Archive for September, 2013

HanumanAlaya’s new Stay 3, Pay 2

Monday, September 30th, 2013

New promotion at HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence.

At our very own HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence and HanumanAlaya Villa in Siem Reap, our Green Season offer has changed for all new bookings during the month of October. Between 1st and 31st October, we have introduced a Stay 3, Pay 2 promotion, including breakfast. If you book for 3 nights then you only pay for 2. This is your last chance to enjoy our gorgeous accommodation before the upcoming high season starting from 1 November, when our promotion comes to a close.

Don’t take our word for it. Francesco from Italy had this to say about his recent stay at HanumanAlaya: “An amazing place to stay. Friendly staff and great service. Hope to come back soon.” Or Karin and Blain from Canada: “Thank you so much for a wonderful week. We love your hotel – the staff, the service, the food, the rooms, the gardens – 5 STARS. You helped make our trip a very special one.”

Hanuman and Yosothor Support Khmer Culture

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Hanuman is proud to support Yosothor and the wealth of expertise that can be organised through its members, exclusively for Hanuman guests in Cambodia, to benefit Khmer culture.

 

Professor Ang Choulean

Professor Ang Choulean

Yosothor is a new non-government organization dedicated to supporting and sustaining Khmer culture and heritage in the form of anthropology, archaeology and architecture. Established by eminent Professor Ang Choulean, one of the foremost scholars on Khmer civilization, Yosothor will publish Khmer Renaissance annually, as well as organize talks and conferences. Hanuman has teamed up with Yosothor to offer some unique insights and experiences for visitors wanting to gain a deeper insight into Khmer culture and heritage.

Professor Ang Choulean has kindly made himself and his eminent colleague Sophearith Siyonn available for exclusive experiences in conjunction with Hanuman and our partners, including customized half-day tours of key temples such as Angkor Thom and Bayon or Angkor Wat. National Museum Director Vireak Kong is also one of the supporting members of Yosothor and will be available to lead a director’s tour of the museum’s finest pieces for special interest groups or organisations. Other customized experiences will also be available such as lunch or dinner in the company of an expert in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Professor Ang Choulean and his team of experts are keen to engage with Hanuman clients to assist in fundraising for Yosothor and its objectives to support and nurture the ongoing Khmer cultural renaissance after three decades of devastation. Hanuman is proud to support this cause and will be happy to customize some unique Angkor experiences for the right type of clients with a specialist interest in the history and culture of Cambodia.

Professor Ang Choulean has made a significant contribution to the reconstruction of Cambodian culture and to the preservation and restoration of its ancient monuments. He studied in France and returned to Cambodia in 1989, taking up a teaching post at the Royal University of Fine Arts when it reopened. He was appointed Director of the Department of Culture and Monuments at APSARA in Siem Reap, which is responsible for the Angkor Monuments. He has authored many books and articles on Cambodian history and culture and was the recipient of the 2011 Fukuoka Grand Prize for outstanding contributions to the preservation and creation of Asian culture.

Sophearith Siyonn was a Fulbright Fellowship recipient with studies at University of California at Berkeley. He has lectured at the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh since 2009, as well as consulting for the World Bank and European Union, can speak four languages and is a published author.

Welcome to Sala Roluos

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Hanuman are pleased to present Sala Roluos for guests visiting Siem Reap and the Angkor area, yet another of our signature unique experiences.

Sala Roluos near the monuments of the same name

Sala Roluos near the monuments of the same name

Introducing Sala Roluos

Sala Roluos is a beautiful traditional wooden house close to the 9th century capital of Hariharalaya and the rustic Cambodian town of Roluos. In a serene setting amid the rural atmosphere of its regal surroundings, Sala Roluos offers exclusive lunch and dinner encounters, which can be easily combined with visits to the Roluos temple monuments as well as the nearby stilted village of Kompong Pluk and its flooded forest.

Sala Roluos Experiences

  • Sample our traditional Khmer lunch menu made using locally-sourced organic ingredients where available. Lunch is served between midday and 2pm.
  • Enjoy a private candlelit dinner in this countryside setting, with a specialty Khmer degustation menu. Dinner is served daily between 7pm and 10pm.

Lunch and evening meal at Sala Roluos must be booked in advance through the HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence in Siem Reap or through Hanuman Travel.

Introducing Sala Kdei

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Hanuman are excited to present Sala Kdei for guests visiting Siem Reap and the Angkor Park, which we feel will add excellent value to personalising your visit to Cambodia.

