Asia’s Newest Beach Resort Sihanoukville Cambodia

In Cambodia, Angkor Wat is the main draw for tourism today, and rightly so, called the Crown Jewel of South East Asia the temple complexes’ 40 Sq Kilometers’ of temples is famous the world over, but now, more people are visiting the rest of Cambodia and the word of mouth is that the rest of the Cambodia is worth a visit as well. The Beach resort of Sihanoukville is fast becoming a holiday destination in its own right, with lots of islands and parks and things to do from hiking and exploring, scuba diving & snorkeling and boat rides, water falls, jungle treks and chilling in a hammock in a quiet beach park reading a good book. Culturally there are the markets, the local wats and the schools, where many come to donate time and money towards educating the kids.

Sihanoukville has a 5 star resort on its own kilometer long private beach. The pool could be classified as a small lake and is almost visible from space, complete with a bridge to its own little island. The hotel is only 2 years old and has a staff to guest ratio of 4/1. The prices for comparable hotels in South East Asia would be substantially higher.

If you are a budget traveler then Sihanoukville is your place as well, there are many rooms available with air con, hot water, refrigerator and Cable TV for $10 – $20 a night and if you want a place to stay for 6 months or more, you can get a business visa at the border on demand and stay as long as you like, works out to around $1 a day for the visa extensions, making the town attractive to pensioners and semi retired people.

Backpackers also like Sihanoukville with a few places offering 50 cent tall cold beers and cheap food starting at $.50. Some are also finding work as bar tenders and working the restaurants. Backpacker hostels start as low as free, Yup free, all you have do is buy one of your meals at the lodging and the price for the food is still cheap $1.50 to 2.50 a plate.

One local expert expat’s guess’s that there are more western owned business per population in Sihanoukville than any other place in Asia! Many are coming and starting guesthouses & hotels, small bed and breakfast places, restaurants and bars and small resorts with a few starting to pop up on the islands off the coast. Want to rent your own fantasy island for a week check out Magic Island?

Logistically everything that you will need is here including reliable electricity, internet, and western restaurants as well as a lot of Asian European specialty foods prepared with the western travelers tastes in mind including Khmer seafood, Thai, Vietnamese, French, Italian, German, Russian, Indian, Sri Lankan and more coming soon. English languages schools are many in Sihanoukville, so you can almost always find someone to speak English when you need it.

Money use to be a problem as you had to go inside the banks to get cash and with 26 holidays on the Cambodian calendar, you could get stuck with out cash for a few days, now there are ATM locations in Siem Reap- Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Battembong and Sihanoukville. You can change just about every currency including Yen, Euros, Baht, Kip, Dong, and Sing Dollars. US Dollars and Cambodian Riel are the two most common currencies in use.

Sihanoukville is getting easier to get to with cheap international flights into Bangkok and really cheap regional flights into Phnom Penh. Flights into Sihanoukville are very close to being a reality as well. Regularly scheduled busses from Phnom Penh will get you to Sihanoukville in 4 hours on a excellent American built road. You can also arrange taxis and vans for moving groups of people, and an established over water route form Bangkok to Trat to the Had Lek – Klang Yai border to Sihanoukville. You might even arrive here via a cruise ships, as more are placing Sihanoukville on their itineraries.

The Islands of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand are mostly uninhabited; you will find isolated Spartan fishing villages with populations normally fewer than 100 people. One Island, Koh Tang, has only 7 residents and would take the better part of a day to hike around, so if you are looking for that deserted island to strand yourself on, to work on your coconut carving and ship in a bottle skills there are many here to chose from, bring your own hammock and Gal Friday or they can be acquired here in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodia of the past always seemed to bring up horrific images of the past misfortunes that the Khmers suffered at the end of the Vietnam War. Even today, the genocide in Cambodia is still in the news as the country has its tribunal to hopefully put the events behind them,

One of the few backhanded benefits of the recent past history was that Cambodia missed out on all of the heavy industrialization, that the other countries in the region experienced, notably Thailand and Vietnam; which means that they missed out on the pollution that goes with it. A UN survey of the waters in Asia, that included Cambodia, found only 3 areas of concern for ocean water quality near shore, where as Vietnam and Thailand, had allot problem locations, mostly from the industrial pollutions and shrimp farms. This may change, unfortunately, as oil has been found in Cambodia and the drilling of exploration holes has begun. So now is a really good time to come.

As Cambodia moves forward towards the future, it is obvious to most that the future in Cambodia is tourism. And for Cambodia’s beach resort of Sihanoukville, to misquote the tune “the futures so bright, in Sihanoukville, that your gonna need shades”

Best Couples Spa Packages in Asia for 2016

It is such bliss to enjoy more than your ordinary holiday, to take it to the next step and experience a truly relaxing time that you know you have earned. What’s more, to enjoy it with the person who means the world to you – the other half of you that equally deserves a great vacation – is absolutely amazing…

And that’s one of the things Sri Lanka is renowned for providing- couples spa vacations in the gorgeous island are just divine. They are sought after among the wellness packages in Asia, the continent that is known for its traditional healing therapies handed down from generation to generation, using natural ingredients and remedies that give its seekers, wholesome restorative properties.

One place where you are sure to be able to indulge in a wonderful couples’ spa package in Sri Lanka is at Saman Villas a picturesque location by the sea in the South West of the island. A truly heart-warming experience at an idyllic location perched atop an outcrop overlooking the beautifully blue Indian Ocean. There is no better place to rest and breathe in the fresh sea air and retreat into a haven of natural tranquility with your loved one. Enjoy each other’s company as you let yourself be pampered, revived and prepped to meet the demands of daily life.

