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Man about town: 21 November 2013

Man about town: 21 November 2013

AMERICAN CULTURAL PRESERVATION GRANTS
The US Embassy in Phnom Penh and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State have called for proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation for next year.

This should be of interest to many Siem Reap organisations, and the deadline for submitting a proposal in English is Thursday, December 13, 2013.

A media announcement said, “The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation was established to help countries preserve their cultural heritage and to demonstrate US respect for other cultures. The projects selected to receive funding under this program will advance USC diplomatic goals and demonstrate the depth of US respect for the cultural heritage of Cambodia. The Fund is aimed at preserving cultural sites, objects, and forms of expression that have historical or cultural significance to the cultural heritage of Cambodia.”

Grants given for 2013 ranged from $10,000 to $159,000. Check the US Embassy website for more details.

TOURISM FIGURES
Latest tourism figures show that Cambodia received about 3.05 million international tourists in the first nine months of this year, a 19 per cent lift from 2.57 million for the same period last year. About 1.57 million tourists, or 51 per cent of all international tourists, visited Siem Reap during that time, a 6 per cent increase year on year.

The largest number of tourists came from Vietnam, followed by China with a 45 per cent increase in numbers, and coming in third was South Korea with 317,940, up 4 per cent. The number of tourists from Laos and Thailand increase dramatically, with Lao tourist numbers increasing by 71 per cent and Thai tourists up by 20 per cent.

The number of international tourists for the year is expected to top four million.

AWARENESS BOOKED
Hariharalaya Retreat Centre has published two new books and re-released another from last year. Foundations of Stillness is a collection of talks by owner Joel Altman on meditation, yoga and awareness. The book includes 41 short talks that were given at Hariharalaya over the last six months, and can be bought at Hariharalaya for $4. A pdf version is available online for $6.

The centre has also released a Chant Book “along with recordings,” and its Vegan Cookbook from last year is also back on the market.

SHORTS
Openings: The Bangkok-based Anantara hotel group held a cocktail reception on Monday evening celebrating the rebadging of the former Sothea Hotel to Anantara Angkor Resort and Spa. On Wednesday, Eric Raisina and Theam's House held a function to celebrate the exclusive opening of Cassia Gallery.

Flights: South Korean low-cost airline EastarJet will resume its daily Seoul Incheon-Siem Reap service on December 2, with daily flights until March 2 next year.

Free golf for some: The long-awaited upgrade of the Sofitel Phokeethra Country Club golf course is now being celebrated with a complimentary green fee for players’ first rounds. The promotion is “reserved exclusively” for Cambodians and residents of Cambodia, and bookings in advance are required. Phone: 012 882 882.

Ace move: As reported in the Post’s excellent sports section on November 13, Siem Reap has a new tennis coach. UK-born Helen Slee, a volunteer teacher, has started a School Tennis Initiative program under the support of the International Tennis Federation and local sponsor, Cambodia Airports, at the Svay Dongkum Primary School.

Xmas Tree: Le Meridien Angkor last Friday celebrated its now famous light up of its Christmas tree, with guests enjoying cocktails, canapés and entertainment.

Leave our trees alone: Many expats expressed disgust at the radical tree lopping that’s taken place in Street 6, running next to Central Market. A stately avenue of lush trees has been denuded of all greenery.

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