Archive for November, 2010

Roll up! Roll up!

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Battambang's Phare Ponleu Selpak

Roll up! Roll up! The circus is coming to town. The 7th international circus festival, Tini Tinou, will be in Phnom Penh in early December – 4th, 5th and 6th – before it moves onto its spiritual home in Battambang from 9th-12th. In the capital, there’s a parade on the opening day before the fun moves to the garden of Chaktomuk Theatre from 6pm on the 5th and then the French Cultural center on the 6th. For the ‘international community’ there’s a charge of $10 and $8 respectively. There are a stack of different acts from Cambodia and around the globe, including juggling, clowns, acrobatics, fire juggling and so on. The excellent artists from Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang will be there and they are definitely worth seeing. Should be great fun for all, especially the kids and grown-ups who’ve never really grown up.

In addition, there is great news for circus lovers visiting Battambang. From 1 January 2011, Phare Ponleu Selpak, the wonderful arts school from Cambodia’s 2nd city, will be supplementing their regular Thursday night shows with a performance each Monday night as well. Ask anyone who has seen these artists perform and they will recommend them in an instant. They are fabulously talented, whether it’s juggling, balancing, acrobatics, clowning around, you name it, they do it. Ask Hanuman for details of their performances.

Tragedy hits Phnom Penh

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The condolences of everyone at Hanuman goes out to those affected by last night’s tragic events at the end of this year’s Water Festival, here in Phnom Penh. As millions of people took to the streets for the annual celebrations, a panicked crush on a bridge leading to Koh Pich Island, near NagaWorld Hotel- Casino, led to over 340 deaths and many more injured. This occurred at around 10pm last night and has left many people in the capital in a state of shock as they woke up to the tragic news this morning. All of Hanuman’s guests in the city are safe. Our thoughts are with those affected by last night’s events.

Hanuman at WTM

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Hanuman are at the World Travel Market in London today and for the next 3 days – the premier global event for the travel industry.

Executive Director Kulikar Sotho, Company Advisor Nick Ray and Adventure Manager Jake Corke can be found on Stand AS895C at the ExCeL Centre in the heart of London’s Royal Docks, within easy reach of central London, if you are visiting WTM. I know they will be pleased to meet you. Doors open at 10am and close at 6pm.

Kulikar, Nick and Jake will be happy to show you our just-launched website as well as our brand new Hanuman Travel Collection brochure, which is hot off the press.

Visit our new website at www.hanuman.travel

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Hanuman is pleased to announce the launch of its completely new website at www.hanuman.travel. Please take your time to visit and check out some of the new features.

We have a whole selection of new Journeys for Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam which include themed trips such as Cycling Cambodia, Trekking Northern Laos, Culinary Vietnam and Good Cause visits throughout the region.

Our featured hotels include some of the most celebrated properties in the region from grand colonial palaces to boutique resorts and ecofriendly mountain lodges.

Our Authentic Experiences include one-off moments that can elevate a trip from the ordinary to the extraordinary. We also have a collection of travel themes to help you browse if you don’t really know where you want to go. These include Unique Journeys, Original Adventures, Temple Safaris, Romantic Escapes, Inspirational Family Holidays and Responsible Tourism.

To learn more about why it makes sense to work with us, check out our Why Hanuman page on the website. Or if you are still unsure, then visit our In the Press page to find out what the international media think about us and why The Sunday Times named us ‘One of the World’s Top Travel Fixers’. Or if the words of journalists don’t sway you, then take a look at our testimonials, a eulogy to the art of service and hospitality.

Finally, if you want to learn more about us, then check out our Company Story, a little different from the usual road to success. There are links to follow our blog, regularly updated on all things Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. In addition, there are links to other areas of our business such as HanumanAlaya, Angkor’s Boutique Residence, Hanuman Films, the leading production servicing company in Cambodia, and Hanuman Traditional Arts, the finest collection of collectables in the country.

We encourage you to drop into www.hanuman.travel and take a look for yourselves. Discover travel with a personal touch in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Discover why it really does make a difference to travel with Hanuman.

Inspirational Holidays, Unique Journeys and Original Adventures.

Local knowledge, international experience, est 1990.

Samantha Brown goes on Safari

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Travel Channel host Samantha Brown Experiences a Beach Safari

Renowned Travel Channel host Samantha Brown travels to Cambodia for her Passport to Asia show. Journeying to Phnom Penh and the fabled Temples of Angkor, her incredible trip ends with a unique Beach Safari in Ream National Park. See the experience for yourself. Beach Safaris can be arranged on mainland beaches around Sihanoukville and Kep or on remote islands off the coast.

