Archive for the 'Travel to Cambodia' Category
Picture courtesy of Tom Chandler / Monash University
The capital of a Khmer state that flourished between the ninth and fifteenth centuries, Cambodia’s Angkor is one of the most intensively studied sites in the world. But it continues to inspire more questions than answers, the most fundamental being why the sophisticated Khmer Empire collapsed. In 2007, research into the mysteries of the world’s largest preindustrial city reached a milestone with the completion of a 10-year mapping project, which yielded clues suggesting that the sprawling metropolis may have collapsed under self-induced environmental pressures related to overpopulation and deforestation.
Cambodian New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmey in the Khmer language literal translation “Coming of the New Year”, is the name of the Cambodian holiday that celebrates the new year. Cambodian New Year is celebrated every year in the middle of the month of April and the holiday lasts for three days, most commonly, from April 13th to 15th. Sometimes the holiday falls between the 14th to 16th of April. This time of the year represents the end of the harvesting season. The farmers enjoy the fruits of their harvest and relax before the rainy season begins.
Tourism is one of six priority sectors in Cambodia. Besides being the major generator of revenue for the national economy, it is also a jobs creation, incomes and tourism contributes actively to Poverty Alleviation.
In the effort to promote Cambodia to more tourist worldwide, we hope you can include the following banner in your website or Blog.
By Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai (28.11.2007)
Back to back with this year’s PATA Travel Mart in Bali/Indonesia, the eagerly awaited 2nd Angkor International Tourism Exchange (AITEX) was successfully held in Siem Reap/Cambodia on October 1-3, 2007. In collaboration with Apsara Authority, Siem Reap Provincial Authority, Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA) and Cambodia Hotel Association (CHA), the Ministry of Tourism in Cambodia hosted some 182 booth sellers from local and overseas national tourism organisations, travel agents, hotels, airlines and other related-tourism businesses. On the other end, some 250 buyers and 50 media from around the world were invited to this significant event in order to realise that the global tourism industry is a very competitive business.
On behalf of the AITEX 2007 Organising Committee, Mr. Chhoeng Monny from the Ministry of Tourism had generously invited me to come and attend the show. So on September 30, I took Bangkok Airways flight PG903 from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport at 8.00 in the morning, arriving just one hour later at Siem Reap International Airport. As an AITEX delegate, I was quickly channelled through immigration and customs. The visa on arrival costs 20USD and allows you to stay for one month in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
There was an arranged transfer to Cambodia’s premier luxury “Angkor Palace” spa resort, where each of the 259 rooms, suites and villas are tastefully furnished and offer broadband internet access. The lush 11-hectare resort features a spectacular swimming pool and nearby Kainnora Spa, where massage therapies, facial treatments and body scrubs or wraps are in order. Angkor Palace’s Sales Manager Mrs. Grace F. Agatep was a very gracious and caring host. Other supporting accommodation for delegates of AITEX 2007 were given by City Royal Hotel, Sokha Angkor Resort, Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, Prince d’Angkor Hotel & Spa, and Somadevi Angkor Hotel.
Conservation and mine removal exercises are being carried out in a rather isolated temple, about 100km away from Seim Reap.
On a dusty deserted road edged with landmine warning signs, 100 km from the tourist hub of Siem Reap, the ruins of the Koh Ker temples are getting ready for visitors.
The temples have been hidden in the jungle, too far off the beaten track for most tourists, for years.
Archaeological preservation group Heritage Watch estimates that only about 2,200 visitors a year, mostly locals, come to see the secluded ruins.
Landmine risk has kept most travelers away from Koh Ker for years.
Lee Baer, ultralight pilot for Wings Over Cambodia, visited the temples in 2003 by motorcycle. He said at the time there was no road to the temples, so he and his riding companion used a GPS to guide them through dense bush.
“Somewhere under the vegetation there was a pile of rocks someone built over 1,000 years ago,” Baer said. “It was wild. You know you’re out there. You hear a rumor about this temple – after a day of riding you stumble upon it and there’s nobody there. It feels like you’re the first person out there. Only a handful of Westerners knew about it.”
With more than 40 temples, some of which are in ruins, Angkor Archaeological Park is shrouded with myth, mystery and legend.
Angkor Wat, as the main attraction, is regarded as the most magnificent and comprehensively restored temple. The notable artistry of its massive moats and bas-relief carvings are best viewed at the sunrise or sunset. Photography of Angkor Wat is best taken at dawn as the towers are reflected in the lake beyond the moat wall.
In Korea, office workers’ biggest vacation would be the annual summer vacation on July or August whilst their students have two vacations, one is from July to August, and the other is from January to February.
For Japanese, they have the Golden Week in Japan which occurs mainly from April 29th to May 5th. Also, many Japanese goes on a trip during the month of August and the New Year’s Holiday (usually from December 28th to January 5th). Their students however have a month of vacation during March of every year.
