A cooking school in Siem Reap, Cambodia is now offering twice daily, half-day cooking classes conducted by a Cambodian chef at Champey restaurant. Trainees are first taken to a traditional market to purchase fresh ingredients and the class is conducted in a traditional style Khmer house in the center of the city. Students can cook meat, seafood, or vegetarian dishes of the participant’s choice. Besides getting to taste their culinary creations, participants also receive a complementary booklet, recipes, a certificate and some spices for home cooking.
Raffles Hotels & Resortshas assembled a Cambodian package using its properties in the country entitled, “A Journey Through Khmer Culture.” The experiential package includes meetings with local artists, a meeting with a shadow puppet master, Cambodian cooking class and more.
Khmer is the original culture of Cambodia and can be traced back to the 9th century AD and the rule of King Jayavaraman II. The Khmer Rouge, however, under Pol Pot’s leadership, destroyed not only the lives of the Cambodian people, but also obliterated all traces of its culinary, artistic and musical heritage.
Since its demise, Cambodians have strived to reignite Khmer Arts and today there is an exciting energy surrounding the arts scene. This six-day journey is based at Cambodia’s only two luxury hotels dating back to the Indochina era of the early 20th century. It explores Khmer culture both past and present, through the eyes of the people who have lived through it all and are now writing the next chapter.
Both the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor and Raffles Hotel Le Royal have played a part in the country’s history from the 1920’s when they opened, through the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge regime to the present day, when they too have been restored to contribute to a new chapter. They are the only hotels in Cambodia allowed to display the Royal crest above the door and serve original Khmer dishes, having been granted permission from the late King Father Norodom to use the Royal Palace of Cambodia’s recipes. Raffles is working with leading Cambodian destination management company Hanuman.
A Journey Through Khmer Culture starts from $3,187 per person double. This includes five nights’ accommodation in Landmark Rooms with Raffles Hotels & Resorts on a bed and breakfast basis, Raffles Butler Service, all activity options and additional meals stated in the itinerary, entrance fees, English speaking local guide and transfers. A 5 Night Suite option (Balcony Suite in Raffles Hotel Le Royal and Personality Suite in Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor) would start from $4,230.
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is adding a new dimension for visitors, the country’s first-ever integrated resort called Naga2. It will feature two five-star hotels, a casino, a theatre, luxury retail outlets, and dining outlets. Naga2 will occupy an area of 1.2 million square feet and be situated about 200 yards from the existing NagaWorld, with a completion date set for 2015. The property is being developed by NagaCorp, the country’s largest hotel, gaming and leisure operator.
The first luxury hotel will have more than 1,000 rooms in a 24-story block with a rooftop pool. The second hotel will feature 50 VIP luxury suites in a 22-story block. The theater will accommodate 3,000 and the retail aspect will feature 200,000 square feet of space with a connecting walkway from the existing NagaWorld to Naga2. The development is in a prime location adjacent to the popular riverfront area.
“We are excited about our maiden season in Asia and want our guests to feel the same way,” said SeaDream President Bob Lepisto.
“We are jump-starting the year by offering exceptional prices to some of the most exotic destinations in the Far East.
This limited-time sale applies to all 18 unique voyages in the region. Now is the time to book.” Voyages are seven to 15 days long and most may be combined as back-to-back sailings.
SeaDream II will sail in Asia from November through April 2014. Itineraries include visits to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), East Timor, Northern Australia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong.
Prices start at $3,599 per person for a Christmas voyage.
To obtain the additional 10 percent savings, use promo code ASIA10 at time of booking.
Song Saa Private Island, an intimate 27-villa luxury resort spanning two islands, Koh Ouen and Koh Bong in Cambodia’s Koh Rong Archipelago, is making its official U.S. debut in January 2013.
Song Saa’s commitment to community and sustainability shines through in its unique, highly individual design to ensure a guest experience as authentic as it is exclusive. Inspired by Cambodian fishing villages, the resort features over-water buildings, thatch roofs, rough-hewn natural timbers and driftwood furnishings. The resort’s 27 one- and two-bedroom villas, perched overwater, on the beach or in the jungle, all provide uninterrupted views of the sea. In addition, all villas feature king-sized beds, bathrooms complete with twin basins, oversized baths, indoor and outdoor showers, private pools and natural finishes which seamlessly bring the outdoors in. The two-bedroom Royal Villa offers exceptional privacy with its own jetty for arrivals and departures.