Wake up to yoga sessions that cleanse the mind each day and then participate in meditation sessions together with your loved one. After a healthy breakfast prepared using only the best and freshest produce, sign up for a couples’ spa treatment that is unparalleled. Detox your body, exfoliate your skin and rub your cares away. Professional hands will guide you down a path of revival while the natural, traditional and authentic wraps and treatments will offer you a new lease of life.

And you don’t have to accept all this at face value… talk to the spa professionals at Saman Villas and reach a consensus on what’s best for the health of you and your better half. Choose a wellness package that suits both of you.

In the evenings, work up a sweat at the gym together and then enjoy a herbal drink as you put your feet up. And then, when you’re nice and rested, opt for a quiet sightseeing tour of the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many other tourist destinations not far from the hotel that are sure to enthrall you. Whatever your need, the staff at Saman Villas is ready to make it happen…

Sri Lanka is a popular destination for sun, sand and surf, but is now increasingly becoming known for its superb wellness holidays as well. What a great place to enjoy your vacation with your sweetheart or spouse; it is guaranteed that you will have an unforgettable time. And it is indeed a bonus that you will both come out of it, relaxed, rested and ready for life! Many claim to offer their guests a taste of paradise, but you won’t know what you’re missing out on, until you’ve stepped onto the gorgeous shores of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

A Culinary Tour of Asia

The very heart of your Asian vacation isn’t the exotic locale, the invigorating massages, the majestic ancient temples, or even the warm, friendly people. It’s the food. When you’re at home, food is a centerpiece of activity and fun-the backyard cookout, the Friday evenings with friends, or the romantic dinner. When you’re on vacation, it will be even more memorable if you keep food enjoyment high on your list of priorities.

Food is more than mere sustenance. It is a social experience, and a sensory treat that will be remembered long after you return home. Asia is well-known for its exotic cuisine, and no Asian vacation would be complete without thoroughly enjoying the food. In every major Asian city, you’ll find your usual array of the familiar favorites from back home: KFC, McDonalds, Sizzler, and so on-but why not enhance your foray into the unknown with something new on the menu?

The cuisine is as varied as the continent, ranging from the aromatic curries of India, to the fiery-hot tom yum goong of Thailand, to the European-influenced Macanese cuisine found in the Chinese autonomous region of Macau. Wherever you travel, you’ll find unique and fresh ingredients, presented delightfully in authentic surroundings and delivered by friendly, smiling staff.

You’ll find your environment as memorable as the food itself. You may find yourself sitting under a straw roof, sitting cross-legged and eating off of a banana leaf, or enjoying the most elegant, five-star posh surroundings you’ve ever witnessed. And don’t neglect the local specialties. A meal of dim sum (“yum cha” in Cantonese) in a Hong Kong tea house is an event unto itself that will never be forgotten. Take a boat cross the bay to Macau for a trip back to old Europe, where you can enjoy High Tea in the afternoon, and one of the country’s characteristic egg tart specialties. And when you tour Japan, you’ll discover that there are dozens of different varieties of sukiyaki, which is customarily cooked right at the table.

You’ll also find very informal street cafes throughout most of Asia, which are little more than a handful of plastic tables and chairs on the sidewalk, overlooking a kitchen that consists of a propane tank and a wok. If you’re adventurous enough to try one of these places, you’re likely to find very local cuisine that you can’t find in the “normal” restaurants, including wild game, insects, and parts of animals that you never knew you could eat.

Desserts are not to be missed. Unlike the rich, gooey, chocolatey sweets of America, Asians tend towards the lighter, more delicate tastes in sweets. A Chinese sweet red bean bun is very tempting (and does not have the usual disagreeable side effect that beans often do). Japanese sweets (wa-gashi) also frequently use sweet bean paste and are quite delicate. In Thailand, you may enjoy bua loy naam qing (literally, “floating lotuses in ginger water”), which delivers an enjoyable contrast between the strong ginger tea and the delicate rice flour sesame balls floating within.

Often overlooked are the unusual tropical fruits found throughout Asia. If you think of fruit as apples and watermelons, think again-the taste of the lichi, mangosteen, and rambutan are incomparable and a sheer delight to the senses. Beware of the infamous durian though, the heavy, spiky “king of fruits” that has a decidedly foul, almost fishy smell and is definitely an acquired taste.

You’ll find that in most Asian countries, meals are very social, and are often served to your table communally, as opposed to the Western style of each person ordering individual dishes. Don’t be surprised if your host serves you and continues to refresh your drink throughout the meal. Bone up on how to use chopsticks. Here’s a chopstick etiquette tip: You’ll sometimes see diners at inexpensive restaurants rubbing together the chopsticks before eating. This is done when using the inexpensive, wooden disposable chopsticks, to make sure there are no splinters. Avoid rubbing your chopsticks together at somebody’s home or at an upscale restaurant, as it would be considered an insult-you’re saying that the chopsticks are inferior when you do that. But, not every Asian country uses them. Thais eat European-style with a fork and spoon. In China, you’ll use chopsticks, but will never see a knife at your place setting, because it is considered aggressive. In some very rural parts of Asia, such as in the Laotian countryside, you’ll eat with your fingers. But regardless of how you convey the food from plate to mouth, you’re in for a real treat.