Hanuman's own Sala Kdei, in the heart of Angkor

Hanuman’s own Sala Kdei, in the heart of Angkor

Introducing Sala Kdei

Sala Kdei is a beautiful traditional wooden house overlooking the royal bathing pool of Sra Srang. Once used by the ancient Khmer kings and their concubines, this is a celebrated spot for sunrise and sunset. In a serene setting amid the rural village atmosphere of Angkor, Sala Kdei offers a range of original experiences from dining, cooking classes and cocktails to yoga and quiet meditation. Sala Kdei is the perfect private escape from the crowds around Angkor during the heat of the day. Unwind or indulge, it’s the perfect complement to the majestic temples.

Sala Kdei is dedicated to bringing the best of Khmer cuisine to our guests and our menu includes a full selection of popular national dishes, including such favourites as amok, steamed fish with coconut, chilli and lemongrass in banana leaf.  We are committed to preserving authentic cooking methods, ingredients and presentation, as passed down from generation to generation. We are proud of our quality ingredients, which are exclusively fresh, organic and locally sourced. We also include some international favourites and a breakfast choice from three continents, Asia, Europe and America. Sala Kdei is adorned with hand-carved wooden furnishings, traditional Khmer silk, as well as traditional art and handicrafts from Cambodia.

Sala Kdei Experiences

  • Enjoy breakfast in the Angkor area with a selection from three continents, available daily between 7am and 9am. Drop in for breakfast after a dawn visit to nearby Ta Prohm or stop off on the way to far flung sites such as Kbal Spean or Phnom Kulen.
  • Discover the secrets of Khmer cuisine with our Cambodian Cooking Class starting at 8am with a visit to one of the local markets. Learn how to prepare some of the kingdom’s best loved dishes including a delectable fish amok. The class is limited to a maximum of six people per day and private classes are available on demand.
  • Enjoy our traditional Khmer lunch menu at Sala Kdei, an intimate location to wind down in the middle of the day while exploring the temples.
  • Relax and unwind with an afternoon yoga or meditation session, by prior appointment, between 2pm and 5pm.
  • As sunset approaches, Sala Kdei serves up a selection of drinks, including sunset cocktails from 5pm to 7pm. Don’t forget to sample the signature Hanuman cocktail, similar to the Singapore Sling but with an original twist.
  • By night, enjoy a candlelit evening meal, with one of our specialty Khmer degustation menus. Sala Kdei is open for dining between 7pm and 10pm.

All the experiences at Sala Kdei must be booked in advance through the Sales Team at Hanuman Travel (sales@hanumantourism.com). The experiences can also be booked on the spot through the HanumanAlaya Boutique Residence in Siem Reap.

 

Unwind at Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Hanuman Films recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

You’ve already seen the Move video at the new Flight of the Gibbon Angkor zipline experience in Siem Reap, and the Grow video, showcasing the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok, also known as Cooking With Poo. Today we bring you Unwind, introducing Samahita Retreat, a yoga and wellness centre located on the southern tip of Ko Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Established in 2003 by yoga teacher Paul Dallaghan, the name Samahita is translated from Sanskrit as “centered” or “balanced”. Revitalise and reinvigorate yourself through a tailor-made programme of yoga, breathing, massage and diet to find that balance within a busy life.

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Nick Ray and the Hanuman Films team recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

Three themes are explored, including  and Unwind at the Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui and Move at the Flight of the Gibbon Angkor in Siem Reap.  The third of the films is Grow and features the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok. Also known as Cooking With Poo, this is one of the most popular culinary experiences on offer in Thailand. Limited to just 10 participants each day, guests explore the huge Klong Toey wet market for fresh produce before moving to Poo’s classroom to learn the secrets of the Thai kitchen.

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

Lonely Planet Flight of the Gibbon Angkor Video

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Nick Ray and the Hanuman Films team recently joined up with Lonely Planet to produce a series of short videos for a new Healthy Holidays microsite.

Three themes are explored, including Grow at the good cause Helping Hands Cooking School in Bangkok and Unwind at the Samahita Retreat on Ko Samui. The third of the films is Move and features the new Flight of the Gibbon Angkor, a real adrenaline buzz in the jungle canopy near Siem Reap. The Hanuman Films crew was the first to film the fully open course with its 10 ziplines up and running, including a ‘honeymoon’ tandem line, rope bridges, a treehouse and an abseil descent.

Be sure to experience Flight of the Gibbon Angkor as part of a stay in Siem Reap. The temples are one of the world’s most magnificent sights, but adrenaline activities like this are the perfect way to balance the spiritual side of things.

Visit the microsite here: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/campaigns/healthy-holidays/

Phnom Penh Situation Report

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

An update on the current situation in Cambodia’s capital city.