At the center of the resort is the 70-seat Vista Restaurant and Bar — an overwater lounge and restaurant offering panoramic, 360-degree ocean views. For more casual fare, the resort’s beachfront Driftwood Bar offers tapas, gourmet pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven and barbecue. Rounding out the property’s offerings are a wedding venue, large infinity swimming pool, yoga and meditation center and Song Saa Sanctuary, the resort’s spa where guests can take advantage of two private spa villas located amid the island’s rainforest and along the water’s edge. The resort also offers an array of activities, including sailing, diving, kayaking and snorkeling.
Song Saa employs a team of four conservationists and has developed a range of personalized ecological programs for guests to experience the area’s flora and fauna, as well as the resort’s nearby villages. The enclave is located 35 minutes by boat from the port of Sihanoukville, which is serviced by Sihanoukville Airport. With multiple weekly flights to Siem Reap, the airport connects Song Saa with the temples of Angkor, most notably, Angkor Wat. Sihanouvkille is situated approximately 115 miles southwest of the capital of Phnom Penh, where Cambodia’s primary international airport is located.
Song Saa is a member of the exclusive Virtuoso Travel Network. Rates for the all-inclusive resort start at $1,336 per villa, per night, based on double occupancy and are exclusive of tax, spa treatments and motorized water sports.
From the experts in luxury travel comes the eagerly anticipated Hot List for 2013. If it’s a cultural sojourn you’re after, a spiritual recharge, an enlightening wildlife encounter or an active adventure there is something here for first time and seasoned traveller alike.
“Constantly seeking the latest and hottest trends in travel”, says A&K Managing Director Sujata Raman, “our destination specialists have reviewed new offerings and additions to the luxury travel sector to deliver the short list of what’s hot for 2013. The list includes new and interesting destinations both abroad and close to home, where A&K delivers unique experiences in customary style. I hope this will inspire the inner adventurer in us all. Bon voyage.”
Shanxi Province, China
For the growing number of travellers looking beyond China’s traditional attractions, A&K predicts the little known Shanxi province to the west of Beijing may emerge as the perfect antidote. Off the beaten track and waiting to be explored, it is one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilisation with a long history and a fascinating culture. It is home to two important UNESCO World Heritage listed cultural sites – the Buddhist grottoes at Yungang and the ancient walled city of Pingyao, where red silk lanterns glow on every street corner – and incredible natural wonders.
While this land-locked southern African nation has long held worldwide acclaim for the quality of its wildlife and its safari experience, discerning travellers are re-discovering its remote and unspoiled charms, with diverse landscapes and abundant game and boutique camps and lodges to bed down in. The Okavango Delta is the country’s safari hotspot with the unique ‘mokoro’ (traditional dugout canoe) a favoured mode of transport. The Chobe National Park is also famous for its huge elephant numbers and, in the seemingly desolate Makgadikgadi Pans San, bushmen and quad bikes are there to facilitate visits to remote archaeological sites and desert wildlife viewing.
Plagued by decades of civil war, in recent years this idyllic island nation has emerged as one of the hottest travel destinations on the planet, with its popularity predicted to soar in 2013. There’s something for everyone here, with ancient cities, tea plantations and hill stations vying for attention alongside amazing wildlife, temples and golden beaches. The people are warm and welcoming and it’s easy to get around. Its culinary attractions are many and there are World Heritage sites and beautiful boutique hotels in abundance.
Ticking off travel to the Polar Regions, A&K’s seasoned expedition team has expanded its know-how in 2013 to include the High Arctic. Best known for its Antarctic adventures, the state-of-the-art MV ‘Le Boreal’ will journey in 2013 to Greenland and the islands of the Svalbard archipelago in Norway, less than 1,000 kilometres from the North Pole. Chances of seeing the mighty polar bear in its natural habitat are excellent as well as walrus, arctic fox, reindeer and the amazing flora that comes alive under the midnight sun.
