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Meet the Guides | Longdy Mom

ICS Travel Group tour, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
ICS Travel Group tour, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

ICS Travel Group tour, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

For the past seven years, Longdy Mom has skillfully guided guests around one of the world’s top tourist destinations. . . Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Although best known for the ancient Angkor Wat temple complex, there is a much more to see throughout the mountains and beaches of Cambodia.

We sat down with Longdy to ask him about his country, his favorite destinations, and his advice for first time visitors.  Here’s what he had to say:

 

How long have you been a guide?

I’ve been a guide for the past 7 years. I wanted to become a guide because a guide is a kind of spokesman for the country. I am able to tell the world about my country, our people and its unique culture.

 

What languages do you speak?

Longdy Mom, ICS Travel Group, Cambodia

Londy Mom, ICS Travel Group, Cambodia

I speak Khmer, English, German and Spanish.  Of course Khmer is our native language in Cambodia.  I learned English in a private English school, and then I studied Tourism & Hospitality at university for 4 years.  I learned German and Spanish with ICS.

 

What is your favorite destination?

My favorite destinations are Kulen Mountain and the beach in Sihanoukville.

Kulen Mountain is not just a natural site, it is also a historical site. There are certain things you have to see there:

  • a beautiful waterfall with cool and clean water which is excellent for swimming;
  • its “river with a thousand lingas” is a sacred river in Hinduism;
  • a big Buddha on a big rock which was built in the 16th Century;
  • it is also highly recommended and well known – especially among locals – as a great place to have a picnic.

What I like about Sihankouville is that the beach is very peaceful. The sand is white, the water is clean and there are beautiful bays and islands. Diving is good there. It is simply a nice place to escape from the crowds.

 

What is your favorite thing about being a guide?

My favorite thing about being a guide is telling and showing everyone about my customs, culture and history.

For example, we have unique traditions for our weddings. Also, we share the history of Cambodia, especially what happened during the civil war and the Pol Pot regime.

 

What advice would you give to tourists who are coming to your country for the first time?

  1. Please respect our culture by following our dress code, especially at the ancient temples. (Shoulders and knees have to be covered).
  2. It is not necessary to change any money into the local currency, Cambodian Riel, because the US dollar is accepted almost everywhere.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

Try to learn some words in the Cambodian language, Khmer, such as “Hello” and “Thank you” and people will be very happy.  The word for ‘Hello’ is “Sour Sdey” and the word for ‘Thank you is “Orkun.”

 

Thank you, Longdy Mom!  We appreciate having you on the ICS team!

“A Handful of Myanmar”

Traveling on a boat for 24 hours, and spanning the distance from Yangon to Pathen, this video will take you on an incredible journey through Myanmar (Burma).

The filmmakers stayed on deck with the local Burmese, traveling to small villages along the river.  The villagers were very entertained by the whole thing. . . following every move and enjoying being photographed and seeing their pictures on the camera screen.  One little girl brought a handful of fruits.  It seemed that all Myanmar fit in those small hands.

“One little girl brought a handful of fruits. It seemed that all Myanmar fit in those small hands.”

 

Would you like to experience something amazing?

Myanmar Classic Tour

 
 

Throwback Thursday | La Dalat

La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam
La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam

La Dalat, First Car in Vietnam

In 1936, Citroën began producing a version of the Baby Brousse called “La Dalat.” This is the first car ever assembled, branded and produced in large scale in Vietnam. The most important parts such as engine, steering wheel, brakes, and suspension were imported from France, with the rest of the parts being produced locally. The model was a great success, partly because it was easy to customize since most of the parts were made in Vietnam.

The production continued until the fall of Saigon in 1975, but a few La Dalats can still be seen on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and in Laos.

#tbt

Story Behind the Image  |  Brahmin Priest

Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring
Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring

Brahmin Priest in Bali, Ubud, Tampak Siring

Among the well kept grounds of the Tirtha Empul Temple – better known as Tampak Siring Temple or Holy Water Temple – wander devotees, tourists and also Brahmin priests. These priests look after the temple site and the offerings which are made hourly.

