An article in the Bangkok Post on November 10 stated that the conflict with Thailand over Thaksin could cost Cambodia 30 to 40 billion baht in lost tourism income.
And, according to Apichart Sangka-aree, an advisor to the Association of Thai Travel Agents, ‘’European tourists are now refraining from visiting Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and are instead visiting the north east of Thailand, which has a similar culture and tourist attractions.”
This was met with derision by most Bangkok Post readers who posted online comments, with several suggesting if there was going to be a loser, it would be Thailand.
For example, Frequentflier commented, “Having been to Angkor Wat three times in my life, there is nothing to match it anywhere on this planet. I don’t for one minute believe it will stop western tourists from visiting this wonder of the world.”
Ricefieldradio added, “If you are poor but your daughter is beautiful, while your neighbour is rich with an ugly girl, who will people line up to visit?”
A singing and dancing doctor from the US provided entertainment at the Santepheap NGO’s first birthday celebration on Monday night.
Dr Daniel Susott, who performed a mix of Cambodian and Western songs, has a long connection to Cambodia. He worked in refugee camps 30 years ago on the Thai border and found homes for orphaned children.
One of the children he rescued accompanied him on this visit to Siem Reap in her first trip home since she left to live in America 19 years ago.
Santepheap has 32 children aged 10-18 years, and advisor David Biviano said the home’s first year of existence had been a great success.
“They are really thriving here. A lot of our students started at the bottom of the class and now many are in the top 10-15 percent – some even at the top,” he said.
NGO gets the book
Last week’s story about a Siem Reap NGO, This Life Cambodia, needing $600 of final funding to publish a book titled In This Life, detailing the stories and lives of 21 scholarship students, got a good result.
The Minister of Information, Kieu Kanharith, read the story and rode to the rescue, pledging over $200 of the required funding shortfall.
The NGO, needless to say, was delighted.