A small jewel of a country, Cambodia is emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating destinations. It’s easily visited for a short break or in combination with one of its regional neighbours. It has a rich culture, a weathered French-era capital, beautiful natural scenery and thousands of archaeological sites of which the imposing ruins of Angkor Wat are perhaps the most impressive. Look out too for Song Saa Private Island, an exciting new addition to the Cambodian boutique hideaway scene.
The well-publicised political changes in Myanmar over the past year have resulted in outstanding exposure for the country as a tourist destination. And as a result, demand for this charming destination has never been higher. Beautiful, peaceful and , it is a country that will appeal to any Southeast Asia aficionado. It has an ancient culture, wonderful monuments, friendly people, a strong textile and handicraft tradition and Buddhist festivals aplenty. Natural wonders are abundant too with the majestic Ayeyarwady River at the country’s heart, Inle Lake, little visited areas like Mrauk U on the west coast and the beaches of the far south.
Walking in Australia
As growing numbers of Aussie travellers are increasingly choosing short breaks close to home where they can combine active, even adventurous, days with cosy home comforts by night, A&K sees no signs of the popular ‘glamping’ phenomenon abating in the year to come. A luxury walking holiday ticks all these boxes and there are some outstanding choices right on the doorstep. Top picks from A&K include the Great Ocean Walk (VIC), Maria Island and Bay of Fires Lodge Walks (TAS), Arkaba Walk (S.A) and the Larapinta Experience (N.T)
Turkey is fascinating, exotic, cosmopolitan and accessible. A 10,000-year-old history and more than 40,000 ancient sites make it one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in the world. It has a warm and welcoming culture, a mouth-watering cuisine and beautiful landscapes. For off the beaten track experiences, the eastern part of the country is a must-see, with a host of extraordinary attractions including one of Mesopotamia’s oldest cities, traditional markets and monasteries and one of the oldest Christian churches in the world where Aramaic is still spoken and written.
All eyes will be on Brazil between now and 2016 as the XXX Olympiad winds up in London. And as hosts of the FIFA World Cup in 2014 as well, A&K predicts the country will be firmly in the international spotlight next year. It is one of South America’s most colourful nations, vast in size as well as soul. Flamboyant Rio is one of the world’s most beautifully situated cities, with beaches to die for and energy to match. It also boasts the world’s largest rainforest, longest river, widest waterfall and over 8,000km of coastline, just waiting to be discovered.
Colloquially termed “the ‘stans”, this collective description refers to the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Widely undiscovered, these countries formed an integral part of the famous trade route known as the Silk Road. The vast grasslands of the area enabled merchants to travel immense distances and with the increased movement and commerce a network of cities emerged. Today’s visitor will relish the striking architecture of these grand metropolises whose names conjure up the romantic images of a bygone era – Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva to name a few – all richly endowed with history and tradition.
To enquire further information about any of these amazing destinations or to book please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 851 800 or www.abercrombiekent.com.au
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Abercrombie & Kent is the world’s leading luxury travel business. Founded as a luxury safari company in Africa in 1962, A&K has grown into a respected international travel company employing over 3000 staff in more than 100 countries. A&K organises private, tailored and escorted travel to every corner of the globe and has a wholly owned portfolio of cruise boats, luxury lodges, tented camps, hotels, and all-terrain vehicles. As part of its global commitment, A&K Australia brings a wealth of expertise, experience and attention to detail to any travel arrangements. Whether travelling solo, as a couple, with a family or in an escorted group, A&K is expert in providing luxury, experiential and memorable travel experiences. Abercrombie & Kent. Inspiring Experiences.
Leading Asia specialist, Travel Indochina, has launched its brand new Small Group Journeys brochure for 2013/2014, featuring 11 destinations, over 70 escorted small group tours, exciting new journey extensions and more deluxe journeys than ever before.
Travel Indochina’s 140-page brochure contains new and unique additions as well as innovative improvements on its best-selling classics. It combines the largest range of small group journeys to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos of any UK tour operator, along with a huge variety of quality escorted tours to Burma, Thailand, China and Tibet, India and Japan.
