For me, beauty-wise, last night was all about short hair. Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron and Halle Berry were the most modern women on the red carpet. Yes, Anne Hathaway says she is growing her hair out but perhaps she should think about keeping it short. Charlize oozes the most wonderful mix of confidence and elegance which translates into such strength. Halle knows her face and what works best for her. Remember a few years ago when she grew her hair out? It dragged her down. She knows she looks best with short hair and she owns it! Individual style is about finding what’s best for you and not allowing someone else to impose their standards. Hollywood is a pressure cooker especially for a woman and I really applaud these women for not succumbing to a stereotypical, “Hollywood” ideal of beauty.
Our last stop was Malaysia where we stayed at the Four Seasons Resorts Langkawi. You look out on the breathtakingly beautiful Andaman Sea and it’s hard to imagine a finer setting. There are 90 rooms which we heard were fully occupied but we rarely saw another guest. It was almost as though we has the entire resort to ourselves. The beach front is about two miles long and, as you can see, the sunsets were astonishing. The last shot is my nephew Steven with his with Christine, me, my nephew James and his wife, Lisa. I love them all dearly and I am so happy we were able to share this incredible experience together.
Sunrise at Amansara. Yes, I woke at dawn (people who know me well will have a hard time believing I got up that early while on vacation) for yoga which is part of Spa Services and the traditional Khmer breakfast curry with coconut milk. That’s Lisa Niedermeyer and I in a pose at the Lara Croft temple. Amansara owns this beautiful Khmer home which is not on the hotel grounds. It is available to their guests for special meals and even cooking lessons. The elegant Tuk Tuk, which is to the right of the Mercedes, carried us to the temples, yoga and dinner.
Okay. You know how there is a Starbucks every 30 feet in the US? In Siem Reap, there are Fish Massage stalls where one soaks their feet while the fish nibble away at the dead skin. Unsavory? Not to the Cambodians as these “spa” treatments are hugely popular with new stalls opening all the time. Note, “No Piranha!” is scrawled on the wall :)
The nightlife in Siem Reap, Cambodia is bustling, to say the least. There is a night market, restaurants are packed with people from around the world, music everywhere you go and motorcycles whipping around. We made sure to stop at Miss Wong’s, a delightful bar and restaurant named after a famous painting by Vladimir Tretchikoff. The decor is lavish 1930s Shanghai and we had a great time taking it all in. The drinks weren’t bad either.
Textiles made from the yellow silkworm are some of the rarest and most treasured worldwide. We had the pleasure of touring Golden Silk, a farm outside of Siem Reap in Cambodia, which is renowned for its mastery of the process; from growing the mulberry leaves that feed the silkworms, creating organic dyes and then weaving the textiles (a single, intricate piece can take up to 2 years). Everything is handmade and the artisans are trained on site. One of them, as you can see in the last photo, let me have a go at the loom. Great fun but I think I will keep my day job!
A few words about how we got to Cambodia. It was my first time in Korean Air’s brand new A380 airbus. What a gorgeous plane! The service was impeccable, both in dress and manner, and the captain of the flight crew personally introduced himself to each of the passengers in prestige class with a gracious bow and formal greeting. The flight attendants are young, beautiful, impeccably groomed and dressed. Not a hair is out of place and their manner is so much a part of what makes this long flight so serene. While hanging out in the Sky Lounge, we could see the night sky and moon out the airplane windows. 3 cameras are mounted to the plane itself so we could view the take off and landing from 3 different angles right on our headrest video screens. If you have to spend 20+ hrs in flight from JFK to Seoul Korea, this is definitely the way to go.
It seems as though everything in Cambodia is the most beautiful shade of gold. It’s easy to understand how this country has inspired artists, designers, authors and, yes, even hairdressers. The Hindu goddesses could teach us all about how to work an “up-do!”
In praise of the redhead this Valentine’s Day.