Our business trip included one extra day for sightseeing, which we spent at the very famous wonder of Asia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I was really touched by the magnificence of the stone temples and the graciousness of the people. The general poverty of the country makes the contrast between the smartly designed five-star Hotel De La Paix where we stayed and the living quarters of most Cambodians somewhat difficult to sort out in my head. I was simply startled by the unexpected cutting-edge design of this hotel (you really should look at the photos on their website) – rivals almost anything I see at home in New York. And our late-night Khmer massage in their Spa Indochine, which they kept open for us until 11:00 p.m., was a real gift.
An interesting note re gratuities. Although I did leave a gratuity for my therapist, I later read in their brochure that they prefer all gratuities to be given to the staff as a whole since in Cambodia they consider service a team effort. That seems like a good idea actually. And I can see where this would also help solve a problem that many countries with very low wage rates have – a therapist can receive more money from one tip than they might make in salary for an entire year. Another dilemma to ponder.
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