A sunset feast while cruising the Mekong river; discovering edible Jasmine flowers, amok, pork floss, Khmer barbecue; staring wide-eyed at red ant offerings on my dinner plate and wondering if I could eat them (I did); tearing in front of Cambodian artist Em Riem’s haunting burlap-bag canvas portraiture paintings of Khmer Rouge victims; winding through the astonishing ruins at Angkor Wat (and other temples); philosophizing on a hilltop about a distant gigantic, disintegrating reclining Buddha; climbing an ever-narrowing stairwell cased inside a three-headed elephant sculpture; learning the art of lotus flower folding; frequent tuk-tuk rides alongside countless families of four riding together on the same motorcycle; and luxuriating in hotels with over-the-top amenities and the kindest of staff.
Thank you, Judy and Emil for these and other remarkable experiences. You two thought of everything!
I loved every minute of ChillAway’s Cambodia and Thailand trip. We visited Angkor Wat, of course, in all its magnificence, but also other smaller, centuries-old temples, still mysteriously entwined in creepers and vines. We spent a morning at a stunning private art and antiquities collection that would have been difficult if not impossible to get into without connections. The dining—both upscale and down—was wonderful in both countries. And the hotels! They were not just beautifully designed but dedicated to creature comfort.
Traveling to Thailand with Judy and Emil was extra special for us because of their deep love for the country and it’s food!
I thought the whole trip was as close to perfection as I could have asked. The hotels were sublime, the food delicious, the logistics admirable, the activities satisfying. You and Emil had just the right touch—the right combination of stern and indulgent guardians who were always in control without being heavy about it. Somehow you even conjured entirely congenial [traveling] companions. Well done.
Judy’s art expertise and Emil’s culinary background set a good stage for our adventure in Thailand. They are a fun-loving couple who are very thorough in planning and execution of details. They travel extensively in Southeast Asia, and that shines through their itinerary and in the special, out-of-the-way, extra things we saw and the restaurants we experienced. The relatively small size of the group meant that no one was left out at any time, for inclusiveness is very important to Judy and Emil. Their sense of caring was evident at the outset.
Our pictures are a testament to the richness of our daily activities you so skillfully arranged for us. We were cared for with such kindness and concern and patience! It was all so fabulous–food, lodging, people, day tripping, hospitality. Everything!
We loved their attention to detail, flexibility, and determination to show us the best of Thailand…and they DID!
There were so many high points, but Mae Hong Son marked for me a transition into the mystery and magic — arriving at the Fern Resort and seeing the welcome sign was really great, then launching boats and lanterns carrying away our troubles and sending our dreams heavenward was amazing. Right now I can’t think how anything could have been better. It was really perfect.
The love and joy Judy & Emil have for sharing the various countries, their customs and cuisines makes the travel experience so meaningful and lots of fun. I still hear from the Fern Resort staff! And the small group size means you have an entirely new group of friends once home.