18 Tuesday Jun 2013

Online Hotel Booking in Cambodia

IRG presents its online hotel booking website.  According to the statistic published by the Ministry of Tourism, there is an increase in the number of Cambodians traveling overseas for the past five years.  These travelers are Cambodian business entrepreneurs, government officials, and our friends and families who wish to see the world has to offer.  Our travel agency understands the need of our travelers when it comes to finding accommodation.  We have worked with many travel agency partners in Phnom Penh to provide the travel technology that would allow our partners to make hotel booking worldwide for our travelers.  With a great success, IRG now rolls out the new and improved online hotel booking website that serves both to our travelers and travel agency partners.

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Below are videos that we have created to demonstrate our users on how to use our hotel booking website.  We hope you enjoy these clips.  Please comment.

Learn how to manage your booking here.

Learn how to search for near by places or address from your selected hotel.

17 Monday Jun 2013

The Asian Kitchen in Phnom Penh

The Asian Kitchen opened its door  to Phnom Penh food lovers on Saturday June 15, 2013.   This restaurant is well known in Singapore, and now it finally makes it appearance in Cambodia on the Monivong boulevard, in front of Wat Koh pagoda.  Last night, we decided to check it out knowing that we may face with new restaurant unpreparedness but we chose to test out our luck.

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As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by the hostess, wearing all black uniform with a sign The Asian Kitchen on the back.  There were three VIP tables situated on the back wall.   Near the entrance, to the left was the kitchen with an opened glass wall, and to the right was the cashier desk.   The interior of this restaurant was quite bright for an evening dinner.  The hostess seated us to one of three VIP tables.  Now unlike other chinese VIP tables, they were not closed to everyone.  The separation was divided by a steel wall decorated with series of hollow shapes.  One could easily see through the hollow shapes to the next table.   Also there was no door for the VIP rooms, so one could say that these tables are just seating area and not eating room.

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Similar to the Emperors of China restaurant, the restaurant offered a you-do-it-yourself menu selection.  Situated on the table, there were several pamphlets of tri-fold menu.  Each dish was labeled in three languages — Khmer, Chinese and English, with a box next to it.  Each customer could easily write down the quantity in the box provided per dish.

For the evening, we selected the Trip Joy, a combination of roast duck, chicken and pork.; lucheon fried rice; egg rolls; and green beans with salty eggs stir fried.   The portion was small, enough for a group of 3 to 4.  On the menu, there were egg noodle soup with wonton, roast duck or pork.  Note that this restaurant did not offer dim sum.   The kitchen was quite fast despite that it was the second day after the opening night.

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There was still a small issue with our order.  Not all of our food selection came out.  The manager came to apologize for the inconvenience.  The restaurant did not charge us for those dishes that never came out.   All and all the restaurant received a 3.5 stars from us.  We are sure to visit it again soon.

For contact information and map, please click here.

 

15 Saturday Jun 2013

Raffles Hotel Le Royal – Phnom Penh

Hotel Le Royal is one of the iconic accommodations in Phnom Penh.  Opened in 1929, this hotel was home to many high profile clienteles — Charlie Chaplin, Jackie O, André Malraux, W. Somerset Maugham,  and Barack Obama.   In 1997 the hotel is later changed its name to Raffles Hotel Le Royal under the management of Fairmont Raffles Hotel International.   This luxury five star hotel lives up to its reputation, offering one the finest foods from its the kitchen of Restaurant Le Royal and serving the most exotic mixology cocktails from the Elephant Bar.

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Besides its luxury accommodation, foods and drinks, this hotel provides the perfect space for business meeting and conference.   Meeting arrangement is often treated with the highest professionalism and you are sure that Raffles will leave you stressfree through out the entire process.

Personally I had meetings held at the Le Royal as large as 100 people and as small as 10 people.  Restaurant Le Royal had always been great in delivering both western and Khmer dishes catered to both our international and local guests.

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Elephant Bar is another perfect after work meeting hangout spot.  This piano bar is always popular among local expats.  I find the atmosphere so welcoming and easy to relax.  From Jackie O signature drink, the long whale bone beer glass, the pool table, the piano, to the finger foods, this bar has the marriage of luxury and business hangouts.

For this month, stay with Raffles Hotel Le Royal at our exceptional long residency rate.
RAFFLES RESIDENT RATE
State Room (33sqm) US$ (ask for price) per month
Newly renovated retaining the elegance and stylish ambience of the classical heritage of this historic hotel, offer guests a choice of views, rooms overlooking the beautiful tropical gardens and swimming pools of this oasis of tranquility in the midst of the capital city from the balconies in all rooms.

Executive Suite (66sqm) US$ (ask for price) per month
Newly renovated, with elegant and stylish appointments that ensure total comfort in this home from home. With a large bedroom and separate sitting room and Kitchenette. The Suite is perfect for those requiring space and comfort.