New for 2013, due to popularity of the operator’s 6-day Sapa extension introduced last year, two exciting extensions have been created in Cambodia and Laos. From next year all small group journeys to Cambodia will offer the option of a 4-day Battambang extension to discover this little-visited arty town, which is fast becoming Cambodia’s next hottest tourist destination. Travellers can also choose to add a 5-day 4,000 Island extension on two of Travel Indochina’s most popular journeys to Laos, offering an opportunity to spot rare Irrawaddy dolphins, walk amongst the beautiful Tad Fane Waterfalls or enjoy an elephant trek through the landscape. The 4-day Battambang and 5-day 4,000 Island extensions cost an extra £310pp and £565pp respectively.
To cater to popular demand, Travel Indochina has expanded its portfolio of deluxe journeys to provide the same great travel experience by day with extra comfort and style by night, staying at some of Asia’s most luxurious properties such as Cambodia’s Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor or the world-famous Taj Lake Palace in India. Amongst new options for 2013, a deluxe version of Travel Indochina’s popular 8-day “Laos Experience” has been created, enabling customers to travel down the Mekong River in style on the Luang Say Cruise and spend a night in a riverside bungalow before settling into the colonial-style Luang Say Residence hotel in Luang Prabang.
If that is not enough, Travel Indochina has significantly expanded its Specialist Journeys for those looking for something a little different. These journeys focus on lesser-visited areas of the region or on specific activities such as cooking or cycling. Among the options included are the “Vietnam & Cambodia Culinary Discovery” (16 days), “Cycling Vietnam” (15 days) and “Trans Mongolian Adventure” (16 days), which takes travellers through Mongolia’s rugged land and alpine mountains.
Travel Indochina is a world leader in operating small group journeys and bespoke itineraries to Asia. All escorted tours run with a maximum size of just 16 travellers, with the combined advantage of a Western tour leader and English-speaking local guides to ensure the best possible holiday experience. The operator’s new brochure perfectly showcases the key points of difference that set Travel Indochina apart from other worldwide and Asia-focused tour operators, including:
Small group size of a maximum of 16 travellers in all destinations
Western tour leader AND English-speaking local guides
Well located, named accommodation
Thoughtfully-constructed itineraries with many special and unique ‘Insider Experiences’ to ensure clients experience the ‘real’ Asia
On the ground support with seven offices across Asia
Manda Churchill, general manager of Travel Indochina, comments: “Our new small group journeys brochure is our most comprehensive to date and epitomises our commitment to showcase the ‘real’ Asia to both new and returning customers. With several updates and new additions, we are more than confident that we can really make a difference to our customers’ holidays to this spectacular part of the world.”
Opening its arms to the world is Myanmar (Burma) its unfolding secrets include- its ancient palaces, elegant pagodas, legendary river, tranquil lakes and pristine beaches which open out onto either the Bay of Bengal or the Andaman Sea.
More info at this link.
An exotic collection of islands – 18,000 in total scattered around the equator; although the most visited are Java, Borneo, Bali and Lombok – Indonesia has so many hidden gems on offer.
More info at this link.
A nation of over seven thousand islands has more than enough to offer any visitor. Apart from magical mountains and rice terraces designated one of the natural wonders of the world. (doesn’t make sense)
More info at this link.
Landlocked and mountainous with the marvellous Mekong River flowing through it, Laos is mostly covered with untouched tropical forest and until recent years unknown to all but the most inquisitive traveller.
More info at this link.
An ancient civilization imbues this country, which for centuries was the heart of the Khmer Empire, an empire which ruled much of south-east Asia. Relics of this powerful rule are abound throughout the land, from the magical and mysterious Angkor Wat to the walled city of Angkor Thom.
More info at this link.
Trails of Indochina’s eight-day/seven-night itinerary in Laos begins in Luang Prabang, with a private tour with a heritage expert. From there, the package continues on to Muang La, a resort located in a small village in the Lao wilderness, from whence clients can trek to local villages to observe how traditional stilt houses are built, share family meals, visit caves and partake in a Baci ceremony.
Laos is also home to such adventure activities as kayaking, caving and rock climbing. The sleepiest capital in the world, Vientiane has century-old temples and colonial structures. The Plain of Jars and the Mekong River islands all contribute to Laos’ ambiance. Trails of Indochina has 13 years of experience in offering tours in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Bali and China.
