Posts Tagged ‘Battambang’

BBC Travel Show Rides the ‘Bamboo Train’

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Presenter Henry Golding and the Travel Show team were recently in Cambodia for the BBC and explored the country with Hanuman Travel.

As well as riding the new passenger trains which operate from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville via Kampot, the team also went on the rails in Battambang to try the ‘Bamboo Train. Check out this video to learn more about this unique form of transport in Northwest Cambodia.

 

Charming Battambang

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Battambang, the real Cambodia, far from the jet-set destinations of Phnom Penh and SiemReap.

 

Unfurling along the banks of the Sangker River, Battambang is one of the country’s best-preserved colonial-era towns. Shophouses host everything from fair-trade cafes to bike excursions. Beyond the town lie the Cambodian countryside and a cluster of ancient temples – while they’re not exactly Angkor Wat, they do lack the crowds. And don’t forget the fun and thrill of a ride on the bamboo train. Battambang in a word? Charming. See for yourself with our Hanuman Travel TV video tour of Cambodia’s laid-back second city.

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.

Charming Battambang

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Welcome to Battambang – the real Cambodia.

Battambang has a unique charm. It seamlessly blends together the outlook of a modern city and small-town friendliness, set against the backdrop of some of Cambodia’s best-preserved colonial architecture. Timeless hilltop temples and bucolic villages can be seen on leisurely day trips by bicycle or motorbike. A walk around the quiet city center will introduce you to its fine early 20th century architecture, the provincial museum offers a glimpse into what the Angkorian period meant for the region, whilst visits to the 11th century temple sites at Phnom Banan and Wat Ek Phnom brings that history to life. More recent, but troubled history is on show at Phnom Sampeau, infamous for its killing caves, while Wat Kor village is home to 21 Khmer heritage houses, that take you back to an era a hundred years ago. And who can ignore the Bamboo Train, an exciting adventure that is earmarked to disappear once the real trains begin rolling again. Our recommended accommodation for travellers to Battambang in the country’s northwest, is at Bambu Hotel. Excellent room facilities topped off by an inviting swimming pool and restaurant, make this a perfect place to reside as you take in the sights that this welcoming provincial city has to offer.

The colonial style National Bank of Battambang

The colonial style National Bank of Battambang

Hanuman to keep the Bamboo Train on Track?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Bamboo Train has been a quirky highlight of a trip to Battambang for many years, but is in danger of going off the rails once again thanks to the renovation of the Phnom Penh line.

Charley Boorman testdriving the road version of the Bamboo Train

Charley Boorman testdriving the road version of the Bamboo Train

Almost a national treasure, Hanuman has plans to keep the Bamboo Train alive by taking it on the road. As you see from the image above, we have already test-driven it with some celebrity guests, including motorbiking adventurer Charley Boorman on By Any Means.

In another exciting development, we plan to turn the Bamboo Train into a signature luxury product with the integration of a royal elephant chair as seen below.

Antique Howdah for the Bamboo Train

Antique Howdah for the Bamboo Train

The Bamboo Train, the new word in upcountry luxury from Hanuman.

Cambodia Flood Update

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

All roads in Battambang city center have been under water in recent days

All roads in Battambang city center have been under water in recent days

The flooding in Cambodia has now spread to 17 provinces and has claimed the lives of at least 83 people. Continued bad weather is expected for another week. The government have reacted by cancelling the Water Festival celebrations from 16-18 November, for the third year running.

Battambang, Cambodia’s 2nd city, is experiencing its first flooding for many years and one of the most popular hotels, Bambu Hotel is currently out of action due to flooding problems. Water levels in the city center are covering all roads and outlying districts making access to sites like Ek Phnom, Phnom Banan and Phnom Sampoeu, as well as the bamboo train, not possible at this time. The road that links Phnom Penh to Battambang is also experiencing flooding for the second half of the route from Pursat to Battambang. The journey is not recommended until the water levels recede.

Kompong Thom, along the main highway from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, is having flooding problems in outlying districts, with the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple complex currently inaccessible to visitors. The Sambor Village Hotel is also closed due to flooding.

Siem Reap, gateway to the Angkor temples, is having some flooding problems, particularly the road to the airport from the city and the road to the Chong Kneas floating village. At the moment these roads are still passable. There has been some minor flooding near the Angkor Wat temple as well, though nothing that should halt any visits.

