Archive for September, 2010

Lebiz is the business

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

A twin bedded room at Lebiz Hotel

A twin bedded room at Lebiz Hotel

The facade of the stylish new business hotel in Phnom Penh, Lebiz.

The facade of the stylish new business hotel in Phnom Penh, Lebiz.

Lebiz Hotel in Phnom Penh has just opened its doors, welcoming business travellers to the city with a modern, contemporary urban chic feel, and design elements by Cambodian-New Zealand graffiti artist Peap Tarr. With 27 bold and stylish rooms, set on four floors with high-tec electronics and sound-proofing to keep out the din from the busy Kampuchea Krom thoroughfare outside, Lebiz also offers the hip Lime Restaurant and a business library with concierge on hand to help. A new and welcome concept for Phnom Penh. www.lebizhotel.com

Opening doors in Phnom Penh

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010
The facade of the French Colonial Post Office in Phnom Penh

The facade of the French Colonial Post Office in Phnom Penh

This coming Saturday and Sunday, called Open Doors Weekend and part of Phnom Penh’s Month of Architecture, will see free access granted to public and private buildings in Cambodia’s capital, allowing visitors to learn more about their history and architectural layouts. Information boards will be displayed in both Khmer and English with the buildings open between 10am and 5pm on both days. Arranged by Heritage Mission and Khmer Architecture Tours, all of the buildings will welcome visitors though advance booking is necessary for the free guided visit of the National Museum, and a rare opportunity to see the Senate building. The idea comes from similar events around the world, and this unique opportunity aims to defend and promote the urban heritage that is to be found in Cambodia.

Amongst the confirmed destinations are the Bophana Center, the Post Office, Chaktomuk Hall, Van’s Restaurant and the Olympic Stadium. Phnom Penh has a diverse array of architectural styles from Chinese shophouses to renovated French Colonial villas to New Khmer Architecture from the 1960s and events like this help to put the city on the map and highlight some of the preservation attempts in place to support urban heritage.

Having fun with clay

Monday, September 13th, 2010
A pottery student at work at the Khmer Ceramics Center

A pottery student at work at the Khmer Ceramics Center

Getting your hands dirty at the Khmer Ceramics Center

Getting your hands dirty at the Khmer Ceramics Center

One of my port of calls in Siem Reap last week was at the Khmer Ceramics Center, on the road that heads towards the Angkor temple complex. If you like getting your hands dirty, covered in clay and having an interesting hour or two producing something of your own, you’ll love this. The KCC encourage you to have a go at designing your own item, or on the potters wheel and under supervision from one of the young pottery students, you can copy a traditional design or just have some fun making something simple from your own imagination. The center will fire your item in one of their bourry box kilns on-site and you can get hold of your work of art within 24 hours. Okay, maybe it won’t be a ceramics masterpiece but at least you’ll have made it with your own fair hands. Make sure you find the time to have a go on the potters wheel yourself next time you are in Siem Reap. Contact the Hanuman team for details.

Fam trip for the team

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010
The Hanuman team take a breather during their epic cycle ride

The Hanuman team take a breather during their epic cycle ride

Rainbow Lodge welcomes the Hanuman team

Rainbow Lodge welcomes the Hanuman team

Most of the Hanuman sales and operations team from our Phnom Penh office spent their weekend taking in the sights and sounds of Koh Kong province whilst dodging the rain and getting down and dirty with a 30 kilometre cycle ride in the lee of the Cardamom Mountains. With the improved road links to this southwest region of Cambodia, it was a first-time visit for most of the team to Koh Kong town and though we arrived in the late afternoon gloom, we headed straight to have a look-see at the pleasant Oasis Resort a couple of kilometres from the riverfront. Next morning, despite a torrential downpour, we headed to Tatai River to take in the Tatai waterfall, the eco-Rainbow Lodge and lunch at the luxury floating villas at 4 Rivers. We continued by boat once we’d reached Andong Teuk, getting to the Chi Phat community in the dark, our accommodation for the night being some of the small guesthouses that have sprung up as part of the community project that has taken off at this outpost in the shadow of the Cardamom Mountain range.

Food was supplied by the community team at the visitor’s center, and excellent fare it was too, before we set off early the next morning for our 30-kilometre round-trip along waterlogged tracks, through deep streams, across rickety wooden bridges and through forested areas until we cooled off in the waters of O’Malu waterfall. Most of the team fell off at least once, some of them screamed loudly when they found leeches attached to their legs but everyone completed the 5+ hours of cycling and were well satisfied with their achievements. For most of them, this was their first truly adventurous trip and they loved it. Despite the almost continuous rain. A final lunch was provided by the Chi Phat community and our return to Phnom Penh began, via water and road, but with a new insight into the sights and sounds of Koh Kong province.