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Man about town: 21 March 2014

Man about town: 21 March 2014

In an eerie parallel to the missing Malaysian plane, the search for missing Siem Reap journalist, Canadian-expat Dave Walker, takes frustrating twists and turns and all that can conclusively be said is that Walker is still missing, whereabouts certainly unknown.

It’s even unclear in investigators’ minds whether Walker is alive or not, and the short answer is that no one really knows either way. Ditto as to who is the real suspect. This has swung back and forth several times. At one stage a local individual was the main suspect, then a group of people with links to Canada and the US loomed so large in the frame that an investigator declared that it was done and dusted: the assailants were known and all that remained was for charges to be laid and of course for Walker to be found. Now the spotlight glares on the original suspect again.

Like the Malaysian aircraft search, the search for Dave Walker is international involving police, private investigators, journalists and concerned friends in Canada, the US, Interpol and Cambodian searchers, in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

And like the Malaysian aircraft bun fight, there still seems to be division and suspicion between the various players with a warning going out this week by one party to be wary of two other parties involved in the investigation.

Certain establishments in town have found themselves under quite an intense spotlight. Walker held several evening meetings with suspect individuals in the period leading up to his disappearance at a café in Sok San Road, and management there have found themselves being grilled at various times by police, an Australian private investigator, and a pushy American journalist.

Meanwhile, because this is after all a criminal investigation, local police are tightlipped.

Siem Reap provincial immigration police officer Yut Sinin says, “There is no update about Dave, but police in every village and commune in Siem Reap province are cooperating with immigration police, looking for Dave.”

As for suspects, Yut Sinin simply says he can reveal nothing because the case is still “in the investigation stage.”

Lovers of Indian cuisine are in for a treat: the Embassy of India along with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India is organising an Indian Food Festival to be held on April 4-10, at Sokha Angkor Resort in Siem Reap.

The India Tourism Development Corporation will be serving up two exciting and renowned chefs: Balram Jaiswal, sous chef of banquets at the Ashok Hotel in New Delhi, and Akashya Kumar Barik from the Kalinga Ashok Hotel in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa.

Further details, such as the chef’s signature dishes and of course the menu, will be announced shortly.

Bangkok headquartered Khiri Travel has been getting a lot of coverage for its luxury tent accommodation near Banteay Chhmar.

The company said it has signed agreements with villagers to pitch two luxury tents near the temple ruins for tourists. Each tent contains two beds and a toilet, and villagers provide meals for guests.

As for the price, Khiri Travel marketing manager Els Van Veelen told Man About that, “The rate per person is US$425 for a 2-day 1-night package that includes transfers from-to Siem Reap, meals, and activities. Note, this rate is based on minimum two, maximum four people traveling together.”

In a press release, Jack Bartholomew, general manager of Khiri Travel Cambodia said, “Guests get an authentic, away-from-it-all Khmer cultural experience. I think it’s a very peaceful, low impact and rewarding way to enjoy Khmer heritage and give back to the local community.”


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