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

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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

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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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