August 27th, 2014
Hanuman join the Koki Cruise in Phnom Penh.
The Koki Cruise
The Hanuman Sales Team enjoyed a sunset cruise at the weekend with the Koki Cruise company, a new venture started by local entrepreneur Tong Khiev. Koki’s traditional style wooden boat takes 25 people in comfort to explore the waterways surrounding Cambodia’s capital. Drinks and tasty snacks are served by the friendly, welcoming Koki cruise team and the boat is available for private hire at very affordable prices. A sunset cruise is a great way to enjoy a different perspective of Phnom Penh and enjoy one of the city’s famous sunsets in a relaxed, comfortable and fun environment. Koki also takes passengers all the way up to Silk Island (Koh Dach) on full day trips and also offers fun fishing tours. Ask the Hanuman team for more details.
August 26th, 2014
Laos remains one of the most authentic locations in Asia. See it soon.
Young monks in Luang Prabang
According to Lonely Planet writer Nick Ray, Laos, long a forgotten backwater, combines some of the best elements of Southeast Asia in one bite-sized destination. If you want a guidebook that does the same, get a copy of the Lonely Planet guide to Laos, which came out earlier this year, and is filled with detailed information on what to see and enjoy in this charming and authentic country. Over 340 pages with great tips, maps, photographs and recommendations that will help make your visit so much more enjoyable. The LP Laos Top 10 is a listing of what you must not miss. Here it is:
1 – Luang Prabang. 2 – Si Phan Don. 3 – The Gibbon Experience. 4 – Vang Vieng. 5 – River Trips. 6 – Trekking & Homestays. 7 – Vieng Xai Caves. 8 – Bolaven Plateau. 9 – Tham Kong Lo. 10 – Vientiane.
So what makes Luang Prabang the No 1 attraction? Hemmed in by the Mekong and Khan rivers, this timeless city of temples is a travel editor’s dream: rich in royal history, saffron-clad monks, stunning river views, world-class French cuisine and the best boutique accommodation in Southeast Asia. Hire a bike and explore the tropical peninsula’s backstreets, take a cooking class, go on an elephant trek or just ease back with a restful massage at one of the many affordable spas. Prepare to adjust your timetable and stay a little longer than planned.
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.
August 21st, 2014
Boat races draw in the crowds
The Water Festival in Cambodia is to return to Phnom Penh this year for the first time since 2010, when a stampede on a bridge packed with revellers killed more than 350 people. Officials announced recently that the traditional event, which marks the end of the rainy season and the reversing course of the Tonle Sap, will be held over three days. 5, 6 and 7 November have been earmarked for the festival, which will be held in front of the capital’s Royal Palace. With its longboat races, colourful atmosphere and the presence of royalty, the Water Festival has long attracted packed crowds to the city, creating a shoulder-to-shoulder party that can number more than a million people. After the disaster of 2010, in 2011 the government cancelled the festival due to mass flooding. In 2012, the reason given was the death of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who died in October, just weeks before the event is usually held. Last year, flooding was again cited as the reason. A smaller version of the event is also held in Siem Reap.
August 21st, 2014
Prek Toal is the entry point to a majestic bird sanctuary and is a fascinating floating village in its own right.
Prek Toal is one of the most important floating villages on the Tonle Sap as it acts as the gateway to the stunning bird sanctuary of the same name, where a significant number of rare breeds gather in a small area. Prek Toal village itself is one of the Great Lakes’ most visited as it sits on the waterway between Siem Reap and Battambang. Take a look yourself with Hanuman Travel TV.
August 20th, 2014
Life on the water at Kompong Luong in rural Cambodia is a world away from the frenetic streets of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. See for yourself.
Everything in Kompong Luong floats on water – houses, cafes, shops, chicken coops, fish ponds, karaoke bars, you name it, even the local pagoda. This picturesque partly ethnic-Vietnamese floating village is located around 40km east of Pursat, and lies just off national highway 5 between Battambang and Phnom Penh. It’s one of the largest of the Tonle Sap lake floating villages and is much less visited than the ones closer to Siem Reap. Enjoy this video from Hanuman Travel TV and ask for more information from the Hanuman Sales Team if you want to visit Kompong Luong or any of the unique floating villages in Cambodia.
August 20th, 2014
Sinat and Sreymom stretch their legs around Angkor for charity.
