Posts Tagged ‘mekong’

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Pandaw to cruise Laos

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Luxury cruise company Pandaw breaking new ground in Laos.

Pandaw on the Mekong

Pandaw on the Mekong

Paul Strachan, founder of the expedition company Pandaw, said he is looking forward to the day when all the countries the river runs through – China, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia – can be seen in one trip. “You can’t do it on one ship due to waterfalls and other obstructions but within two years we hope to have boats on all these stretches,” he said. The 5,000-mile journey from Saigon, in Vietnam, to Harbin in China, would take around three weeks in total.

In the meantime, Pandaw is launching a new 10-night river cruise in Laos. Billed as a luxury cruise, the Laos Mekong sailing on the line’s newest ship, RV Laos Pandaw, will be available from November next year, with just ten suites onboard. The Mekong river flows through over 1,000 miles of the landlocked country, from north to south, and Pandaw is the first river operator to cross it. A stay in the Unesco World Heritage city of Luang Prabang with time to explore its Buddhist temples and Royal Palace, and the chance to travel into the mountainous north are among the highlights. The Laos Mekong is a three-country expedition as the itinerary touches Thailand and Myanmar as well. Excursions will see passengers traversing rapids and gorges, swimming in jungle pools and visiting tribal villages and Buddhist temples along the Mekong river to observe the morning alms.

Pandaw currently operates cruises in Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia and more recently the Brahmaputra in northeast India. “We are always looking for new cruising territory,” said Strachan. “We were the first on the Mekong (in Indochina) the Irrawaddy and Chindwin (in Burma), the Ganges (in India) and on Borneo’s Rajang river. Earlier this month Pandaw announced a new cruise to Halong Bay in Vietnam that takes in the Red River, a key tributary of the Mekong.

Hanuman at PATA Mart

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
The Hanuman booth at the PATA Travel Mart

The Hanuman booth at the PATA Travel Mart

The Asia Pacific region’s largest travel trade show, the  PATA Travel Mart 2014, kicked off in Phnom Penh at the Koh Pich Exhibition Center today. The 2-day PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Travel show brought together more than 1,000 delegates from over 60 countries and regions around the world. The Hanuman booth at the event was manned by Nick Ray, Patrick Chase, Andy Brouwer and Tugdual Paul on day 1, and they welcomed a succession of visitors, eager to find out more about Cambodia and the Mekong Region. It’s an excellent platform for buyers, sellers, travel agencies, hoteliers, restaurant owners, airline operators, and all tourism stakeholders from all over the world to meet and explore possibilities for business cooperation.

On dry land and the waterways

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Phnom Penh’s first capsule hotel opens. And take the opportunity to enjoy the Mekong waterways in style.

A deluxe room at the Tama Hotel

A deluxe room at the Tama Hotel

The Tama Hotel is perched on the 22nd floor of the Phnom Penh tower, an addition to the already existing chic D22 Restaurant, which serves French-Italian cuisine. The hotel – also known as H22 – is Phnom Penh’s first ever capsule hotel. Hotel guests can squeeze themselves into narrow bunks, which are right next to the glass windows of the tower, to enjoy a stunning aerial view of the city. For those visitors requiring a bit more space, larger deluxe and superior rooms are available. 26 rooms in total. Definitely a room with a view.

Down on the South Coast, the desirability of Kep is showing no signs of slowing down with roads in and out of the resort dramatically improved in recent months. Another new face on the accommodation front in town is a new private beach hotel, Samanea, which is spread over two hectares of natural landscape with 10 spacious and elegant villas, a sea-front infinity pool, al fresco restaurant and spa. Well worth checking out.