An update on the Phnom Penh to Siem Reap journey: National Highway 6A between Phnom Penh and Skun (Spiderville) is undergoing major reconstruction and most drivers are currently travelling via NH5 and the Prek Kdam Bridge to avoid the first 47km of this route. From Skun to Kompong Thom is very potholed and progress can be slow. From Kompong Thom to Siem Reap, the road is generally still in excellent condition but parts of the road is experiencing minor flooding. It now takes around up to five hours from Phnom Penh to Kompong Thom and around two hours from Kompong Thom to Siem Reap. So the total journey time from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is around seven hours depending on the traffic situation. While current road conditions prevail, it may be advisable for travellers to consider flying from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap to save time and avoid discomfort. However, heavy rainfall in the capital Phnom Penh, has left the roads leading to the city’s main airport under water and considerably longer travelling times.

Roll Up, Roll Up

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Roll Up, Roll Up, the Big Top has arrived.

Inside the Big Top at Phare

Inside the Big Top at Phare

The Big Top circus tent at Phare – The Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap has arrived and is in place. Performances from 1 June will be under cover, which will mean no more shows will be cancelled because of the rain and the atmosphere and excitement will be much more tangible for visitors. The Big Top will cater for 400 people and will include VIP seating areas. This is a must-see for visitors to Siem Reap. The shows are modern circus theatre displaying high level juggling, trapeze, contortion and acrobatics, with a story that unfurls itself throughout the performance. Under the original Big Top in Battambang, Phare Ponleu Selpak are continuing their twice-weekly shows, on Monday & Thursday, for visitors to Cambodia’s second city.

Life on a tightrope

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
The Phare Cambodian Circus is coming to Siem Reap

The Phare Cambodian Circus is coming to Siem Reap

New shows in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh for visitors and locals alike to enjoy.

Great news for all visitors to Siem Reap, the gateway to the Angkor temples in Cambodia. The Circus is coming to town. The exciting performers from the Phare Ponleu Selpak organization in Battambang are bringing their expertise to Siem Reap and will be putting on a daily, hour-long circus show from 8 February onwards. They will be known as Phare, the Cambodian Circus and will be located on Komay Road, behind the Angkor National Museum, and in front of Angkor Century Resort. The revival of the arts has moved on apace in Battambang and the success of PPS has brought about this extension into Siem Reap, on a permanent basis. PPS also put on a monthly one-off show at the Beeline Arena in Phnom Penh.

The dynamic and original show that will kick-off the new Siem Reap circus is Putho! – a mix of acrobatic, juggling, balancing, tight rope walking and contortion accompanied by traditional music. The show starts at 7pm each evening and the venue can accommodate 300 people, initially outdoors but with funding, they expect to build a Big Top soon enough. This is exciting news and a real alternative for guests to enjoy whilst in Temple Town.

Meanwhile, in Phnom Penh, the Apsara Arts Association are also starting up a regular, two-nights per week performance schedule at their Tuol Kork headquarters on St 598. The new dance and music show, Yak Sva (Giant Monkey), which will be performed every Friday and Saturday starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at $10 per person and the show will include 50 artists aged between 15-25 and performing a series of classical and folk dances to music. Add this to the 6-nights a week shows from Cambodian Living Arts at the National Museum and there’s a definite upsurge in the performing arts genre within Cambodia at this moment in time.

Stay longer in Battambang

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012
Making rice paper in Battambang

Making rice paper in Battambang

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 (www.soksabike.com) 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 and will soon offer a city tour with a twist for those with limited time in Battambang. 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.

Bambu Hotel featured on Hanuman Travel TV

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

The Bambu Hotel in Battambang has long been our favourite place to rest our head when in Cambodia’s second city. On our website, we say “One of the smartest hotels in Battambang, the architecture at Bambu Hotel pays homage to its historic setting, drawing on grand colonial designs as well as traditional Khmer buildings. The attractive pool and well-appointed rooms make for a great all-rounder.”

See this great new video of Bambu Hotel in all its glory, put together by the Hanuman Films team during a recent visit to Battambang. Combine a stay here with a walking tour of the old colonial quarter of Battambang, a bike ride through pretty villages in the area, a visit to the hilltop temple of Wat Banan or a circus performance at Phare Ponleu Selpak. Battambang is a little charmer and the Bambu Hotel is a charming base for your visit.