Enviro-friendly business arrives
Aardvark Fieldfare director Michael Horton promotes clean water systems.
Aardvark Fieldfare has relocated from Phnom Penh, hanging its shingle in downtown Siem Reap last month.
The company, a joint venture between two British-based companies,
started its Cambodian operations in early 2006, and one of its first
big jobs was an EU IT project, installing a computer-based Geographical
Information System at the Department of Environment in Siem Reap.
Director Michael Horton said that, since then, the majority of the
company's business has come from Siem Reap, so he finally decided the
obvious thing was to move here.
The Aardvark side of the business is mostly involved in developing
waste water treatment, and in Europe the UK parent has been a pioneer
in systems that use natural processes, not chemicals, and that are
simple to build and maintain, such as reed beds to filter used water.
On June 3, Horton ran a seminar at the behest of the Apsara Authority
to discuss water-treatment solutions with hotels and local businesses,
and he feels it's "a positive time" in Siem Reap for the introduction
of such measures.
The Fieldfare side of the business deals in sustainable agriculture,
landfill management, land reclamation, and land and forestry management
to prevent contamination.
Horton sings the praises of a landfill treatment system in Malaysia
that's made of reed beds and filters potentially poisonous water
leaching from rubbish dumps.
Sustainability and practical environmental protection is the name of
Aardvark's game, and it's a business that's very welcome in Siem Reap.
Setting the cheap jeep myth to rest
Wanna buy a cheap Jeep? Well actually not so cheap, but still quite a
good deal for collectors, courtesy of Van Sovandra, Siem Reap director
of General Professional Security Service Co Ltd.
His dawn and dusk changing-of-the guard parades add a little colour to
Siem Reap streets, when vintage US Army jeeps crammed with more than a
dozen blue-uniformed security guards ply the streets during shift
Van Sovandra seems to have unlimited supplies of these Jeeps, and he is
now offering them for sale for between $3,500 to $10,000.
He says the jeeps are all S500 and S320 models and were supplied by the US in 1965 to Lon Nol's fighting forces.
He assures readers his offer is divorced from one of the
longest-running Western apocryphal yarns (or urban myths) that genuine
US 1950s and 1960s US Army jeeps still packed in crates but minus
battery and tyres, usually said to have been found in some Asian jungle
repository, were available for $50 for purchases of 10 to 50 at a time.
The myth then transformed into a new version - a cave full of
factory-new M-151s had been found and were for sale at $1,500 each for
ten at a time.
Popular Mechanics and other US magazines ran "cheap surplus $50 jeep"
advertisements. People who sent in $50 were provided with a free US
government pamphlet that advised on bidding for surplus army property.
But this is Cambodia where there are no such dodgy deals - these wheels are real. Apparently.
Tee up for the FCC indochine cup
While the prestigious Ryder Golf Cup between the cream of European
golfers versus American golfers unfolds at the Valhalla Golf Club in
Louisville, Kentucky, an even more prestigious event is teed up to take
place in Siem Reap.
Coinciding with the US event, Angkor Golf Resort will host the inaugural annual FCC Indochine Cup from September 19-21.
A 12-golfer team from Ho Chi Minh City will play a dirty dozen of
Cambodia's reputedly best expat amateur golfers in what will be a Ryder
Teams will compete over three days with three different formats. Day
one will be a four ball (better ball); day two a foursome (alternate
shot); and day three a singles match play.
Points will be awarded for a win and the team with the greatest number
of points over the three days will be the ultimate cup winner.
Prizes will also be awarded for Nearest the Pin and Nearest the Hole
with the second shot on hole 5. The sponsor of these prizes is Angkor
Sponsors of the event include FCC Angkor, Angkor Golf Resort, Tiger
Beer, Celliers d'Asie, Evian water; Blue Pumpkin, and Coca-Cola.
Sadly, Tiger Woods will be absent from both the Louisville and Siem
Reap events. But, another day, another hole-in-one at the Angkor Golf
Park Jun-il popped one in the pin from tee-off on the 194-yard seventeenth hole on August 17.
Pub street empires grow larger
Monks wait to bless the expansion of Serge Billot's Champey.
Two of Siem Reap's leading Pub Street purveyors have been expanding their empires in preparation for the coming high season.
Serge Billot's expansion is taking on Napoleonic proportions as he
pushes his territory beyond the Pub Street precinct, where he owns the
following bars and nosheries: Amok, Banana Leaf, Cambodian BBQ, and
Champey. The latter has been expanded to almost double its former size,
and last week the monks were called for the opening ceremony for the
But Billot's territory now also takes in the BBQ Suki & Sea Food
restaurant on the way to Angkor Wat, and the White Elephant Guesthouse
on the road to Tonle Sap.
Jean Luc Guane, owner of the long-standing Le Tigre de Papier
restaurant has also become a player in the guesthouse business, opening
Le Tigre de Papier Hotel and Restaurant in the same unnamed street as
Sok San Palace nightclub.
He claims he's entering a new accommodation niche, pointing out that
there's a gap in the market between the $5-$15 per night backpacker
joints and the $50-plus hotels.
His venture is possibly best described as modestly upscale backpacker,
with rooms at $25-$30 per night and all the mod-cons of a five star
joint: saltwater swimming pool, tropical garden, wi-fi, large safety
box, big TV and of course aircon.
He says, "There are no guesthouses in Siem Reap in this market range."
Guane has also started up a cooking school at this venue, teaching
people how to buy and prepare Khmer food, and he said expat wives were
among the first to sign up.