Cruising the waterways of Cambodia and Vietnam, is becoming increasingly popular for many visitors. With that in mind, Haimark are keen to expand their operations along the Mekong River and will introduce the 68-guest Mekong Navigator in September, a few days after they launch the 56-passenger Irrawaddy Explorer in Myanmar. In twelve months time, they will also set sail with a 24-guest, all-suite, “spa concept” ship named Mekong Princess. The company says it will have “the most extensive spa menu of any ship on the Mekong River” with several types of massages, facials, scrubs, and body wraps. Each guest will receive one free hour-long spa treatment during the cruise to begin the week-long rejuvenation.

Also gearing up for a luxury river-cruise launch is the Aqua Mekong in September. They will be offering a truly personalized, enriching and unique life-on-the-river experience, on board a five-star floating boutique hotel. Their itineraries have been customized to allow guests to get up close to life on the river and experience first-hand the colorful and varied cultures, religions and timeless traditions. After the excursions each day, guests are able to return to an elegant river facing suite on their floating sanctuary, and enjoy the comforts of the ship, like the plunge pool, indoor and outdoor bar, observation deck and gym, private screening room, games room, library, and last but not least, the spa. The cuisine will be taken care of by Chef David Thompson who has just been named a top ranked chef in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.

Uncovering the Mekong Delta

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Keeping on the cycling theme, the backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam are an engaging attraction for cyclists with its lovely landscapes and welcoming people. Why not try our nine-day cycling adventure through this beautiful part of the country.

The backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

The backroads of the Mekong Delta in Vietnam

Vietnam is emerging as a popular destination for cycling holidays. Unless you are in training for the King of the Mountains jersey, you might be put off by the formidable mountains of the north, but down in the Mekong Delta the country is pancake flat and criss-crossed by pretty country roads. We leave the city by minibus to avoid the chaotic traffic and cycle from Mytho to the backwaters of Ben Tre. From Ben Tre, we cycle through pretty countryside to the ethnic Khmer area of Tra Vinh where we can see some striking Cambodian pagodas. Using local ferries and small roads, we continue to Soc Trang before heading to the heartland of the Mekong Delta in Cantho. We have a slow day to relax, but visit the floating markets in the morning for some superb photo opportunities. We travel to Rach Gia to board a hydrofoil for the lovely island of Phu Quoc. We bike around the island, passing through areas of national park, but leave the penultimate day free to relax on the beaches.

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

On board the Mekong

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Two new cruise boats will be plying the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia later this year and next.

Life along the Mekong River

Life along the Mekong River

Mekong Secret Cruises will begin operating their new Vietnam and Cambodia cruises from 29 September this year. Along the famed Mekong River, from the delta to the Tonle Sap Lake, their Le Tamarin cruise boat will operate three programs, an 8-day Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap depending on the season, a 4-day Phnom to Siem Reap and an 8-day Phnom Penh to Siem Reap via Kratie. On the lower deck of Le Tamarin are eight fully equipped cabins and on the upper deck are another six with an air conditioned dining room and lounge bar. It’s full board accommodation on this brand new boat, which is family-friendly.

Launching next year in 2014, the M/V Aqua Mekong will be a custom-built, architecturally-designed luxury cruise-ship including a spa, screening room, outdoor pool and 20 guest suites with floor to ceiling windows offering river views of Vietnam and Cambodia along the Mekong River. Their itineraries will include 3, 4 and 7 day options traveling upriver between Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam stopping in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia (with downriver itineraries traveling the reverse route).

Tour of the Week: Grand Laos Journey

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Following on from our visit to the incredible Vieng Xay Caves, we feature this Grand Laos Journey, which covers the major highlights of the country from north to south.

Monks at Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang

Monks at Kuang Si Falls near Luang Prabang

An in-depth journey throughout the old kingdom of Laos that will take you beyond the highlights and under the skin of this beguiling country, beginning with the the Luang Say cruise along the Mekong River, via the Pak Ou Caves to the World Heritage recognized city of Luang Prabang. Home to 32 stupa-studded wats, it remains one of the most atmospheric destinations in all Asia. We take in the Royal Palace Museum, classic Wat Xieng Thong and enjoy a trek to the turquoise waters of the multi-tiered Kuang Si Falls. We then head to the Plain of Jars, a mysterious mountainside dotted with ancient burial jars from a forgotten civilisation for a brief adventure before we continue to the capital city of Vientiane. Then we head south where no trip would be complete without a visit to the incredible Wat Phu and the 4,000 islands and waterfalls on the border with Cambodia.

