Posts Tagged ‘indochina’

Virtual Tour of La Residence d’Angkor, Siem Reap

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Embark on a virtual tour of La Residence d’Angkor, one of the leading hotels in Siem Reap, in this exclusive Hanuman Films video.

From the Hotel

Set in a verdant jungle and surrounded by lush riverside gardens, the hotel celebrates the splendour of Khmer architecture. Built out of wood and furnished in the local style, modern comforts and luxurious touches give La Résidence d’Angkor a welcoming atmosphere.

From Hanuman

The delightful lobby is the epitome of understated elegance, with beautiful Angkorian sculptures adorning the walls. Rooms are open plan and inviting, including Jacuzzi-style terrazzo plunge tubs. The new wing is ultra-contemporary and includes the stunning Kong Kea Spa. The pool is long enough to invite a languorous dip. Dining outlets include the best in French cuisine and mod Khmer tasting menus. Orient-Express through and through.

http://www.hanuman.travel/Hotels/Cambodia/Siem_Reap

Uncover the Majesty of Luang Prabang

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Continuing the Laos theme of recent days, discover Luang Prabang with our 4-day Explorer tour.

Giving alms in Luang Prabang

Giving alms in Luang Prabang

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. In our 4-day Luang Prabang Explorer tour, 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. To complete our immersion into this lovely city, we also enjoy a cooking class of authentic Lao food at the classy Tamarind restaurant by making a classic dish such as mok pa (steamed fish in banana leaves). Recommended hotels in Luang Prabang include La Residence Phou Vao, Auberge les 3 Nagas, Apsara and Le Sen Boutique Hotel. Eat at Tamarind but also try the fare at Le Banneton, Coconut Garden, Rosella Fusion, Le Patio and Dyen Sabai. You are spoilt for choice.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Indochina’s Heritage

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Immerse yourself in the trio of beautiful and varied World Heritage locations in Luang Prabang, Halong Bay and Angkor with our 15-day journey of discovery.

Monks at Angkor Wat

Monks at Angkor Wat

Indochina is home to several stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites and this signature trip takes in the most impressive of these in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Starting in lovely and languid Luang Prabang, we enjoy the combination of rich culture and lush nature in this charming town. Flying to elegant Hanoi, we pay our respects to Uncle Ho and explore the exotic Old Quarter. Halong Bay is the only natural World Heritage Site on this list, but it is undoubtedly one of the most memorable with a forest of karst peaks soaring skywards from the sea. Flying south, we stop in Hoi An to explore the compelling historic house, tailor shops, galleries and cafes of this atmospheric place. We leave some time to enjoy the beach before flying on to Siem Reap, our base to visit the simply sublime temples of Angkor. Our visit includes all the world famous temples such as Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building, as well as some of the floating communities of the Tonle Sap.

Contact our Sales Team at Hanuman for more information or visit our website at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Indochina/World_Heritage_Indochina.html.

Invoking the Golden Age of Travel

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Colonial tented luxury at the edge of historic Bagan.

The pool at Bagan Lodge

The pool at Bagan Lodge

The archaeological wonders of Bagan in Myanmar will have a new neighbour on its doorstep in the form of 85 stylized tented rooms and suites at the brand new 4-star Bagan Lodge, which opens its doors today. Invoking the Golden Age of Travel, the interiors at the Lodge are of traditional Burmese design, with colonial-era trappings and contemporary decor. Accommodation ranges from 50sq metre deluxe rooms to the 196sq metre Queen Victoria Suite with four bedrooms and private garden. An open-air restaurant, Tiffin Box, a 20 x 9-metre swimming pool and a beauty spa complete the facilities.

More than 2,000 historic temples and ruins rise from the landscape east of the resort, many dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries at the height of the Kingdom of Bagan, a breathtaking archaeological heritage in Myanmar, and the largest concentration of Buddhist monuments anywhere in the world.

Green Season Travel in Indochina

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Rain clouds over Angkor Wat... and not a tourist in sight.

Rain clouds over Angkor Wat… and not a tourist in sight.

The majority of visitors to Indochina prefer to travel during the high season which runs from November through March. Here are some insightful reasons to buck the trend and travel during low season which we prefer to call the ‘green’ season.

