Monday, 17 December 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Tourism News: Preah Vihear Temple sees dramatic rise in tourists

Preah Vihear Temple sees dramatic rise in tourists

Foreign tourist numbers to Preah Vihear Temple increased by 147 per cent over the first 11 months of the year, while local visitor numbers increased by 84 per cent.

Between January and November, a total of 6,396 foreign tourists visited the temple area, a 147.60 per cent increase over the same period last year, which only saw 2,582 visitors.

There were 86,953 local visitors this year, an increase of 84 per cent compared to last year, when the area welcomed only 47,163 visitors, according to Kong Vibol, a director of the Tourism Department in Preah Vihear province.

“Causes for the increase in visitor numbers are a result of good security along the border area making it easier to visit,” Vibol said.

“Another factor is that the national roads from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh have improved,” he said.

According to Vibol, the Pchum Ben holiday period attracted a lot of visitors because the area was not affected by flooding as it was in 2011.

In mid-August, officials from Preah Vihear province met with their counterparts from Thailand’s Ubon province to discuss opening a new border.

However, no progress has been made on the issue yet, according to previous reports by the Post.

“The gateway does not only serve economic and commercial purposes, but also serves the tourism sector,” Vibol said, adding: “We know Preah Vihear Temple is an attractive site and there are good link roads from Siem Reap and from Phnom Penh. There will be more visitors in 2013.”

Along with the increased tourist numbers to the region, some local residents have started to build new accommodation, increasing options for staying in Preah Vihear and Saem towns.

Tuy Chimsreoun, front office manager of Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel at Saem village in Choum Ksann district in Preah Vihear province, said the hotel, comprising 30 rooms, will begin operating in January next year.

“We see some newly finished guesthouses were full for every big holiday.”

“We see about 400 to 500 foreign visitors to Preah Vihear Temple along with about 2,000 Khmer visitors each month,” he said.

Source: Phnompenhpost/14-Dec-2012

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Sunday, 9 December 2012

Tourism Facing Multiple Strains: Official

Cambodia’s second-largest earner of foreign income, tourism, is starting to feel the effects of a prolonged economic downturn and the unstable political situation in Thailand, tourism experts said Thursday.

The number of foreign visitors was down slightly for the first quarter of 2009, dropping 2.23 percent compared to the same period in 2008, but, officials said, those visitors who do come are spending less money.

“This decline has nothing to do with Cambodia’s performance,” said Ang Kim Eang, president of Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, as a guest on “Hello VOA.”

The industry is facing a swath of problems, from the global downturn, a wobbly government in Bangkok, the spread of the H1N1 virus, and even oil price hikes, he said.

Some have blamed Cambodia’s lack of a national airline for the decline, he said, and are hoping for a new tourism law and an open-sky policy, as well visas on arrival and an expansion of attractions.

Even with the slight decline, the number of tourists from the region has risen. Visitors from the Philippines, Laos Malaysia and Vietnam have boosted business for small hotels, he said.

“Therefore, big and luxurious hotels have faced some difficulties in losing their customers...as tourists now spend less money,” Ang Kim Eang said.

To stay competitive in the downturn and to keep numbers up, tourism professionals should target specific countries, said Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the Tourism Working Group, who was also a guest on Thursday’s show.

“What we have advised for the government is related to the promotion of targeting specific tourist groups, Japan or Korea, for instance”

Source: VOA/July-2009

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Angkor Wat site in danger: Deputy PM

In a rare acknowledgement of deforestation concerns, Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, chairman of the National Commission for UNESCO, said the widespread clearing of forests around Angkor Wat was harming views of the historic temple complex.

Sok An made the remarks in Siem Reap at a Plenary Session of the International Co-ordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) on Wednesday, and stressed that the forest, known as Phnom Kulen, was degraded and needed immediate attention.

“I’ve known that Phnom Kulen is endangered now, thus this plateau region needs urgent protection,” he said, calling for a halt to all forest clearing which “affects our view of our national park”.

Sok An also called on Siem Reap provincial governor Sou Phirin to co-operate with the APSARA Authority and UNESCO to protect the national park.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said that the Phnom Kulen issue was on the government’s radar.

“In the meeting, we’re paying attention to Phnom Kulen,” he said. “It’s becoming an endangered place.”

According to Siphan, talks are ongoing about problems posed by both flooding and groundwater fluctuations, which are thought to be causing some temples to sink, which in turn causes structural damage.

“We are still discussing surface water, and we have to make sure that there’s no flooding in the temples and Siem Reap city,” he said.

In September the Italian government donated $200,000 to repair an embankment and stairway in the temple’s moat that were damaged by floods.

Angkor marks its 20th year on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites this year, but, due to the national mourning for King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who played a key role in Angkor’s addition to the list, anniversary celebrations will be postponed until the World Heritage Committee meeting in June.

Source: Phnompenhpost/7-December-2012

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Monday, 19 November 2012

Welcome to Cambodia, Mr.President Obama

Welcome to Cambodia, Mr.President Obama

US President Barack Obama arrives in Cambodia for the Asean-US Meeting Monday 19 November 2012.

The meetings come as Asean nations are displaying a rare show of unity against China's sweeping maritime claim, calling for the first formal talks with Beijing over a sea duspute that has raised tensions and exposeed deep divisions in the region.

President Obama meets with prime minister Hun Sen of Cambodia before the official Asean-US Meeting.


Barack Obama



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Monday, 5 November 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Business News: Trade with Thailand increases

Trade with Thailand increases

Trade between Cambodia and Thailand increased by about 40 per cent to US$3 billion in the first nine months of this year in comparison with the same period last year, according to figures provided by the Royal Embassy of Thailand in Cambodia.

According to Nat Vimonchandra, a counsellor for the Thai embassy, factors influencing the increase in trade include greater consumption within Cambodia due to the ASEAN summit, increased tourist numbers and the growing economy.

“Cambodia’s economy has improved in every sector including agriculture, real estate, garments and tourism,” he said.

“That means the country needs to import materials, food, goods and fuel and energy a lot and Thailand is one of the major countries exporting to Cambodia.”

Nat also said the better political relationship between the two countries is another cause and more specifically, the commitment made in May this year to see a 100 per cent increase in trade between the two countries by 2015.

Economic land concessions have also prompted an increase in demand for machinery and vehicles, according to Praivan Limpanboon from the Thai Business Council of Cambodia.

“I would not rule out the factors in the country such as increases in ELCs which increased demand on vehicles, heavy-duty tractors, bulldozers and other agricultural equipment,” she said.

Praivan also noted that the increase in trade between Thailand and Cambodia was interesting because a report in Thailand showed the country’s exports in general are quite low.

Source: Phnompenhpost/ 5 November 2012


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Welcome to Cambodia: Rise in foreign tourist arrivals

Rise in foreign tourist arrivals

The number of foreign tourists arriving in Cambodia increased 23 per cent in the third quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to new statistics from the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry’s figures show the number of international tourists in the Kingdom reached 2,577,540 – an increase of 23.6 per cent compared to 2,084,789 in the same period last year.

The data show the number of tourists who arrived in the Kingdom by land was up 33.3 per cent to 1,299,804 tourists or 50.4 per cent of total arrivals. Those arriving by air were up 16.4 per cent.

Teth Chantha, general director of the Ministry of Tourism, said the numbers are a good sign for the country’s tourism industry.

“Visitors still increase, we have good growth, and we have the ASEAN meetings this year so Cambodia’s tourism gets better and better,” he said.

Tourists visiting Siem Reap province increased 27.4 per cent to 1,487,213, while tourists to Phnom Penh increased 18 per cent, to 1,090,327. Coastal areas saw an increase of 50.3 per cent, or 206,129 visitors, the figures showed. Tourists to Preah Vihear temple increased the most, with 13,140 foreign visitors, equal to a rise of 77.39 per cent, while there were 142,910 local visitors there, up 57.7 per cent.

Siem Reap remains the most important tourist destination in Cambodia, while most of foreign arrivals at Phnom Penh airport are businessmen, Teth Chantha said.

Data show visitors from Vietnamese increased 25.4 per cent, for a total of 22.55 per cent of foreign arrivals. Vietnam is followed by South Korea, China, Laos, Thailand, Japan, the US, France, Australia, and Malaysia.

