Archive for March, 2014

Glorious Bagan

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Hanuman Travel TV takes a look at the amazing temples and lifestyle of Bagan, the jewel in Myanmar’s crown.

 

Myanmar’s top tourism draw card is undoubtedly the 4,000 Buddhist temples of Bagan. A building frenzy in the 11-13th centuries produced a stunning array of iconic brick stupas that dot the plains as far as the eye can see. Today, the temples are as venerated as they were when they were built and though a few popular structures are crowded with visitors, many remain remote and quiet and just waiting to be explored. Temple viewing around dawn and dusk is a must as Bagan is hot, especially in the sizzling months of March to May, and cooler in the peak travel season of November to February.

Gibbons in the Wild

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Gibbon Spotting in the jungles of Ratanakiri with the local community.

Rare gibbons in Ratanakiri

Rare gibbons in Ratanakiri

Wildlife enthusiasts have a couple of months left to enjoy the opportunity of seeing and hearing an endangered species of gibbon in their natural habitat before the monsoon rains make it a much more difficult proposition. The Gibbon Spotting program in the Veun Sai-Siem Pang area of Ratanakiri, two hours distance from the provincial capital Banlung, is now run by local community members, with profits spread amongst the community group, and as a result, costs have been greatly reduced for visitors wishing to experience these rare creatures. Only small groups of between 2-6 visitors are allowed to visit the site in order to control the risk of the human impact as well as optimising chances of viewing the gibbons. The community guides run 2 day-1 night treks, with accommodation at the nearby ranger station, rudimentary and spartan but isn’t that all part of the adventure? The community have constructed a new five-room wooden building with mattress-bedding and a shower block within the confines of the ranger station. Food is prepared by the community members. The tour begins in Banlung and a one-hour motorbike ride to Veun Sai, on the banks of the Sean River. Once across the river, access to the ranger station is either by motorbike or an hour-long bicycle ride, and the trekking to see the gibbons will be first thing the following morning, with a 4am wake-up call.

As the gibbons are in the wild, the community, who have been supported in establishing this program by Conservation International, indicate visitors have an 80% chance of seeing the gibbons, though when Hanuman’s Andy Brouwer visited the site, he not only saw and heard them, he followed them through the jungle for an hour. This is a unique way to experience gibbons in the wild and the memory of the their piercing jungle call is unforgettable. The project is constantly evolving and additional viewing may include red-shanked douc langurs in the future. For now, the focus is firmly on the rare northern yellow-cheeked gibbons, and an experience and interaction that takes you up close and personal with a family of habituated gibbons in their natural environment. For more details, contact the Hanuman team.

Gems at Angkor

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Capturing the Angkor Temples for a jewellery commercial shoot.

Leading Hong Kong jewellery company Chow Tai Fook chose Cambodia for its latest commercial. Hanuman Films coordinated the shoot around the temples of Angkor and Siem Reap, including locations such as Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Wat and the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake. The Hanuman team worked in partnership with Radical Media of London and have worked on several previous commercials with them, including Pepsi, TUI Travel and Cisco.

Aqua Mekong Set for Maiden Voyage in 2014

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Aqua Mekong, the latest vessel from Aqua Expeditions, is set to launch on the Mekong River in August 2014. Check out this video on the inspiration behind expanding from the Amazon to the Mekong.



CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro dropped into the Hanuman offices earlier this week to discuss a pioneering approach to promotional videos. The Aqua Mekong looks set to take Mekong cruising to a whole new level. With just 20 cabins, this will be the most exclusive cruise boat on the Mekong River.

Aqua originally started offering luxurious, exploratory cruises on the Peruvian Amazon, from the jungle city of Iquitos to the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve which has proved to be very successful and we are excited to see them expanding into Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s very much aimed at discerning clients who want a luxurious experience whilst discovering the Mekong in depth. They offer a range of itineraries both upstream and downstream from 3 to 7 days.

They have also got Michelin-starred chef David Thompson on board, and he’s been appointed executive chef for the Aqua. He is renowned for his Thai, Khmer and Vietnamese cuisine and runs the famous Nahm restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok.

We have negotiated the best possible rates with them. Contact our Sales Team for more on the Aqua Mekong.

Tantalizing Khmer Fare

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Take home the secrets of the Cambodian kitchen.

