Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

Koh Ker awaits

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Abandoned for centuries, the temple complex of Koh Ker with many major structures including the pyramid of Prasat Thom, can now be seen in a day trip from Siem Reap. Hanuman Travel TV takes you there.

 

Koh Ker was the capital of the Angkor Empire from AD 928 to AD 944, but for a long time was one of the most remote and inaccessible temple complexes in Cambodia. Located a little over two hours northeast of Siem Reap by road, the complex has 42 major structures including the 40-metre high seven-tier pyramid of Prasat Thom and some of the largest lingas in the country. Koh Ker is also known for some of the most impressive sculptures of the Angkor period, some of which can be found in Phnom Penh’s National Museum.

Contact the Hanuman Team for more details on visiting Koh Ker, including our popular overnight safari. A trip there can be combined with a visit to Beng Mealea, another favourite temple of many visitors.

Remote Preah Khan of Kompong Svay

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Enjoy a look at one of Cambodia’s most remote temple sites at Preah Khan of Kompong Svay with Hanuman Travel.

 

Traditionally, Preah Khan of Kompong Svay district has been the toughest of the remote Angkorian temples to reach. Even now getting there at the peak of the wet season is almost impossible, and the best time to visit is between January and April when the trails are dry. It’s located some 93km north of Kompong Thom and 64km south of Tbeng Meanchey in Preah Vihear Province.

Most locals call the temple complex Prasat Bakan but it’s common name is Preah Khan of Kompong Svay. Covering almost 5 sq km, it’s actually the largest temple enclosure constructed during the main Angkor period, dating from the 9th to 13th centuries. The central tower at Prasat Preah Stung is adorned with large enigmatic faces and the central area of Preah Khan is overgrown by forest and has been badly damaged with many towers collapsing. Some of this was caused by severe looting at the site. If you are looking for a remote temple complex, then it doesn’t get much more remote than Preah Khan. Contact the Hanuman Team for more details, including our overnight safari at Preah Khan.

Sailing the Mekong

Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Pandaw on the Mekong

Pandaw on the Mekong

The mighty river Mekong flows from the Tibetan Plateau through China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia into Vietnam’s Mekong Delta and the South China Sea. You can experience the fascinating and varied river life along the Mekong between Vietnam and Cambodia on a river cruise aboard the RV Mekong Pandaw. Pandaw River Expeditions operates weekly departures between Saigon and Siem Reap/Angkor. You will pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia.  With a full day in charming Phnom Penh, you will then explore remoter waterways on the way to the great monuments of Angkor.

The RV Mekong Pandaw received a full refit in September 2013. In their spacious state rooms, guests can find finest teak wood, new bathroom, new air conditioning and new sliding French windows leading to the promenade deck. The numbers of cabins have been reduced to just twenty-four making way for a much enlarged spa, new gym, lecture and movie theatre, art gallery, fair-trade-shop and library on the lower deck.

Pandaw is providing pre-programmed iPads with new one-touch-applications to its guests on the RV Mekong Pandaw: itineraries, meal and spa menus, gather information on rivers tops, weather forecast, skype, send e-postcards, watch movies, read e-books and surf the internet. This ship has the largest public space to passenger ratio of any cruise ship in the world. Pandaw is preserving the classic yacht atmosphere but enhances service and facilities. On all Pandaw ships you will experience Asian hospitality and enjoy the highest staff – guest ratio afloat ensuring sensational service.

For July and August sailings the prices are reduced by up to 20%. Fantastic deals, contact the Hanuman Team today for more details.

Sambor Prei Kuk

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Cambodia’s most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments can be found at Sambor Prei Kuk, some 30kms north of the provincial capital of Kompong Thom. Here’s Hanuman Travel’s own video of the complex.

Scattered throughout the shady forest are upwards of 100 mainly brick temples that belonged to a 7th century Chenla capital called Isanapura. There are three main complexes, each with a central tower surrounded by minor shrines, ponds, gates and walls. Some of the brick carvings are elaborate, as are the atmospheric brick towers strangled by tree roots. It’s just two hours from Siem Reap and makes for an ideal stop-over, especially if you are interested in the chronological evolution of Cambodia’s temple architecture.

On Yer Bike

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Hanuman are big fans of Battambang, Cambodia’s laid-back second city, and the work of Soksabike is one good reason to stay an extra day in this quiet haven.

