Archive for May, 2010

Hanuman’s great escapes

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Kulikar Sotho with British chef Gordon Ramsey

Kulikar Sotho with British chef Gordon Ramsey

Kulikar Sotho enjoyed some amazing experiences as part of her collaboration with famous British chef Gordon Ramsey recently, that she is keen to share them with the guests of her own travel company, Hanuman.

Kulikar was the Cambodian Fixer for Ramsey’s television series, ‘Gordon’s Great Escapes’ – in which he travels all over the world learning about and cooking local cuisines – as the chef famed for his larger-than-life persona, brought his unique take on food to the Kingdom last week.

On Kulikar’s target list to introduce to guests in the future are honey-hunting in the wild forests of northeast Mondulkiri, where if you time it right you can also catch an authentic tribal wedding involving a water buffalo sacrifice. Another ‘must-see’ for guests on a culinary tour or simply wishing to find a unique alternative to the usual beaten track sightseeing, is spider-hunting in remote villages around the spider capital of central Cambodia, Skuon.

Kulikar was quick to point out that for these unique adventures, safety is paramount and for the honey-hunting, a bee-suit is a must for guests, though the local indigenous bee-hunters don’t bother and smoke the bees away from the nest using a bamboo and smoking leaves contraption, tied around their neck. The honeycombs harvested from the colonies of bees produces honey which Kulikar described as, “absolutely wonderful, the taste is fantastic. I would never have believed it could taste so good.” The wedding celebrations in the Tompuon minority village in Mondulkiri that Kulikar sought out for the television audience was one of the most authentic experiences she’s had in her own country. “To see the way the water buffalo is revered by everyone in the village and though they sacrifice the animal, each villager pays great respect to it before the celebrations begin, involving rice wine and traditional dance and music.”

Skuon is already famous as the spider-eating capital of Cambodia. But Kulikar was keen for the television show to film where the spiders came from, how to catch them and cook them. With the help of villagers north of Skuon, this is an experience she is keen to share with guests of Hanuman in the future. “It’s a fascinating slice of Cambodian life in the countryside and will make for a great encounter to tell your friends and family.”

If you like the sound of these unique adventures, contact the Hanuman team.

Khmer New Year

Friday, May 14th, 2010
Children enjoying the water blessings

Children enjoying the water blessings

Welcoming in the Khmer New Year last month at the HanumanAlaya Boutique residence in Siem Reap were the family of the company owner, Mrs Tan Sotho. Family members, friends and staff were there to join in the fun with water blessings from local Buddhist monks as well as personal blessings for health and happiness between family members. Photographs of the event are courtesy of David Mckee of  www.mckeeimages.co.uk.

Tan Sotho blessing her daughter, Kulikar Sotho

Tan Sotho blessing her daughter, Kulikar Sotho

Tan Sotho receiving a water blessing from a Buddhist monk

Tan Sotho receiving a water blessing from a Buddhist monk