For more details on this tour, visit the Hanuman website: http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Laos/Grand_Laos_Journey.html

An Epic Mekong Journey

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Hanuman Tour of the Week – our 22-day Mekong Journey through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Mekong Journey with Hanuman

Mekong Journey with Hanuman

Go with the flow on this epic journey, exploring the roads (and rivers) less travelled in an older, more authentic Asia. Leave behind the Golden Triangle and travel down the Mekong River to Pak Beng with the Luang Say Cruise. Continue to Luang Prabang, the spiritual heart of Laos, with abundant temples. Fly south to Pakse, gateway to Champasak province and island life on the Mekong. Cross the border into Cambodia and continue to Kratie, a base to view the extremely rare freshwater dolphins. Cambodia’s capital beckons, Phnom Penh. Experience devotion to the gods at the National Museum or witness the destruction of the Khmer Rouge at Tuol Sleng Prison. Make a side-trip to the incredible temples of Angkor before continuing to Chau Doc by speedboat. Pass through the heart of the delta region, stopping off to visit the floating markets of Cantho. Winding up in Saigon, learn more about the war at the Remnants Museum or by digging up the past at the Cu Chi Tunnels.

Find out more @ http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Indochina/Mekong_Journey.html or contact the Hanuman sales team for detailed information and a quotation.

Featured Tour: Hanoi to Luang Prabang Overland

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Following on from a busy ATF in Vientiane last week, the Hanuman team was inspired to pick this 15-day overland trip through some of the most remote and beautiful parts of mainland Southeast Asia as the tour of the month.

Where the Mekong River meets the Nam Ou

Where the Mekong River meets the Nam Ou

One of Hanuman’s more adventurous itineraries, this trip offers an intriguing overland journey from Hanoi to Luang Prabang via some remote and beautiful regions. Starting out in historic Hanoi, we explore the lively Old Quarter of the city and some of the city’s most famous sights. We travel to majestic Halong Bay to experience a night aboard a traditional junk, perfect to soak up the stunning scenery. From here, we swing west into the striking mountain landscapes around Mai Chau, our base for some trekking amid the ricefields and villages of the White Thai minority. We then cross the mountainous border with Laos to explore the infamous Vieng Xai Caves, which served as a secret base for the Pathet Lao leadership during the war. Our journey continues through some remote parts of Laos to the enigmatic Plain of Jars. The culmination of this adventurous trip is the charming World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang, an atmospheric town of ancient wats and designer shops.

For more details on this off-the-beaten-track itinerary, see: http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Indochina/Vietnam_Laos_Revealed.html

Try an Adventurous Motorbiking Cambodia Tour

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Our Tour of the Month for December is Motorbiking Cambodia, a two-wheeled adventure through Cambodia that takes in the best of the coast, the Mekong River and the Temples of Angkor, all with a support vehicle along for the ride.

Motorbiking Cambodia

Bikers at Koh Ker on a Motorbiking Cambodia trip

Our 14-day motorbike discovery tour begins in the bustling capital Phnom Penh before we head to the South Coast and Kep, where a boat trip to Rabbit Island awaits. Sihanoukville is the leading beach resort in Cambodia and we spent a couple of relaxing days on the sand before heading northeast and along the Mekong River to Kratie. Interacting with the rare Irrawaddy dolphins there will be followed by a cross-country trip to Kompong Thom and the early 7thC capital of Sambor Prei Kuk. Siem Reap and the temple of Angkor beckons and we include all the major big-hitters such as Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm as well as the more remote and less-visited Phnom Kulen and Beng Mealea.