Ang Kim Eang, president of the Cambodia Tourism Association, said tourism in Cambodia is increasing because of its wide array of offerings. He said Cambodia needs more flights to other destinations for more growth.

Ministry officials said they expected more German or European tourists to visit Cambodia after a German airline agreed to directly fly to Siem Reap once a week, starting later this month.

Source: Phnompenhpost/2 November 2012


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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Sunrise at the top middle of Angkor Wat at 12:00AM midnight on 22 September 2012

Sunrise at the top middle of Angkor Wat at 12:00AM midnight on 22 September 2012

It is amazing news according to the leading Cambodian Kohsantepheap Daily Newspaper, saying that the rare sunrise will appear, at 12:00PM on 22 September 2012, on the middle top of Angkor Wat archeological park, the World Wonder, located in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. The news attract thousands of local and international tourists coming flocking to the site to take photo of this fantastic view as well as to experience the great thing in life.

That's very fantastic picture! I have ever seen in my life! The first ever to see this kind time happened at Angkor Wat, Kingdom of Wonder!!!

See Photo below:


Sunrise at the top middle of Angkor Wat at 12:00AM midnight on 22 September 2012


Watch a video of Sunrise of Angkor Wat in day time..

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Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Business News: Tourism in Siem Reap spikes 30 per cent

Tourism in Siem Reap spikes 30 per cent

International tourist arrivals in Siem Reap province soared considerably in an eight month period this year compared to previous years, according to an official.

Chhoeuy Chhan, Deputy Director of Siem Reap Provincial Tourism Department, said they in Siem Reap increased by more than 30 per cent.

According to official statistics, foreign tourists arriving totaled more than 1,365,000 in the last eight months, a 30.27 per cent increase compared with more than 1,048,000 the previous year.

Chhoeuy Chhan said at least 85 per cent among these tourists bought tickets to visit the Angkor Wat compound.

He said South Korean tourists, who score highest in the tourist arrivals, increased by 41.06 per cent, from more than 16,000 to over 23,000. Vietnamese tourists came in second, followed by Chinese, Japanese and Thai tourists.

Despite huge increases in numbers, the historical tourism site could still accommodate them because the province has 152 hotels consisting of more than 10,000 rooms, along with 220 guesthouses with more than 3,000 rooms.

“There are not enough rooms during the big national festivals,” he said, but generally there are enough.

There has been an increase in Vietnamese tourists arriving in Cambodia but their benefit is not as great as other foreign tourists, according to a tourism-related service provider.

Seng Phalkun, Managing Director of Travel Loops tour company and owner of Siem Reap-based Noon Night Market, said Vietnamese tourists spent little on souveniers and other service packages.

“Vietnamese are not good for business because their budget is still low," said Seng Phalkun.

“Service packages for Vietnamese are really cheap,” he said. “For example, the cost of a hotel room could be US$30, but for Vietnamese customers, it is $22 per night,” said Seng Phalkun.

On World Tourism Day 2012, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that in 2011 Cambodia received approximately 2.8 million international tourists, an increase of 16 per cent compared with last year.

For the first seven months of 2012, international tourist arrivals to Cambodia totaled about 2 million, an increase of 25 per cent.

Source: Phnompenhpost/01Oct2012

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: World Tourism Day (WTD) 2012

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2012

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2012 is being held under the theme Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development. Official celebrations will take place in Maspalomas, Spain (Sept 27).

This year’s theme aims to highlight tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population has access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services.

Tourism, one of the world’s largest economic sectors, has already taken important steps towards this future – improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet.

Be part of World Tourism Day 2012! Take part in the photo competition, go to online energy school, let us know how you will be celebrating and keep checking back for more information on WTD activities and celebrations.

Tourism & Sustainable Energy: gearing up for World Tourism Day 2012
PR No.: PR12042,Madrid,27 Jun 12

Launching the World Tourism Day 2012 (27 September) campaign, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, has called on all tourism stakeholders to “play their part in reaching the United Nations goal of achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030”.

World Tourism Day (WTD) 2012 will be celebrated under the theme ‘Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development’, inviting everyone involved in tourism – from governments to businesses and tourists themselves – to learn more about the sustainable energy initiatives in place in the tourism sector, debate what more should be done and advance the use of sustainable energy in tourism.

“Tourism is leading the way in some of the world’s most innovative sustainable energy initiatives,” says Mr. Rifai in his official WTD message. “Energy efficient upgrades to aircraft, the shift to renewable fuel for aviation and cruise liners, energy technology solutions in hotels, as well as countless other initiatives are placing tourism at the forefront of the clean energy transformation.”

These initiatives are crucial for sustainable development, continues Mr. Rifai, helping to cut tourism’s carbon emissions, enabling businesses to grow and create jobs, and bringing modern and affordable energy services to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities – goals in line with the 2012 UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All.

The Secretary-General’s message is part of the WTD 2012 campaign, which also includes the annual WTD photo competition, the upcoming Twitter competition and access to resources on the relationship between tourism and energy. This year, UNWTO is also inviting everyone to visit the ‘online energy school’, as part of Hotel Energy Solutions, a UNWTO-initiated project designed to help hoteliers cut their carbon emissions and costs. The launch of the WTD campaign comes one week after governments, the private sector, civil society and other groups meeting at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) committed US$ 323 billion to achieving sustainable energy for all by 2030.

Official WTD celebrations will take place on 27 September in Maspalomas, Gran Canaria, Spain, and include a Think Tank on the 2012 theme with the participation of top experts and policy makers in the field of tourism and energy. The Think Tank will be one of hundreds of events taking place around the world in celebration of WTD.

About World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day (WTD) is held annually on 27 September.

Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.

Source: UNWTO

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: International Traval Expo, Hong Kong (ITE) 2012 on 14th-17th June, at Hong Kong, China

International Traval Expo, Hong Kong (ITE) 2012 on 14th-17th June, at Hong Kong, China

Substantial and continuing expansions by past exhibitors, and new exhibitors enable ITE & MICE expanding from 2 halls in 2004 to 5 halls since 2008. With nearly 80% of exhibitors and 26% of buyers / trade visitors from outside Hong Kong, ITE & MICE gains wide recognition as effective platform for international travel trade to cover the fast growing Asian markets.

ITE & MICE integrates successfully leisure and MICE travel, highlights themes like cruise and wellness, and maintains separate trade days and public days. Our exhibitors can have access, each in good numbers, to the travel trade, corporations, the event industry, trade and public media, and also quality public visitors who more and more select traveling in FIT.

Regional trade & corporate visitors – 26% from mainland China & Asia;
International exhibitors – 30 plus pavilions by tourism boards from different continents; 80% exhibitors from outside Hong Kong;

Well attended by both trade & public media from Asia;

Public days drew quality visitors – over 80% travel in FIT / tailor made groups;

Extensive supports by tourism authorities & trade associations in Asia;

Free assistance to stage seminars and in publicity;

Mainland China & Hong Kong are respectively Asia’s first and fourth source markets.

ITE & ITE MICE are among the few travel fairs in Asia offering two full professional days for trade and corporate visitors. Also, a unique arrangement of holding leisure and MICE travel concurrently for synergy since 2005 resulted in the number of corporate visitors grew by times. ITE & MICE are supported by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), Travel Industry Council of Hong Kong (TIC) and Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO). Official Air, Cathay and Dragonair sponsor our hosted buyer program. Supports also come from event industry associations and international chambers of commerce in Hong Kong and neighbouring cities, and travel agent associations in different parts of Asia.

Source: TopChinaTravel

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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia eyes family-tree tourism

Cambodia eyes family-tree tourism

Under the scorching sun, an English tourist wearing a pair of loose trousers and wet T-shirt plants a seedling in the fertile soil of Koh Trong, a small island in the middle of the Mekong River opposite Kratie provincial town.

While his dirty hands were covering the root of the sapling with black soil, 32-year-old Sam Roberts said with a broad smile: “I’ve never planted a tree with my own hands before. This is the first time in my entire life.”

