R umors of a police round up of the town's beggars have been floating around for months. On Dec 5, although unnoticed by the majority of the town's residents, a police truck began a three-day patrol of the river and Psah Chas area turning rumor into reality. With promises of $20 and a free lift to their home villages, those that that did not run ended up under a light police guard at Wat Prei Thom 10 kilometers out of town. By Dec 7 those who could not prove Siem Reap as their place of birth had been taken from the pagoda by truck to an unknown destination.
** Dec 7 also saw the opening of the Sokha Angkor Hotel attracting the rich and influential from across the country. Prime Minister Hun Sen made an appearance speaking out on tourist visa scams at the borders and improving Siem Reap's infrastructure.
For those who have only ever seen Angkor Wat at night by stray moto or Camry headlight, Les Nuits d'Angkor, sponsored by the French Cultural Center (FCC), offers a chance to see performances by the Royal Cambodian Ballet in the specially illuminated grounds of the temple. Attendees in years past say the atmosphere has been spell-binding.
This sixth consecutive year will feature traditional Cambodian performances on Friday, Dec 16 and traditional and modern Franco-Cambodian fusion pieces over the nights of Dec 17 and 18. Tickets are available from the French Cultural Center and travel agencies for the performances on Dec 16 & 18. For the Dec 17 performance a limited number of tickets are available which can be purchased at Asian Trails or the Sofitel Royal Angkor.