BAN THE BUSES UPDATE
There’s been some joy in the Ban the Buses department, with Siem Reap and Apsara Authority officials introducing a temporary ban on buses carrying more than 24 people into the Angkor Wat area.
In anticipation of a tourism influx leading up to Khmer New Year, Apsara enforced the ban from March 11. The temporary ban will also apply to the entrance gate to Angkor Thom temple.
These measures were implemented to avoid temple traffic jams that at times lasted for almost five hours.
Meanwhile, in downtown Siem Reap, some buses are diverted from entering the Pub Street precinct, forcing charter passengers to, horrors of horrors, walk a hundred yards or so to the shopping venue or restaurant of choice.
The downside is that this clogs up Street 6 which runs alongside Central Market – the street becomes one long row of parked buses, and some buses simply stop in the middle of the street blocking access while they offload or pick up passengers.
The downtown district simply isn’t designed for such large influxes of large buses – get rid of them and give the tuk tuks more work.
MAJESTIC ORIENTAL OPENS FOR BUSINESS
The Majestic Angkor hotel had what is known in the trade as a bad year, which included a fire.
But it’s now risen from the ashes with a new identity and a new name – the Majestic Oriental. The former CEO, Rob Doeven, checked out of town last October, returning to his home port, the Netherlands.
He has informed Man About that, “The owners asked me to return to the hotel, change the management and clean up, and start renovation to upgrade the hotel. “Now we’ve reopened again with a new management and motivated staff, and the hotel will have a new life again under the name Majestic Oriental Hotel.”
Rob has put out an all-points bulletin looking for, “Travel agents and business partners to co-operate together and we offer special reopening prices for tour operators.” He is also looking for an outside coffee shop operator, an in-house travel company, and a souvenir-supermarket shop operator. Rob brings an interesting grab-bag of expertise to Siem Reap. Among his many skills, he is also a pre-opening specialist having spearheaded the ground-up development of very large mixed-use properties.
He was one of the first expatriates to venture into the Thai mixed-use development sector, which was previously inaccessible to most foreign entities. As pre-opening general manager, he oversaw the ground-up operational development involving dozens of expatriate specialists, local management and staff, and government officials in Thailand. He worked on the large and complex Central City project in Bangkok.
EARTH HOUR AT LE MERIDIAN
At 8:30pm local time on Saturday, towns and cities around the world will come together in the largest environmental movement to protect the one thing that unites us all – planet Earth.
Starwood hotels’ Siem Reap flagship, Le Meridien Angkor, declares that it is proud to be supporting Earth Hour. It will do this with a cocktail soiree starting at 8.30pm on March 23 – guests will gather in the lobby to celebrate, and all lights in hotel area will be switched off for one hour. Refreshments and cocktails will be served in the dark for guests to enjoy.
LIBERTY CUP GOLF TOURNAMENT
Angkor Golf Resort will host the Liberty Golf Cup on March29-30. The cup is a “charitable conscience” golf tournament owned by Liberty Golf Services, and held annually for amateur regional golfers. This year will see a fund raising shootout challenge on the first day, co-organised with ConCert, to help communities in Treak Village. Sponsors include Carlsberg, AK Wines, Transview, PG, Ecco and Titoni Switzerland. Registration is open until March 25. The official tournament hotel is the 4 Angkor Riviera.