Roberts found out about the tree-planting campaign throught the tourist information centre in the town, while following his itinerary to view the province’s symbol: the endangered Irawaddy dolphins. “I learned that we can help the local community raise money by planting trees. It was a memorable trip and my name will always remain next to the tree, perhaps it will grow quite tall when I visit next.”

Roberts was one of a few dozen tourists participating in the “one tourist, one tree” campaign launched by the Ministry of Tourism after a Green Tourism Meeting in Siem Reap two weeks ago. The nationwide campaign has since been advertised on TV and travel websites, encouraging tourists to help revive forests while enjoying their vacations.

The campaign also aims to encourage tourists to revisit Cambodia, and to bring family members and friends with them to see the growth of the tree they planted. More than 4,000 trees have been planted by local and international tourists since the campaign’s launch on Koh Trong.

Ron Pheara, Kratie’s tourism department director, puts its success down to close co-operation among tourist venues and businesses, NGOs and community residents.

“We’ve been working with the Koh Trong tourism community to gather small trees for tourists who love the environment. To participate in the campaign, they pay US$5 for a seedling, small shovel and a piece of land to plant their own tree or a ‘family tree’, as well as a wooden name plaque to put next to their seedling. After they plant it, people from the community will taking care of the tree. They will receive a photo of the growing progress of their tree with their name bearing on the wooden plaque by email in three or six months.”

Ron Pheara believes that the campaign attracts groups and families who are likely to return, resulting in more income flowing into the local community. Residents living near the newly planted trees also receive a fee from the tourists to take care of the trees. Farmer Chun Samean said helping tourists plant trees not only provides him with more income to run his farm, but also brings a more festive spirit to the island.

“It’s an easy and happy job. I just bring seedlings and the wooden plaque to them and they plant by themselves. I also received some money as a gift from them when they ask me to take care of their trees while they’re away,” he said.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has said that responsible tourism is becoming increasingly popular. Thirty four per cent of tourists would choose to stay in the environmentally-friendly hotel even they cost more than other accomondations, and 55 per cent would carry their booking via travel agents that help benefit local communities and the environment, according to the organisation.

During the Green Tourism Meeting, Tourism Minister Thong Khon said that the ministry is encouraging responsible tourism and local businesses to use resources that can mitigate negative impacts on culture and the environment.

“The ‘one tourist, one tree’ campaign will help protect the environment, and reduce climate change, global warming and other natural disasters,” he said. “It also can promote Cambodia as a green tourism destination. If one tourist plants a tree, he or she might bring the whole family and friends for the next visit, which will boost the number of tourists coming to Cambodia.”

The campaign’s success hinges on collaboration among all those who have a stake in the industry, he said. “This campaign is not only being implemented in Kratie and Siem Reap provinces. Tourists can plant trees everywhere they go. The campaign is not only targetting international tourists. Cambodian people who love environment can also plant trees at the destinations they visit,” the minister said.

His ministry is working with a host of governmental agencies to raise the profile of the campaign on National Tree day on July 9 in Seam Reap province with a public tree-planting event.

Source: Phnompenhpost,Posted on 22 June 2012

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Thursday, 14 June 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodian Culture: Royal Ballet of Cambodia Dance

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodian Culture: Royal Ballet of Cambodia Dance

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia (Khmer: ល្ខោនព្រះរាជទ្រព្យ) is a form of performing arts established in the royal courts of Cambodia for the purpose of entertainment as well as ceremonial propitiation. It is the dominant genre of dance theatre in Cambodia that features the classical dance style (របាំក្បាច់បូរាណ) and is analogous to Thai dance theatre of the inner court, the lakhon nai.



Wikipedia: The Royal Ballet of Cambodia at curtain call (Paris, France 2010)


It is performed during public occasions and ceremonies in Cambodia as well as among Cambodians in other countries. Performances entails elaborately dressed dancers performing a slow and figurative set of gestures and poses meant to entrance the viewer. The repertoire includes dances of tribute or invocation and the enactment of traditional stories and epic poems such as the Ramayana. The music is played by an ensemble of xylophones, metallophones, woodwind instruments, drums, and gong chimes accompanied by a chorus.

Western names for this dance tradition often make reference to the royal court; including Cambodian court dance as it was performed and maintained by the attendants of the royal palaces. As a performing art, it is formally referred to as the Royal Ballet of Cambodia (and as Le ballet royal du Cambodge in French) by UNESCO, Cravath, Brandon, and others in the academic field; although this term may also refer to the royal ballet as a corps, the National Dance Company of Cambodia. The term "Khmer classical dance" is also used alongside "Royal Ballet of Cambodia" in the publications by UNESCO and mentioned authors.

In Khmer, it is formally known as Robam Preah Reach Trop (របាំព្រះរាជទ្រព្យ, lit. dances of royal wealth) or Lakhon Preah Reach Trop (ល្ខោនព្រះរាជទ្រព្យ, lit. theatre of royal wealth). It is also referred to as Lakhon Luong (ល្ខោនហ្លួង, lit. the king's theatre). During the Lon Nol regime of Cambodia, the dance tradition was referred to as Lakhon Kbach Boran Khmer (ល្ខោនក្បាច់បូរាណខ្មែរ, lit. Khmer theatre of the ancient style), a term alienating it from its royal legacy.

Khmer classical dancers, as a whole, are frequently referred to as apsara dancers by laymen; in the modern sense, this usage would be incorrect in the present-form of the dance as the apsara is just one type of character among others in the repertoire. Regardless, the romanticized affiliation of Royal Ballet of Cambodia with the apsaras and devatas of the ruins of Angkor still persists.

History of Royal Ballet of Cambodia

The origins of Khmer classical dance in the style seen today are disputed. Cambodian scholars, such as Pech Tum Kravel, and French scholar George Groslier have claimed Khmer classical dance as a tradition maintained since the Angkor period. Other scholars theorize that Khmer classical dance, as seen today, developed from, or was at least highly influenced by, Siamese classical dance innovations during the 19th century and precedent forms of Cambodian dance were different from the present form. According to James R. Brandon, the lakhon nai of Siam was the main influence on Cambodian court dance in the 1800s. Martin Banham also mentions performers from Thailand were brought to restructure the dance tradition for the royal court of Cambodia during the same period. Indeed, there were Siamese performers in the royal court of Cambodia during the 19th century according to most renown sources on the royal ballet, Groslier included; this suggests a strong connection to the court dances of Siam and it's influences. Sasagawa mentions Groslier's acknowledgement of Siamese performers in the royal dance troupe and also mentions Norodom Sihanouk claim that the Siamese 'taught Cambodia it's lost art form which they had preserved after sacking Angkor,' however, Sasagawa notes that the Siamese innovations (such as the story of Inao, an adaptation of the Malay version of Panji) were not present in the Angkorian dance tradition.

Angkor and Pre-Angkor Era

One of the earliest records of dance in Cambodia is from the 7th century, where performances were used as a funeral rite for kings. In the 20th century, the use of dancers is also attested in funerary processions, such as that for King Sisowath Monivong. During the Angkor period, dance was ritually performed at temples. The temple dancers came to be considered as apsaras, who served as entertainers and messengers to divinities. Ancient stone inscriptions, describe thousands of apsara dancers assigned to temples and performing divine rites as well as for the public. The tradition of temple dancers declined during the 15th century, as the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya raided Angkor. When Angkor fell, its artisans, Brahmins, and dancers were taken captive to Ayutthaya.

Post-Angkor Era

In the 19th century, King Ang Duong, who had spent 27 years as a captive prince in the Siamese court in Bangkok (i.e. the Grand Palace), restructured his royal court in Cambodia with Siamese innovations from the Rattanakosin period. Court dancers under the patronage of the royal court of Siam were sent to the royal court in Cambodia during this period.

French Colonial Era

Dancers of the court of King Sisowath were exhibited at the 1906 Colonial Exposition in Marseilles at the suggestion of George Bois, a French representative in the Cambodian court. Auguste Rodin was captivated by the Cambodian dancers and painted a series of water colors of the dancers.

Movement and gestures Royal Ballet of Cambodia

Khmer classical dancers use stylized movements and gestures to convey meaning and tell a story. These gestures are often vague and abstract while some may be easily understood. Dancers do not sing or generally speak except for some dance dramas where there are brief instances of speech by the dancers.

