Archive for July, 2013

Cambodia Revealed

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Join Hanuman for an escorted seat-in-coach two-week Cambodia Revealed trip of a lifetime that will begin on 18 January 2014.

Cambodia Revealed

Cambodia Revealed

An in-depth journey throughout Cambodia that will take you beyond the highlights and under the skin of this beguiling country, beginning with the Kingdom’s riverside capital, Phnom Penh. More adventures await you in the remote northeast in Mondulkiri, especially at the Elephant Valley Project before we follow the Mekong River and enjoy a close encounter with the rare and unique Irrawaddy dolphins near Kratie. We head off to discover the first temple city built in Southeast Asia at Sambor Prei Kuk. At Angkor, over 1000 temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries, so we select the best of them including the world’s largest religious monument at Angkor Wat, the enigmatic and enchanting Bayon and the atmospheric Ta Prohm, consumed by jungle and fighting a losing battle with nature. Cambodia Revealed is a trip through an amazing country that will leave you with so many lasting memories.

The cost of the two-week land-only Cambodia Revealed tour is from US1,365 per person, based on a minimum tour party of six persons. Departs 18 January 2014. View our detailed fact-sheet on the tour at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Cambodia/CT_Cambodia-Revealed.html and contact the Hanuman sales team to book directly.

Good cause dining in Yangon

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Quality food with a social conscience in Yangon.

Inside the kitchen of Shwe Sa Bwe

Inside the kitchen of Shwe Sa Bwe

Looking for a great place to eat and to see your money go to a good cause, then look no further than Shwe Sa Bwe Restaurant, or “Golden Table”, in Yangon, Myanmar. Located in a quiet upmarket area just north of Inya Lake, Shwe Sa Bwe is similar in concept to the successful Friends and Romdeng Restaurants in Phnom Penh or Mak Phet in Vientiane It’s a unique training restaurant, located in a splendid villa, set up to help disadvantaged young people acquire training and development in the catering and hospitality industry. The restaurant offers both inside and al fresco dining and is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Top quality food with a social conscience.

Boutique with a difference

Monday, July 29th, 2013

Three boutique hotels with a difference.

The Guardian newspaper recently highlighted a series of hotels in Asia, Australia and New Zealand that offered budget deals with style and a touch of the unusual. The three that caught our eye were in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Here’s what they had to say:

Maison Polanka, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photograph: John W McDermott

Maison Polanka, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photograph: John W McDermott

Maison Polanka, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Tucked behind Wat Polanka, near Siem Reap’s leafy riverbank, peaceful Maison Polanka boasts a palm-lined swimming pool, sprawling gardens, and personal service more befitting a luxury hotel. Spread across two traditional Khmer wooden houses, six light-filled rooms are decorated with retro-Cambodian furniture, locally-made crafts, and art and antiques the French-Cambodian owner has collected on her travels.
maisonpolanka.com. Orange room from £98, other rooms £113-£200.

The Sanctuary, Luang Prabang, Laos

A brief amble from the Mekong river in laid-back Luang Prabang, this 30-room boutique hotel is set around a palm-lined pond in colonial-inspired buildings with red roof tiles, wide verandas and wooden shutters, in keeping with the Unesco world heritage-listed town’s architecture. Only the Bauhaus-style handmade furniture gives things away. An on-site spa offers 40-minute Laotian massages for £6.
sanctuaryluangprabang.com. Doubles from £45.

The Alcove Library Hotel, Saigon, Vietnam

In a residential neighbourhood, 10 minute’s drive from downtown Saigon, this elegant hotel with its French-style facade and Parisian-like courtyard garden, offers respite from the chaotic centre. Once inside, you’ll find prettily-tiled floors, comfy padded armchairs, black and white prints, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves crammed with reading material, and more books in the 38 classical rooms. Surprisingly, the rooftop restaurant-bar serves American, rather than French, food.
alcovehotel.com.vn. Doubles from £58.

Park Hyatt opens in Siem Reap

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The long wait is over, a welcome of refined luxury awaits you at Park Hyatt Siem Reap.

The stylish Park Room at Park Hyatt

The stylish Park Room at Park Hyatt

Tomorrow will see the doors opening for the first time at the brand new Park Hyatt Siem Reap, the successor to the immensely popular Hotel de la Paix, which closed its doors in June of last year. Positioning itself at the very top end of the accommodation range, Park Hyatt have 104 elegant guestrooms including thirteen suites, some with their own private plunge pool. Helping to ensure a stay in the lap of luxury, the stylish Dining Room will offer a Khmer menu as well as French ‘au provencal’ and the Living Room is a classy bar and lounge, which will host art exhibitions. They will also continue the deli-patisserie favourites at the Glass House. The long wait is over, welcome to refined luxury at Park Hyatt Siem Reap.

The Living Room bar and lounge at Park Hyatt

The Living Room bar and lounge at Park Hyatt

Boutique addition

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Villa Nane joins the boutique throng in BKK1, Phnom Penh.

