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Man about town: 30 May 2014

Man about town: 30 May 2014

There’s a sense in town that restrictions have eased on the renting of motos to tourists. Emphatically not so according to Tith Narong, Siem Reap City police chief, who told reporter Thik Kaliyann that moto renting is only available for Khmer people not foreigners. He said, “Foreigners don’t know clearly about locations and about our traffic laws, so they might have road accidents.

“If they want to travel, they can have a remork (tuk-tuk) as it is driven by local people.”

Le Meridien Angkor, part of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts group, has launched its Wines of the World 2014 program, which was originally kicked off by Starwood for its hotels in Asia Pacific in 1999.

To celebrate, Le Meridien is hosting a ‘Flight of Three Wines’ package until July 15. Imbibers who purchase any three wines by the glass from the Wines of the World menu will get a 25 per cent discount at these hotel venues – L’Angelo Italian Restaurant, Angkor Café, Naga Bar and the Lobby Lounge.

To get the discount, people need to be a Starwood Preferred Guest member and, according to Dennis Kam, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, “Anyone can be a member. Just register for free at reception or at the restaurant or bar.”

British teenager Tazmin Hollands, 15, who publicly immersed herself in a bath full of baked bean for four hours in a shopping centre last December to raise money for a charity trip to Beng Mealea and Siem Reap, is at it again.

This time she’s being more conventional and has organised a fashion show to further raise funds for her venture in August next year when she plans to help build classrooms, support a reforestation project and teach food and hygiene and English.

Her baked bean venture was an endurance test – she said her feet went numb, she felt she was freezing and she also felt ill. But she endured the trial-by-baked-beans for the requisite time and raised $1300.

Cruisers cruising: Avalon Waterways, part of the Globus “family of brands” will in January add to its fleet a river cruise boat dubbed ‘Avalon Siem Reap’ for luxury Mekong cruises from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap. Avalon Siem Reap will replace Avalon Angkor, which could only cruise part of the journey, necessitating a long bus trip as well. From January onward, it will be all boat and no bus.

Twitchers twitching: Professional ornithologist Narca Moore-Craig will lead a ten-day bird watching excursion starting January 5. The tour begins in Siem Reap checking out local birds such as black bazas, and then hightail it to Prek Toal floating village and onto the Veal Krous Vulture Restaurant, where rare vultures are fed.

Hyatt high: Park Hyatt Siem Reap has made it onto Conde Nast Traveler magazine May issue’s hot list of the world’s best new hotels. Reviewer Cynthia Rosenfeld writes, “I was happy to see that the revamped Khmer meets Art Deco feels completely right, especially the sunlit Living Room lounge, which has rose-hued velvet love seats and towering book-filled shelves inset with striking locally hand-loomed textiles. But the reviewer warns to avoid some rooms because they face a “mood killing” Kentucky Fried Chicken billboard across the street.

It’s good news week: The Angkor Photo Festival is spruiking a new addition to its program this year – The Impact Project. According to festival program coordinator Francoise Callier there’s a need to balance the bad news that dominates mainstream media. “Yes, there are bad things happening, but good things are happening too,” she said. “I want people to remember that the actions of just one person can lead to a great change.”


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