Hand gestures in Khmer classical dance are called kbach (meaning style). These hand gestures form a sort of alphabet and represent various things from nature such as fruit, flowers, and leaves. They are used in different combinations and transitions with accompanying movement of the legs and feet, to convey different thoughts and concepts. The way in which they are presented, the position of the arm, and the position of the hand relative to the arm can also affect their meaning. Gestures are performed in different manners depending on the character type.

Characters:

Four main types of roles exist in Khmer classical dance; neay rong (male), neang (female), yeak (ogres or asuras), and the sva (monkeys). These four basic roles contain sub-classes to indicate character rank; a neay rong ek, for example, would be a leading male role and a neang kamnan (or philieng) would be a maiden-servant. The sub-classes of the four main roles all perform in the same type of dancing style of the class they belong to. However, the yeakheney, or female ogre, is performed with a feminized dancing style of the male counterpart. Other female character types, such as the apsara, kinnari, or mermaid, follow the same dancing style as the neang role but with subtle differences in gestures; the main difference being costume. The ngoh character type, although male, is presented with a different dancing style than the neay rong.

In the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, most roles are performed by female dancers, but the role of monkeys was transferred to men under the guidance of Queen Sisowath Kosssamak. Other roles performed by men include hermits and animals such as horses and mythical lions.

Costume Royal Ballet of Cambodia

Classical dance costumes are highly ornate and heavily embroidered, sometimes including sequins and even semi-precious gems. Most of the costumes is thought to be what is representative of what divinities wear, this is reflected in the art style of the post-Angkor period. Various pieces of the costume (such as shirts) have to be sewn onto the dancers for a tight fit.

Female costume

The typical female, or neang costume consists of a sampot sarabap (or charabap); a type of woven fabric with two contrasting silk threads along with a metallic thread (gold or silver in color). The sampot is wrapped around the lower body in a sarong-like fashion, then pleated into a band in the front and secured with a gold or brass belt. In the current style, part of the pleated brocade band hangs over the belt on the left side of the belt buckle, which is a clear distinction from Thai classical dance costumes where this pleated band is tucked into the belt to the right of the belt buckle. Worn over the left shoulder is a shawl-like garment called a sbai (also known as the robang khnang, literally 'back cover'), it is the most decorative part of the female costume, embroidered extensively with tiny beads and sequins; the usual embroidery pattern for the sbai these days is a diamond-shaped floral pattern, but in the past there were more variations of floral patterns. Under the sbai is a silk undershirt or bodice worn with a short sleeve exposed on the left arm. Around the neck is an embroidered collar called a srang kar.

Jewelry of the female role includes a large, filigree square pendant of which is hung by the corner, various types of ankle and wrists bracelets and bangles, an armlet on the right arm, and body chains of various styles.

Male costume

Male characters wear costumes that are more intricate than the females, as it requires pieces, like sleeves, to be sewn together while being put on. They are dressed in a sampot sarabap like their female counterpart, however it is worn differently. For the male, or neay rong, the sampot is worn in the chang kben fashion, where the front is pleated and pulled under, between the legs, then tucked in the back and the remaining length of the pleat is stitched to the sampot itself to form a draping 'fan' in the back. Knee-length pants are worn underneath displaying a wide, embroidered hem around the knees. For the top, they wear long sleeved shirts with rich embroidering, along with a collar, or srang kar, around their neck. On the end of their shoulders are a sort of epaulette that is arching upwards like Indra's bow (known as inthanu). Another component of the male costumes are three richly embroidered banners worn around the front waist. The center piece is known as a robang muk while the two side pieces are known as a cheay kraeng, while for monkeys and yaksha characters, they wear another piece in the back called a robang kraoy.

Male characters also wear an x-like strap around the body called a sangvar, often it is made of gold-colored silk and sometimes it is made from chains of gold with square ornaments, in which case the latter is reserved for more important characters. The males also wear the same ankle and wrist jewelry as the female, but with the addition of an extra set of bangles on the wrist and no armlets. They also wear a kite-shaped ornament called a sloek po (named after the Bo tree leaf) which serves as center point for their sangvar.

Headdress

There are several types crowns which denote the ranks of the character. Commonly worn by female characters of the lowest rank is the kbang; it is also worn by Brahmin characters with ornaments around a bun of hair. Divinities and royal characters of the highest ranks wear a tall single-spire crown called a mokot ksat for male characters and a mokot ksatrey for female characters. The panchuret (Groslier romanizes this as panntiereth), reserved for princes and generals (sena), is a circlet-like crown with a faux knot in the back. The rat klao is worn by princess' and, often, maidens of significance in a dance if they happen to not be of royal rank. Some characters' headdressings include ear ornaments as well as earrings. Characters such as ogres and monkeys wear masks. Ogres and monkeys of royal rank wear masks with a mokot attached.

Floral adornments

Dancers are traditionally adorned with fragrant flowers, although sometimes, fresh flowers are substituted with faux flowers. The floral tassel is traditionally made of Jasminum sambac strung together with Michelia flowers, being either Michelia × alba or Michelia champaca. The neang (female) role wears a rose above the right ear and a floral tassel attached to the left side of the crown while the neay rong (male) role wears a rose on the left ear and a floral tassel to the right side. Sometimes, dancers will wear jasmine garlands fit for the wrists. The apsara role is most often adorned with the flowers of either Plumeria obtusa or white cultivars of Plumeria rubra; sometimes plumerias are tied along the back of their hair.

To see more details about the way of the Royal Ballet dance, style of dancing, please watch video of the Khmer dancing below...

Cambodian Temple Dance 1945

You welcome to the Cambodian Dance!
This is the Form of the Cambodian Royal Classical Ballet. All Khmer people have the blood of Art and the Talent of Dance. They had performed in the Year 1945 of the Province Siem Reap - Angkor Wat.
VorbThor Rolort Cheat RoLeary!
We love the Khmer Culture and all Khmer people ought to keep and defend the Cultural heritage of Our Khmer Nation.

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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Provinces Tours: Battambang

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Provinces Tours: Battambang

As my previous post about Cambodia province tour at Banteay Meanchey province, here this post, I would like to share you about taking tour to Battambang...

Saying about Battambang, you will see​​ the statue of Lok Ta Dombang Kro Nhoong, Kranhoung Stick grandfather (លោកតា ដំបងក្រញូង).


Well, let know some introduction about Battambang...

Battambang is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia. Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For over 500 years, it was the main commercial hub of Siam's Eastern Provinces, though it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.

The city is situated by the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province providing its nice picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French Colonial architecture is an attractive bonus of the city. It is home to some of the best-preserved, French colonial architecture in the country.

Battambang was established as an important trading city with around 2,500 residents in the 18th century. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the Sangke River. In 1795 Thailand annexed much of northwestern Cambodia including the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap. The Abhaiwongse family rule Battambang for six generations which lasted until 1907 when the province was ceded to the French to be part of their Indochina colony.

Following the colonization of the French in Battambang the colonial administration developed an urban layout which enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they constructed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structures and built three main streets parallel to the Sangker River, connected the both side with two bridges in 1917. Military purposes and prison infrastructures were erected inside the compound. 19 years later, a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked from Battambang to Phnom Penh. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes orienting on the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang, a large extension was planned for the north, east and south of the city. The urban layout was technically planned and required long-term thinking to create an urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang grew as a modern provincial capital, and became the most developed part of all provinces in Cambodia.

Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government under Prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the court house and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the Battambang Airport was constructed, and the railway line was developed to reach Poipet. Numerous schools and a university were built. A sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.

Attraction places at Battambang province:

Kamping Puoy Lake

Locates between two mountains, named Phnom Kul or Phnom Ta Nget and Phnom Kamping Puoy, at Ta Nget village, Ta Kriem Commune in 35-kilometre (22 mi) distance from the provincial town. Kamping Puoy lake has 1,900-metre (6,230 ft) width, 19-kilometre (12 mi) length and can load 110,000,000 cubic metres (3.8846×109 cu ft). It is a fabulous lake famous for its giant lotus flowers which a social project named Samatoa use to make an extraordinary fabric. Embark a boat through the lotus flowers and ask for a free visit to the lotus center. You will discover a unique process to spin and weave the lotus fibers to make a new organic fabric. These activities employ more than 20 underprivileged women's around the lake.Back to the center of Battambang visit their tailor made workshop on road 2, #111.