A deluxe room at Villa Nane

A superior room at Villa Nane

The plethora of small boutique hotels opening in the Boeung Keng Kang 1 area of Phnom Penh, known as the NGO quarter, continues apace with the opening of Villa Nane on Street 306. Following on the heels of boutique offerings at Villa Salt, Arun Villa, Villa Samnang, Villa Srey and many more, Villa Nane have followed a classical Khmer style for their rooms, with minimal but tasteful decoration. Fourteen rooms in total, with all the usual amenities including flat-screen tv’s and wi-fi throughout, the hotel also has a small pool and a cafe-restaurant, with a Khmer and western menu, on the premises. A very pleasant, intimate place to stay.

The intimate pool at Villa Nane.

The intimate pool at Villa Nane.

The larger of the superior deluxe rooms.

The larger of the superior deluxe rooms.

Adventures at the Wildlife Center

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Hanuman Travel TV’s adventures at the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Center, just outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

You too can get a behind-the-scenes adventure at Phnom Tamao with our Wildlife Experience, courtesy of Hanuman’s collaboration with Wildlife Alliance. Just ask Hanuman for more details.

Gibbons return to Angkor

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Gibbons return to the Angkor Temple complex.

Gibbons back at Angkor

Gibbons back at Angkor

A significant wildlife release project was initiated in the last few weeks. At the end of June, Nick Marx, Director of Wildlife Programs, and his team transferred a pair of pileated gibbons to a release enclosure located in the forest surrounding the Angkor Temple complex. Gibbons in the wild require extensive territory and a male-and-female pair is monogamous for life. Each pair establishes a territory of around 30 hectares, which it defends against intrusion by other gibbons. Angkor Thom in Siem Reap is a high-profile World Heritage Site and the indigenous wildlife in the area has largely been removed due to the illegal hunting that used to take place. Today, the forest is well-protected but lacking in wildlife. Release close to this most popular tourist site in Cambodia will also provide us with an opportunity to bring a message of conservation and wildlife protection to a wide-ranging international audience. The gibbon pair was mother-raised at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center (PTWRC) and has been living in a rehabilitation enclosure there with limited human presence for some time. They have now been transferred to their release enclosure in Angkor Thom where our wildlife rehabilitation staff will monitor them for a few months as they become acclimated to their new habitat. Once they are ready, the enclosure will be opened and the gibbons will be free to roam the forest. Taken from the July edition of the Wildlife Alliance Newsletter.

The brand new Flight of the Gibbon project which has brought adventurous ziplines to the Angkor Park also have plans to release gibbons back into the wild within the Angkor Park, as part of their ongoing conservation program, which is already in full swing in Thailand.

Reaching Out in Hoi An

Saturday, July 20th, 2013

Take a few minutes out of your schedule to visit Reaching Out in Hoi An, on Vietnam’s central coast.

Reaching Out in Hoi An

Reaching Out in Hoi An

As more people visit Hoi An, on the central coast of Vietnam, we’d recommend a visit to the unique craft store, Reaching Out, located on the popular Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, home to such renowned restaurants and bars as Mango Rooms and Tam Tam. Reaching Out produces high quality local handicrafts, including silk, lacquerware, ceramics and homeware and making purchases at their store, housed in one of the ancient buildings in the Old Town, or online, has a far-reaching effect. It’s a good cause venture owned, operated and whose products are made by artisans with physical disabilities. They train and employ disabled people and allow them the flexibility of working in the store and attached workshop or from the comfort of their own homes. They are firm believers in fair trade and fair wage – their artisans receive about 35% more than the average wage. You can also go that extra step by sponsoring the vocational training fee for one or more people with disabilities. Please consider a visit to their retail store and take a tour of their workshop at the same time – they’d love to welcome you. Find out more at their website, here.

One of Reaching Out's young artisans

One of Reaching Out’s young artisans

Santuk Silk makes a difference

Monday, July 15th, 2013

A social enterprise that is making a difference in Kompong Thom.

Bud Gibbons explaining the process

Bud Gibbons explaining the process

American Bud Gibbons has been in Cambodia since 1994. He and his Khmer wife Nevin run the Santuk Silk Farm, about twenty minutes south of Kompong Thom, en route between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Santuk Silk is a social enterprise silk farm where you can see the silk weaving process from the harvest of the silk worms through to the crafting of their final product, beautiful silk scarves, also known as kramas. Bud is keen to show visitors around his farm, where you have the chance to meet the weavers, see them at work creating the scarves in different patterns and colours and get to understand the difference this enterprise is making in their lives. With advance warning, Bud and Nevin can offer up a delicious lunch menu of Khmer and western dishes too. It’s very close to National Highway 6 and we recommend you take the opportunity to find out more about the traditional process of producing silk if you are in the area.

Phnom Penh’s Living History

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Understanding the Phnom Penh story with our Living History Tour by vintage Army Jeep.

 

Get under the skin of Phnom Penh on this intimate exploration of the Cambodian capital through its monuments, temples, French colonial architecture and contemporary buildings.