Friday, January 23, 2009

Safari adventures

My Koh Ker safari experience, warmed by a blazing log fire
Do you fancy a night under the stars in the forest next to one of Cambodia's remote temples? Well that's what I did earlier this week as I road-tested Hanuman's already highly-successful Temple Safari (or Beach Safari) experience. Koh Ker was the location - two hours north of Siem Reap and in the middle of a 10th century former capital of the Khmer Empire - and the proximity of the massive pyramid of Prasat Thom couldn't be bettered. Although the top of the pyramid is currently closed for safety reasons (when its open again it will give you amazing views over the tree-line for miles around), there are more than twenty other temples that have been demined, made safe and opened up in the last couple of years, that still very few people have seen. As for the experience itself, a team erected my tent in the bush near to the temple walls whilst I was exploring and I came back to take a hot shower in the 'African bush-style' tent provided for that sole purpose. There was also a toilet tent with a wooden box and standard toilet seat to ensure my privacy. The main tent itself is 2.5 metres high, so plenty of standing room, it's 3 metres wide too, so lots of space for two camp-beds, tables and clothes stands. It has two-layers of waterproofing and comes with mosquito protection and five meshed windows for light and breeze. For sustenance, I sat at the table under the veranda awning and enjoyed an abundant meal prepared by a local cook from the village with 4-courses, fruit to finish, plenty of drinks and accompanied by a blazing log fire just a few metres away. My previous camping experiences were never like this. I fell asleep to the sounds of Cambodian wedding music drifting my way from the village about a kilometre away and awoke to a cacophony of bird song at 6am, ready for an early breakfast, more exploration and a trip back to reality. Hanuman offer temple safaris to other locations such as Preah Vihear, Banteay Chhmar, Preah Khan, as well as beach locations along the south coast. Link: Hanuman
The main sleeping tent, 2.5m high, in the late afternoon
The toilet and shower tents nearby
My bed for the night

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Boone said...

Hey Andy, this whole camping experience sounds just wonderful... It's like you bring an x star hotel along with you to the proximity of the temples. I would love to go on this kind of trip on my next visit. I checked out the Hannuman website and thought it's very admiring of what they have done. One thing I could not find--and I am sure most people would also like to know as well--is the price associated with each trip... Is there anyway I can find them? Of course, I ask this question because I know that you work there :)

January 23, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Hi Boone,
Thanks for your question. And yes it was a million times better than the 1-man tent I used to use as a boy scout back in England, that's for sure!

Although I work with Hanuman, I think it's best that I leave them to discuss the financial cost of such trips with the interested parties direct. It's a private matter afterall. Their contact email address is:
info@hanumantourism.com

As for the cost, the temple & beach safaris are to different locations so there are varying prices for the locations and number of people going on the trip.
Andy

January 23, 2009 at 3:27 PM  

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