Man About Town: 12 Oct 2012

Man About Town: 12 Oct 2012


Pssst…wanna sponsor a cute cuddly teddy bear?  If so, you don’t have to head down to the woods tonight – instead head over to Le Meridien Angkor hotel’s in-house boutique armed with $15, and a bear is ready to be given to a sick kid to have and to hold.

It’s part of the Meridian’s annual Teddy Bear campaign to raise money for Kantha Bopha Foundation's Jayavarman VII Children's Hospital founded by the cuddly bear-like Dr Beat Richner.

Hotel guests and locals can buy the cute teddy bear soft toys and have their best wishes handwritten on notes to the children. The hotel contributes profit from sales to the hospital and the bears are given to the children.

The Kantha Bopha has been the hotel’s adopted charity since 2006 and, as the hotel reminds all,“The Foundation relies almost 100 per cent on donations to fund its medical services and provides free health care for Cambodian children and literally saves the lives of tens of thousands of children every year suffering from tuberculosis and other curable diseases. 

Annually the Foundation run by Dr Beat Richner serves 100,000 vaccinations and 600,000 visits by sick children.”


A new collection of 33 luxury boutique hotels situated throughout Asia was launched to the press and trade during two receptions, one in Paris and the other in London.The collection, called Secret Retreats, lists one Cambodia hotel – Siem Reap’s The Samar Villas and Spa, which is also home to the high-profile Le Fou-Nan garden restaurant.

Secret Retreats is apparently the brainchild of three men who, according to the slightly clumsily-worded press release, are, “Experts in the travel and hospitality sectors, who fell in love with Asia a long time ago.

“Based in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Frenchmen Bruno Ferret (executive director),  Stéphane Junca (managing director), and Italian-born Federico Asaro (executive director) have at heart to learn about the cultures around them as well as deliver service excellence.”


One of the unheralded new direct flight destinations out of Siem Reap is Kathmandu, courtesy of BB Airways which began the charter service on September 13.The Himalayan News Service reported that BB Airways is a new Nepali international carrier which kicked off its operations with the Siem Reap flights.

The chairman of BB Airways, Bhaban Bhatta, told the news service, “We are a full-fledged carrier and have to compete with budget airlines in providing the most competitive air fares to our valued passengers.”

Bhaban Bhatta, the chairman, is a non-resident Nepali with Japanese business interests, and he owns the airline.  He is also chairman of the TBI  (Total Business Institute) Group of Japan, which has interests in brewery, media, education, and apparel,  among other things.

Early in October, BB Airways said it appointed singer and philanthropist Ani Choying Dolma and Miss Nepal 2012, Shristi Shrestha, as its ‘brand ambassadors’.The airline said the concept was to bring beauty and Buddha together.

"Dolma is an icon of Buddhism in modern Nepal and Shrestha represents beauty of Nepal," said Shishir Bhatta, managing director of BB Airways.


  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Endangered animals found dead in Pailin

    An endangered gaur was one of “many” wild animals found dead in “dozens” of illegal traps in Pailin province’s Phnom Khieu Wildlife Sanctuary, said Chit Thy, a military officer working with rangers to protect the conservation area, on Wednesday. Thy, an officer in the 507