relaxed atmosphere and usually a mixed group of customers ranging from young backpackers who stay a few days to older expats who stay for years.

The restaurant/common area of the guesthouse

I am staying at the Sweet Dreams Guesthouse which is owned by a lovely man named Nini. His wife, brother and sister all work here as well. There is usually a large group of his friends hanging out at the guesthouse at any given time, playing cards or Cambodian chess, and you can always find a couple of his five children running around or playing (the youngest, David, is actually a frequent visitor in my room if the door is open!) The guesthouses' security team is made up of two dogs (kidding.. sort of) and there is a cat who is constantly lounging on one of the restaurant tables.

The cat (note the condiment bottles in the background)

Since the day I arrived Nini's motto has been "my house, your house" and he really means it. He's always around if we need help, have a question or are having a beer (ha!) When I was sick with a fever/infection for about a week he was so nice and always made sure to ask how I was doing, which made a huge difference.

David, who pays me frequent visits

I'm sure there are many amazing guesthouses here but now that I've gotten to know Nini and his family I wouldn't dream (no pun intended) of staying anywhere else.

The Sweet Dreams crew enjoying some beers

The volunteer teachers with Nini (AKA our Cambodian father)

The bench where someone is always napping

David playing in a box


Susan Zwick said...

I loved seeing pictures of your current home- I've been patiently waiting for this blog about what your accommodation looks like . Sweet Dreams to you ~~~~

Anonymous said...

so trueeee! it's so nice to come from school and being asked how was our day. it really feels like home here! Ni Ni is one of the nicest people i've met so far :)
see you at the entrance haha
xx Sofia

Wondering and Wandering said...

@ Mom - Thank you for waiting to patiently :)
@ Sofia - So glad you came to stay at Sweet Dreams! Obrigada for reading!