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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Much ado about mall opening

Much ado about mall opening

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Thronging shoppers snarl traffic for elaborate grand-opening ceremony

PETER OLSZEWSKI

Crowds throng the streets outside of the newly-opened Lucky Mall in Siem Reap.

THOUSANDS of people flocked to worship at

the opening of that glittering new temple of mammon, the Lucky Mall

shopping centre in Siem Reap last Thursday night, and the crowd

continued to mill and throb through the weekend.

On Thursday evening there were near-hysterical scenes as shoppers

trying to access the centre blocked one of the city's main

thoroughfares, Sivatha Boulevard, creating a traffic jam. Police

frantically worked to divert traffic, as consumers hell-bent on

spending spilled out of the arcade, over the forecourt, and onto the

roadway itself.

Festivities began at 8am with an opening ceremony that had the pomp and

circumstance of an affair of state.  Seated on a dais were uniformed

military officials and several dignitaries, including His Excellency

Sou Phirin, governor of Siem Reap, and the CEO of the Lucky Market

Group, Heng Hang Meng, and his wife.

A blessing dance preceeded the speeches, which were followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and pyrotechnics.

Festivities kicked off again at 6pm with entertainment that included a

fashion show, prize draws, a game segment and DJ party music.

On the same day big crowds also gathered at an outdoor music event

heralding the opening of a new super electronics goods centre,

Sunsimexco Co Ltd, on the Phnom Penh side of National Road 6.

Again, it was almost impossible to push through the mainly Khmer

roadside crowd to gain access to the centre,  to see the displays of

supersize TVs, white goods, and the latest in digital music players,

computers and cameras.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening, the Angkor Trade Centre, which had

been the city's only modern shopping centre, tried to crash the action

by having its own roadside celebrations.  But it rained on that parade

and constant drizzle killed the party.

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