Travel with chozun

Uncovering the past: The Most Underrated Museums in South East Asia

By Justin Vidamo (2012)

It’s a lovely experience walking around a museum by yourself. You can move at your own pace, allow yourself some solitude to mentally engage with carefully curated artefacts, and welcome inspiration from introspection and self-reflection. Travelling can sometimes end up in a flurry of things to do, see and taste, without having the time to really take in the subtleties of the foreign environment you’ve entered. Museums can empower you with archives of knowledge, and give you the opportunity to pay respect to the extraordinary cultures and histories of thousand year old cultures . As noble peace prize recipient Orhan Pamuk put it, a museum should not just be a place for fancy paintings but should be a place where we can communicate our lives through our everyday objects.

To pay our respects to International Museum Day this Friday 18 May, we’re uncovering what we think are the most underrated Museums in South East Asia. We believe that the following historical archives pay due to the liven experiences of, and beauty of South East Asian cultures.

Vietnamese Women’s Museum – Hanoi, Vietnam

To best summarise Hanoi’s Vietnamese Woman’s Museum, the word “inspirational” would suffice. Although the Museum features the word “Women”, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s not equally fascinating and enjoyable for both men and woman. The gallery offers a fascinating introduction to the life of Vietnamese women, their hardships, achievements, and historical milestones which assisted in progressing Hanoi into Vietnam’s magical capital of today. Besides displays on everyday life, marriage and childbirth (which are far from banal) it also brings to life the lived experiences of women in the wars against the French and Americans.

Other rooms deal with contemporary phenomena like the roving merchants of Hanoi, and the cult of the Holy Mothers with Mother Goddess. The museum’s final floor features traditional clothing of women from each of the 54 ethnic minorities in Vietnam. Another floor exhibits a collection of agricultural and domestic tools used by women throughout the country. The exhibits in this one museum will begin to open any traveler’s eyes to much that is compelling and special about Vietnam.

Angkor National Museum – Siem Reap, Cambodia

As the largest religious monument in the world, it’s no surprise that World Heritage listed Angkor Wat is the most popular tourist destination in Cambodia and in everyone’s top 5 must see places to visit in South East Asia. The once in a life time experience can be quite overwhelming in the humid Cambodian tropics, crowded with millions of patrons each year, all trekking through miles and miles of fascinating temple, Fully absorbing all Ankor Wat has to offer can be an arduous if not impossible feat while immersed in the ancient temples. Take some time to explore Angkor National Museum before heading to Angkor Wat. 

Angkor National Museum is an archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artefacts. The museums 7 galleries feature collections mainly dated from the Khmer Empire‘s Angkor period. There is an extra gallery dedicated to history of hundreds of years of Buddhism, with 1,000 Buddha images highlighting the religion’s significance in Cambodian culture.

Penang House of Music – Penang, Malaysia

Travel to one of the most-loved cities in Malaysia is always a good idea, especially when it has some of the best food, festivals, street art and museums. Some of these include the Upside Down MuseumCamera Museum and Ghost Museum, but here at chozun 途赞 we think one of the most underrated museum in not only Penang, but the whole of Malaysia, is Penang House of Music. Located in vibrant George Town, the museum hits the sweet spot between meticulous research and an engagingly fresh vibe.

Penang House of Music vividly display a plethora of traditional Malaysian musical instruments, holds jam sessions with respected local musicians, live sets, and has interactive exhibits to fully immerse yourself in rhythmic sounds of Malaysia.

Instagram @penanghouseofmusic

Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre – Luang Prabang, Laos

Laos is the super chill capital of South East Asia, with awesome food, stunning sunsets, copious amounts of roaring waterfalls, and world-class hand crafts. Weaving, silk work and dyeing run deep in Laos culture, and The Ock Pop Tok Living Crafts Centre offers insights into these age old tradition.  The centre is a cultural hub of artisans where Lao textiles truly come alive. Ock Pop Tok is a wider community of talented artisans, founded 18 years ago with 5 weavers and has expanded to provide employment for over 500 women in Luang Prabang and nearby villages. Fifty percent of the revenue from Ock Pop Tok goes back into the government and NGO supported Village Weaver Projects.

