Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angelina joins Siem Reap rush

Angelina joins Siem Reap rush

Angelina joins Siem Reap rush

121127_17
Actress Angelina Jolie with four of her children, (L) Maddox, Zahara, Pax Thien and Shiloh, in Tokyo in 2010. Photograph: Reuters

Actress Angelina Jolie with four of her children, (L) Maddox, Zahara, Pax Thien and Shiloh, in Tokyo in 2010. Photograph: Reuters

It's the start of high season in Siem Reap and tourists from all around the globe are heading for the temples. But somewhere among the Angkor Wat watchers is a visitor of a different sort: Hollywood’s Angelina Jolie.

The actress is there with two of her daughters and has made her presence – and generous wallet – felt around town.

She arrived in Phnom Penh on Tuesday and left for Siem Reap on Friday, where she has since been seen with her family in local restaurants and supermarkets.

The actress, who was awarded Cambodian citizenship in 2005 due to her work with community development and conservation in the country, comes to the Kingdom regularly – usually several times a year.

The 37-year-old and her daughters Shiloh, 6, and Zahara, 7, but not husband Brad Pitt, were seen in several eateries over the weekend including Marum, an NGO-run eatery that serves creative Cambodian cuisine.

Staff at Marum, a training restaurant run by NGO Friends International, were surprised on Saturday evening when the actress came in for dinner with the children and a large entourage, and afterwards spent hundreds of dollars in the shop on jewellery, toys and homeware.

“The staff were not warned beforehand that she would come. She ate there and she shopped at the restaurant. People tried to take pictures but she didn’t want to be photographed,” said James Sutherland, communications co-ordinator at Friends.

According to a customer, she bought merchandise from the restaurant, which trains cooking skills to marginalised young people including former rubbish-tip scavengers.

Jolie runs the Battambang-based Maddox Jolie-Pitt foundation with her husband.

The organisation, named after their adopted Cambodian son Maddox, supports a children’s centre in Phnom Penh that cares for orphans.

Jolie and her family are also believed to have visited the foundation’s headquarters in Battambang over the weekend.

The three of them were flown via helicopter to Samlot district in Battambang, where Jolie has a house, according to sources who did not want to be named.

She was later seen snacking on Sunday evening in Cafe de la Paix, which serves ice cream, pastries, sandwiches and salads.

Sven Zika, a travel agent from Lolei Ravel, who was working next door said: “We were having a late dinner at 9.30pm. Tuk-tuk arrives, Angelina Jolie and her kids get out and order ice cream. Welcome to Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder!”

The family are believed to be staying in the ultra-exclusive luxury hotel Amansara, which charges between $1,500 to $2,000 a night.

Frankie Hermes, an American NGO worker, said she saw the entourage pull up outside the Lucky Mall supermarket in three tuk-tuks from Amansara, and bodyguards first checked the shop before the family went inside.

“She looked gorgeous and so tiny,” Hermes said.

Amansara and The Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation did not respond to enquiries about Jolie's stay.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and