March 30th, 2016
Royal Railways of Cambodia is set to launch the first passenger services in the kingdom for more than a decade over Khmer New Year. The Hanuman Travel team had an exclusive early look at the new carriages on a ride out of Phnom Penh.
Royal Railways Cambodia VIP Carriage
The Southern Line from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville via Takeo and Kampot has been completely overhauled and freight services have already been running up and down the line for a couple of years. Passenger services will be launched on 9 April 2016 with fares ranging from US$3 to US$6 depending on the class and destination. The trains will be slow, taking about five hours to Kampot and eight hours to Sihanoukville, but the railway passes through some beautiful countryside in Kampot Province that is not seen from the highway.
Hanuman Travel Team aboard the Royal Railways train
Some of the Hanuman team had never travelled on a train before, as services have been suspended for so long and were traditionally not considered safe due to old track and occasional derailments. Now the line is in good shape and the old royal railway carriage of King Norodom has been rehabilitated as a VIP coach for charter. Hanuman is planning to create some unique steam train itineraries for rail enthusiasts and special interest groups. Watch this space and many thanks to John Guiry and the Royal Railways team for making this exclusive experience possible.
The view from the driver’s seat on Royal Railways
The Royal Railways of Cambodia carriages before refurbishment
December 16th, 2015
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
There has been some confusion as to the implementation of new opening hours at the Temples of Angkor, due to come into effect on 1 January 2016. Hanuman has been in touch with the team at the top to clarify the situation.
Angkor Wat will be open from 5.00am to 5.30pm, although the upper level of Bakan Sanctuary will only open from 7.30am.
Sra Srang will be open from 5.00am to 5.30pm.
Pre Rup will be open from 5.00am to 7.00pm.
Phnom Bakheng will be open from 5.00am to 7.00pm.
All others temples will be open from 7.30am to 5.30pm.
So in summary, Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng, Pre Rup and Sra Srang are open for sunrise. Phnom Bakheng and Pre Rup are open for sunset.
However, it is unlikely there will be any restrictions on watching sunset at Sra Srang or Western Baray for example.
There are plans in the works to offer some sort of premium access to key temples at dawn such as Bayon and Ta Prohm.
November 9th, 2015
After closing for 3 months during Cambodia’s lush green season to undergo extensive renovations we are delighted to announce HanumanAlaya Villa is open for business again and its looking better than ever!
One of many improvements include a redesigned pool area
We have completely re-designed the hotel and added a new villa behind the original building, which have both been seamlessly merged together. Despite adding the new building we have not increased the number of rooms, ensuring we retain the hotels small, personalised atmosphere and focusing on adding beautiful, spacious suites, re-designing the existing Deluxe Rooms and improving other facilities. There are only 12 units in total – 5 luxurious Deluxe Rooms and 7 very spacious Suites.
One of the new Suites at HanumanAlaya Villa
The new Suites and Deluxe Rooms offer stylish new bathrooms
Other improvements include:
- An expanded pool area to allow for more space around the sun loungers.
- A remodeled entrance with a very natural and welcoming design.
- Expanded and re-designed pool side restaurant area.
- Installing a professional kitchen, ensuring food & beverage is better than ever.
- The addition of a tranquil and beautifully decorated massage room.
Poolside dining at HanumanAlaya Villa
To book your stay at our new and improved HanumanAlaya Villa contact email@example.com, one of the worlds top travel fixers!
November 2nd, 2015
Hanuman’s General Manager Patrick Chase and Product Manager Harold de Martimprey recently headed to Siem Reap to conduct our annual guide training for 2015.
They were joined for a morning classroom session by some of Cambodia’s leading tour guides, many of whom work exclusively with Hanuman. Training took place at our beautiful Sala Kdei, a traditional Khmer wooden home we use for exclusive meals, events, yoga sessions and cooking classes.
Harold starting off the training at Sala Kdei
Team photo at beautiful Sala Kdei
During the training we were delighted to welcome the fantastic team from Flight of the Gibbon Angkor who updated us on one of Southeast Asia’s top adventure activities and then invited us all to join them on tour in the afternoon! We took our superb guides and were also joined by team members from our hotels – Hanuman Alaya Boutique Residence and Hanuman Villa.
The team all geared up at Flight of the Gibbon Angkor
Enjoying the ziplines at Flight of the Gibbon
A great way to start off the high season in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
“It’s not where you go, it’s who you know when you get there” – The Sunday Times.
To join one of our very special guides on a tour of Cambodia, contact firstname.lastname@example.org – One of the Worlds Top Travel Fixers
October 9th, 2015
On Monday and Tuesday 12-13 October 2015 the Pchum Ben national holiday will be in full effect here in Cambodia. This is one of the most important festivals of the year so Hanuman close our offices to pay our respects to our ancestors.
