Cambodia is one of the top 10 fastest-growing tourism destinations for British travelers, according to a report released by UK-based travel company Kuoni. The report said visitors view the Kingdom “as a natural next step from Vietnam”, with Cambodia moving up five places from 27th position to 22nd in the top 30 destinations for British tourists. Thailand remains at number two, Vietnam are in 13th place. According to the British embassy, 133,000 British nationals visited Cambodia in 2014, up 10,000 from 2013.
Posts Tagged ‘Angkor Wat’
As high season approaches, the Hanuman team hosted another refresher session for the leading tour guides in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
The Phnom Penh training took place on 3 September 2014 in the Hanuman head office and included a practical session out and about in the city in the afternoon. Guides joined our revised Living History of Phnom Penh tour and explored the new route to discover some new buildings and stories along the way. This original Hanuman itinerary includes some of the most iconic colonial-era buildings in the city, as well as some hidden gems in the back streets of Cambodia’s charming capital.
Trainers Patrick Chase and Nick Ray then travelled up to Siem Reap to work with the leading Angkor tour guides based in Siem Reap. The guide training was hosted in the stunning Sala Kdei overlooking Sra Srang which was looking better than ever with the gardens flourishing in the green season rains. The morning session was lively with lots of shared ideas on temple timings and best secret spots for sunrise and sunset, and was followed by a catered lunch.
In the afternoon we ventured into Angkor Thom for a practical session to teach the guides the philosophy behind the Angkor Thom Photographic Scavenger Hunt. Starting out at the Bayon Temple, we explored the smaller temples of Angkor Thom on foot, including the atmospheric Preah Palilay and the seldom visited Preah Pithu. This is an original, interactive way for families to explore the temples and keep their children interested. Highly recommended.
Sinat and Sreymom stretch their legs around Angkor for charity.
We managed to catch up with one of our fastest Sales Team members at Hanuman, Sinat, the moment she got back from a muscle-stretching weekend in Siem Reap, where she took the opportunity to satisfy one of her ambitions and take part in a charity run around the Angkor temples. It was the day of the first-ever Angkor Empire marathon and whilst Sinat decided against going the full distance, she did sign up for the 10km road run, with all proceeds going toward the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital. Joining her, unofficially as she sent in her application a few days too late, was her colleague Sreymom, and whilst their times for the run won’t break any records, they were proud to be a part of such an enjoyable event, having spent many early evenings at Wat Botum park in the capital city, doing their limbering up exercises. A tip from a friendly French couple, to eat spaghetti the day before the race, seemed to do the trick said Sinat, and both she and Sreymom are now seriously considering putting their name down for the full marathon next time. They enjoyed it that much. They also filled the rest of their weekend with a sunset quad-bike ride in the rural countryside around Siem Reap, ziplined through the forest around the Angkor temples with the Flight of The Gibbon crew, as well as making a series of hotel calls for room and restaurant inspections. Their colleagues in the Sales Team were eager to welcome them back after such an active and fun-filled few days away from the office. Maybe they can persuade more colleagues to join them next time.
Paintings that are invisible to the naked eye have been found on the walls of the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia.
There is much to marvel at when you visit Angkor Wat. But what visitors cannot see are 200 hidden paintings on the temple walls. New, digitally enhanced images reveal detailed murals at the temple showing elephants, deities, boats, orchestral ensembles and people riding horses, though all are invisible to the naked eye. Of course, many of the faded markings could be graffiti left behind by pilgrims after Angkor Wat was abandoned in the 15th century. But the more elaborate paintings may be relics of the earliest attempts to restore the temple, researchers said. A technique called decorrelation stretch analysis, which exaggerates subtle color differences, was used to bring them to life. One chamber in the highest tier of Angkor Wat’s central tower, known as the Bakan, contains an elaborate scene of a traditional Khmer musical ensemble known as the pinpeat, which is made up of different gongs, xylophones, wind instruments and other percussion instruments. In the same chamber, there’s an intricate scene featuring people riding horses between two structures and so on.
Though researchers don’t know exactly when the paintings were created, speculation suggests that the most elaborate artworks may have been commissioned by Cambodia’s King Ang Chan, who made an effort to restore the temple during his reign in the 16th century. During this time, unfinished carvings were completed and Angkor Wat began its transformation into a Buddhist pilgrimage site, and some of the newly revealed paintings have Buddhist iconography. The mystery continues.
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.
Celebrated National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita will be running two photographic workshops in Laos and Cambodia later this year, with Lonely Planet author Nick Ray as Tour Leader.
Michael Yamashita is one of the great National Geographic photographers, spending more than 30 years traversing Asia on dozens of assignments, photographing the people, the lands, and unique cultures. His whole career has been spent portraying the authentic Asia, from Japan to Indonesia, and from Turkey to China.