Brahmin priests in Bali are easily identified by their white clothes and hats

The most photographed area of the Holy Water temple is the fresh water springs which shoot out of intricately carved stones.  The spring water collects into a wading pool where Balinese Hindus receive blessings before going to make offerings. Here a Brahmin priest inspects some of the offerings placed by worshippers. The Brahmin priests in Bali are easily identified by their white clothes and hats.

Congratulations, Ian!

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Ian Paul Woods, Director of Sales, has entered and won Travel Daily Asia’s latest competition! Compliments of Pullman Hotels and Resorts, Ian will head to Khao Lak, Thailand to stay in a luxurious pool villa at the Pullman Khao Lak Katiliya Resort & Spa!

Congratulations, Ian!  When do we leave?

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Ian Woods, ICS Travel Group, Travel Daily Asia, Pullman Hotels

Thank you Travel Daily Asia and Pullman Hotels & Resorts

Top 10 Royal Palaces in Thailand

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

As the world’s longest serving monarch, His Royal Majesty The King of Thailand has many Royal Palaces and Residences from which to choose.  Here are ten of the best. . .

 

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

The Grand Palace; Bangkok, Thailand

1 The Grand Palace

Visiting the Grand Palace is one of the most popular things to do in Bangkok. The huge complex is surrounded by walls built in 1782! Inside those walls is Wat Phra Kaew – Temple of the Emerald Buddha – which dates back to the 14th century.  Thai kings stopped living in the palace around the turn of the twentieth century, but the palace complex is still used for ceremonies and other important occasions.

 

Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

2 Vimanmek Mansion, Dusit Palace

The first permanent residence in Dusit Garden was Vimanmek Mansion, built in 1900 by the royal command of King Rama V to serve as his Summer Palace. King Rama V moved from the Grand Palace to reside in Vimanmek Mansion for 5 years until the completion of the Amporn Satarn Mansion in 1906 where he lived until his untimely death in 1910. As a result, Vimanmek Mansion become deserted and the royal family moved back to the Grand Palace.  Vimanmek Royal Mansion is the world’s largest building made entirely of golden teak.

 

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall

3 Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, Dusit Palace

This impressive white, marble palace sits at the end of Royal Plaza, a ceremonial boulevard that’s often the focus of regal pomp and ceremony during royal celebrations.  Ordered by King Rama V in 1907 and finished by King Rama VI, it exemplifies neo-classical Renaissance architecture. Following the 1932 coup it housed the first Thai parliament, but today its ornate interiors serve as a prestigious venue in which to receive visiting dignitaries, hold state meetings and royal occasions.  Inside is a stunningly beautiful central dome, under which the Royal Throne sits.

 

Bang Pa-In Palace; Ayutthaya, Thailand

Bang Pa-In Palace; Ayutthaya, Thailand

4  Bang Pa-In Palace

Bang Pa-In Royal Palace, also known as the Summer Palace, is located on the Chao Phraya River bank in Bang Pa-In district, Ayutthaya.  Originally built by Ayutthayan King Prasat Thong in 1632 and abandoned after the sack of Ayutthaya in 1767, the site was partially restored by King Rama IV in the 1850s. The site as it stands today, however, is largely the work of King Rama V, who expanded the area into a Versaillesque garden filled with European-style buildings in 1872-1889.

 

Bhubing Palace; Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bhubing Palace; Chiang Mai, Thailand

5  Bhubing Palace

The Bhubing Palace is the royal winter residence in Chiang Mai where the Royal family stays during seasonal visits to the people in the northern part of Thailand.  The palace is also the royal guesthouse for prominent state visitors from abroad.

 

Sanam Chandra Palace; Thailand

Sanam Chandra Palace; Thailand

6  Sanam Chandra Palace

Named after a nearby natural pool which means “Moon Pond,” Sanam Chandra Palace is about 50 km south of Bangkok near the majestic pagoda, Phra Pathom Chedi.  King Rama VI planned for the site to serve not only as a retreat, but also as a stronghold during a national crisis.  In 1965, the palace grounds became Silpakorn University, a well known Thai university specialising in art and archaeology.

