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Siem Reap Scene...

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Ranariddh settles in siem reap

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Erica Goldberg

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, returned from exile, receives guests at his Siem Reap residence last Sunday.

There has been some media debate as to why Prince Norodom Ranariddh chose to initially reside in Siem Reap on his return from exile in Malaysia on Sunday morning.

Suggestions that he came to Siem Reap because his daughter, Princess Rattana Devi, has turned his former villa in Phnom Penh into an upmarket French restaurant have been denied by party officials from the Norodom Ranariddh Party, which won two seats in the July 27 parliamentary election.

The prince's Siem Reap pad is a house about 10 kilometres from the centre of town in Snoul village, Khnart commune, in Pouk district.  The home is sizable, but not ostentatiously so.

The Prince held a pleasant Sunday morning reception at his home shortly after his arrival, and there was an atmosphere of subtle revelry.

Media representatives and dignitaries gathered in the columned portico entrance, surrounded by lush trees.  But the entrance to the house itself was not permitted, precluding Scene from having a good sticky beak.

The comfortably-dressed prince's demeanour was affable and he was relaxed in his talks with journalists, but party supremos explained that full details about his plans would be revealed at a later official press conference.

Meanwhile, the prince has been relaxing during his time in Siem Reap, and on Tuesday afternoon he played a healthy nine holes of golf.

Aussie golfers play pro am tourney

It could be the set-up for a joke: What do you call 50 Australian golfers on the loose in Siem Reap?

The Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa calls them welcome, mainly because it invited them here for the Pro Am golf tournament it is sponsoring from October 6-10.

The 50 golfers will be made up of 13 professional players and 37 amateurs of differing handicaps.

The intention is that the club pro finds three amateur golfers to play in a flight of four. The pros will play for a cash purse to be decided by Victoria Hotel while the amateurs battle it out for prizes each day.

The schedule is for the group to play a practice round on Monday, October 6, spend the day temple-hopping on Tuesday,  and return on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to play in a three-day stroke play tournament.

The pro winner will be the player with the lowest aggregate score.

Notable names are Elliott Booth and Richard Beer, a former Australian PGA chairman. Both were regulars on the Aussie tour and played with illustrious names such as Graham Marsh, David Graham, and the Shark, Greg Norman.

G4s tackles security at grand hotel

PETER OLSZEWSKI

G4S Security Services regional manager Mal Gill takes on hotel security contract.

Mal Gill, regional manager of the Siem Reap branch of G4S Security Services (Cambodia) Ltd, said the company will take over the security contract at Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor on November.

This is the second major contract G4S has landed in Siem Reap since setting up shop locally in August. The company's first Siem Reap contract, with Victoria Hotel, commenced on September 1, and Gill told Scene that he has more contracts nearing official signing.

G4S is a giant global security conglomerate, which has 530,000 full- and part-time employees, in more than 110 countries, on six continents. It was formed from the merger between Securicor plc and Group 4 Falck A/S's security business, in July 2004.

In Cambodia, the company operates in three key sectors: security services, including manned security and risk management; security systems; and cash services which include servicing ATMs and the provision of armoured vehicles.

Gill, an Australian who 

moved from Melbourne to Cambodia three years ago, arrived in Siem Reap in early August to answer the increasing demand from large hotels and facilities such as airports  for the services of a fully accredited international-standard security.

What's in a name for new ivy bar owner?

Alex Sutherland, the new owner of the Ivy Bar and Guesthouse, is taking a radical step with the acquisition and ditching the name, even though it is an iconic local brand.

Sutherland told Scene he was only interested in acquiring the site, which is a prime Pub Street precinct location. He will completely refurbish and reconceive the building, and he's redefining the business model, scrapping the guesthouse component and opting instead for a cafe-style restaurant focusing on breakfast and lunch service.   

According to Sutherland, the proximity of his new establishment to the Old Market lends itself more to catering to the daytime crowd, but in the evening, the as-yet-unnamed venue will be a bar, and will possibly provide live music.

Sutherland is becoming quite a substantial Pub Street player. He already owns the Kamasutra restaurant and Burgers Without Borders and co-owns Pub Street's historic first bar Angkor What? and will use the management of Angkor What? to run the new restaurant and bar.

He is now renovating the downstairs of the former Ivy and plans to open his restaurant by this December. He will later remodel the upstairs.

Sutherland is also working yet another new project, a Mexican restaurant next to Linga Bar, and this too is under construction.

Training course in permaculture

Permaculture guru Richard (Rico) Zook has confirmed that he will teach a course in Siem Reap from December 6-21, in conjunction with the Singing Tree Cafe.

Paying participants are entitled to sponsor another participant of their choice. The cost of the package is $300. Numbers are limited to up to 20 paying and sponsored participants, and acceptance is on a "first-come, first-planted" basis.

Course organiser Michael Batura said, "We are aiming to run the course as a multi-site event, which should help to spread the benefits.  In general there will be one site which will be the base for setting out for our voyage into permaculture, plus two or three minor sites for design teams to practice their magic. 

"This is a fairly intense course. There will be morning and afternoon classes, and when the course is outside Siem Reap it will mean a full day onsite.

"There will be more evening programs, but these will be in Siem Reap to lighten up the travel-load.

"If intending participants are unsure of who they want to sponsor, we can easily match them with an appropriate candidate.  We specifically encourage participation of local women."

Permaculture is a design approach to create regenerative, sustainable systems. Envisioned over 25 years ago by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, it has now spread to over 120 countries. Though its conception was as a land-based system, its effectiveness has moved it into urban settings and to being applied in various social, political, and economic environments.

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