Archive for August, 2010

2011 Public Holidays & Festivals in Cambodia

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

If you want to plan your trip to Cambodia around some of the holidays and festivals that take place in the kingdom, then here is a list of the 2011 dates that may help you with your pre-trip planning. Most of the main tourist spots remain open and available during these dates, with the Angkor temple complex open all year round, as are the Phnom Penh sites at the National Museum, S-21 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek killing fields. However, the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh is closed occasionally during some of the holiday dates.

January: 1st International New Years Day; 7th Victory over Genocide Day.

February: 18th Meak Bochea Buddhist Day

March: 8th International Women’s Day

April: 14th, 15th, 16th Khmer New Year; 28th Visak Bochea Buddhist Day

May: 1st International Labor day; 13th, 14th, 15th King Sihamoni’s Birthday; 21st Royal Ploughing Festival

June: 18th Queen Mother’s Birthday

September: 24th Constitutional Day; 26th, 27th, 28th Pchum Ben Buddhist Festival

October: 29th King’s Coronation Anniversary; 31st King Father’s Birthday

November: 9th Independence Day; 9th, 10th, 11th Water Festival

December: 10th International Human Rights Day

In the Penh

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

One of the most popular hotels on the riverfront in Phnom Penh, the Amanjaya Pancam, have just started work on a 4th floor terrace, which they believe will be the largest rooftop terrace in the city, with wonderful views across the Tonle Sap River and nearby Wat Ounalom. The terrace is slated for completion by the end of October, just in time for the high season.

News that Phnom Penh will benefit from a new 72-room hotel, called The Plantation, will be welcomed by travellers to the city. The owners of the boutique Pavilion, who also have Kabiki and Blue Lime under their portfolio, have begun the construction phase for the new project, which is scheduled to be completed in November 2011. The colonial style development will be centrally located and facilities will include a 25-metre pool surrounded by cabanas, a spa, a fitness club and two bars.

1 December 2010 will be D-day for the brand new Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Hotel in Phnom Penh, close to the new international conference facilities on Koh Pich Island. The 210-room hotel will add a touch of class to the accommodation options in Cambodia’s capital city and includes 5 restaurants and 4 bars amongst its dizzying array of facilities on offer.

All the fun of the circus

Friday, August 13th, 2010
Circus time at Phare Ponleu Selpak

Circus time at Phare Ponleu Selpak

The innovative circus performances from theĀ Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) NGO team are now taking place every Thursday in Battambang and are a must if you are spending time in the northwest provincial capital of Cambodia.

Their weekly circus show is open to the public and they display a variety of disciplines including acrobatics, choreography, juggling, clowning, live music and much more. Tickets for the evening public shows cost $8 and an after-show dinner can be arranged if booked in advance. Prior to the show, guests are encouraged to visit the visual arts exhibition at their headquarters on the outskirts of the city.

For the rest of the rest of this month, the PPS team have put together new creations for their scheduled performances on 19th and 26th August. Contact the Hanuman team for more details on this NGO and to discover the delights in and around Battambang.

Royal Citadel listed

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The Doan Mon gate in Hanoi

The Doan Mon gate in Hanoi

Vietnam’s historic capital of Hoang Thanh Thang Long in Hanoi has this week been recognized as a World Heritage site and becomes the sixth Vietnamese entry onto the list of nearly 900 environmentally or culturally unique sites. Earlier entrants onto the list were the old imperial capital of Hue, Halong Bay, Hoi An town, the My Son sanctuary and the Phong Nha-Ke Bang national park (which boasts the world’s largest cave, Son Doong).

The Thang Long citadel in Hanoi was first built by the Ly dynasty in 1010. It remained the royal capital of Vietnam until 1810, when it was replaced by Hue. The ruins were discovered when workers were building the National Assembly in 2002. Archaeological excavations at the 40,000-sq metre site revealed four distinct periods of activity from the 7th century to the 19th century. The royal palaces and other structures were largely destroyed by the colonial French in the late 19th century but some structures remain such as Doan Mon gate, the Flag Tower and the steps of Kinh Thien Palace.