For travelers who intend to spend a day visit and to cover most of the major temples, you might want to consider using a4trip.com suggested itineraries of Angkor Archaeological Park. The itineraries are classified into two types â€?cycling and tuk-tuk tours, as illustrated in the map, which are cheaper options comparing to car taxi or bus tour.
In general, all of the temple ruins inside Angkor Archaeological Park can be categorized into three types:
Walled Temple Ruins
The walled temple ruins are typically occupying a large area and are bounded with moat. Four gopuras, or entrance pavilions, are built from each side of the square gallery for accessing to the main temple. These gopuras are large enough to allow an elephant or a car to pass through.
Built akin to a mountain and equipped with four small gopuras, these single-towered temples are surrounded by moat also.
These are the smallest terraced pyramid temples, which normally named as Prasats. They might not be interested by most travelers, however, might appear unique sometimes.
Last week, we were heading to Siem Reap again to participate in the AITEX 2007 which was held in the Angkor COEX. The event was meant to provide the opportunity for buyers and sellers to exchange business and to strengthen and broaden tourism cooperation between all participants. As for e-Visa, it was a good opportunity to create awareness of the online visa among the buyers and sellers.
We reached two days before the AITEX and spent the whole weekend at the exhibition hall to get the booth ready. On the first day of AITEX, Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. Mr. Sok An was present at the Angkor COEX and officially opened the event later. We briefed the visitors on the e-Visa application process and gave away postcard as a souvenir.
Bonn Phchom Ben (10-12 October)
The Spirit Commemoration Festival is held for the spirits of the dead. For Bonn Dak Ben, food is offered to monks for 14 days. The 15th day of the festival is called Bonn Phchom Ben; people join this festival at a pagoda to make offerings for the spirits of their ancestors. During this celebration, if departed souls do not find their family making offerings at a pagoda, it is believed that the souls will curse and bother the descendants throughout the year.
During one of our trip to Siem Reap, we met two backpacker friends who introduced to us the famous Finland cartoon character- Moomin.
They were going to check their emails in one of the busy internet cafes Google Web. The rate is about USD 0.75 per hour, with LCD screens.
Working on the new upgrade of e-Visa lanes can be fun all the time especially when you are working near the ancient Angkor visited by millions of tourist every year. We are glad that Cambodia e-Visa has been helping to promote Cambodia tourism in the last one year. More than 25,000 travelers applied their Visa online from their country before-hand and it is becoming one of the prefered way of getting Visa by most travelers.
Travel In Cambodia??? Here is the list of comfy hotels in Siem Reap & Phnom Penh!
- Hotel Le Meridien Angkor, 9/10, US185-$779, 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum
- Hotel de la Paix, 9/10, US168-$586, Sivutha Boulevard
- Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor, 9/10, US212-$1628, 1 Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum
- Sofitel Phokeethra Royal Angkor Golf Resort, 9/10, US$202-$472, Vithei Charles de Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Kum, Angkor 0
- Prince D’ Angkor Hotel & Spa, 9/10, US62-$318, Sivatha Blv, Mondul II, Sangkat Svay Dangkom
- Angkor Century Resort & Spa, 8/10, US48-$488, Komay Road, Khum Svavy Dangkom……
1. cost of beer *(about $2.10)
2. currency exchange *(cambodian riel)
2. What you will love? *( breathtaking & admirable areas.. to name)
3. What you will hate? *(checkpoints, red tape)
4. Must Do *(sip strong coffee or french wine in a cafe by the river)
5. Must Buy *(a roadside haircut)
6. Must Take *(US Dollar – best for large purchases)
7. When to go? *(Best time is between Nov-Feb (it rains least)
The great city and temples remained largely cloaked by the forest until the late 19th century when French archaeologists began a long restoration process. From 1907 to 1970 work was under the direction of the Ã‰cole franÃ§aise d’ExtrÃªme-Orient, which cleared away the forest, repaired foundations, and installed drains to protect the buildings from water damage. In addition, scholars associated with the school and including George CoedÃ¨s, Maurice Glaize, Paul Mus, Philippe Stern and others initiated a program of historical scholarship and interpretation that is fundamental to the current understanding of Angkor.
Beware of scams when entering Cambodia overland. Most common is the inflation of the visa fee from the official US$20 to 1000 baht (US$30+) or more. To avoid this, get your visa in advance – either from a Cambodian embassy/consulate (via an agency if necessary) or from the e-Visa website. See the Visas section for full details.
Past scams have included fines for not presenting a vaccination certification (even though this is not mandatory), charging 50 baht for a (bogus) SARS health form, and enforcing an imaginary US$100 to Cambodian riel exchange requirement (at lousy rates).