Baset Temple was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II (1002–1050) and located on a hill at Baset village, Ta Pun commune in 15-kilometre (9 mi) distance from the provincial town. Baset temple adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1036 and 1042. Next to the temple, there is a pond having 20-metre (66 ft) length 12-metre (39 ft) width and 10-metre (33 ft) depth. The pond is never dried, though in the dry season. In rainy season, the water level is higher than usual.

Wat Ek

adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1027 during the reign of King Suryavarman II (1002–1050). It is located at Piem Ek commune in 14-kilometre (9 mi) from the provincial town.

Prasat Banan

adapts the architecture of mid 11th century and the end of 12th century the temple was first built by King Dharanindravarman II (1050–1066) and was built finally built by the King Jayavarman VII (1181–1220). The temple is located on the top of approximate 400-metre (1,310 ft) heighten mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Banan District in 15-kilometre (9 mi) distance from the provincial town by the provincial Road No 155 parallel to Sangker River. At the mountain’s valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural well, namely: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey.

Prasat Snung

characterizes as three separated stupas made of brick, located on a hill having 30-metre (98 ft) length and 20-metre (66 ft) width, in Snung pagoda’s area, Snung commune, Banan District in 22-kilometre (14 mi) distance from the provincial town. According to the style at the gate, the temple is similar to other temples in 12th century. Behind the temple, there is another new constructing temple.

Phnom Sampov

is the natural resort located along the National Road No 57 (the former National Road No10) at Sam Puoy commune (the high land having more than 100-metre (330 ft) height) in 12-kilometre (7 mi) distance from the provincial town of Battambang. On the top of Sam Puoy mountain, there are temple and three natural wells, namely Pkar Slar, Lo Khuon and Ak Sopheak. Next to Sam Puoy mountain, there are some main mountains, the natural site like Phnom Trung Moan, Phnom Trung Tea and Phnom Neang Rum Say Sork. These mountains related to the Cambodia folk legend of Reach Kol Neang Rum Say Sork.

Sek Sak Resort

is the natural resort, which has been popular since before the civil war time. Sek Sak stretches along the river bank full of plant, trees and bamboo-green nature in 500-metre (1,640 ft) length. As long as visiting Sek Sak, tourists can also visit other attractive sites like Po Pus Pich Chen Da Dong Tong and Sa Ang speak, the pre-history site in five kilometer (3.1 mi) to six kilometer (3.75 mi) distance from each other. Sek Sak located Treng commune, Rotanak Mondul District in 50-kilometre (31 mi) distance from the provincial town of Battambang along the National Road No 57, the former National Road No 10.

Nory (Bamboo Train)

is overseen by the tourist police and runs from just outside of the city to a village that has a brick factory. See Norry for more information.

Battambang Circus (Phare Ponleu Selpak)

gives performances every Monday and Thursday evening. The shows include a range of circus disciplines including acrobatics, juggling, aerial work, clowning, tightrope walking and aqua-balance. The shows are put on by students from the NGO arts school, Phare Ponleu Selpak. This organisation helps disadvantaged children and young people escape from situations connected with poverty such as begging or trafficking and to get an education, both in normal public school and in the arts.

To know more about the Battambang, please enjoy with Battambang photos slide show with sweet song Anusavory Battambang sung by Mr.Khemarak Sereymorn and othere videos related to Battambang province below...







Other sites you may want to see: WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/ The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/ Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/ Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/ NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/ About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/ Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/ Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: ASEAN eyes becoming world class tourist destination

ASEAN eyes becoming world class tourist destination

The 30th ASEAN Tourism Forum opened here on Tuesday evening, aiming at promoting ASEAN as the world class tourist destination by 2015.

The event under the theme of "ASEAN: A World of Wonders and Diversity" was attended by about 3,000 participants, who are government's top officials, ASEAN tourism ministers, tourism delegates from China, Japan, Korea, India and Russia, diplomatic corps, exhibitors and buyers from around the world.

Speaking during the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the ATF 2011 will not only help promote tourism products of Cambodia and ASEAN to the whole world, but also show the importance of tourism in contributing to socio-economic development and in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and poverty alleviation of the people in the region and the world.

"ASEAN is seen as a captivating and highly competitive tourist destination for development, based on the uniqueness of its potentials and diversity of historical cultural relics and tremendous natural resources," he said.

"I hope that all related stakeholders in public and private sectors will jointly cooperate to develop ASEAN tourism in order to fulfill ASEAN vision as the world class tourist destination by 2015."

The 30th ASEAN Tourism Forum kicked off from Jan. 15 and will last until 21, Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said during the opening ceremony.

During the event from Jan. 15-18, there had been a series of meetings of ASEAN tourism ministers, ASEAN tourism ministers plus 3 (China, Japan and South Korea) and ASEAN tourism ministers plus India and Russia.

And from Jan. 19-21, there will be the ASEAN Travel Exchange held at Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center. "It will be the biggest gathering--up to 1,500 sellers with 512 booths from hotels, airline companies, tour operators and travel agencies of ASEAN countries and 466 buyers from ASEAN, Asia, Europe and the United States of America," he said.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Source:Xinhua

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Welcome to Cambodia: Book guides kids through Angkor

Welcome to Cambodia: Book guides kids through Angkor

Wearing shorts, a T-shirt, a traditional krama scarf and a palm leaf hat, a Cambodian cowboy takes a break from caring for his bulls to guide children through the Angkor temple complex.

But his guests don’t need to go to Siem Reap to enjoy the tour. Holding the newly released book Exploring Angkor in their hands at home and flipping from one page to another, the cowboy will show them around the ancient temples.

The Exploring Angkor guide book was published by SIPAR, an NGO that promotes literacy in Cambodia, after the organisation conducted a survey and found that children were curious about their cultural patrimony.

“When we did the survey with the children, they told us that they wanted to know Angkor Wat,” said Sun Heng Meng Chheang, 73, one of the book’s two co-authors. “Most of the children have never been there, so they are curious to learn about their temples.”

“SIPAR tries to raise awareness of Khmer history,” said Aurélie Giraud, Fundraising and Communications Officer of SIPAR. “Not much about the Khmer Rouge because there are many books about it. I mean the history before the Khmer Rouge.”

Because of the Kingdom’s history of conflict, many people have grown up in the past 30 years without access to books, often because they are unable to afford them. Even today, many children still lack books to read, especially comic books for kids.

For this reason, SIPAR began operating a library project at public schools in 1992. After 10 years, the organisation launched a publishing programme to stock libraries with much-needed editions. Up to now, SIPAR has published about 80 titles for readers ranging from young children to adults, with a total of one million copies put out in Khmer.

Exploring Angkor is SIPAR’s most recent publication, with its official launch set to take place this evening to coincide with the 10th anniversary celebration of SIPAR’s publishing programme.

And unlike other publications, this book has been published in three languages – Khmer, English and French – also making it appealing to young non-Cambodians interested in learning about the history of the world-renowned UNESCO site.

“I think this book is not just important for Cambodians but also for foreigners who are interested in the Angkor Wat or Bayon temples,” said Giraud, adding that the more expensive foreign-language versions will help subsidize the Khmer edition so as to make it more accessible to Cambodians.

The colourful 56-page book is a combination of text, illustrations and photographs that easily engages young readers. On every page, the cartoon Cambodian cowboy plays the tour guide and introduces his audience to the history of the ancient temples.

The book is written for children 12 years old and up, so the authors tried to balance between text and pictures so as not to bore readers.

“If readers are younger, we publish more pictures than text,” said Sun Heng Meng Chheang. “But since this book is for children 12 and older, we put in more text because they can read.”

The book doesn’t just narrate the history of the temples, it also illustrates the way the Angkor Wat temple was built. Though there is still some controversy among experts as to the techniques and tools used by the temple’s creators, the book presents the government’s official interpretation.

“We decided to illustrate the picture of how the Angkor Wat was built based on the analysis of scientists and proof from the ancient temple. We also got approval from the government Apsara Authority,” said Huot Sarith, 30, also a co-author of the book.

