Archive for October, 2013

Into the Southern Cardamoms with Wildlife Alliance

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Hanuman recently travelled with NGO Wildlife Alliance across and into the Southern Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia.

Wildlife Alliance are dedicated to preserving the tropical forest, wildlife and empowering local communities to earn a sustainable income and protect their own environment. Now, WA are opening their doors and inviting interested observers into see their work at close quarters. Contact Hanuman if you are interested in an inspection tour by helicopter.

The evergreen forest cover in the Southern Cardamoms is stunning - 1.7 million acres, patrolled by Wildlife Alliance's forest rangers, are protected and is thriving

The evergreen forest cover in the Southern Cardamoms is stunning – 1.7 million acres, patrolled by Wildlife Alliance’s forest rangers, are protected and is thriving

Wildlife Alliance's Million Tree Nursery, where 99 species of tree are being cultivated, is helping to replant the forest in the Southern Cardamoms

Wildlife Alliance’s Million Tree Nursery, where 99 species of tree are being cultivated, is helping to replant the forest in the Southern Cardamoms

Despite their best efforts, WA are unable to release tigers at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Center back into the wild for fear of poachers

Despite their best efforts, WA are unable to release tigers at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Center back into the wild for fear of poachers

WA are working in partnership with experts to protect remote burial jar sites deep in the jungle

WA are working in partnership with experts to protect remote burial jar sites deep in the jungle

Sopheap, a 2-year-old sun bear waiting to be released back into the wild, as part of WA's animal release program

Sopheap, a 2-year-old sun bear waiting to be released back into the wild, as part of WA’s animal release program

The evidence room at WA's Chambok Ranger Station containing confiscated chainsaws, snares, guns and timber

The evidence room at WA’s Chambok Ranger Station containing confiscated chainsaws, snares, guns and timber

Overlooking the Southern Cardamoms and listening to the calls of wild gibbons below

Overlooking the Southern Cardamoms and listening to the calls of wild gibbons below

Crazy about Golf? Try the Angkor Wat Putt

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Mini-golf or crazy golf is a fun, family-friendly alternative to the more expensive world of 18-hole golf courses and Siem Reap now has its first course, the Angkor Wat Putt.

Angkor Wat Putt

Angkor Wat Putt

Set in the suburbs of town, the 14-hole course includes many miniature temples as obstacles around the course, including headliners such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon, as well as temples further afield such as Banteay Srei and Preah Vihear. Take short cuts through temples via pipes or play your way around the temple for a more cautious approach. There are also some non-temple challenges in the symmetrical shapes and rollercoaster curves. The Angkor Putt costs US$5 per person or US$4 for children and is open from 7.30am until 11pm. Avoid the heat of the day by playing late-afternoon or under floodlights by night. For more details, visit the website at http://www.angkorwatputt.com/

For those who prefer the conventional to the crazy, there are several international standard golf courses around Siem Reap, including the Nick Faldo designed Angkor Golf Resort (www.angkor-golf.com) and the Phokheetra Country Club, which plays host to the annual Cambodian Open, part of the Asian PGA tour.

Uncovering the Mekong Delta

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Keeping on the cycling theme, the backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam are an engaging attraction for cyclists with its lovely landscapes and welcoming people. Why not try our nine-day cycling adventure through this beautiful part of the country.

The backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

The backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Vietnam is emerging as a popular destination for cycling holidays. Unless you are in training for the King of the Mountains jersey, you might be put off by the formidable mountains of the north, but down in the Mekong Delta the country is pancake flat and criss-crossed by pretty country roads. We leave the city by minibus to avoid the chaotic traffic and cycle from Mytho to the backwaters of Ben Tre. From Ben Tre, we cycle through pretty countryside to the ethnic Khmer area of Tra Vinh where we can see some striking Cambodian pagodas. Using local ferries and small roads, we continue to Soc Trang before heading to the heartland of the Mekong Delta in Cantho. We have a slow day to relax, but visit the floating markets in the morning for some superb photo opportunities. We travel to Rach Gia to board a hydrofoil for the lovely island of Phu Quoc. We bike around the island, passing through areas of national park, but leave the penultimate day free to relax on the beaches.

Contact our Sales Team at Hanuman for more information or visit our website at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Vietnam/Cycling_Southern_Vietnam.html.

Cambodia on two wheels

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The cooler season will arrive in Cambodia very soon. Why not consider our escorted two week tour of the Kingdom on two wheels. This trip is particularly recommended in November, December and January.

On two wheels in Cambodia

On two wheels in Cambodia

Cambodia is coming up fast on the inside track as a top cycling destination and our 14-day adventure through the Kingdom covers the highlights on offer from the popular South Coast loop to original rides that reveal the beauty of the Angkor temples. We begin in the bustling and vibrant capital of Phnom Penh, visiting the gracious National Museum, the more sombre Tuol Sleng as well as an island in the middle of the Mekong River. The route through the southern provinces of Takeo, Kep, Kampot and Sihanoukville will provide a real taste of countryside life before we head north. We discover the old capital of Sambor Prei Kuk before a series of rides in Angkor and beyond open up this wonderful location in all its unique beauty, from the glorious ancient temples to village interaction and life on the Tonle Sap Great Lake.

