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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Man About Town: 8 June 2012

Man About Town: 8 June 2012

NEW GM FOR PARK HYATT SIGNS ON
New general manager at the new Park Hyatt will be Franz Mas-carenhas whose most recent gig has been general manager, special projects, divisional office Hong Kong at Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

As part of this gig, he was a member of the opening support team for Andaz Shanghai - the first Andaz hotel in the Asia Pacific region which soft opened in October 18 last year.

From July 2009 to January 2011 he was general manager of the Hyatt Regency Auckland.

There’s a touch of irony about this because on December 22 , 2010, the New Zealand Herald reported that the hotel would be taken over by the Accor group and that, “The Hyatt Regency Hotel brand is to disappear from New Zealand.”

Meanwhile, Gregory Anderson, long time general manager of Le Meridien Angkor, Siem Reap, and star of YouTube clips, will shortly be exiting Siem Reap after a five year stint.

He’s taking up a new posting in Chiang Mai Thailand, where by all accounts he will enjoy the luxury of having weekends off.

FACEBOOK FUSS MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
According to some people on the local Facebook expats page, Man About is a nasty and horrible person, not to mention a “clown” and a “twat,” because he quoted a relatively inconsequential Facebook comment without gaining permission from the person who posted the comment.

This was deemed by a frenzied few as unethical and also a copyright infringement. But of course comments on Facebook and Twitter are regarded as published comments, and regularly quoted throughout the international media.

But perhaps more pertinently, as one person posted on the Facebook stream about this breathtakingly important saga, “Facebook has turned from an entertaining social time-waster into a honey pot for reputation-damaging comments.”

Oops…there goes Man About again: quoting from a Facebook page without getting permission. Dear oh dear!

SHORT CUTS
• According to the Cambodia Herald Prime Minister Hun Sen and first lady Bun Rany have paid for 7,200 meters of new road in Laveng Russie commune in Siem Reap’s Chikreng district.

The gravel road is seven meters wide and is on the route used by people in the commune to access the local market.

• Painting Art and Food Holidays will host two ten-day painting holidays with Australian artist, Craig Penny, to the temples of Angkor Wat. Tour dates are July 3-11 this year, and January 7-15 next year.

• The New York Times, on June 1, reported that, “The Cambodian government is convinced that two life-size 10th-century statues that have anchored the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Southeast Asian galleries for nearly two decades were looted from a jungle temple and plans to ask for their return.”

• The 8th Angkor Photo Festival received a record number of submissions this year: over 1,200 submissions from over 65 countries.

Festival organisers also hosted John Novis, head of photography at Greenpeace International who was on the jury panel for the Reminders Project Asian Photographers Grant last year. Organisers said he came to Siem Reap for a couple of days and added, “What were we meeting him about? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out!”

• French expats Raphael Ferry and his wonderful wife, teacher and holistic care practitioner Sophie, staged and acted the French-language play, Petits Crimes Conjugaux (Partners in Crime) last Saturday and Sunday.

Raphael reports “The play was a success. We raised more than $600 for Pour un sourire d’enfant. Thank you.”

• TTG Asia reports that the first travel agency in Singapore for women travellers has opened with the name Stilettos Travel. Among its services is a “Travel Buddy Pairing service” to help women find like-minded travel companions. Siem Reap is among the planned destinations.

• Air Bagan, a Yangon-based private airline, intends to expand domestic and regional services. A possible destination from Yangon includes Siem Reap.

EXOTISSIMO'S NEW MICE MAN CHECKS

New man in Siem Reap is French national Guillaume Ruppin, who has been appointed by Exotissimo Travel Cambodia to head its MICE development in Temple Town.

His official title will be MICE manager Cambodia, and just in case some readers are puzzled by the MICE reference, it’s an acronym that stands for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions.

Guillaume told Man About, “Yes indeed it is my first time working in Siem Reap, but not in Cambodia. I have spent nearly two years in the past working in Phnom Penh in a similar position for a local destination management company. I also worked as MICE manager in Saigon before that, and Bangkok as well.”

He said the reason why Exotissimo Travel Cambodia based its MICE operation in Siem Reap is because, “Ninety per cent of our MICE groups don’t really extend their business or reward/incentive trips to Phnom Penh or the Cambodian south coast.

“This might change with the recent opening of resorts in the south and new roads all around the Kingdom. The average length of stay in Cambodia for MICE groups is around 3-4 nights, and they mostly focus on Siem Reap and Angkor temples.

“We are really keen on developing a new approach of MICE trips in Cambodia, introducing more than Siem Reap and its Angkor temples.”

In a press statement, Hamish Keith, Exotissimo Travel Group’s chief operating officer, said, “We are delighted to have Guillaume joining the team at Exotissimo Travel Cambodia. His experience of working at top level management within the field of MICE activity and familiarity of Southeast Asia are extremely valuable assets as we continue to grow our operations in the region.”

SOKHA HOTEL'S GENEROUS GESTURE

Sokha Angkor Resort has upped the stakes in the philanthropy department by adopting a community out on the lake, at Thnot Kombot village, Kompong Phluk commune, Bakong district.

Last month school materials were provided for 153 kids of poor families, and the hotel’s generous general manager Emmett McHenry said, “Over 40 staff, who had contributed to the fund raising, attended the school presentation, and we are hoping to continue to raise money, and make two more trips before the roads will be blocked by the rainy season.

“On the final trip we hope to bring out a few tons of rice, as they can not fish during that time.”

Of the 153 students, 122 were from primary school and 31 from secondary school. Each student received: one bag, 10 books, two pens, two pencils, one ruler, one sharpener and 2000 riel in cash.

The school itself was given a volley ball net and five volleyballs. The 16 teachers were each given a $5 donation. This will make for a lot of happy kids, not to mention some cashed-up teachers.

ART EXHIBITION NOW SHOWING AT ART DELI

Siem Reap-based artist Savann Oun opened an intriguing exhibition of his work at the Art Deli on Tuesday, featuring sculptures made entirely from found materials.

Savann told Man About, “This art show has already been exhibited at ARTillery in Phnom Penh, but now I decided to show it again in Siem Reap.”

He’s calling his work Creation, Life and Beliefs and of his art he says, “Using found objects and personal items, I illustrated the every day journeys of my life as an artist, as Cambodian and as a Buddhist.

The daily ritual and commentaries on the process of the creative beginning and my relationship with the planet and its people define my almost take on how these elements should co-exist with respect to one another.”

Up until very recently Savann was the assistant arts curator of the Arts Lounge and Thev Gallery in Hotel de la Paix. He teaches art to the Green Gecko Project’s kids and the Landmine Museum Relief Fund. He’s also a regular worker with the Giant Puppet Project.

Savann has exhibited in Perth, Australia and in Singapore where he was helping to raise funds for the Children Surgical Centre in Phnom Penh.

He’s also been a regular exhibitor in Cambodia including venues such as The Art House, the French Cultural Centre, Red Gallery, Amansara Resort, and Make Maek Art Space.

The exhibition at Art Deli shows until July 15.

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