Inclusive of:
• Daily buffet breakfast at Cafe Monivong restaurant
• 24hrs high speed complimentary Wi-Fi internet access
• 20% discount on F&B (excluding Room Service and special promotions)
• 20% discount on spa treatments (excluding special promotions)
• 20% discount on telephone calls
• 40% discount on laundry & dry cleaning
• Access to Raffles Spa, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, fitness center and swimming pool

T: +855 23 99 57 25 | F: +855 23 99 75 15 | [email protected]

12 Wednesday Jun 2013

Discover The DUCK bistro restaurant of Phnom Penh

Last night our small group of friends decided to check out the recently opened restaurant The DUCK.  This contemporary bistro is situated in the heart of Phnom Penh, a short walk across from Build Bright University (BBU) and 5 houses down from META House.  Like many other restaurants in Phnom Penh, parking can be tricky.  If you are not familiar with the area, our advice is to leave your vehicle parked around the small garden across from BBU.

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Once entered into the bistro, our first notice was the large mirrors hanging on the left and back walls.  The dining area was connected to an opened kitchen, which is rare to find in Phnom Penh. The room ambiance had a warm feel to it with a dimly orange glow lighting, giving a sense of seclusion.

The menu choice was divided into three set — breakfast/drinks menu, wine menu, and dining menu.  Soft drinks were not listed in the menu yet, mainly juices were available, but you could ask the servers for coke, sprite and such.  The wine menu was rather impressive.  A wide range of White and Red wines was available for your liking.

For appetizer, we went for the pate and cured salmon.  The pate was served with pesto dips, chili sun-dried tomatoes dips, and brochette bread.  Since the pate was sized for 4 people, we had to ask for more bread so to empty the pate’s plate. It was that delicious.

As for main course, we decided for the prawn linguini (Prawn Linguini, Chili Prawn Oil, Rocket Pesto, Extra Virgin Olive Oil), the lamb shank ragout (Lamb Shank Ragout Pappardelle, Tomato, Olives, Lemon Oil, Pecorino), the Norwegian salmon (Seared Fresh Salmon Fillet Norwegian, Braised Tomato Sugo, Cilantro, Teriyaki Glaze) and the duck breast.

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We were really impressed with the salmon and the duck breast.  The red sauce reduction was the perfect compliment to the salmon.

Besides the good food and atmosphere, this restaurant had great customer service.  The staffs were very attentive.  The only downside to this restaurant was the opened kitchen, which will leave your clothes smelling like foods afterward.   Personally I did not mind so much the order as long as the food is food and the service is particular.   Overall, we gave this restaurant a 4.0 star.  We would highly recommend everyone to check out this restaurant.   Make sure to call in first because its popularity is spreading fast; finding on the spot tables may be difficult to do nowadays. 

Restaurant’s number: 089 823 704

07 Friday Jun 2013

Traveling to Preah Vihear province and Beng Mealea temple

Earlier this week, we traveled to Tbeng Meanchey, the capital city of Preah Vihear province.  We were surprised that the road was well developed.  To get to Tbeng Meanchey from Phnom Penh, the easiest route was to drive along National Road 6 until you reached the capital city of Kompong Thom.   Here the road splited.  Heading left would have led us to Siem Reap.  Steering right led us to Tbeng Meanchey.  The entire trip took us less than 5 five hours.

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Although our trip was not intended for sightseeing or a visit to Preah Vihear temple, we managed to see more of the city had to offer.  The town itself was relatively small.  Once you reached the round-about with a man-made statue, you knew that you were in the vicinity of the city.   There were two main roads crossing through the city.  One road would lead you to the local market, where you can find local vegetables and game meats.  A few beer gardens and fruit stands were spread out through out the city.   As for accommodation, we recommended staying at Home Vathanak.  We were surprised how clean this hotel was compared to other guesthouses and hotels that we had stayed in Kratie and Rattanakiri.   Unfortunately Tbeng Meanchey did not have any boutique hotel like those found in Battambang city.  All and all, I found Home Vathanak was a simple and the cleanest accommodation in the city.

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For lunch and dinner, we ate at those beer garden places, not far from the provincial town hall.  For dessert, we hit up the local market for traditional Khmer desserts.  It was some what questionable how hygienic the place was, but it was manageable.  The local fresh fruits were much cheaper at the market than those fruit stands by the round-about statue.

After spending one night in Tbeng Meanchey, we made our way to Beng Mealea temple, which was on the route heading west toward Siem Reap city.

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Beng Mealea temple was one the farthest temple from Siem Reap city.  Luckily for us, we could easily get to the temple from Tbeng Meanchey.  The temple was not seemed to be well known to tourists.  The structure was still in ruin.  A lot of debris were found through the temple.  It was said that this temple has a moat inside.  From the large and old tree grew within the temple, it was somewhat resembled the Bayon temple.  Walking through the temple was easier than I thought.  Wooden planks were setup through out the temple.  The strange part was that the planks setup right above the temple roof; essentially you were practically strolling above the temple and looking down to the structure below.  We highly recommend people to visit this temple.  It is really worth the drive.

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