SE Asia

Southeast Asia | Aman

May 09, 2022

My guest today is Tom Rutherford, the Regional Director for three gorgeous Aman hotels in Southeast Asia – Amansara in Cambodia, Amantaka in Laos, and Amanoi in Vietnam.

When you head to this region of the world, especially away from the hustle and bustle of the major cities… time just seems to slow down. Here there is enough time for the Laotian farmer to tend to the animals, the crops, break bread with his neighbors, and honor his family. There’s enough space on the beaches of Vietnam to quiet your mind, and enough grounding history in Cambodia to inspire you to get back to your purpose for being.

Combine this atmosphere with the Aman ethos for wellness, beautiful architecture, and some of the best service in the world and you’ll understand why guests come back to these gems over and over.

Tom and I chat about all of this, plus why now is a phenomenal time to be visiting Southeast Asia.



Listen to hear:

  • 02:21 – About Tom’s view from his favorite spot in SE Asia
  • 03:46 – What drew him to this part of the world
  • 05:31 – How Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam differ
  • 07:10 – What places he recommends to visit and explore in Cambodia
  • 08:14 – How the Laotian culture is unique
  • 09:52 – What so special about Vietnam is
  • 11:17 – Why you should put SE Asia on your travel wish list
  • 13:41 – What are some of the myths people hold about SE Asia
  • 15:48 – About a behind the scene story that most people don’t know
  • 18:36 – Who the important figure who spent time here is
  • 19:55 – About Tom’s favorite design element across all the properties
  • 21:08 – How the guests combine the regions on their travels
  • 23:36 – About the wellness activities they have to offer
  • 25:11 – About Tom’s favorite choices on and off the properties
  • 30:25 – What you will learn about the world by visiting SE Asia

Listener Exclusive Amenities


  • Breakfast at Khmer Village House
    Set in a garden within the Angkor Wat World Heritage Site, Amansara’s Khmer Village House is a traditional stilted abode overlooking the 10th-century royal reservoir of Srah Srang. An inspiring and culturally immersive setting, it is ideal for relaxing breakfasts after exploring the temples.



  • Alms Offering (Sai Bat)
    For centuries monks and novices have left their temples every day and walked through the town, accepting alms from the local townsfolk; a way for people to gain merit and for the monastic community to maintain contact with their community. There is a procession along the town’s main street, but we prefer the quieter and less frequented sai bat in front of the hotel.



  • Goga Peak Trek
    A short moderate hike follows an inclining pathway up to Goga Peak. Spectacular views from the top take in Vinh Hy Bay, the East Sea, coastal rock formations and the southern city of Phan Rang. Goga Peak is an idyllic spot for an early morning picnic breakfast, or just to relax and take in the breathtaking views of the sunrise.

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