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Man About Town 25 JAN 2013

Man About Town 25 JAN 2013


The Kingdom is a paradise for cigarette smokers. Cancer sticks are cheap and smokers can indulge their habit pretty well anywhere they want. Except in Siem Reap where an expensive non-smoking studio apartment has gone on the market for $200,000.

The studio apartment is in the Karavansara Residences 12-apartment complex, formerly known as the Butterfly Residences, built by the Ho Chi Minh City-based Frangipani Property Group.

A local real estate company has listed the property as a “ Large studio on the 4th floor (elevator available) of a fancy condominium with a western designed well equipped kitchen (gas stove and oven,  washing machine, big fridge)…

Well-furnished, new mattress, very comfortable and clean studio. Nice bathroom (with bathtub), storage, river view terrace. Foreigner CAN own this property, excellent investment. Important: this is a NON-SMOKING apartment.”

The capital letters come courtesy of the real estate company, and the concept has certainly raised eyebrows. It’s becoming increasingly common for apartments and condominiums to be rented to only non-smoking tenants.  This can save on maintenance costs of paint and finishings that can be tarnished by the dreaded cigarette smoke. In the US particularly, residents of adjoining apartments also complain that their health is put at risk due to health risks from second-hand smoke.

A non-smoking lease is relatively easy to police in rentals because smoking tenants can simply be evicted. But it is extremely rare for such conditions to be imposed on apartment owners. After all, who is going to kick them out? And what, one may ask, is the fate of marijuana smokers?


Popular travel tips website Tripadvisor has released its 2013 awards. Under the category of the Top 25 Hotels for Cambodia, Siem Reap’s Hotel de la Paix is listed as the Number 1 hotel.   Only problem is that Hotel de la Paix of course no longer exists. It was closed on June 30 last year, and in its stead will emerge a new Park Hyatt, scheduled to open in the first half of this year.


The Cambodia Android User Group, the first group in the Kingdom porting Khmer language to Android, will convene in Siem Reap on February 23-24. The venue is the University of Southeast Asia in Siem Reap. A highlight will be the availability of Khmer Android t-shirts.


Le Méridien Angkor general manager Masahiro Taguchi handed over a cheque on January 18 to Dr Beat Richner, head of Kantha Bopha Foundation's Jayavarman VII Children's Hospital for the amount of $7,424.50. This money was raised by guests purchasing cute Christmas teddy bears with their best wishes handwritten onto notes to the children. The hotel contributed profit from sales to the hospital, and the bears were given the children.

Meanwhile, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf  and Spa Resort reports that its spectacular Christmas  tree was voted number one within all Sofitel worldwide 130 + properties, and its Bûche de Noel was voted in third place. General manager Fabrice Ducry reports that the tree was created with participation from those arty types over at Theam’s House.


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