Man About Town: 7 Dec 2012

Man About Town: 7 Dec 2012


Angkor Wat was inscribed in the World Heritage list on December 14, 1992, and an International Co-Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor (ICC) was established.

Celebrations were planned for this year’s 20th anniversary, but this week the committee announced, “Due to the national mourning for His Majesty the King Father, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who played a key role in inscribing Angkor on the World Heritage List, the festivities planned for the 20th anniversary of this inscription (1992 - 2012) are postponed.”


It’s that time of year again, the silly season, when people of goodwill go crazy and create creations in the name of the Christmas spirit.

Consequently Christmas trees are being lit up at an alarming rate in major hotels throughout Siem Reap, and only Thursday night two of the most high profile hotels ‘illuminated.’

Sofitel lit up its tree in its lobby, with help from the “little carol singers” from Honour Village.

Meanwhile, at precisely the same time Raffles lit up its Eric Raisina-designed Christmas tree with help from the “little dancers from the Ngin Karet Foundation for Cambodia.”

The amazing thing about this year’s Raisina-designed tree is that it actually looks like…wait for it…a tree.

Raisina’s 2010 tree design was inspired by a traditional Cambodian fishing net and hence looked like a net, albeit a very nice net.

Last year’s “tree” was in the shape of a Cambodian silk lotus blossom, representing the spiritual bloom from Buddhism.

But this year’s tree is a triangular shape that looks decidedly tree-like and it’s been adorned with cool adornments inspired by Kbach which, Eric says, “Is the general term, used in the Khmer language, to name the variety of ornaments which decorate objects and architectural surfaces throughout Cambodia. Kbach demonstrates shape, form, script and various complex characters inspired by nature, animals and certainly an expecting object.”

But the prize for Christmas decor innovation this year must go to new hotel on the block, the Sayana and its boss, Aussie-expat Daryl Hissey.

Part one of the creation appeared late last week, eliciting much comment. But it was a case of “wait…there’s more”, and early this week part two of this amazing apparition lit up the night skies, revealing flying elephants pulling a sled.

According to Darryl Hissey, the creation is the work of the hotel’s engineering team. Darryl says, “I asked them to do a lighting display and that’s what they came up with, a Khmer Christmas.”


Siem Reap’s well known hotel executive Christian de Boer this week officially announced he’s the new general manager of the ‘new’  Shinta Mani hotel.

Christian arrived in Siem Reap just over five years ago and worked as sales and marketing director at Shinta Mani’s then sister establishment, Hotel de la Paix.

But when the hotel management was taken over by Park Hyatt, Christian became sales and marketing director of the very chi chi new island resort, Song Saa.

He officially quit this job last Saturday because he wanted to remain in Siem Reap.


  • Phnom Penh authorities ban march for Human Rights Day

    Phnom Penh authorities have banned a planned march as local NGOs and workers’ unions gear up to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Monday, with a youth group leader saying they would march nonetheless. The UN

  • Phnom Penh’s Jet’s Container Night Market shuts down

    The famous Jet’s Container Night Market in central Phnom Penh has shut down due to the high cost of the land rental, company representatives claim. Jet’s Container Night Market is the largest such market in Phnom Penh. It operated for just over two

  • Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

  • EU ambassador to Cambodia: Rights a ‘work in progress’

    The EU ambassador to Cambodia has called human rights “a work in progress” and said the 28-nation bloc has “carefully” noted last week’s statement by the government on taking further steps to strengthen democracy and the political sphere in the Kingdom. The EU marked