 

Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang; Thailand

Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang; Thailand

7  Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang

The Royal Residential Hall of Pakpanang is reported to be the first and only royal residence in Thailand to be conceived by the Thai people.  In the past, the area had faced environmental problems which resulted in this once prosperous rice-growing region becoming the poorest area of the country.  To help people living in the area, His Majesty the King constructed several irrigation infrastructure projects to redevelop the region.

 

Klai Kangwon Palace; Hua Hin, Thailand

Klai Kangwon Palace; Hua Hin, Thailand

8  Klai Kangwon Palace

Klai Kang Won, meaning “far from worries” is aptly named after the peace and serenity of the surrounding landscape, fronting a secluded stretch of the Hua Hin beachfront. Klai Kangwon Palace is the primary summer royal residence of King Bhumibol (Rama IX).

 

Mrigadayavan Palace

Mrigadayavan Palace

9  Mrigadayavan Palace

Mrigadayavan was known as the “Palace of Love and Hope” because when Queen Indrasakdi Sachi was pregnant, King Vajiravudh was extremely hopeful in anticipation of an heir. The king took great care of her throughout her pregnancy, but regrettably the queen miscarried. King Vajiravudh finally got a daughter, Princess Bejaratana, just one day before he passed away.  Mrigadayavan Palace consists of 16 golden teak buildings which are divided into 3 groups. All are linked together throughout the palace by verandas on stilts to maximize the sea breeze and to ensure that the compound could easily be kept clean. Ants were controlled by niches for water around each concrete pillar and along the walls connecting to the ground.

 

Phaya Thai Palace; Thailand

Phaya Thai Palace; Thailand

10  Phaya Thai Palace

The construction of Phya Thai Palace began in 1909 at the direction of Rama V, but was only used for a short time as he died several months after the crowning of the new king.  The Queen Mother was invited to live there, which she did until her death in 1920, at which time Rama VI demolished and rebuilt the palace.  He lived there until the later years of his reign, when he moved to stay at the Grand Palace until his death.  Over time, the palace has functioned as an international hotel, as the first Thai radio broadcast station, and as the Phramongkutklao Hospital

Let us show you the Royal Palaces of Thailand!

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Story Behind The Image | The “Vertical Runway”

LAOS - Vientiane - Patuxai at night

Among the French-inspired architecture in the center of Vientiane, capital of Laos, you can find one of the most prominent monuments in the country. . . the Putuxai, or “Victory Gate.”

The Unites States donated funds and cement to build a new airport, but the Royal Laotian Government instead built the monument, which earned it the nickname “the vertical runway.”

Patuxai, Vientiane, Laos

The monument was built in the 1950s as a celebration of independence from France, and is designed as a locally-infused Arch de Triumphe complete with Laotian and Buddhist symbolism and art. Interior decorations reveal the gods Vishnu, Brahma, and Indra.

Putaxai, Vientiane, Laos

At the time Putuxzi was built, Laos was a constitutional monarchy and the monument was known simply as the “Anousavali” (“memory”), dedicated to the memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the war of independence from France. However, in 1975 the communists seized power and ended the ancient monarchy. They renamed the monument Patuxai in honor of their own victory.

The five towers at the top of the monument represent the five Buddhist principles of “thoughtful amiability, flexibility, honesty, honor and prosperity.”

You can see Vientiane, including the “Victory Gate,” Vang Vieng, Luang Prabang and much more on our 9-day tour: Treasures of Laos.  Click the button below to find out more!

Treasures of Laos

 

Tradeshow | ILTM Cannes

ILTM Cannes banner

We will be attending ILTM in Cannes, France from 1-4 December 2014!!

Join us at our booth, located at F125

Please come by our booth and visit us!  You can find us at F125.  You can also make an appointment by contacting: Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe) or Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas).

See you there!

Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe)

Marie Tanniou (Director of Sales, Europe)

Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas)

Karole Wittmann (Director of Sales, Americas)