Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

Above Ground Adventures at Angkor

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Hanuman’s Andy Brouwer reviews the adventures to be found above ground in Siem Reap.

My view of Bakong at Roluos from the flying moto

My view of Bakong at Roluos from the flying moto

Seeing Angkor and the surrounding countryside from what the locals affectionately call a “flying moto” is nothing short of exhilarating. I can vouch for that. But sat in a two-seat microlite is not for everyone. Especially if you have a nervous disposition. It took me most of an hour long flight for my heart to stop racing before I began to really enjoy the experience. And what an experience it was. Aero Cambodia operate two microlites from a landing strip just outside Siem Reap and are licensed to fly over many of the Angkor temples (but not Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom), the Tonle Sap Lake and above the lovely Siem Reap landscape. Eddie Smith is a very experienced pilot and he’s been taking satisfied guests into the air for many years before moving his operation to Siem Reap. If you would like to experience Angkor from the air, contact the Hanuman Sales Team for details. It’s definitely worth considering.

Another fun-packed adventure to be found above ground is the Flight of the Gibbon Angkor ziplines in the Angkor Park. Opened a few months ago, I had the opportunity to experience it for myself and not only was it a lot of fun but I was very impressed by the safety aspects of the whole operation. They take safety very seriously. Now, they have introduced a short, quicker package for guests who don’t have four or five hours to enjoy the whole course. The shorter version will still include four ziplines, sky bridges and an abseil and there’s a special introductory price if you book before the end of October.

Flight of the Gibbon have also teamed up with another of Siem Reap’s best adventures, the Quad Adventure Cambodia people and are offering a joint package of the full course of 10 thrilling ziplines, lunch in Angkor and then a 2+ hour quad adventure around the Siem Reap countryside, in their new Gibbon Quad Adventure. Definitely a great day out if you want a break from the temples for a while during your visit to Siem Reap. Contact our Sales Team for more details.

Looking for clues

Monday, April 7th, 2014
The Hanuman Scavenger Hunt teams

The Hanuman Scavenger Hunt teams

The Hanuman Group celebrated ahead of the Cambodian New Year with a thank you party for all the staff, as well as invited guests at HanumanAlaya in Siem Reap at the weekend. On Sunday, teams of staff members then visited the Roluos Group of temples, the floating village of Kompong Pluk and then spent the afternoon exploring Angkor Thom, as part of a scavenger hunt, that added a touch of mystery and intrigue to their visit. With a list of clues the teams had to find individual destinations within a series of different temples and take a snapshot of the location with their iPhones, before the winners were announced at the final meeting point, the Gate of the Dead. Here is a picture of the exhausted teams at the finishing stage. It was a lot of fun.

Angkor at leisure

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Visit Cambodia’s Angkor Temples from your armchair. 

Google Street View at Angkor

Google Street View at Angkor

You can now visit Angkor from the comfort of your own living room thanks to the innovative Google Street View. Following in the footsteps of the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and Mount Fuji, Angkor has now received the Google treatment using a new device called Trekker. Fifteen digital cameras are attached by a long pole to a backpack, and each one records a 75 million mega pixel photo every two and a half seconds. By walking around the Angkor Wat temple complex, they are able to photograph areas that Google’s Street View cars cannot reach. For this latest project, five local men were tasked with trekking around the temples for up to eight hours a day, to record what many people say is the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a great addition to the wealth of online information about Angkor, though nothing beats actually being there yourself. More at https://www.google.com/maps/views/streetview/angkor?gl=us.

Textiles Museum Opens

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

The completion of a project that began in 2010 will take place on Monday 7 April, when the opening ceremony will take place in Siem Reap of the brand new Mekong-Ganga Cooperation Asian Traditional Textiles Museum, built with the help of funding from the Indian government. The museum will house collections of traditional fabrics and cloths from Mekong-Ganga Cooperation countries – which include Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines. Besides the exhibits and interactive facilities, there will also be a training workshop and a development centre using traditional ethnic designs.

Siem Reap is also the home of the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles, which has a shop and workshop on the road to the Great Lake. They are involved in the revival and activation of tradition textiles in Cambodia and for textile enthusiasts, both the new museum and the IKTT center are must visits when you are in Siem Reap.

Hotel of the Week – Tara Angkor

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Tara Angkor Hotel at Siem Reap

Tara Angkor Hotel at Siem Reap

Hanuman’s Hotel of the Week is the stylish and contemporary Tara Angkor Hotel, which is located on the main road to the Temples of Angkor in Siem Reap. With a selection of suites and family rooms, it boasts 206 rooms with two restaurants, the Tong Tara and Frangipani, swimming pool and jacuzzi, and all the modern amenities expected of a top rated 4-star international hotel. They offer cooking classes for guests and complimentary bicycles too.

Hanuman’s View: A contemporary hotel on the road to the temples, the Tara Angkor provides exceptional value for those seeking comfort and modernity, with a smart four-star trim throughout. The swimming pool and water features are a big attraction and the extensive number of rooms make it an ideal choice for groups. A smart choice.

Hanuman to keep the Bamboo Train on Track?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Bamboo Train has been a quirky highlight of a trip to Battambang for many years, but is in danger of going off the rails once again thanks to the renovation of the Phnom Penh line.

Charley Boorman testdriving the road version of the Bamboo Train

Charley Boorman testdriving the road version of the Bamboo Train

Almost a national treasure, Hanuman has plans to keep the Bamboo Train alive by taking it on the road. As you see from the image above, we have already test-driven it with some celebrity guests, including motorbiking adventurer Charley Boorman on By Any Means.

In another exciting development, we plan to turn the Bamboo Train into a signature luxury product with the integration of a royal elephant chair as seen below.

Antique Howdah for the Bamboo Train

Antique Howdah for the Bamboo Train

The Bamboo Train, the new word in upcountry luxury from Hanuman.

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.