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Man About Town

Iconic photographer John McDermott has languished in the role of Siem Reap’s leading identity for years, culminating in a June 10, 2007, feature in The New York Times which described him as being “in a league with Ansel Adams”.

But McDermott is about to lose his crown of number-one local celeb to the feisty Elizabeth Kiester of Wanderlust fame.

In her brief 18 months in Siem Reap, Kiester has swept all before her in the publicity stakes, after first featuring in the pages of the Phnom Penh Post.

Now it’s almost impossible to pick up a regional glossy or airline mag without coming across a Kiester spread.

This month she scores a page in the Stylish Traveler section in the January Southeast Asian edition of Travel + Leisure magazine.
Next, Kiester is set to emulate McDermott with a feature in The New York Times – a story about her is scheduled for publication soon.

Speaking of women on the move, Siem Reap’s Khmer gal-about-town, Unn Sophary, a former Phnom Penh Post staffer, has hit giddy new heights. She’s been elected as the new president of the Siem Reap chapter of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW International).

Phary, as she is known, will head BPW for the next two years. She replaces another high-profile gal, Arun Sinketh, who is now the director for public relations for Angkor Hospital for Children. Arun’s parting words were: “It was a great experience to build up my capability in taking the lead for young women in Siem Reap area… I had both good time and hard time during my presidency.”

And back on the subject of Travel + Leisure magazine. The US edition contains the World’s Best Hotels list. Former Hotel de la Paix manager, Nick Downing, who is still connected to the hotel, was quick to indulge in “shameless self-promotion,” as he puts it, to report that the hotel has been listed as number one within Cambodia.

“This marks the first time Hotel de la Paix has been recognised on such a US-based list in the notoriously difficult US market... And as number one!” he said.

The number two listing went to Siem Reap’s Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor while the third slot went to Phnom Penh’s Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Siem Reap’s Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort made an appearance at number four.



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