Find out more about this 2-week adventure on two wheels at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Cambodia/ET_Cambodia_Two_Wheels.html or contact our Sales team at Hanuman for details.

Hanuman at ITB Asia, Singapore, 23-25 Oct 2013

Monday, October 21st, 2013
Hanuman will be exhibiting at the ITB Asia in Singapore from 23-25 October 2013 and we would like to extend an open invitation to friends, partners and travel professionals to drop by and see us at Booth M34, Hall 404.

Hanuman is the only Cambodian-owned, Cambodia-based destination management company exhibiting at this year’s ITB Asia so to learn more about our destination expertise, that elusive combination of knowledge and experience, we suggest you come over to have a chat. We hope you have heard of Hanuman already, as we are one of the most respected names in the business when it comes to arranging cultural journeys for discerning travellers. Hanuman is regularly cited in the international press and is proud to have been selected by The Sunday Times of London as “one of the World’s Top Travel Fixers”. These are “the best locally-run, well-established, reputable companies, the insiders with impeccable guides, and are masters of their region”.

 

Here at Hanuman, we want to put the personality back into travel. Our travel collection is inspired by imagination, driven by our daydreams. We love Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and want to share our passion with you. A successful trip is down to service and we understand the importance of getting this right every step of the way, from hotels of distinction to guides with passion and personality. This is our commitment to travel with a personal touch.

Lots of other exciting things will be happening on the Hanuman booth at this year’s ITB Asia. Leading Cambodian circus performers Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) will be joining the Hanuman team at 4pm on Wednesday 23 October. PPS have been likened to the Cirque du Soleil of Cambodia, blending circus, performance art and powerful social commentary to their shows. PPS have toured the world with their cutting edge performances and we are very privileged to have them join the Hanuman booth at ITB Asia 2013. For more on PPS, see http://www.phareps.org/performing-art-schools#circus Hanuman (www.hanuman.travel) will have some cold Angkor beers on hand for those coming to watch the 15-minute performance so please drop by our booth to enjoy this unique Khmer circus performance. If you are travelling through Siem Reap after the ITB Asia, it is also possible to see their nightly show in a big top in town. Contact Hanuman for more details.
Also worth noting is that leading Lonely Planet author Nick Ray will be on hand to answer questions about Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam at the Hanuman booth. Nick has been writing Lonely Planet guides to the Mekong region for 15 years and is the author of, among others, the country guides to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as the regional bestseller Southeast Asia on a Shoestring. Nick has travelled far and wide in the Mekong region and is regarded as a regional authority on travel in Southeast Asia.

As well as Lonely Planet, he also works as a freelance writer for leading newspapers and magazines such as BBC Travel, The Times and Wanderlust. He also works as a Location Manager and Producer for television and films, including work as the Location Manager on Tomb Raider and Line Producer on the famous Top Gear Vietnam special. He has worked with numerous celebrities over the years, including Gordon Ramsay, Angeline Jolie, Charley Boorman and Samantha Brown.

Should you have any questions for Nick on any aspect of travel in the Mekong region, don’t hesitate to drop by the Hanuman booth on 23-25 October 2013 at the ITB Asia.

We look forward to seeing you in Singapore.

Plae Pakaa Returns

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

Top quality cultural performances return to Phnom Penh six nights each week for the tourism high season with Plae Pakaa.

Children of Bassac performances every Monday and Thursday

Children of Bassac performances every Monday and Thursday

The Plae Pakaa season of performances are back in full swing, six nights a week, at the National Museum in Phnom Penh. They offer visitors the opportunity to see a regular cultural attraction in Phnom Penh, while also creating long-term work opportunities for emerging and established arts professionals. Plae Pakaa, which  translates  literally  as  “coming  to fruition”, is the brainchild of Cambodian Living Arts, a non-profit organization based in Cambodia that focuses on Cambodian arts. As a springboard for emerging arts professionals, Plae Pakaa plays an integral role in CLA’s program. The shows will alternate: Children of Bassac folk and classical dance show on Monday and Thursday, Tuesday and Friday will see artists perform Yike or Cambodian opera and there will be Passage of Life theatre on Wednesday and Saturday. At US$15 for a walk-in ticket, it’s an excellent value experience and will run through the tourist high season, offering guests the chance to see the country’s best emerging talents demonstrate their abilities on stage. We highly recommend visitors sample this insight into Khmer culture.

Indochina’s Heritage

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Immerse yourself in the trio of beautiful and varied World Heritage locations in Luang Prabang, Halong Bay and Angkor with our 15-day journey of discovery.

