Archive for March, 2011

Optimistic signs

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Good news from Phnom Penh’s International Airport, which has welcomed the first Air France flight to Cambodia in more than 35 years, suggesting that Cambodia as a long-haul destination in its own right is just on the horizon. Air France has become the first major European airline to operate scheduled flights to the Kingdom since the fall of the Khmer Rouge. And with talks already underway with Aeroflot in Russia, as well as the United Kingdom and Turkey, there are definite optimistic signs ahead. European arrivals in Cambodia were up 22% on last year’s figures for the month of January, that means one in every eight visitors now comes from Russia, the UK or France, a sign of how important the European market has become for the tourism industry here. The convenience of new, direct services to these countries is vital if Cambodia is to tap into the fast-growing, high-spending European market. Admittedly, the Air France schedule goes through Bangkok, but its a start and that’s what counts. Three other airlines, from Asia, are also just starting new connections, including Tiger Airways to Singapore, Skywings Airlines connecting Siem Reap, Seoul and Hanoi, and Myanmar Airways that already began in February. The Asia-Pacific region still accounts for two-thirds of all visitors to Cambodia.

A thing of the past

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

HanumanAlaya

Our boutique residence in Siem Reap, HanumanAlaya, received some welcome news recently with the closure of the next door beer-garden. On occasions music and the clinking of beer glasses wafted over to the 15-roomed hotel and caused minor irritation to our guests. This is now a thing of the past and guests can now look forward to an uninterrupted stay in our idyllic retreat.

Responsible Tourism in action

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Taking responsibility seriously

What is Responsible Tourism? Here at Hanuman, we like to think it is travel that makes better places to visit and better places to live. This means everyone benefits from the experience, including the visitor and the host community. Tourism can have a very positive financial impact on host communities and Hanuman is committed to spreading this income far and wide through its unique journeys, original adventures and authentic experiences. We are working with a selected group of NGOs who are making an impact on the lives of local people. We have chosen a combination of causes to ensure you can assist in any area of development, be it healthcare, education, child welfare, landmine clearance, heritage preservation and the promotion of arts and culture.

Hanuman are now happy to be a member of ConCERT (Connecting Communities, environment and Responsible Tourism), a Cambodian NGO. We are looking forward to working together to spread the benefits of Responsible Tourism to the people of the region and those visiting them.

Please visit our website to see a selection of the Responsible Tourism projects we support in the region. Click here.

HanumanAlaya Promotion

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

We are pleased to bring you a fantastic Green Season Promotion for 2011 at our very own boutique residence in Siem Reap, HanumanAlaya. The promotion is valid from 1 April until 30 June 2011. Throughout the period, if you stay for 3 nights, you only pay for 2, or stay for 4 nights and only pay for 3, or extend to five nights and pay for 4. And if you stay for 2 nights or more, we’ll also include one complimentary dinner or spa treatment, free transfers to and from the airport and a free room upgrade on arrival, subject to availability. Unbeatable value at one of Siem Reap’s favourite boutique hotels, offering a perfect blend of traditional Khmer design with sophisticated international amenities. Do not hesitate to contact us at sales@hanumantourism.com to ensure availability. Find out more about Angkor’s Boutique Residence at http://www.hanumanalaya.com/.

Celebration time

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Hanuman celebrated the recent International Women’s Day with a staff party where every female member of staff was presented with a gift from the company to acknowledge their vital contribution and achievements as part of the Hanuman team. We also took the opportunity to screen the television documentary-drama, Locked Up Abroad, in which many members of the Hanuman team appeared as extras ranging from immigration officers, taxi-drivers and flight check-in attendants. Hanuman Films worked on this National Geographic Channel television programme that was made in Phnom Penh last year and this was their first chance for the team to see themselves on the big screen. It’s safe to say they really enjoyed their brief moment in the limelight.

Cultural return to Phnom Penh

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Members of the folk dance team demonstrating the Praying Mantis

The perfect poise of the Apsara dance team

The open-air riverside stage at the rear of Chaktomuk Theatre in Phnom Penh was alive with some of Cambodia’s best classical and folk dancers as the opening show by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts drew a sizeable crowd last Friday evening. Lasting around ninety minutes, the artists from the Ministry’s Department of Performing Arts offered up a selection of high quality traditional classical dances including the Apsara, Moni Mekhala and Tep Monorom rotated alongside ethnic folk dances amongst which were the Suoy, Praying Mantis and Pailin Peacock. With a commentary in Khmer and English, the audience were introduced to some of the main classical movements from the four main roles, male and female, giant and monkey, which was a welcome touch to begin proceedings. As an opportunity to locals and tourists alike, the first of these regular Friday night shows demonstrated some of the best of the repertoire of dances, in easily-digestible bite-sized chunks, and the organizers deserve great credit for providing a demonstration of Cambodia’s quintessential cultural heritage, which as been missing from the city’s calendar for the past few years. The weekly performances are set to run until May and discount admission tickets can be bought through the Hanuman sales team.

Love is in the air

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Some of the Hanuman guests with Seangdy and Bouy

Love is in the air in Cambodia. It’s the wedding season and Hanuman staff are no exception. Our IT specialist Seangdy, the man responsible for the look and layout of the company website, tied the knot last Friday with the love of his life, Bouy, in the village of Preak Por in Srei Santhor district, about two hours from the capital, Phnom Penh. It was a big event in the village, nearly everyone turned out for the occasion including a busload of his colleagues from the main Hanuman office. Everyone enjoyed the usual array of food on offer, the various ceremonies and costume changes throughout the day including cutting the hair of the happy couple, before the evening party, more eating, drinking and cake-cutting brought to an end the day’s festivities. Our congratulations and best wishes go to Seangdy and Bouy on their future together.

Joffe’s new take on Cambodia

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The film director who brought the plight of the Cambodian population to the big screen when he produced the unforgettable 1984 movie, The Killing Fields, has just been back in Cambodia to firm up plans for a second movie, with a more upbeat feel to it. British director Roland Joffe is seeking to show the spirit and resilience of the Khmer people by focusing on the country’s thriving disabled volleyball league. Having plumbed its tragic depths, with his new film he would put a more cheerful spin to the country’s story by concentrating on what happened after the fighting ended. He calls the project a “living postscript” to “The Killing Fields”, and laments that Cambodia “keeps getting forgotten” by the rest of the world. An uplifting movie about disabled athletes punching their way out of poverty might be just the ticket. Cambodia is one of the world’s leading lights when it comes to disabled volleyball and will host the world championships again later this year at the National Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.