Sreymom (2nd left) and Sinat (3rd left) at Angkor
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.
August 19th, 2014
The remote Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia have long been considered the final frontier in ecotourism and the Wild KK Project goes deep into the heart of the beautiful Areng Valley.
Monks in the Areng Valley, Cambodia
Started as part of a grassroots community-based initiative to save the Areng Valley from a planned dam, the Wild KK Project (www.wildkkproject.com) offers unique ecological tours in the Areng area. Trips can be individually tailored to include walking, kayaking, and mountain biking through lush forests, countryside villages and meandering rivers. The Areng Valley boasts incredible scenery, some shy wildlife, and a traditional village culture, adding up to a great place to get off-the-beaten-track.
Groups are small, tours take at least five days and the cost is all-inclusive. The Wild KK Project is linked to the Mother Nature (www.mothernature.pm) environmental pressure group.
August 18th, 2014
The latest Lonely Planet guide to Cambodia has just been published. Read on.
Fish amok – Cambodia’s national dish
Despite having the eighth wonder of the world in its backyard, Cambodia’s real treasure is its people, says the introduction to the brand new Lonely Planet guide to Cambodia, that hit bookshops this month. Hanuman agrees. Siem Reap and Phnom Penh may be the heavyweights, but to some extent they are a bubble, a world away from the Cambodia of the countryside, it continues. Well you can see for yourself by getting a copy, whether its the print edition or online. There are 370 pages of great tips, maps, photos and recommendations that will enhance your visit to Cambodia and here is LP’s Top 10 of what you must not miss:
1 – Siem Reap & Temples of Angkor. 2 – Phnom Penh. 3 – Sihanoukville. 4 – Battambang. 5 – Kampot & Kep. 6 – Mondulkiri. 7 – Ratanakiri. 8 – Kratie. 9 – Prasat Preah Vihear. 10 – Khmer Cuisine.
It’s obvious why Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples made it to the top spot. LP confirms why: One of the world’s most magnificent sights, the temples of Angkor are so much better than the superlatives. Choose from Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building: Bayon, one of the world’s weirdest, with its immense stone faces: or Ta Prohm, where nature runs amok. Buzzing Siem Reap, with a superb selection of restaurants and bars, is the base for temple exploration. Beyond lie floating villages on the Tonle Sap lake, adrenalin-fuelled activities like quad biking and ziplining, and such cultured pursuits as cooking classes and birdwatching.
Khmer cuisine made it into the Top 10 so its worth hearing why LP included it: Everyone has tried Thai and Vietnamese specialities before they hit the region, but Khmer cuisine remains under the culinary radar. Amok (baked fish with lemongrass, chilli and coconut) is the national dish, but sumptuous seafood and fresh-fish dishes are plentiful, including Kep crab infused with Kampot pepper. It wouldn’t be Asia without street snacks and Cambodia delivers everything from noodles (mee) and congee (bobor; rice porridge) to deep-fried tarantulas and roasted crickets. With subtle spices and delicate herbs , Cambodian food is an unexpected epicurean experience.
August 12th, 2014
Hanuman will be working closely with UK-charity Golden Futures to offer an insight into what we do, for two young Cambodians next week. The two teenage girls, Lay Lily and Sorn Sreychom, will spend the week with Hanuman getting to see what life is like in an office environment and whether working in the tourism industry is a possible future career path for them. They are both living at a children’s center in Phnom Penh, called New Future for Children and their time with Hanuman is part of the life skills educational training they receive at the center. We were only too happy to help when Golden Futures contacted us.
Lily is just fifteen years old and has been at New Future since she was three years old. She’s keen on coming to Hanuman to see what its like. “I’m friendly and hardworking and responsible and I like working with people. I’m interested in history and English. I’m interested in the tourism industry and I would like to have some work experience because it will show me what the job is like and whether I enjoy it. Hanuman Travel has been established for a long time, has a good reputation and involves local people, ” said Lily. We are looking forward to having her with us.
Her New Futures colleague, Sorn Sreychom, is already 18 years old and has her sights set on becoming a tour guide. “I love history and English and I think I would enjoy being a tour guide because it would give me the opportunity to improve my English, talk to different types of people and have a good relationship with them. Working at Hanuman will help me find out if I am suited to this work, as my future career. I’ve been at NFC since I was seven and they have given me an education, a place to live, friends and family.” Both girls have a great attitude and will be made very welcome.