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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man about town: 31 October 2014

Man about town: 31 October 2014

Local businessman and philanthropist Andy Booth’s long awaited opus, The Angkor Guidebook, was finally published and launched on Tuesday evening at a well-attended cocktail bash at Raffles.

To lapse into fashionable jargon, The Angkor Guidebook is more than just a book, it’s an experience and a tome that will be will be handled as well as read because of the intriguing “virtual reconstructions” it contains.

These are cellophane overlays. Photos of the temples as they are today are overlaid with the “reconstructions” that show how the temples would have looked when they were in actual use. It’s fun for the reader to look at the “reconstruction,” then turn the page to look at how the temples now appear.

The overlays are the work of Bruno Levy whose astonishing artistic interpretations of the temples have been already been lauded by Insider.

Plus at the back there is a pop-up map of the regional temples which also adds an extra dimension to the book.

But the major strength of the book is its text, which is far more exacting and informative than the average guide book.

The book’s compiler and creator, Andy Booth, is a punctilious and exacting person and this is reflected in the text itself. Booth has corralled a clutch of recognised academics and writers to compile the text. The editors are Damian Evans, Cynthia Rosenfeld and Martin Polkinghorne. Listed as researchers and authors are Booth, Darryl Collins, Damian Evans, Stephane de Greef and Nicky Sullivan.

The book physical aspect of the book itself is intriguing: what works for it also works against it. It has a slightly old world handmade feel to it which is an endearing asset. But its drawback is that it’s quite a thick book that’s spiral bound, and when handled it looks like its falling apart because the pages shift due to the binding.

And because, as mentioned earlier, it’s been designed to be handled as well it could well start to fall apart as the pages drift from the binding or tear loose due to protracted use.

The book is probably too thick and sumptuous to be spiral bound – it comes in at 154 pages of thick quality paper stock including the nifty cellophane overlays.

But the binding problem is the only negative. All in all, at $20 a copy it’s superb value for money – and yes, it’s the perfect Christmas gift.

Wanderlust Travel Magazine held its World Guides Awards night on October 21 and picking up a bronze gong for being one of the best guides in the world was Siem Reap’s Bunyong Roeurn of G Adventures.

According to the magazine, “It only took Bunyong Roeurn – or ‘Bun’ – two years to make his mark at G Adventures, where he’s a CEO (chief experience officer). Before becoming a local guide around Angkor in 2003, Bun was a secondary school teacher in Cambodia’s Siem Reap.”

Job Market: The Cockatoo Nature Resort is looking for a qualified hotel-experienced manager. Australian-Cambodian outfit, Solina Realty Co Ltd, is looking for a real estate sales person for either a casual or permanent position. Candidates must be fluent in English and Khmer and have an “Australian work ethic.”

Women’s rights: Parliamentarians representing 19 countries from the Asia-Pacific region were in Siem Reap over the weekend to continue the work of the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development’s “Standing Committee of Male Parliamentarians on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Girls.”

Goodbye: A fond farewell to Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor general manager Christian Sack who started in this role in 2011. He is now moving on to be general manager at Raffles Beijing, China.



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