This is what Samantha Brown had to say about her Cambodian experience on her personal blog:

Cambodians: The Irish of Southeast Asia

Just like parents who “equally” love all their children, as a traveler I don’t like to admit that I have a favorite, but I do. Out of the eight countries visited in the Asia series, Cambodia was my favorite. I knew from the beginning that this was a different place.

Landing anywhere in Asia makes a recess of an elementary school look like naptime. It’s just that chaotic. When you leave the airport you might as well be walking onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange right before the closing bell. As I leave the shelter of the airport I always brace myself for the onslaught of people asking if we need a ride or a guide. My attention is more focused on navigating an errant luggage cart topped with four heavy pieces of baggage plus a tripod or lens case while following the other 5 members of my crew with equally temperamental carts as we try to locate the person who is officially our guide and ride. Whew. But as we left the airport terminal in Cambodia in Phnom Penh the glass door slid apart to reveal a scene of utter calm — just as many people who are always congregated outside an airport but they all stood there with soft eyes and slight smiles. That’s when I knew I was going to love it here.

I had some advice to brace myself for Cambodia, a country just coming out a vicious and cruel civil war still showed a lot of scars physically and mentally. I was told that adults and children missing limbs having been victims of land mines would be begging in the streets. I thought I was walking into a country depressed and floundering and that the only reason to go would be to see the great city of Angkor with its now famous temple Angkor Wat.  I was wrong.  I never saw those with missing limbs although I don’t doubt they’re there and as for homelessness and those very down on their luck? Sure, but that’s a problem we all have. In fact, as I write this I am back home in Portsmouth, NH where for the first time in 30 years I saw a man with a cardboard sign at an intersection. Travel teaches you that there’s always a difficult side to any destination and that you never look down on another person (or country) but show compassion. There’s no reason to pity Cambodia, the people have an amazing sense of themselves and that they are finally going places.

I found the Cambodians to be the easiest people to talk to. I call them the Irish of Southeast Asia. On the whole they speak a lot of English, which I wasn’t expecting and an overwhelming curiosity about Westerners since it’s only been recently that we’ve been allowed to come. That’s not to say the ancient city of Angkor isn’t a showstopper.  I’ve seen it from pages of my National Geographic but really just had no idea what an amazing place it is. Experts say it’s on par with the Pyramids of Egypt (I wouldn’t know, unfortunately I’ve never been  — hint, hint Travel Channel) but I would say its worthy of the bucket list.

Paris to Phnom Penh – direct

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Great news for European travellers coming to the Kingdom of Cambodia. From 27 March 2011, Air France will operate a new Paris-to-Phnom Penh route, with three weekly flights from Paris-Charles De Gaulle International Airport to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh via Bangkok in Thailand.

For the first time in the Kingdom’s civil aviation history, passengers will reach Phnom Penh from Paris without changing aircraft. Airplanes will take off on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening every week from Paris-CDG at 19h30 and will land at Bangkok international airport the following day at 11h50, before setting off again to Phnom Penh after a one hour and half stopover. Passengers will arrive at Phnom Penh International Airport at 14h35.

All flights will be on an Airbus A340-300, fitted with 275 seats, and bookings are now being taken. This is excellent news and we hope the first of many joint ventures that will open up the skies into Cambodia. If we hear of any movement on flights in and out of the new Sihanoukville Airport, we’ll let you know.

Our new Hanuman Brochure

Friday, November 5th, 2010
The new Hanuman Brochure

The new Hanuman Brochure

The Hanuman Travel Collection 2011 is now available for browsing, including Inspirational Holidays, Authentic Journeys, Original Adventures and Unique Experiences. The collection features our recommended hotels and cruises around the region, as well as themed trips to help your journey planning.

Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Travel with a Personal Touch

Here at Hanuman, we want to put the personality back into travel. We want to share our expertise, that elusive combination of knowledge and experience, to help create the perfect journey to Indochina. Our travel collection is inspired by imagination, driven by our daydreams. We love Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and want to share our passion with you. A successful trip is down to service and we understand the importance of getting this right every step of the way, from hotels of distinction to guides with passion and personality. This is our commitment to travel with a personal touch.

We have crafted a selection of authentic journeys, one of a kind trips that take in the best the region has to offer. We have designed a variety of original adventures, our inventive, innovative tours that including hiking, biking and a little bit of adrenaline. And we have created some unique experiences, genuine encounters with real people from the Mekong region and memorable moments that elevate the ordinary into the realms of the extraordinary.

Hanuman is proud to have been selected by The Sunday Times of London as one of the World’s Top Travel Fixers.

To view the brochure online, please visit http://www.hanuman.travel/pdf/HNM-brochure-web.pdf

As you might notice from the website address above, we are launching a brand new website today, Friday 5 November. We are planning some fireworks in London to celebrate!