Since the disputed general election on 28 July, the opposition party in Cambodia have held a number of peaceful rallies. A 3-day mass protest began on Sunday 15 September. The Phnom Penh authorities set up roadblocks around popular tourist areas of the capital causing traffic disruption and some minor clashes occurred between protesters and police on the riverside in front of Wat Ounalom and Amanjaya Hotel on Sunday afternoon. Protestors pushed back barricades and threw rocks and police responded with smoke and water cannons. Late in the evening, a standoff developed in the southern part of the city near the Monivong Bridge leading to National Highway 1 and the road to the Vietnam border. One man died and a dozen others were injured after police opened fire on a crowd.

The leaders of the ruling and opposition parties met Monday and Tuesday to negotiate an end to the political deadlock and the signs are promising. The King has urged all sides to refrain from using force for the sake of national stability. The opposition party who organized the protests have strongly condemned the incidents of violence, emphasizing the peaceful nature of their demonstration, which was held at the Freedom Park in the vicinity of Wat Phnom and which came to an end this afternoon. We continue to closely monitor the situation.

Surviving against all odds

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Unique experiences with Hanuman.

S-21 survivors, Chum Mey (left) and Bou Meng. Photo by EPA.

S-21 survivors, Chum Mey (left) and Bou Meng. Photo by EPA.

Hanuman pride themselves on bringing their guests a selection of unique personal experiences whilst they are enjoying the delights that Cambodia has to offer. Whether it’s flying by helicopter to remote temples, or enjoying exclusive dining at Angkor, or a one-to-one meeting with one of the survivors of the former high school in the suburbs of Phnom Penh, that the Khmer Rouge turned into a detention and torture centre known as Tuol Sleng, or S-21 during their murderous reign in the late Seventies. 17,000 people passed through the gates of this prison and only a handful survived to tell the tale. Just two are alive today, Bou Meng and Chum Mey, and one of them can give you a personal insight into the Khmer Rouge’s Democratic Kampuchea during your tour of the Tuol Sleng Museum.

Bou Meng survived S-21 because he was a painter and was singled out from a row of shackled prisoners to produce portraits of the Khmer Rouge chief, Pol Pot. He was taken to S-21 in June 1977. The long-term effects of his one and a half years of detention have left their scars. During the first few years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Bou Meng returned to work in an office at Tuol Sleng, which was converted into a museum of genocide. Now he uses it as a rest stop, sometimes spending the night there on a cot when he visits the capital, Phnom Penh, from the countryside, where he paints Buddhist murals in pagodas. Boug Meng keeps in his wallet a snapshot-size reproduction of the prison portrait of his wife, Ma Yoeun, who was arrested with him but did not survive. He gave evidence against the S-21 commandant, Duch, at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in 2011.

Fellow survivor, Chum Mey, comes from Prey Veng and was a mechanic, who was taken into S-21 in October 1978, just a few months before the regime fell. There he was imprisoned in a brick cell about two metres by one metre wide, blindfolded and shackled to the floor. For twelve days and nights he was tortured, as his interrogators tried to make him confess to spying for the United States and Russia. He was allowed to live becuase he was of use to the regime, fixing sewing machines in the prison workshop. On 7 January 1979, Vietnamese troops captured Phnom Penh from the Khmer Rouge, and the prison staff fled. Chum Mey was marched at gunpoint by prison guards into the provinces, where he had a chance meeting with his wife, and held for the first time, his fourth child, a boy, just two months old. Two days later, soldiers shot dead his wife and baby, as Chum Mey escaped. He too gave evidence at the Khmer Touge Tribunal trial against the former 2-1 commander Comrade Duch in 2011.

 

South Coast welcomes Hanuman

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Hanuman on a working holiday to the South Coast of Cambodia.

The Hanuman team at Ream

The Hanuman team at Ream National Park

The sales, reservations and operations teams at Hanuman’s Phnom Penh HQ, accompanied by a six-person contingent from our Siem Reap office, enjoyed a South Coast familiarization trip at the weekend. They spent two nights enjoying the sights and sounds of Kep, Kampot and Sihanoukville. A series of hotels opened their doors for inspections and graciously offered up free overnight accommodation, the party decamped by boat to Rabbit Island for an afternoon on the beach and as if that wasn’t enough, they spent even more time on the sand in Ream National Park (pictured above) and in Sihanoukville. It was important that the staff updated their knowledge of the attractions in these three key destinations, as well as the range of hotel accommodation on offer, but they also found time to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. A win-win for all. A big thank you to the following hotels for their co-operation with complimentary accommodation: Knai Bang Chatt, Kep Lodge, OC Hotel, Independence and Sokha Beach.