Soksabike in Battambang

Soksabike in Battambang

Soksabike bicycle tours are a social enterprise offering people an insight into the traditional livelihoods of the Cambodian countryside. They place an emphasis on educating guests in the realities of life in rural Cambodia, and ensure that the visit makes a positive impact on the local communities – economically, socially and ecologically. The cycling guides are all knowledgeable Battambang locals. Soksabike have created unique bicycle tours that provide an imaginative insight into the Cambodian countryside and daily life but also supports local the local economy and culture. They have half day and full day tours. The trips call in at a rice paper making village, a wine making village, a village that makes Prahok (fermented fish paste) and a cake making village. The full day trip includes lunch with a Cambodian family in a rural setting. The trails follow quiet, flat, partially shaded country roads and the distances travelled are 25kms and 40kms respectively.

Soksabike work in tandem with Kinyei Café, which is located on Street 1.5, right next to the Battambang’s central market. The cafe is staffed by youth from disadvantaged backgrounds and the premises comprise two floors and comfortable balcony of a French colonial era townhouse. The cafe serves expertly made espresso coffee – they recently won a nationwide barista championship – and a small selection of baked goods. The first floor has been renovated to a gallery space that will feature visual art. A worthy cause I’m sure you’ll agree. Ask the Hanuman sales team for more details.

Vietnam’s Remote Beaches

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Vietnam is is fast emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s new beach destinations.

Vietnam's Remote Beaches

Vietnam’s Remote Beaches

Some of Vietnam’s beaches are already quite heavily developed, but this 8-day itinerary from Hanuman ventures off the trail to connect you with some more remote beach destinations. The journey begins in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) where we visit the War Remnants Museum and the haunting Requiem exhibition of war photography. Later we venture further afield to see the Cao Dai Temple at Tay Ninh, a unique religion that blends the world’s spiritual beliefs together. We also venture underground to explore the Cu Chi Tunnels. We then fly to the remote Con Dao Islands. Once used as a political prison by the French authorities, they are emerging as Vietnam’s best kept secret. Try pristine snorkelling or just relax on the beach. We then continue south to Phu Quoc, destined to become the Phuket of Vietnam one day soon. Relax on the beaches or explore the nearby An Thoi Islands or inland forests. This is a beach holiday with a difference.

For our top recommended hotel on this itinerary, look no further than Six Senses. The spectacular Con Dao archipelago of islands hosts the Six Senses Hideaway Con Dao along a white sand beach surrounded by dramatic mountain landscapes. The remote setting and preserved natural landscape provides an extraordinary sense of seclusion, creating an ideal place to escape and relax close to the natural elements. Six Senses are masters of subtlety and style and their new development in the Con Dao Islands is the perfect blend of eco-friendly island retreat, modernist design and unabashed luxury. A different destination, done differently, look forward to exploring these beautiful islands the Six Senses way. Embrace the slow life.

Contact the Hanuman sales team for more details or visit our website here.

Six Senses Con Dao

Six Senses Con Dao

Scavenger Hunt at Angkor

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Explore Angkor Thom interactively.

Scavenger Hunt at Angkor Thom

Scavenger Hunt at Angkor Thom

We have explored the ancient city of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap and chosen a series of locations for families and groups to enjoy their visit in a much more interactive way, with our brand new Angkor Thom Photographic Scavenger Hunt. You get to explore the immense walled city and find some intriguing little gems along the way. We could’ve easily picked twenty or thirty locations, but we’ve kept it to ten and all of the challenges will require a photograph of a specific statue or carving. We provide a map to give you some help, together with a list of clues to uncover the answers, though our tour guides, who will provide the in-depth explanations behind the main temple highlights, have been told not to make it too easy for you. Especially if you are going to use it as a challenge between family and friends to add some fun and healthy competition to your temple touring at Angkor. Enjoy your visit to Angkor Thom with Hanuman.

The Safari Experience

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Try our adventure in style in remote Cambodia.

Temple Safari is our signature trip and one we recommend to guests ahead of the forthcoming high season, from late October onwards. You will be transported back in time to an era before mass tourism and enjoy the intimacy and privacy of a remote jungle temple all to themselves. Solitary sunsets, spiritual sunrises, the Temple Safari experience brings the magic back to travel. It’s an original Hanuman creation and although it may sometimes be copied, it is never rivalled. Our pick of the one night Temple Safaris is Koh Ker, accessible in less than three hours from Siem Reap. It’s a popular option as it includes a visit to the jungle temple of Beng Mealea en route. Koh Ker was a 10th century rival capital to Angkor and is home to a prolific array of temples from this era. The views from the top of the Mayan-esque step pyramid of Prasat Thom is very impressive, and once again available to visitors after a few years off-limits, but other smaller temples are also striking, including Prasat Bram with its suffocating strangler figs. Our overnight location next to the temple walls, complete with a private candlelit dinner and a night in your comfortable tent, with Prasat Thom as your backdrop, is unrivalled. Boutique camping at its finest, as you can see on our video.