Whether you are an emerging photographer or a professional, these workshops will give you the opportunity to work closely with Mike and other experts who know how to produce shots with impact, compose photo essays that tell a story; and show you how to raise your own level of image making.
From secrets of remote lighting to street photojournalism and landscape photography techniques, Yamashita Authentic is designed for small groups of 10 to 20 participants, ensuring that you get the maximum amount of guidance from Mike, while experiencing an authentic Asian experience.
Yamashita Authentic in Laos: 30 August – 7 September 2014
Join veteran National Geographic photographer Mike Yamashita on a workshop in Laos, the enigmatic Land of a Million Elephants. This handcrafted itinerary will take photographers to off-the-beaten-track locations and offer a unique insight into the life of a world-renowned professional photographer. Luang Prabang oozes class and old world charm, it’s a living, breathing museum with its gleaming temple roofs and crumbling French architecture and deserves its World Heritage status as one of the most atmospheric cities in the whole region. We delve into some of its 32 stupa-studded pagodas like Wat Xieng Tong and the Royal Palace Museum, we take a boat upriver to river to visit the massive collection of Buddhas in the Pak Ou Caves and enjoy a relaxing day in the turquoise waters of the Kuang Si Falls. Beyond Luang Prabang, we venture into the countryside around Nong Khiaw and Muong Ngoi Neua, an area of poetic landscapes and timeless traditions. Mike has teamed up with Lonely Planet author Nick Ray, location scout and manager for countless film and television shoots in the Mekong region to ensure an original experience in Laos.
Yamashita Authentic in Cambodia: 7 – 14 September 2014
This unique photographic workshop brings veteran National Geographic photographer Michael Yamashita back to the majestic temples of Angkor to share his skills and knowledge. This is no ordinary Angkor experience as Michael takes photographers deep into the Cambodian countryside to discover traditional villages, floating communities on the Tonle Sap Lake and some of the more remote temples around Angkor. The itinerary has been carefully crafted to avoid the crowds that now flock to Angkor, but the iconic monuments are all here, including: Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building; the surreal and strange faces of the Bayon; and the jungle ruin of Ta Prohm. Starting early, we concentrate on temple photography for sunrise and early morning light. During the day photographers will enjoy feedback on their photographs and one-on-one sessions with Michael and tips and techniques around the temples. In the afternoons, we switch to lifestyle and capturing some of Cambodia’s incredible countryside and lifestyle. Michael has teamed up with Lonely Planet author Nick Ray, location scout and manager for countless film and television shoots around the temples to ensure that we have a unique encounter with Angkor.
For more details on these unique trips, visit http://yamashitaauthentic.asia/
Visit Cambodia’s Angkor Temples from your armchair.
You can now visit Angkor from the comfort of your own living room thanks to the innovative Google Street View. Following in the footsteps of the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and Mount Fuji, Angkor has now received the Google treatment using a new device called Trekker. Fifteen digital cameras are attached by a long pole to a backpack, and each one records a 75 million mega pixel photo every two and a half seconds. By walking around the Angkor Wat temple complex, they are able to photograph areas that Google’s Street View cars cannot reach. For this latest project, five local men were tasked with trekking around the temples for up to eight hours a day, to record what many people say is the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a great addition to the wealth of online information about Angkor, though nothing beats actually being there yourself. More at https://www.google.com/maps/views/streetview/angkor?gl=us.
Hanuman’s Hotel of the Week is the stylish and contemporary Tara Angkor Hotel, which is located on the main road to the Temples of Angkor in Siem Reap. With a selection of suites and family rooms, it boasts 206 rooms with two restaurants, the Tong Tara and Frangipani, swimming pool and jacuzzi, and all the modern amenities expected of a top rated 4-star international hotel. They offer cooking classes for guests and complimentary bicycles too.
Hanuman’s View: A contemporary hotel on the road to the temples, the Tara Angkor provides exceptional value for those seeking comfort and modernity, with a smart four-star trim throughout. The swimming pool and water features are a big attraction and the extensive number of rooms make it an ideal choice for groups. A smart choice.
Capturing the Angkor Temples for a jewellery commercial shoot.
Leading Hong Kong jewellery company Chow Tai Fook chose Cambodia for its latest commercial. Hanuman Films coordinated the shoot around the temples of Angkor and Siem Reap, including locations such as Ta Prohm, Bayon, Angkor Wat and the floating villages of the Tonle Sap Lake. The Hanuman team worked in partnership with Radical Media of London and have worked on several previous commercials with them, including Pepsi, TUI Travel and Cisco.
Join Hanuman Travel TV for a three minute look inside the Temples of Angkor, Cambodia’s favourite tourist destination.