“One of the most bespoke cooking classes South East Asia has to offer”
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is the first and only hotel in Siem Reap that serves and has cooking lessons for authentic Royal Cambodian cuisine, with some of the recipes originating from the Royal Household. General Manager Christian Sack explains:
“We have an extraordinary history dating back to the early 1930, and we’ve been given an amazing gift that I doubt many other hotel kitchens in the world could lay claim to: King Father Norodom Sihanouk gifted the recipes from the Palace kitchen to the hotel during his reign. Those recipes have been cherished for decades and used to create the two Royal Dynasty Menus which feature in our gourmet restaurant Le Grand. So much has been lost from Cambodia as a result of the country’s turbulent past, but now there is a wonderful resurgence in Khmer culture and traditional crafts. We have a duty to keep traditional Khmer Cuisine alive as well and we do that by offering the cooking classes.”
The Raffles cooking class stands out for its highly personalised approach as chefs accompany guests to the local morning markets to select produce for the lesson, before returning to the kitchens of Restaurant Le Grand for a customised lesson in preparing Royal Khmer Cuisine – including starter, soup, main courses and dessert; six dishes in total. The lesson ends with lunch, where guests taste their own culinary creations, matched with wines from the wine cellar.
Traditional Khmer Cuisine is one of detail – small amounts of ingredients with intriguing textures, complex aromas and fresh exhilarating flavours which create distinctly light, delicate and healthy cuisine. Rice is nearly a sacred component of Khmer Culture, along with fish and shellfish, both fresh from Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers.
All food is cooked according to Buddhist guidelines. A typical meal of Traditional Khmer Cuisine consists of soup, salad, fish course, meat course, vegetables and rice; desserts, often based on fresh fruits and coconut conclude the meal. It is said that Royalty favoured a cold rice dish that was prepared the night before and put outside so that dew infuses into the rice. In the morning, jasmine flowers are added to make the dish fragrant. Herbs and spices come from the hotel’s own Spice Garden.
Over the past year, the hotel has created a series of activities to reflect the growing desire of its guests to gain an insight into the fascinating local culture, to complement their visits to the temples of Angkor. The activities are designed as bite-sized introductions to the lifestyle and customs of Cambodia – and the cooking classes are a part of this.
The elegant Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor is one of the original grand hotels of Asia, built in 1932, providing accommodation to early visitors to the beautiful and mysterious Angkor and its temples nearby. It was occupied in the 1970s by the Lon Nol military staff then by Vietnamese forces in 1979. A new chapter began when it was totally refurbished, renovated and reopened by Raffles in 1997. The hotel was significantly refurbished again in 2011.
Overlooking the Royal Gardens and opposite the Royal Palace, the hotel has its own extensive tropical gardens which offer an incredibly private hideaway from the hustle and bustle of Siem Reap’s busy market life. Colonial architecture, 119 guestrooms and suites, two vast private villas, Cambodia’s largest swimming pool and the finest service from legendary Raffles Butlers, are just some of the elements that make Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor so special.
Every participant will receive a copy of Khmer cooking book “Taste of Angkor” by the hotel’s Executive Chef to take home, as well as a white apron, and a Certificate of Participation from Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor.
US$85 per adult (A$82)* | US$55 per child (A$53)*aged 5-11 years (price is subject to 5% service charge and 10% government tax)
Minimum 15 persons
For reservation, please call +855 63 963 888 | Or email: email@example.com
* Based on exchange rate at time of print
For Further information: Jane Corbett-Jones JANE CORBETT-JONES COMMUNICATION
T +61 (0) 417 772 783 | firstname.lastname@example.org
About Raffles Hotels & Resorts: Raffles Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning, luxury international hotel company with a history dating back to 1887 with the opening of Raffles Hotel, Singapore. The portfolio currently comprises eight luxurious properties, from secluded resorts to city hotels in key locations around the world: in Singapore, Cambodia, China, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Paris, each one is an oasis of calm and charm. The company is embarking on a new phase of expansion, with openings in the Philippines, China, Istanbul and Indonesia scheduled over the next two years. With a compelling mix of cultures and styles, every hotel in the Raffles family has its own individual personality, with its own story to tell and its own sense of place. However, each one is proud to draw on the timeless essence of Raffles – to deliver thoughtful, personal and discreet service to well-travelled guests. www.raffles.com
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