Angkor is certainly more crowded than it used to be. That is why Hanuman has carved a niche for itself as the company that approaches the temples differently, striving to avoid the crowds and to make the experience more personal, more intimate, more spiritual. Visitor numbers have risen tenfold in a decade from around 250,000 to around 2.5 million. However, the vast majority of these visitors are travelling during high season and the five months from November to March. Why not consider promoting Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam during green season? Here are a few highlights about the green season that could make the difference.

Saving Money

In these difficult economic times, price matters. Until recently, there was little difference between high season and low season prices, so there was no real economic incentive to promote the region during green season. This has all changed with the advent of the global crisis and green season rates are now substantially lower than high season, particularly for some mid-range to high-end hotels and long-haul flights. A number of hotels in places such as Siem Reap, Luang Prabang and Hoi An are offering great discounted rates off their high season prices. This particularly applies to Myanmar, where high season rates at hotels are spiraling out of control along with tourist numbers, and the green season offers an attractive alternative.

Avoiding crowds
Peak season is a busy time and it means the leading destinations (and by default the leading hotels) are very busy. Travel off-season and the numbers plummet. This means the sights are less crowded and the hotels less busy, adding up to a more relaxed and serene experience. In the recent past, our team has been in both Luang Prabang and Siem Reap and it is very tranquil compared to the high season. It almost feels like a flashback to bygone days when Cambodia and Laos were truly off-the-beaten-path and only for the most adventurous travellers. This can be particularly important for the more wealthy and discerning traveller who really wants a different experience. It is that much harder to create with ten times the number of tourists in town. The best rooms are available, the best places calm and peaceful and the best restaurants not overcrowded. Coupled with price, this is quite an incentive.

The Weather
This is the big fear when it comes to green season travel. What will the weather be like? Well the honest answer is that we don’t know anymore. Global warming, unexpected typhoons and many elements have combined to ensure the weather is not as predictable as it once was. The monsoon no longer arrives and departs to schedule.  Even when it rains, the showers are usually short and sharp, falling at the end of the day, some time between 5pm and 8pm. Yes, there may be some instant floods here and there, but this can be quite a spectacle in itself. So the weather should no longer be an obstacle for a low season visit, as it is too unpredictable these days. If we are choosing our favourite green season months, then June to August are probably the best. May is very hot in many areas and still arid, while September is traditionally the wettest, although in recent years Siem Reap has experienced major flooding in October. There’s never been a perfect season to travel to Vietnam, as there are microclimates up and down the country, so make that the perfect excuse to travel to Indochina when you want and not when everyone else does.

Spectacular Clouds
Well it’s linked to the weather, but the incredible clouds that appear during the wet season are something to behold. Like post-nuclear mushroom clouds, they tower in the sky and make for some spectacular sunsets. These are clouds the like of which you may never have seen. Similarly the storms are a force of nature and witnessing one roll in across the Mekong River from Luang Prabang to Can Tho is something visitors will never forget.

The Landscape
Travel in many parts of Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar from December to April and it will be dry and arid in the countryside as the rice has already been harvested. Travel in the green season and the landscape is a rich tapestry of emerald greens glistening in the sun. Not only are the paddy fields more alive, but the lakes, rivers and streams are flowing with water, making for faster and safer boat trips across the region. The moats and ponds at the temples of Angkor fill up, making for spectacular reflections for photographs. The moss and lichen that clings to many temples comes alive, adding a dramatic carpet of green or orange to many of the ancient stones.

So whether you are looking for better value, a more intimate experience without the crowds or a more spectacular landscape, the low season can deliver. Add these together and it might just be a better time to travel to the countries of the Mekong region.

HanumanAlaya is playing its part in promoting the green season with a Stay Longer, Save More promotion through til 30 September 2013. For more details, visit http://www.hanumanalaya.com/.

On the Streets of Yangon

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Join with Hanuman Travel TV for a look around Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city with its British colonial buildings, markets and of course, its beautiful temples.

The endearing colonial charm of Yangon, known as Rangoon during the British administration of the former capital city, along with the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Paya, its vibrant street markets and friendly local inhabitants make it well worth a few days of anyone’s time, if Myanmar is your next destination. With a population of over 4 million people, it certainly doesn’t feel like it, as the city closes down around 9pm at night and you’ll also notice the lack of motorcycles on the city streets. Visit the Shwedagon Paya at sunset, and take a stroll around Kandawgyi Lake and make sure to pop into the colonial-era relic that is the Strand Hotel.