Another safari, the Sacred Mountain Safari, takes guests onto the top of Phnom Kulen, one of the most holy places in Cambodia. Located about 50km from Siem Reap, the jungle plateau is home to a rich array of natural and historic sites offering the most diverse variety of experiences amongst our safari trips. It’s a fantastic way to get off-the-beaten-track. The discovery of the extent of the ancient city of Mahendraparvata, has opened up new sites to visit and if you are prepared for an adventurous motorcycle ride, then even more of these sites become accessible to you. If not, there are still a wide variety of sights to enjoy. You can find out more about Temple Safari or the Sacred Mountain Safari from the Hanuman team, or online at http://www.hanuman.travel/safari/safari.html and we promise, it’s an experience you won’t forget.

Exploring Mahendraparvata, the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Hanuman team was recently up on the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen to explore some new sites discovered as part of an aerial LIDAR survey of the ancient Khmer city of Mahendraparvata.

 

Mahendraparvata hit the headlines in 2013 as a ‘lost city’ was revealed through the use of aerial LIDAR data. This was 21st century archaeology at its very best and several new sites were discovered as well as a much bigger urban settlement than was previously realised. Phnom Kulen has long been known to archaeologists as one of the earliest capitals of the Khmer empire and a holy site where King Jayavarman II is said to have invoked the devaraja ceremony, making him the human incarnation of the Hindu God Shiva on earth. Long removed from the tourist map by civil war, Phnom Kulen was occupied by the Khmer Rouge for nearly three decades, only falling to government forces in 1998. In recent years, travellers have been able to visit and Hanuman operates the unique Sacred Mountain Safari to Phnom Kulen, a luxury camping adventure: http://www.hanuman.travel/pdf/Hanuman-Temple-Safaris-Guide.pdf

In this video, our team explores some new remote sites on the holy mountain, including the brick temples of Damrei Krab and Thmor Dap, the early pyramid temple of Rom Cheng and holy carvings of Poeng Tbal. The temples date from the 9th century and the reign of Jayavarman II, pre-dating the relocation of the capital to Angkor by almost a century. Rong Chen is believed to be the temple where the devaraja ceremony actually took place, although it is in a very dilapidated condition today.

King Jayavarman II later moved the capital to the temples of Roluos, about 15km southeast of Siem Reap and the temple of Preah Ko was dedicated to his posthumous name of Paremesvara.

Contact the Hanuman team for more details on an adventurous motorbike exploration of the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen or enquire about our original Sacred Mountain Safari, the only luxurious way to explore the mountain on an overnight expedition.

 

Above Ground Adventures at Angkor

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Hanuman’s Andy Brouwer reviews the adventures to be found above ground in Siem Reap.

My view of Bakong at Roluos from the flying moto

My view of Bakong at Roluos from the flying moto

Seeing Angkor and the surrounding countryside from what the locals affectionately call a “flying moto” is nothing short of exhilarating. I can vouch for that. But sat in a two-seat microlite is not for everyone. Especially if you have a nervous disposition. It took me most of an hour long flight for my heart to stop racing before I began to really enjoy the experience. And what an experience it was. Aero Cambodia operate two microlites from a landing strip just outside Siem Reap and are licensed to fly over many of the Angkor temples (but not Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom), the Tonle Sap Lake and above the lovely Siem Reap landscape. Eddie Smith is a very experienced pilot and he’s been taking satisfied guests into the air for many years before moving his operation to Siem Reap. If you would like to experience Angkor from the air, contact the Hanuman Sales Team for details. It’s definitely worth considering.

Another fun-packed adventure to be found above ground is the Flight of the Gibbon Angkor ziplines in the Angkor Park. Opened a few months ago, I had the opportunity to experience it for myself and not only was it a lot of fun but I was very impressed by the safety aspects of the whole operation. They take safety very seriously. Now, they have introduced a short, quicker package for guests who don’t have four or five hours to enjoy the whole course. The shorter version will still include four ziplines, sky bridges and an abseil and there’s a special introductory price if you book before the end of October.

Flight of the Gibbon have also teamed up with another of Siem Reap’s best adventures, the Quad Adventure Cambodia people and are offering a joint package of the full course of 10 thrilling ziplines, lunch in Angkor and then a 2+ hour quad adventure around the Siem Reap countryside, in their new Gibbon Quad Adventure. Definitely a great day out if you want a break from the temples for a while during your visit to Siem Reap. Contact our Sales Team for more details.