A total of 15,000 copies will be printed in Khmer, and 5,000 copies each in French and English. The Khmer version costs US$2.75 while the foreign-language version is $9. The book will be available at many bookstores, including Monument Books, Peace Book Center, International Book Center, Angkor Thom Book Center and Popular Book Store, among others.

The book launch for Exploring Angkor begins tonight at 6pm at the Institut Francais on #218 Street 184, Phnom Penh. There will be a talk by the authors, a photo exhibit, a film screening and other activities.
Entry is free. Source: Phnompenhpost

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Friday, 9 March 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Angkor Tops List of 'Most Recommended' World Heritage Sites

Welcome to Cambodia: Angkor Tops List of 'Most Recommended' World Heritage Sites

A recent UNESCO / Trip advisor Survey reveals Angkor is the most recommended World Heritage site by a quarter millions travellers worldwide and that 72% would do more to help heritage conservation if they knew how.



TripAdvisor revealed the results to date of the biggest analysis ever conducted of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites around the world.

The two year partnership between TripAdvisor, and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre launched in October 2009 to raise awareness of and gain travellers’ support to preserve natural and cultural sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Within the partnership, TripAdvisor will also donate up to $1.5 million (USD) of support to the World Heritage Centre to help monitor the conservation of the world’s most important cultural and historic sites.

Via on-site and email campaigns, TripAdvisor has, to date, collected nearly a quarter of a million (244,690) feedback submissions from travellers who have visited 789 of UNESCO’s recently expanded list of 911 World Heritage sites. The results provide a unique insight into the views and recommendations of travellers themselves. As part of the partnership, TripAdvisor shares the feedback to the World Heritage Centre so that it may better engage UNESCO member states in matters of site conservation.

TripAdvisor travellers have given the nod to Angkor, Cambodia as the number one recommended UNESCO site to visit in the world, describing it as amongst other quotes, “Absolutely breathtaking” and “One of the wonders of the world.” The second and third most recommended World Heritage sites are both in Italy and are respectively the Historic Center of Rome, the properties of the Holy See, and the Historic Centre of Florence.

The TripAdvisor travellers’ feedback also highlights those World Heritage sites they consider need the most attention. At the top of UNESCO’s sites in ‘Worst Condition’ comes the Kasbah of Algiers in Algeria, described as a “crumbling site”. The site includes remains of old mosques, Ottoman-style palaces and traditional urban structures.

Because countries often hope to draw additional tourism following the inscription of their sites onto the WH List, traveller feedback from TripAdvisor can help them address some of the issues raised and improve tourism to their sites.

TripAdvisor is encouraging the contribution of reviews and opinions from its large and passionate community of millions of members to provide much needed information about the condition of World Heritage sites so they may be better protected. In order to compile traveler feedback on nearly 900 World Heritage sites across the globe, UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre invited TripAdvisor, via its millions of members and technological expertise, to provide traveler insights and support to the Centre.

As part of the two-year campaign, TripAdvisor has also pledged to donate up to $1.5 million U.S. of support, including a cash donation that will be allocated to UNESCO World Heritage initiatives. Travelers can learn more about how to help at www.tripadvisor.com/worldheritage.

According to TripAdvisor travellers, the “Top Ten” most recommended sites are:

1.Angkor, Cambodia
2.Historic Center of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See, Italy
3.Historic Center of Florence, Italy
4.Historic Areas of Istanbul, Turkey
5.Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, Scotland
6.Historic Center of Prague, Czech Republic
7.Venice and its Lagoon, Venezia, Italy
8.Works of Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona, Spain
9.Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Cathedral, London, England
10.Historic Center of Vienna, Austria

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Welcome to Cambodia; India to Replicate Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

Welcome to Cambodia; India to Replicate Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

Indians who haven’t yet seen Cambodia’s 12th-century Angkor Wat temple have reason to cheer: the World Heritage site is being recreated on the banks of holy River Ganges, in the eastern state of Bihar.

To be built by the privately-run Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust, the temple will have five stories and stand 222-feet tall. It will be taller than Tamil Nadu’s Brihadeeswarar temple, making it the “tallest Hindu temple in the world,” the trust announced Monday. The estimated cost of the 10-year long project is about $20 million, or one billion rupees, the trust says.

So what inspired this initiative?

“I have always been fascinated by the beauty and grandeur of Angkor Wat,” Acharya Kishore Kunal, secretary of the trust, told India Real Time. “Recreating the masterpiece would be a tribute to India,” he added.

Built during the reign of Hindu King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat is one of Cambodia’s prime tourist destinations. Spread across a sprawling campus of 203-acres, the temple was chiefly dedicated to Lord Vishnu, one of the Hindu Gods, until the late 13th century. In the years ahead, the temple became dedicated to Lord Buddha.

Its Indian replica, “Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir,” will be built on a 40-acre campus on the Hajipur-Bidupur road, about 20 kilometers from Bihar’s state capital, Patna, the trust says.

The place where the temple will be built is, “no ordinary site,” Mr. Kunal says. Legend has it that Hindu deity, Ram, and his brother Lakshman set foot here, he adds. Lord Ram is chiefly worshiped by Hindus across the globe and believed to be an earthly incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

Mr. Kunal claims that the temple venture will “drastically boost” tourism in India, although the country’s tourism officials appear oblivious of the initiative.

“We have not heard or seen any news reports of the temple,” a spokeswoman for India’s Ministry of Tourism said. In Bihar, Priteshwar Prasad, the assistant director of tourism, said he had, “no knowledge” of the shrine. After India Real Time informed Mr. Prasad of the venture, he was quick to add that the project will, “definitely put Bihar on the global map.”

The Ministry of Tourism in Bihar may be pleased with the venture, but not everyone welcomes the move.

An official from the Cambodian embassy in New Delhi said the trust has not gotten permission to replicate Angkor Wat. “We are quite unhappy with this development,” she said, adding that the Cambodian government may request the Indian government to stall the project.

“We won’t let anyone confuse the world that there are two Angkor Wats,” Phay Siphan, a Cambodian government spokesman, told the New Zealand Herald.

Mr. Kunal, of the trust, said his group, “did not deem it appropriate” to communicate with the Cambodian government since the temple will, “not be an exact replica” of Angkor Wat. Three key differences will distinguish the Hindu temple from its Cambodian counterpart, he added.

First, the temple’s central tower will be 222-feet long, 12 feet higher than the one at Angkor Wat, he said.

Why 222-feet? According to ancient Hindu belief, the number 222 is auspicious and brings good fortune, he says.

The second distinguishing feature, Mr. Kunal says, is that the shrine will be built using concrete and granite, not the sandstone that was used to erect Angkor Wat. “We believe the material is far superior to sandstone,” he adds.

Third, the temple will house colossal marble idols of several Hindu deities, he says. These include Lord Ram and his consort Sita, Lord Krishna and companion Radha and Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Angkor Wat, on the other hand is chiefly dedicated to Lord Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.

“The Cambodian government should understand that we are not competing with Angkor Wat in any way,” he asserted.

The end objective, he says, is not to supersede the grandeur of the Cambodian shrine but to, “create a magnificent Hindu temple for our land.”

The trust plans to begin construction of the Hindu temple this May.

Source: WSJ

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Monday, 27 February 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Boat

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Boat

I have already posted about visiting Cambodia by plane, and by road...This post, I would like to share with you some information about visiting Cambodia by boat...

To/from Laos - There is one border crossing for tourists on the Mekong, a 90 minute speedboat ride north of Stung Treng. The border guards have few opportunities for "alternative" income, and will usually try to make a few extra dollars from scamming tourists.

To/from Thailand - There are no ferry services between Cambodia and Thailand. However it is possible to cross the border from Thailand to Koh Kong on foot, take a 15 minute share taxi or motodop (motorbike taxi) ride, and then proceed to Sihanoukville by ferry from there (or vice-versa).

To/from Vietnam - It's possible to travel between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh by boat, or by combination of road and boat. Fast boats leave daily from Chau Doc in Vietnam's Mekong Delta and take 5 hours to reach Phnom Penh. Chau Doc is a four hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. A popular overland route is to make a three day trip, stopping at Can Tho and Chau Doc before taking the boat to Phnom Penh.


Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Road

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Road

As you already knew some information about visiting Cambodia by plane, here this post, I would like to share some information about visiting Cambodia by road.

This post would be some help for you if you decide to visit Cambodia by road...

As you know, Cambodia is sharing border with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, so you can travel to Cambodia by road from Thailand, Vietnam or Laos.

Visiting Cambodia From Thailand

All six international border crossings are open 7 AM to 8 PM and all have visa-on-arrival facilities at the Cambodian immigration checkpoints. On the Thai side, there are good paved roads to all 6 crossings. There are no direct bus services from Thailand that cross the border, but there are buses to all crossings except Chong Sa-Ngam. On the Cambodian side, more basic and less frequent bus services are available from Poipet and Koh Kong.

The busiest land crossing into Cambodia, and the most convenient for onward travel to Siem Reap and the Angkor Archaeological Park. Long the stuff of nightmares, the road has finally been paved all the way from the border to Sieam Reap and Phnom Penh.

Take a bus to Trat (transfer in Chanthaburi if necessary) and from there a minibus to the border. After crossing into Cambodia there are two possibilities - the once-daily boat to Sihanoukville (can be unpleasant in adverse weather), or else a minibus or taxi to either Sihanoukville or Phnom Penh.

To Siem Reap- Take the minibus from Surin bus station to the border. Once you cross the border, you are in the middle of nowhere,and there are not currently any buses direct from the border. A taxi can be hired for the 5 hour journey to Siem Reap, most of it very bumpy. However you will get a great and unique insight into rural Cambodian life away from tourist areas. Be warned, this journey can be difficult during the rainy season. The road from the Chong Sa-Ngam crossing is now sealed and it is a comfortable 2hour taxi ride into Siem Reap. However you should pre-order a taxi in Siem reap to meet you at the border. $40/45

Visiting Cambodia From Vietnam:

- From Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh: Ticket prices usually range from ~US$8-12. Bus passengers will be asked to vacate the vehicle at both the Vietnamese and Cambodian checkpoints. At this crossing only one passport photo is required for a Cambodian visa.

Mekong Express and MaiLinh Bus companies are the most reliable and reputable businesses operating on this route.

It can be interesting to join a Mekong Delta tour (2-3 days) that travels between the two cities; the total cost is about US$25-35 for three days.

- From Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap: Mai Linh Taxi Company in Ho Chi Minh City provides bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap directly from beginning of 2007. The price is US$18.

- From Ho Chi Minh City to Kampong Cham: It is possible to cross at the Trapeang Phlong - Xa Mat border but as of now you have to organise your own transport.

- From Pleiku to Banlung: It is now possible to cross the border at O Yadaw near Pleiku. Cambodian visas are available on arrival. You can get a motorbike taxi to the border from Duc Co on the Vietnamese side, but there is no regular transport available on the Cambodian side. It maybe possible to hitch a ride with the border officials, though.

- From Xa Xia to Prek Chak : There is a (Cambodian) bus service from Ha Tien in Vietnam (where the ferry from the popular Phu Quoc island docks) to various destinations in Cambodia, including Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh. Cambodian visa on arrival.

Visiting Cambodia From Laos:

- From Voeung Kam, Laos to Dom Kralor, Cambodia: Onward transportation not regularly available. Cambodian visas available, but expect 1$ to 2$ of transaction fees on both sides of the border. Travel agencies on both sides have border crossing packages.

If you have more information about traveling to Cambodia by road, please feel free to drop your comments below...thanks...

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

Read more...

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Plane

Welcome to Cambodia: Visiting Cambodia by Plane

Well, are you willing to visit Cambodia by plane?

This post would be some help for you if you decide to visit Cambodia by plane...

As I know, Cambodia has international airports at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Direct flights connect Phnom Penh International Airport (previously Pochentong International Airport) with China (Guangzhou | Hong Kong | Shanghai), Laos (Vientiane), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Incheon/Seoul), Taiwan (Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok) and Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City).

Direct flights connect Siem Reap - Angkor International Airport with Laos (Pakse | Vientiane), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, South Korea (Incheon/Seoul), China (Guangzhou) Taiwan (Kaohsiung | Taipei), Thailand (Bangkok | U-Tapao (Sattahip/Pattaya)) and Vietnam (Hanoi | Ho Chi Minh City).

Travellers going specifically to visit the Angkor temple ruins may prefer to use Siem Reap as it's only a few minutes away from the main sites; however as Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on direct flights between Bangkok and Siem Reap, it's a lot cheaper to fly to Phnom Penh and to take the bus (or cross overland from Bangkok).

Low-cost carrier Air Asia has introduced flights from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok to Phnom Penh and Kuala Lumpur to Siem Reap, while Jetstar Asia has begun flying from Singapore to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

Airlines operating flights to/from Cambodia

Other airlines operating flights to/from Cambodia include Asiana Airlines , Bangkok Airways, China Southern Airlines, Dragonair, Eva Airways, Korean Air, Lao Airlines , Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Air Asia Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Siem Reap Airways (a subsidiary of Bangkok Airways), SilkAir, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, and Vietnam Airlines.

Which Airlines you should choose?

Mostly people from Thailand, they will choose Bangkok Airway or Thai Airways International. From Vietnam, they will select Vietnam Airlines. From Malaysia, they will fly via Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia Airlines, something like that...

Yeah..We wish you have a nice flight to visit the kingdom...

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

Read more...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: About World Tourism: The World Tourism Rankings are Compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization

Welcome to Cambodia: World Tourism: The World Tourism Rankings are Compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), based in Madrid, Spain, is a United Nations agency dealing with questions relating to tourism. It compiles the World Tourism rankings. The World Tourism Organization is a significant global body, concerned with the collection and collation of statistical information on international tourism. This organization represents public sector tourism bodies, from most countries in the world and the publication of its data makes possible comparisons of the flow and growth of tourism on a global scale. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The official languages of UNWTO are Arabic, English, ‎French, Russian, and Spanish.

The World Tourism Organization plays a role in promoting the development of responsible, ‎sustainable and universally accessible tourism, paying particular attention to the ‎interests of developing countries‎.

The Organization encourages the implementation ‎of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with a view to ensuring that member ‎countries, tourist destinations and businesses maximize the positive economic, ‎social and cultural effects of tourism and fully reap its benefits, while minimizing its ‎negative social and environmental impacts. UNWTO is committed to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, geared ‎toward reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development.

The World Tourism rankings are compiled by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) as part of their World Tourism Barometer publication, which is released three times throughout the year. In the publication, world tourism is ranked both by the number of visits and by the tourism revenue generated.

Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/
The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/
Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/
Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/
About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com
All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/
Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/
Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

Read more...

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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Provinces Tours: Banteay Meanchey: Tourist Attractions Places

Welcome to Cambodia: Cambodia Provinces Tours: Banteay Meanchey: Tourist Attractions Places





As my previous post about introduction to Cambodia Province, the Banteay Meanchey.



Here, this post, you will see more attractive places in Banteay Meanchey province.



Tourist Attractions in Banteay Meanchey includes: Ang Trapeang Thmor, Banteay Chhmar, Banteay Neang, Banteay Torp, Cheung Krouh, Kang Va Basin, Laang Phnom Touch, Phnom Bak and Phnom Chenh Chiang, Phnom Svay, Tra Peang Thmar, Tra Peang Thmar Resort...



1. Ang Trapeang Thmor: The Ang Trapaing Thmor Crane Sanctuary is a protected area of Cambodia on the site of a large Khmer Rouge irrigation project built during the 1970s. The sanctuary was gazetted on the 1st of January, 1999 and covers an area of 10,250 hectares. The reserve was set aside to protect the rare Eastern Sarus Crane (Grus antigone sharpii). Prior to the discovery of the crane at Trapaing Thmor, there were thought to be fewer than 1,000 of the birds left alive in the world. The Crane sanctuary is located in north western Cambodia, not far from the border with Thailand. The entire 10,000 hectares of the protected area is contained within Phnom Srok District of Banteay Meanchey Province. Phnom Srok district shares a border with Siem Reap and Oddar Meanchey Provinces. Reading from the north clockwise, Phnom Srok borders with Banteay Ampil and Chong Kal districts of Oddar Meanchey province to the north. The eastern border of the district is shared with Srei Snam and Kralanh districts of Siem Reap province. To the south the district shares a border with Preah Net Preah District of Banteay Meanchey. The western border of the district joins with Svay Chek and Thmor Pouk districts also of Banteay Meanchey. The sanctuary can be accessed by road from Sisophon (70 km) or Siem Reap (city) (90 km) via National Highway 6 initially then via smaller unsealed district roads to Ang Trapaing Thmor. Based on history, The site of Ang Trapaing Thmor reservoir is also the site of an ancient Angkorian causeway.