Luu Meng, Cambodia's master chef, in action

Luu Meng, Cambodia’s master chef, in action

Learning to prepare and cook Cambodian food is becoming more and more popular amongst visitors to the country. Returning home with some of the secrets of tantalizing Khmer fare is a great way to remember your trip to the Kingdom of Wonder. Hanuman can offer a variety of opportunities to receive expert tuition from the likes of Cambodia’s top chef, Luu Meng at one of Phnom Penh’s best restaurants, Malis, or a cooking class in Siem Reap that follows in the footsteps of the famous and infamous television chefs that have passed through Cambodia on their global culinary journeys. There are a number of other options to get immersed into the world of Cambodian food, just ask the Hanuman team for details. In the picture above, Luu Meng is putting on a food demonstration in the grounds of the Amarak Organic Garden, just fifteen minutes from Phnom Penh, where great food goes hand in hand with healthy and natural organic farming methods.

Temples of Angkor

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Join Hanuman Travel TV for a three minute look inside the Temples of Angkor, Cambodia’s favourite tourist destination.

Inside Hang Son Doong, the World’s Largest Cave

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Hang Son Doong is the largest cave in the world, located in the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Bing Province in North Central Vietnam. Check out this video showing an Oxalis expedition into the cave.

Only explored for the first time by a British caving team in 2009, it is now possible for very limited numbers of visitors to undertake an expedition to Hang Son Doong. Only 22o permits are available to explore this cave complex in 2014 and group departures are limited to just eight people per day. Oxalis Adventures offers 7 day/6 night tours of Hang Son Doong costing US$3000 per person. For some incredible photos of this cave complex, check out the National Geographic images by Carsten Peter: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/largest-cave/peter-photography#/04-jungle-inside-cave-714.jpg

For more on Hang Son Doong, visit http://www.sondoongcave.org/. For more on tours to Hang Son Doong, visit http://www.oxalis.com.vn/son-doong-cave

Our Top Ten Experiences

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Try Hanuman’s Top Ten Authentic Experiences in Indochina.

Elephants in Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Elephants in Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Enjoy a helicopter ride over remote temples or the islands of Halong Bay, enjoy a nostalgic city tour by vintage car, meet leading artists and sculptors in the regional art scene, learn the secrets of local recipes with a celebrity chef and learn the art of travel photography with a professional. All these authentic experiences are possible in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam through Hanuman.

Helicopter Flights : Take to the skies to see the region from a different view. Fly to remote jungle temples in the far north of Cambodia, the endless array of temples in Bagan or discover the dramatic scale of Halong Bay from the air.

The Art of Travel Photography : Learn the tricks of the photographic trade from one of the professional photographers living in the region, including diverse destinations such as the temples of Angkor, lovely Luang Prabang, balloons over Bagan and the Mekong Delta.

Living History in Selected Cities : Understand the complicated history of the war years in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam with a history tour of the leading cities. Experience an intimate tour of iconic locations in Phnom Penh, Saigon and Vientiane.

Wine and Dine in Memorable Places : Enjoy an exclusive private champagne dinner in a unique location. Imagine dinner at one of Angkor’s ancient temples or a romantic picnic on a deserted tropical island.

Encounter Wildlife in Remote Places : Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have an extensive network of national parks. Sleep in a treehouse with the Gibbon Experience in Laos, visit Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary near Siem Reap or see rare langurs in Vietnam.

Cooking with a Celebrity Chef : Experience a cookery demonstration with one of the region’s finest chefs to learn more about the delights of Cambodian, Laotian or Vietnamese cuisine. This can be arranged in most popular visitor destinations.

Meet the Movers and Shakers : Enjoy a private meal with one of the leading lights of the Mekong region, from royal family members in Cambodia to respected international figures who live in Laos and Vietnam.

Hidden Treasures of Indochina : Enjoy exclusive access to leading museums and conservation departments of the region with leading art experts and archaeologists. Go behind the scenes to see forgotten treasures not on display.

City Tour by Vintage Car or Motorcycle : Explore the bustling streets of cities in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam by vintage car. For the more adventurous, it is possible to experience a city tour on the back of an old motorbike.

Yoga Class in Unique Locations : Relax and unwind with your own private yoga session somewhere to remember. Try one of the more remote and secluded beaches of Vietnam or one of the lesser known temples around Angkor.