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Man About Town


ANGKOR MARKET MOVES

The times they are a-changing in Siem Reap. Angkor Market, a pokey but homey supermarket that’s been a long-time expat haven and social hub is about to move across the road to flash new premises.

Staff say the move should happen in the next week, and surely there will be mourning for the passing of the old premises. Diplomats, members of royalty, nobles and ne’er-do-wells have all rubbed shoulders in the crowded aisles, where gossip and news was exchanged, relationships formed and broken, all in the brief moments before tucking a can of spag bol sauce in the basket.

Angkor Market used to be the only place in town to buy those much missed western goodies, but in the space of about a year, several new and modern supermarkets have sprung up.

Now it’s time for Angkor Market to join the progress and it will be interesting to see how the diehards react.

FAST RIDE ON NEW ROADS
Every upside has a downside. No sooner has the dust settled (literally) on the miraculous road works that have transformed a large part of the downtown sector, than the nay-sayers emerge.

Bar-based punditry has it that the smooth new roads could lead to death and disaster, the theory being that the lack of potholes and blinding dust will enable cars to go much faster, hence the accident rate will surge.

Interestingly, a rare spotlight was shone recently on Siem Reap’s drink-driving problem. During a conference in town last month about alcohol reduction, lieutenant colonel Thorng Sakun, of the Police Commissariat of Siem Reap Province, said that in the first nine months of 2009, there were 41 traffic deaths due to drunkenness, up from 36 alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2008.

ONLINE BOOKING CONFERENCE
Online bookings are becoming increasingly important for Siem Reap’s hotels, and during the week a conference highlighted new hi-tech services, courtesy of internet marketers, Luxury Machine.

On Monday the company introduced one of its hi-tech provisions, Sabre Hospitality Solutions SynXis Central Reservation System, that claims to connect regional hotel customers to over 600,000 travel agents worldwide via Global Distribution Systems, leading online travel agents such as Travelocity and Expedia, and customers booking via their own website using the Guest Connect booking engine.

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