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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man About Town: 1 Jun 2012

Man About Town: 1 Jun 2012

Will the real Prince Charles stand up and rack off because Siem Reap’s own Prince Charles rules over a major drink-fest to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Angkor What? Bar tomorrow starting at noon.

Just in case readers are confused about the Prince Charles waffle that kicked off this item, let Man About explain that the Angkor What’s erstwhile manager, the iconic not to mention legendary  Charlie Kumar has a princely connection.

He was named Charles after Prince Charles because he was born on the same day (but not the same date) as the bonny Prince, and his surname Kumar actually means Prince. So in a sense he’s Charles Prince, and given Cambodians predilection to confuse given names and surnames it’s a safe bet to call him Prince Charles, or indeed a prince by any other name.

Anyway he’ll be presiding over the Right Royal Knees-Up at the bar tomorrow, which according to flyers will be kosher political correctness: “Promoting irresponsible drinking for a majestic hangover.”

The idea is to don something English or royal to be eligible for serious fun raising and also prizes, the ritziest being an iPad 3. Wearing stuff and drinking beer will earn tickets for this prize. Hit the bar and find out more

The Asean plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting kicked off in Phnom Penh last week and of course many lofty items were on the agenda.

Also, according to Xinhua, the secretary of state with Cambodia’s foreign ministry and the chair of this meeting, Soeung Rathchavy, told  reporters at the sidelines that more topics were also discussed during the closed- door meeting.

She said that the senior officials decided to choose Siem Reap as the cultural city in the East Asian region this year for cultural tourism promotion and also as part of the celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of Asean plus Three “dialogue mechanism.”

The advent of Hyatt’s management takeover of Hotel de la Paix has triggered some reshuffling among the ranks of Siem Reap’s hotel movers and shakers.

Christian de Boer, la Paix’s former director of sales and marketing flew the coop some time again and his new roost  is  at Song Saa Private Island resort, where he’s director of sales and marketing.

But Christian won’t be island bound – he will in fact set up an office in Siem Reap and continue to call Temple Town his home.

Meanwhile, a press release was issued last week by Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor announcing Janet Chan as the new assistant director of sales – before this appointment she was sales and marketing manager at Hotel de la Paix.

Coming in as sales director of what will be the new Park Hyatt Siem Reap is well-known local identity Sarah Moya.

She’s has a long history with Siem Reap, working a long stint at Angkor Century Hotel, then becoming general manager of the Sothea.

She recently served as interim general manager at Shinta Mani Luang Prabang – and coincidentally Shinta Mani Siem Reap is set to open its doors shortly. Moya has also had previous experience working for the Hyatt group – early in her career she was director of sales at Hyatt Regency Manila.

The management takeover of Hotel de la Paix has broken all sorts of records on the publicity front: media coverage of the takeover has been extraordinary and indeed never before has the Phnom Penh Post devoted as much coverage to a hotel’s coverage as in today’s issue of Insider, not to mention mentions in weeks past.

It’s interesting to compare the brouhaha surrounding Hyatt’s entry into the local market to that of another US chain, indeed the world’s biggest hotel chain, Best Western.

By contrast Best Western entered Siem Reap virtually by stealth. In late January last year the Phoenix Arizona based company signed up its first Cambodian hotel by taking over the quaintly named Suites and Sweet Resort Angkor.

This garnered little international publicity and few people locally realise that Best Western has a foothold in the market.

New book forthcoming from Thailand’s River Books is Beyond Angkor, which will take the reader to the smaller temples in Cambodia, as well as Laos and Thailand.

But the final chapter gives an overview of Buddhist moments in the heart of the Kingdom, including Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm and Banteay Chhmar.

Author is Helen Ibbitson Jessup, with additional insights into ethnography and mythology by Ang Choulean. Photos are by John Golling. The book has apparently been quite a while in the making, and no price is as yet listed by the publishers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Olszewski at



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