London 2013: Meet one of Cambodia’s eminent artists, discover the secrets behind shadow puppetry from an iconic Arts Master, learn to cook the original recipes from the Royal Palace of Cambodia and find out how charitable projects are teaching young people the skills they need for a brighter future through working at the Lotus Blanc restaurant in Phnom Penh or at the Artisans d’Angkor’s Silk Farm in Siem Reap. These are just some of the incredible experiences included in Raffles Hotels & Resorts inspirational new trip entitled A Journey Through Khmer Culture.
Khmer is the original culture of Cambodia and can be traced back to the 9th century AD and the rule of King Jayavaraman II. However, during the civil war, the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot’s leadership, destroyed not only the lives of the Cambodian people, but also obliterated all traces of its culinary, artistic and musical heritage. Since its demise, the Cambodian people have strived to reignite the Khmer Arts and today there is an exciting new energy which surrounds the traditional arts scene. This six-day journey is based at Cambodia’s only two luxury hotels which date back to the Indochine era of the early 20th century. It explores Khmer culture both past and present, through the eyes of the people who have lived through it all and are now writing the next chapter.
Meet Eric Raisina, one of Cambodia’s leading fashion designers, adored by Lulu de la Falaise and Christian Lacroix, who is taking Cambodian silk to the next level on the international fashion scene. Witness Chhim Sothy at work, a painter whose intricate paintings of the Ramayana era have been exhibited around the world. Learn from iconic Arts Master, Mann Kosal who has breathed new life into the ancient tradition of shadow puppetry. These are just some of the extraordinary people who will be met along the journey.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts are supremely qualified to lead this experience as both Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor and Raffles Hotel Le Royal have played a part in this incredibly fascinating country’s history from the 1920’s when they opened, through the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge regime to the present day, when they too have been lovingly restored to contribute to a new chapter. They are the only hotels in Cambodia allowed to display the Royal crest above the door and serve original Khmer dishes, having been granted permission from the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk to use the Royal Palace of Cambodia’s recipes. Atmospheric and authentic, these hotels are the perfect backdrop to a journey through Khmer culture. Raffles is working with leading Cambodian destination management company Hanuman (www.hanuman.travel) to make these unique experiences possible.
A Journey Through Khmer Culture starts from USD 3,187 (GBP 2,073) per person based on two people sharing the tour. This includes 5 nights’ accommodation in Landmark Rooms with Raffles Hotels & Resorts on a bed and breakfast basis, legendary Raffles Butler Service, all activity options and additional meals stated in the itinerary, entrance fees, English speaking local guide and transfers. A 5 Night Suite option (Balcony Suite in Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Personality Suite in Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor) would start from USD 4,230 (GBP 2,752). A Journey Through Khmer Culture can be booked through Raffles Hotels & Resorts at www.raffles.com.