Archive for September, 2012

Frangipani Hotels Group Expanding in Cambodia

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Frangipani Hotels, one of the leading boutique hotel chains in the Kingdom of Cambodia, is expanding, with two new hotels coming on line in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Building on the original Frangipani 60s and 90s boutique hotels in the Cambodian capital, the Frangipani group moved on to add the Frangipani Fine Arts Hotel in Phnom Penh and the Frangipani Villa Hotel in Siem Reap. Now they are once again expanding with the addition of the Royal Palace Hotel in Phnom Penh and the Frangipani Villa Hotel II in Siem Reap. Check out this video of the group properties in all their glory.

Frangipani Hotels say: “We have quickly established a strong reputation with tourists and business travelers. All hotel rooms, interior spaces and landscaping are examples of some of the best contemporary Cambodian design making Frangipani Hotels the boutique property of choice in Cambodia.”

Hanuman says of the Siem Reap hotel: “One of the best value boutique hotels in Siem Reap, the Frangipani Villa Hotel features concrete wash walls and floors, clean lines for the furnishings and trim and tasteful bathrooms. We recommend the deluxe balcony pool view rooms. Lively location in the popular Wat Bo strip.”

HanumanAlaya in Conde Nast Traveller Magazine

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence is featured in Conde Nast Traveller, one of the world’s bestselling travel magazines.

OK, so it was featured back in April, but the Cambodian postal system can take time to deliver. “Full of art and antiques with a restaurant serving great local cuisine,” is what the Traveller team had to say about HanumanAlaya.

This was the first time Conde Nast had featured Cambodia on their cover and the trip was co-sponsored by Audley Travel, Hanuman and a number of our leading local suppliers in Cambodia such as Raffles Hotels and Song Saa Private Island.

Read the full story on Conde Nast’s journey through Cambodia at:

Bambu Hotel featured on Hanuman Travel TV

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The Bambu Hotel in Battambang has long been our favourite place to rest our head when in Cambodia’s second city. On our website, we say “One of the smartest hotels in Battambang, the architecture at Bambu Hotel pays homage to its historic setting, drawing on grand colonial designs as well as traditional Khmer buildings. The attractive pool and well-appointed rooms make for a great all-rounder.”

See this great new video of Bambu Hotel in all its glory, put together by the Hanuman Films team during a recent visit to Battambang. Combine a stay here with a walking tour of the old colonial quarter of Battambang, a bike ride through pretty villages in the area, a visit to the hilltop temple of Wat Banan or a circus performance at Phare Ponleu Selpak. Battambang is a little charmer and the Bambu Hotel is a charming base for your visit.

The Circus Comes to Phnom Penh

Monday, September 24th, 2012
The Circus comes to Phnom Penh

The Circus comes to Phnom Penh

The first in a monthly Circus show comes to Phnom Penh.

The Circus is coming to town. No big-top but instead the youngsters from Battambang’s highly-rated Phare Ponleu Selpak will be bringing their own brand of Circus and theatre to the Beeline Arena in Phnom Penh on Saturday 29 September. The show – Putho! – is what they call a metaphorical show about relationships between teenagers, love and tenderness depicted through acrobatics, lifts, juggling, dance, balancing and contortion. Thirteen young circus artists will present the show, which has already had three tours in Europe, beginning at 6pm, with tickets available at Monument Books, with a new Circus show planned for each month in the Cambodian capital. PPS are also planning to open a big top, quite literally, in Siem Reap in the middle of next year. We saw the Putho! show on a visit to Battambang in July 2010 and its definitely worth making the effort to get along to Beeline to see this performance. The youngsters are extremely talented. We’ve also just heard that circus performers from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos will be strutting their stuff for three evenings, from 5pm, on 27/28/29 September at the performing arts center in front of the National Assembly in Phnom Penh. A 1,000 seat theater has been created especially for these three performances.

Preserving Cambodia’s Past

Friday, September 21st, 2012
Professor Ang Choulean (left) and Preap Chanmara

Professor Ang Choulean (left) and Preap Chanmara

Playing our part in preserving Cambodia’s past.

Hanuman believes the preservation and promotion of the artistic and cultural heritage of Cambodia is vitally important for the present and future generations. One tangible way we can support this is providing funds to allow the publication of important books on these subjects by the KhmeRenaissance group, who are themselves dedicated to this area of research and analysis. So we were very pleased to attend the recent launch of one such book, The Dictionary of Khmer Architecture and Ornamentation, written by Preap Chanmara. With an introduction by Professor Ang Choulean, Cambodia’s leading professor of historical anthropology, the book launch was very well-attended by teachers and students of architecture, archaeology and anthropolgy at the Piano Restaurant in Phnom Penh.

HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Watch this new video of HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence put together by the Hanuman Films team.

Using all new equipment, including a handheld steadycam and a selection of lighting gear, this showcases the best of the hotel and all its facilities. Book now for the last chance to take advantage of half price rooms before the end of September. Live online, real-time booking is now also available for those who want to check availability directly:


A Vintage Experience around Angkor

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Explore the temples of Angkor in royal style in a replica 1920 Rolls Royce 20, originally used as the car of the Cambodian king in the Jean-Jacques Annaud film Two Brothers or Deux Freres, starring Guy Pearce.

See a video of the striking yellow vehicle travelling around the temples. This is an ideal vehicle for honeymoon couples wanting something a little different or for a couple celebrating their anniversary. Families might like to consider it as an option if the children are particularly interested in vintage cars or classic vehicles.

KOTO Comes Good

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
KOTO in Hanoi

KOTO in Hanoi

KOTO is making a real difference to lives in Hanoi and Saigon.

KOTO is an extraordinarily successful not-for-profit project that provides career training and guidance to disadvantaged kids in Hanoi and now Saigon. Its flagship stunning four-storey modernist cafe-bar-restaurant overlooking the Temple of Literature is in Hanoi, where the interior design has been taken very seriously, from the stylish seating to the fresh flowers by the till. Daily specials are chalked up on a blackboard and the short menu has everything from excellent Vietnamese food to yummy pita wraps and beer-battered fish n chips. KOTO (meaning for Know One, Teach One) offers a vocational training program that is changing the lives of many street children, providing them with skills, dignity and pride. Every six months they recruit 25 to 30 trainees in a 2-year programme. Founded by one of our old friends, former tour leader Jimmy Pham, KOTO played host to then President Bill Clinton on his visit to Vietnam. KOTO chefs pass on the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine with daily cooking classes if you want to become an expert yourself. In Hanoi, they open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week and for dinner every night except Mondays. In their Saigon restaurant, they open for lunch daily and for evening dinner from Wednesday through to Saturday. And earlier this year, a new venture, Pots ‘n Pans’ with a focus on innovative Vietnamese cuisine opened in Hanoi, offering lunch and dinner seven days a week. Take our recommendation and pay them a visit.

Water Spectacular

Monday, September 10th, 2012
Vietnam's Water Puppets

Vietnam’s Water Puppets

Hanoi’s Water Puppets are Vietnam’s Punch & Judy.

Northern Vietnam is the birthplace of water puppetry (roi nuoc) and is at least 1,000 years old. Hanoi is the best place to catch a water puppet show, with the Municipal Water Puppet Theatre at the center of the action with six daily performances, though it’s wise to book well ahead. Contemporary performances use a square tank of waist-deep water for their stage; the water is murky to conceal the mechanisms that operate the puppets. The wooden puppets, up to 50cm long and weighing as much as 15kg, are decorated with glossy paint. Each lasts only about three to four months if used continually, so puppet production provides several villages outside Hanoi with a full-time livelihood. Eleven puppeteers, each trained for a minimum of three years, are involved in the performance. They stand in the water behind a bamboo screen and unfortunately suffer from a host of water-borne diseases, an occupational hazard. Some puppets are attached to a long pole, while others are on a floating base, with rudders to help guide them. The skills required to operate the puppets were always kept secret and passed only from father to son, never to daughters who might marry and take the secrets with them.

Accompanying the action in the water is the music provided by a band. It includes wooden flutes, gongs, drums, bamboo xylophones and the stringed zither. The performances consist of a number of vignettes depicting pastoral scenes and legends, like the battle of the fisherman with his prey, or fire-breathing dragons. These performances are a lot of fun, the puppets are amusing and graceful and the water setting allows the puppets to appear and disappear as if by magic. Spectators sitting in the front-row seats can expect a bit of a splash. You have been warned. If you are not heading to Hanoi, then there are a couple of locations in Ho Chi Minh City that cater for the one of the “must-see” tourist experiences.

Back to Cooking School

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
Kethana Dunnet, owner and chef at Sugar Palm

Kethana Dunnet, owner and chef at Sugar Palm

Kethana sets up school in Banteay Srei.

Kethana Dunnet is one of Siem Reap’s most recognizable chefs, having shown TV celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey how to cook fish amok on his television show when he came to Cambodia. She is also the owner of Sugar Palm restaurant, one of temple-town’s very best eating establishments. (more…)