The Sarus Crane, Grus antigone is an all-year resident breeding bird in northern Pakistan and India (especially Central India and the Gangetic plains), Nepal, Southeast Asia and Queensland, Australia. It is a very large crane, averaging 156 cm (5 ft) in length, which is found in freshwater marshes and plains. Ang Trapaing Thmor sanctuary is also an important conservation area for a number of other threatened species. One globally threatened primate species, the Long Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) is found within the sanctuary. One globally threatened ungulate species, the Eld's Deer (Rucervus eldii) and three globally threatened turtle species, the Asian Box Turtle (Cuora amboinensis), the Malayan Snail Eating Turtle (Malayemys subjriguga) and the Elongated tortoise (Indotestudo elongata) are also found within Ang Trapaing Thmor.



2. Banteay Chhmar:



 



Banteay Chhmar​ (Khmer: បន្ទាយឆ្មារ) is a commune (khum) in Thma Puok District in Banteay Meanchey province in northwest Cambodia. It is located 63 km north of Sisophon and about 20 km east of the Thai border. The commune of Banteay Chhmar contains 14 villages.



The massive temple of Banteay Chhmar, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir (baray), comprises one of the most important and least understood archaeological complexes from Cambodia's Angkor period. Like Angkor Thom, the temple of Banteay Chhmar was accomplished during the reign of Jayavarman VII in the late 12th or early 13th century. One of the temple's shrines once held an image of Srindrakumara rajaputra (the crown prince), probably a son of Jayavarman VII. The long Old Khmer inscription found at the site (K.227), and now on display in the National Museum, Phnom Penh, relates how this prince or a king (samtac) was protected on two different occasions by four royal servants, all of whom lost their lives in his defense. The inscription lists the names of these officials and informs us that their respective images were once placed in the four corners of the shrine.The complex resembles Angkor Thom and other structures attributed to Jayavarman VII. It is one of two sites outside Angkor with the enigmatic face-towers. Besides that, its outer gallery is carved with bas-reliefs depicting military engagements and daily life scenes very similar to the well-known ones in Bayon.



The complex is oriented to the east, where there's a dried baray (about 1.6 by 0.8 km), which had a temple on an artificial island (mebon) in its centre. There are three enclosures, as typical. The external one, largely ruined, was 1.9 by 1.7 km and surrounded by a moat. The middle enclosure, provided with a moat too, is 850 by 800 m. It contains the main temple, surrounded by a gallery with reliefs 250 by 200 m which constitutes the third inner enclosure. Besides the main temple and the mebon there are other eight secondary temples. Four stelae detailing Jayavarman VII's genealogy were placed (though they remain unfinished) at each of the four corners of the third enclosure wall, mirroring the stelae that occupied the four corner-shrines (Prasat Chrung) of the king's capital at Angkor Thom.



Because of its remote location and its proximity to the Thai border, the complex has been subjected to severe looting, especially in the 1990s. In 1998, 2000 and 2002 the temple was listed by the World Monuments Fund as one of the hundred most endangered sites in all countries.



As example, in 1998 a group of soldiers stole a 30-meters section from the southern wall. The bas-reliefs of Banteay Chhmar once displayed eight exceptional Avalokiteśvaras in the west gallery, but now only two of these images remain: in January 1999 some looters dismantled sections of the western gallery wall containing these wonderful bas-reliefs. The truck that transported them was intercepted by Thai police by chance, and the 117 sandstone pieces of the wall were recovered. At present, these are on display in the National Museum of Cambodia at Phnom Penh. However, there has been no serious investigation of that theft.



Preservation of Banteay Chhmar is currently being led by Global Heritage Fund, a non-profit organization based in California. The organization's efforts thus far have included training a local Khmer team to conserve the sandstone bas-reliefs of the temple complex. Ultimately, GHF seeks to conserve the largely collapsed temple complex as a ruin "with low-impact, safe visitor access via suspended cable platforms over the fallen structures, along with selective interventions for high-risk structures, bas-reliefs and towers." GHF is also assisting the Cambodian government with the UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination and inscription process.



3. Banteay Neang:



 



Banteay Neang is a khum (commune) and village of Mongkol Borei District in Banteay Meanchey Province in western Cambodia. It is about 11 km from provincial town. It takes 20mns by car to reach there. There are several historical sites and colonial buildings. It is located in Road No. 69A of Banteay Chhmar Village, Banteay Chhmar Commune, Tmar Puok District.



4. Banteay Torp:







Banteay Torp, It is called in Khmer (Banteay Torp) it means the army base. it is about 55 km from the provincial town. It was the bigest army base during the civil war since 1970.It is located in Road No. 69A of Banteay Chhmar Village, Banteay Chhmar Commune, Tmar Puok District. Today, it become a historical war places to the local and international tourists to visit.



5. Cheung Krouh:







Cheung Krouh is about 63 km from the provincial town. It is located in road 69A of Banteay Chhmar Village, Banteay Chhmar Commune, Tmar Puok District.



6. Kang Va Basin: 





Kang Va basin is the natural resort locating at Serey Sophoan District, along the National Road No 69A, about 4kilometer distance from the provincial town or 364 kilometer distance from Phnom Penh. Visitors who visit the resort are usually interested in: Abundance of fresh air. Beautiful scenary with blowing winds of Ang Teuk Kang Va basis was built from 1976 to 1978, during the Khmer Rouge regime, as a water reservoir for dry season rice cultivation.



7. Laang Phnom Touch:







La Ang Phnom Touch is the natural and cultural resort locating at Se Rey Sa Phoan District, along the National Road No.5, about 28 kilometers south of provincial town. The site features natural wells and big and small mountains with large stone faces and surfaces. From the mountaintops, visitors have a spectacular view of the natural forests and a pagoda on the mountain side.



8. Phnom Bak and Phnom Chenh Chiang:



 

Phnom Bak and Phnom Chenh Chiang are natural and cultural sites located in Serei Sopoan district along National Road 5, about 5 kilometers west of Banteay Meanchey provincial town. The two mountains are near one another. The vertical faces of the mountains are like a wall. At the flank, there is a place for visitors to relax. At the foot of the mountain is a large well, 10 square meters and 12 meters deep. Some stone statues are sculptured there. There are also a number of vendors selling stone sculptures.



9. Phnom Svay:







1 km (2mn) From Provincial Town. Location: Nature Wildlife Preserves, Road No. 5, Kortan Village, O' Ormpel Commune, Serey Sophorn District.

10. Tra Peang Thmar Resort:





 



This is the natural resort, similar to Ang Teuk Kang Va, but bigger. It has less tourist activity than Kang Va because it locates far from the provinial town. The resort locates at Phnom Srok District in 56-kilometer distance from the provincial town or 416-kilometer distance from Phnom Penh.



 For more details, please come to visit Cambodia, then to Banteaymean Chey, you will see such attractions places in the Banteaymeanchey province...




For more beautiful photos at Banteay Meanchey province, please watch out the video tour to the province below...



Other sites you may want to see:

WWE: http://visa-wwe.blogspot.com/

The Kingdom of Wonder: http://welcome2cambodia.blogspot.com/

Daily Blogging: http://visablogging.blogspot.com/

Love Sharing: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/

NetworkSecurity: http://networksecuritynotes.blogspot.com/

About Insurance:http://visa-insurance.blogspot.com

All about Love: http://visa-love.blogspot.com/

Learning English Online: http://visa-elb.blogspot.com/

Discovery Internet: http://visa-isp.blogspot.com/

Read more...

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