Set in the grounds of a thriving tropical garden on the Mekong, it’s the perfect place to absorb the fascinating culture Laos has to offer while learning more about this unique art form. Free guided tours are available where you can  meet the weavers, immerse yourself within the artisan community, and even observe the silkworms. Unforgettable classes are provided for a small donation, specialising in traditional weaving and dyeing techniques. On site they have the Silk Road Cafe, where you can grab a coffee or refreshing sugar cane or coconut juice to. They’ll even pick you up in a tuk tuk and provide a scrumptious Laos lunch.

Phnom Penh: A Locals Guide to an Emerging City | 在金边的一次地道的旅游

Bordering Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cambodia has some serious competition in the tourist market.  Yet in recent years the South-East Asian country has been growing its reputation as a must-visit destination. 

与泰国,老挝和越南接壤的柬埔寨在旅游市场上有一些激烈的竞争。 然而近年来,这个东南亚国家的声誉却越发升高。

Emerging from a dark period of war and revolution Cambodia has been steadily establishing itself on the world-stage again, with tourists flocking to absorb the rich culture on offer.  Stunning temples, island hot-spots and a friendly people are abundant to those that make the journey.

从黑暗的革命战争时期开始,柬埔寨一直在世界舞台的上稳步发展旅游业,游客被这个国家的丰富文化所吸引。令人惊叹的寺庙,岛屿和友善的人民为旅程添加了热情。

For many their first encounter with Cambodia is Phnom Penh, the Kingdom’s capital. And it can be a startling first-impression; bustling and chaotic, Phnom Penh throws everything at you and invites you into the fold. We got in touch with Ruby Cray, a teacher who now calls Phnom Penh home, to get the run down on this cool and alluring city. Read on for a few of her recommendations!

对于首次接触柬埔寨的很多人来说是首都金边。第一印象可能是一个令人惊讶的; 繁华和混乱的融合,金边向你公开一切,并热情邀请你来做客。 我们与现在称金边家园的老师Ruby Cray保持了联系,让她在这个迷人的城市中探索。 请阅读她的一些建议!

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Exploring on two wheels – the coolest cycling spots in SE Asia 两个轮子的探索 – 东南亚最酷的骑车胜地

What better way to see South East Asia (SEA) than by bicycle. Exploring with a bike gives you the opportunity to experience your world at your own pace, allowing you to stop over whenever and wherever you like. Not only is cycling the most eco-friendly mode of transport, it’s also one of the most budget friendly, making it the best fit to explore notoriously cheap SEA.

骑自行车探索东南亚是更好不过了。骑自行车探索让您有机会以自己的速度体验您的世界,让您随时随地停下来。自行车不仅是最环保的交通工具,而且也是最经济实惠的交通工具之一,是探索充满价格诱惑力的东南亚的最佳选择。

Pedalling your way around permits you to truly take in your surroundings; you’re open on the road, released from the confinement of four walls with no unwanted reflections in windows; there’s the opportunity to inhale new scents of lush rice fields or sizzling street food; you can listen to the sounds of nature at its best, which you might miss behind a chuckling exhaust pipe.

踏着自行车环游四周;释放自己,不再只是坐在室内看着窗外;你可以呼吸来自大自然新鲜的空气,闻着令人发馋的街边没事;你能够尽可能的聆听大自然。

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#chozunaday: Here’s travel tips on Spain, France, Canada, Nicaragua, Portugal, Philippines & Cambodia

Every week chozun 途赞 celebrates 5 new places with #chozunaday based on what’s being celebrated around the world. But this week, we celebrate 8 different destinations with travel tips on San Sebastian, Paris, Montreal, Popoyo, Sagres, Baler & Cambodia.

13 February 

Celebrated: World Radio Day – a day to remember the unique power of radio to connect people across the globe – originally proposed by Spain! 

San Sebastian, Spain 

Eat: La Cuchara de San Telmo – hidden down a little side street, an amazing little bar – eat all the pintxos possible & drink to your hearts content.

Do: Santa Clara Island – grab the ferry & head to the tiny island offering a small beautiful beach with great views over the city.
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