Monk and gong
Running for 15 days, usually from the end of September into early October, Pchum Ben festival is dedicated to blessing the spirits of the dead and is one of the most culturally significant events in the Kingdom of Cambodia. The exact date changes from year to year with the festival being based on the lunar calendar. Each household visits their temple of choice and offers food to the monks.
Offering food is seen as a generous act, earning merit and ensuring good luck. It is one of the oldest and most common rituals of Buddhism. During the Pchum Ben festival, people bring food to the temple for the monks to feed hungry ghost ancestors, relatives and friends. Pagodas are often crowded with people patiently waiting their turn to make offerings and requesting monks pray for their late ancestors and loved ones. Many stay on at the pagoda to listen to Buddhist sermons.
Monks & nuns gather at a pagoda near Siem Reap
Pchum Ben roughly translates as taking a piece of rice in your hand and moulding or pressing it into a ball to place as an offering to hungry ghosts on alters and around temple grounds. Hungry ghost or Preta (meaning departed ones in Sanskrit) is one of the six modes of existence in the Wheel of Life. They are seen as pitiful creatures with huge, empty stomachs and tiny mouths, with necks so thin they cannot swallow and always remain hungry. It is believed that beings are reborn as hungry ghosts because of their greed, envy and jealousy. As well as food offerings, the hungry ghosts also have lively entertainment laid on for them during Pchum Ben!
September 15th, 2015
The Hanuman team recently ventured to the floating village and flooded forests of Me Chrey to test paddle a new kayaking experience.
Kayaking in Me Chrey, Siem Reap
Me Chrey is one of the smaller floating villages on the great Tonle Sap Lake and sees very few tourists compared to the much busier Chong Kneas, offering a more scenic and natural alternative. The village moves with the water level and is prettier during the green season, when the houses are anchored around an island pagoda.
Me Chrey Pagoda in Siem Reap
The Hanuman team recently ventured out to Me Chrey, a scenic 25 km drive from Siem Reap, to test out a great new kayaking tour which explores the vast flooded forest in the area. Expert kayak guides led us through the shady flooded forest, spotting rare bird life, enjoying the tranquil surroundings and meeting the friendly locals.
Kayaking on the Tonle Sap Lake near Me Chrey
We recommend a half day in the morning or afternoon. Enjoy slightly cooler temperatures and a better chance of spotting rare bird-life in the mornings, or bask in the warm evening light and take in a Tonle Sap sunset on the afternoon tour.
No kayaking experience required!
Kayaking on the Tonle Sap at Me Chrey near Siem Reap
Contact email@example.com for more details
“One of the world’s top travel fixers”
The Sunday Times
July 7th, 2015
The Strand Hotel in Myanmar, one of Myanmar’s signature hotels, has recently launched a new luxury river cruiser plying the classic Irrawaddy route between Bagan and Mandalay.
The Strand Cruise in Myanmar
The Strand Cruise will set new standards of luxury for river travel in Myanmar. The 4-deck, 27-cabin vessel was built in Yangon and has a large swimming pool, sun deck terrace, gym/wellness facilities, spa & beauty parlour, alfresco and indoor dining and a cocktail lounge.
2016 sailings will be three or four-nights in duration with cruise operations scheduled to start in January 2016.
Contact Hanuman for special launch prices for Jan-Mar 2016 sailings. Rates include all excursions, on-board meals and soft drinks, local beer and house wine during meals, port charges, excursions with English speaking guides and satellite wi-fi. Passengers booking one of the two Strand Suites will have added extras such as a one-hour spa treatment of their choice and a night at The Strand Hotel pre- or post-cruise with private airport transfers.
Inside the Strand Cruise in Myanmar
The Strand Cruise 5 Days/4 Nights – Bagan to Mandalay
The Strand Cruise 4 Days/3 Nights – Mandalay to Bagan
July 3rd, 2015
The Elephant Caravan will be packing its trunk to travel from Sayaboury to Luang Prabang in October 2015 to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant and is being organised by the Elephant Conservation Center.
The Elephant Caravan – Laos 2015 (english version) from The Elephant Caravan on Vimeo.
Laos has been known as the “Land of a Million Elephants” for generations. Today, however, there are fewer than 900 elephants remaining in the country. The future of Asia’s largest land mammal, as well as the people who have cared for them for generations, has reached a crisis point. If elephants die out, not only does it mean the loss of a wonderful creature, but the end of an age-old culture as well.
In October 2015, an elephant caravan will begin its journey across northern Laos: 12 elephants will spend six weeks travelling 630 kilometers, making stops at 46 villages.
The caravan will travel from Sayaboury to Luang Prabang to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Luang Prabang’s World Heritage Status when lots of events are planned.
Hanuman plans to join the finale of the caravan in Luang Prabang and we hope to see some of you there.
For more details, visit the website: http://www.theelephantcaravan.org/