Wildlife in Cambodia – up close and personal

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

Hanuman’s brand new Wildlife Experience in Cambodia, unlike any other in the Indochina region.

Bathing with an elephant

Bathing with an elephant

Phnom Tamao Unique Wildlife Experience

This unique experience provides an incredible insight into the work of the Wildlife Alliance team who protect Cambodia’s wildlife from the threats of poaching, trafficking and cruelty. This full-day adventure offers a close encounter with some of Cambodia’s rarest wildlife and all proceeds from the trip go towards assisting Wildlife Alliance and their Forestry Department colleagues in their work protecting Cambodia’s natural treasures, their fight against the illegal wildlife trade and care for the animals they rescue. This is unlike any other wildlife experience on offer in the region, as it takes the visitor up close to these wonderful animals in the company of conservation experts.

Departing from Phnom Penh, the journey to Phnom Tamao includes a stop at a local market to buy some fruit to feed the elephants and other animals on arrival. Once at the Rescue Centre, visitors will join the elephants for a walk in the forest and feed them some fruit snacks. They will then visit the elephant enclosure to learn more about the reward-based training given to the elephants to improve the manner in which they are cared for. Guests will also meet a rescued elephant who lost his foot to a snare. He now has a prosthetic limb. It is also possible to have your very own elephant painting t-shirt, ‘trunk-painted’ while you wear it.

Guests then continue to the tiger enclosures to meet the big cats personally and watch them playing with enrichment items. Other wildlife in this area includes the incredible binturong or bearcat, one of the lesser known animals in Cambodia. Later there is the chance to visit the rehabilitation section of the rescue centre which is not open to the general public. Here there is the opportunity to help feed one of the young residents of the centre such as a baby jackal or leopard cat or play with the many mischievous baby macaques. A picnic lunch is then enjoyed in a private area close to the compound of the hairy-nosed otter, an animal so difficult to care for he is probably the only one currently in captivity anywhere in the world.

In the afternoon, there is the chance to explore the vast water bird aviary, home to some of Cambodia’s rare avian life and to walk around the nearby Lakeside area where sambar deer roam. There are also large water birds resident here, including the lesser adjutant stork, listed by IUCN as Vulnerable. These birds are breeding freely in the forest surrounding the Rescue Centre.

This really is a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors that have a passion for wildlife and its conservation. It might get dirty for those that don’t mind mucking in, particularly with the elephants or baby macaques, but for those that want to learn more about wildlife and the hard work that goes into its protection, there is no better experience in the region. And all proceeds go towards the conservation and protection of Cambodia’s threatened wildlife. By supporting this unique experience, you are contributing to sustainable conservation in Cambodia. Contact Hanuman for more details including pricing of this brand new joint venture with Wildlife Alliance, who kindly supplied the photographs.

Trunk painting t-shirts

Trunk painting t-shirts

Feeding Sambar deer

Feeding Sambar deer

Bagan, in all its glory

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Hanuman Travel TV takes a look at the amazing temples and lifestyle of Bagan, the jewel in Myanmar’s crown.

Myanmar’s top tourism draw card is undoubtedly the 4,000 Buddhist temples of Bagan. A building frenzy in the 11-13th centuries produced a stunning array of iconic brick stupas that dot the plains as far as the eye can see. Today, the temples are as venerated as they were when they were built and though a few popular structures are crowded with visitors, many remain remote and quiet and just waiting to be explored. Temple viewing around dawn and dusk is a must as Bagan is hot, especially in the sizzling months of March to May, and cooler in the peak travel season of November to February.

River life in Myanmar

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

River views in Myanmar with Hanuman Travel TV.

 

This is the first in a series of videos from the Hanuman Travel TV crew who’ve just returned from Myanmar. We’re aboard the former colonial paddle steamer RV Paukan as it winds its way along the Chindwin and Irrawaddy Rivers from Mandalay to Bagan, enjoying gorgeous sunsets, beautiful river views, the locals going about their daily lives (both humans and monkeys), as well as a visit to the buddha caves of Hpo Win Daung near Monywa and the 424-foot tall standing buddha at Bodhi Tataung, believed to be the world’s tallest. As the day comes to a close, we enjoy a pause at the pot-making village of Yandabo.