Photo by: KYLE SHERER
Siem Reap’s NYDC Cafe and Restaurant, managed by Sharon Soldner.
SHOW BUSINESS CALLING
Sharon Soldner, manager of Siem Reap's NYDC Cafe and Restaurant, has spun in various showbiz circles for most of the seven years she has spent in Cambodia. After appearing in multiple films shot in Phnom Penh, she moved to Siem Reap to distance herself from showbiz by running a restaurant.
But the day the restaurant opened, December 29, 2008, a movie she starred in, Where the Lotus Blooms, had its Siem Reap premiere during the CamboFest film and video festival.
Soldner said her role in the movie had loose parallels to her own life when she moved to Siem Reap.
She told Scene, "In the movie I play a white chick whose parents divorce, and she becomes a badass and gets sent to live in Cambodia with an aunt who works with an NGO for orphans."
In real life, Soldner manages the NYDC Cafe and Restaurant for her parents, Alex and Ann Soldner, who founded the establishment to raise funds for Family Care Cambodia, which works with orphans.
"I'm babysitting the restaurant for my parents and Family Care, which is a PVO, a private volunteer organisation," she said.
Since the premiere of Where the Lotus Blooms, the performance bug seems to have struck Soldner yet again, as she is now considering performing in concerts in the US over the Christmas holiday.
Soldner's first movie role came in 2003 in a Khmer ghost movie called Vinean. She has also performed as a singer and dancer, hosted her own music show two nights a week on TV3 and worked at Black Pearl, a dance centre for disadvantaged kids in Phnom Penh.
FOURTH GOLF COURSE
Prime Minister Hun Sen will preside this Saturday at a groundbreaking ceremony at Bellus Angkor Resort and City, a US$470-million project undertaken by the Korean developer Intercity Group (ICG).
The project will be built on a 265-hectare site located 22 kilometres north of Angkor Thom.
ICG is a real estate company headquartered in Seoul.
The company acquired the concession for the site in October 2008. It has permission to construct a casino as well as resort facilities including 1,500 hotel rooms, a golf course, a water park, shopping malls and a culture and entertainment centre.
On December 10, Korea's Maeil Business Newspaper reported that the Cambodian government "requested to arrange various facilities in order to prevent the resort from being degenerated into a casino-centred facility".
A big feature of the park is the golf course, which will be Siem Reap's fourth.
The first phase of the project, to be completed in November 2011, includes two restaurants, a spa, a wine bar, a karaoke bar and a live jazz bar. It also includes an "event fountain (with lighting show)", according to the company's Web site.
The project's second phase will include a convention and performing arts centre, an indoor theme park, condominiums and other residential units.
The Web site also mentions that the company is in talks "to lease 180 hectares of additional land owned by the government, which is neighbouring our site to the east side". This land would be used to expand the golf course.
BANTEAY SREY APPROACH
A two-year project to develop the land in front of Banteay Srey temple - which includes the construction of a visitor centre and a cafe - is nearing completion, the project manager said in a recent interview.
Chau Sun Kerya, director of the Department of Cultural Development Museum and Heritage Norms at the Apsara Authority, the body that manages Angkor Wat, told Scene that the last remaining tasks involve erecting souvenir stalls and moving in vendors, a process that she said would take between two weeks and one month.
The development is situated on 32 hectares of land around the temple and is designed to ease congestion by providing tourists with areas in which to shop, eat and relax. In addition to the visitor centre and cafe, the project also includes a ticketing booth. Chau Sun Kerya said the project was designed so as not to detract from the natural beauty of its surroundings.
"We want to integrate the environment, like the nearby pond and rice fields," she said.
FOOTBALL FINAL SORTED
The Provincial Teacher Training College took the champion's trophy at last Sunday's under-12 junior football mini-tournament, sponsored by the Centre for Khmer Studies.
The five teams competing in the tournament were from Anjali House, Green Gecko SC, Sangkheum FC, the Provincial Teacher Training College and the Siem Reap International School.
Each nine-player team played all the others in the first stage of the tournament. Provincial Teacher Training College and Sangkheum FC secured the first and second slots, setting up a showdown in the final match.
Sangkheun FC played well during the first half and was leading 2-0 at halftime. However, in a dramatic reversal, Provincial Teacher Training College fought back to win the game 4-2.
The Golden Boot, given to the top goal-scorer, was jointly awarded to Van der Lux of Provincial Teacher Training College and Choy Chet of Sangkeum FC, who both scored six goals during the tournament. Van der Lux also bagged the Player of the Tournament Award.
Next Sunday, teams will compete in an under-16 junior football mini-tournament.