Monks at Angkor Wat

Monks at Angkor Wat

Indochina is home to several stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites and this signature trip takes in the most impressive of these in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Starting in lovely and languid Luang Prabang, we enjoy the combination of rich culture and lush nature in this charming town. Flying to elegant Hanoi, we pay our respects to Uncle Ho and explore the exotic Old Quarter. Halong Bay is the only natural World Heritage Site on this list, but it is undoubtedly one of the most memorable with a forest of karst peaks soaring skywards from the sea. Flying south, we stop in Hoi An to explore the compelling historic house, tailor shops, galleries and cafes of this atmospheric place. We leave some time to enjoy the beach before flying on to Siem Reap, our base to visit the simply sublime temples of Angkor. Our visit includes all the world famous temples such as Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building, as well as some of the floating communities of the Tonle Sap.

Contact our Sales Team at Hanuman for more information or visit our website at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Indochina/World_Heritage_Indochina.html.

Essential Myanmar

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Myanmar is opening its doors and welcoming all-comers. It’s one of the hottest destinations in Asia for visitors at the moment. Try our 8-day Essential Myanmar tour to get a feel for this beguiling country.

Essential Myanmar

Essential Myanmar

Our eight day snapshot of the essential elements of your Myanmar adventures begins in the shimmering city of Yangon with its legendary Shwedagon Pagoda, followed by the ancient Burmese capital of Bagan, with over 4,000 stupas satisfying your temple desires amidst dramatic scenery. In Mandalay, local crafts, ancient cities and the world’s largest book await us, before the unique leg rowers and dazzling floating gardens of Inle Lake beckon. We return to Yangon before departure.

Find out more about this beautiful country and our Essential Myanmar tour at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Myanmar/Essential_Myanmar.html or contact our Sales team at Hanuman for details and prices.

A beach all to yourself

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

If you are looking for a beach holiday with a difference, then  look no further than southern Vietnam with our 8-day Remote Beaches journey.

Unspoilt beaches in Vietnam

Unspoilt beaches in Vietnam

Vietnam is fast emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s new beach destinations. Some beaches are already quite heavily developed, but this itinerary ventures off the trail to connect you with some more remote beach destinations. The journey begins in Saigon where we visit the War Remnants Museum and the haunting Requiem exhibition of war photography. Later we venture further afield to see the Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh, a unique religion that blends the world’s spiritual beliefs together. We also venture underground to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels. We fly to the remote Con Dao Islands. Once used as a political prison by the French authorities, they are emerging as Vietnam’s best kept secret. Try pristine snorkelling or just relax on the beach. We then continue south to Phu Quoc, destined to become the Phuket of Vietnam one day soon. Relax on the beaches or explore the nearby An Thoi Islands or inland forests. This is a beach holiday with a difference.

Contact our Sales Team at Hanuman for information or visit our website at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Vietnam/Remote_Beaches_Vietnam.html for additional details.

Cardamoms up close

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Experience the pristine Cardamoms with an exclusive Wildlife Alliance trip of a lifetime.

The Cardamom Mountains

The Cardamom Mountains

Wildlife Alliance are an international non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the environment, habitat, wildlife and reducing poverty. They are known in Cambodia for their care for endangered and trafficked animals, their innovative wildlife patrols, their efforts to halt deforestation as well as empowering local communities to earn a sustainable income and to preserve their environment. Now, the folks at Wildlife Alliance want to share their successes and challenges in their brand new Southern Cardamoms Experience. Aimed at the upper sector of the tourist market, their 4-day program is packed full of exciting and unique opportunities to experience their ground-breaking work, as well as getting to see a slice of Cambodian life that few have seen before.

It begins with a personalized tour of the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, where 1,200 animals are housed in modern, comfortable enclosures. Wildlife Alliance has rescued more than 50,000 animals from poachers and illegal wildlife traders and many find their way to Phnom Tamao before being released back into the wild. An in-depth inspection of the elephant, tiger, bear, gibbon and waterbird enclosures are included. Next on the agenda is a helicopter ride into the Southern Cardamom mountains, a stop-over at a ranger patrol station and a visit to an inaccessible and rare ancient site containing burial jars that have remained undisturbed for centuries.

Another of Wildlife Alliance’s success stories that you will get to see, is the rural community eco-tourism center at Chiphat, which allows the community to derive benefits from tourism and appreciate the long-term incentives to protect the surrounding forest and environment. Planting your own tree at the Million Tree Nursery will precede a spot of lobster night-fishing and an overnight stay at the Koh Sathun ecolodge.

A secret wildlife rehab station, deep in the forest, will give you a first-hand insight into how WA re-introduce animals back into their natural habitat, whilst a patrol boat ride with the rangers will demonstrate the challenges they face  in countering illegal loggers and wildlife traffickers. Wildlife Alliance will also take you to see how they have helped some of the poorest farmers develop sustainable agriculture all year round, before you enjoy the luxury and relaxation offered by the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge on the Tatai River.

If you are interested in finding out more about this unique interactive tour, Hanuman will soon have all the details as we are experiencing it for ourselves this coming weekend. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the fabulous work that Wildlife Alliance are involved in.