Master's students from NHTV University of Applied Sciences at Breda visiting Siem Reap.
UNI STUDENT INVASION
A group of 118 international students from the renowned NHTV University of Applied Sciences at Breda in the Netherlands are on the loose for a month in Siem Reap, studying the tourism industry.
One group of 100 students is gathering material for their bachelor's degree in international tourism management and consultancy.
The second group comprises 18 master's students studying tourism destination management, and members of this group will present their findings at a function to be held on Wednesday, April 1, tentatively scheduled at Hotel de la Paix.
The objective of their exercise is to give recommendations to stakeholders in the tourism sector here.
The master's group has been divided into three teams of six students who are operating under the discerning tutelage of two lecturers.
The three teams have been gathering material on the state of Siem Reap's tourism industries, from large tourism companies to small- to medium-enterprises and government departments, and have included tuk-tuk drivers in their purview.
The students arrived in Siem Reap on March 3, following a similar four week venture in Melbourne, Australia, and following their departure on April 3, will undertake similar studies in Bali.
NEW CAFE GALLERY
Siem Reap photographer Eric De Vries spent most of the weekend in Phnom Penh hunkered down with award-winning war snapper Tim Page to select a range of photographs to display at the opening of De Vries' new cafe gallery.
Page has an ongoing exhibition of his iconic Vietnam War photos at Phnom Penh's Meta House and will now launch "almost the same" exhibition in Siem Reap.
The Tim Page exhibition will debut in Siem Reap at the launch of De Vries's new cafe gallery, 4Faces, scheduled to open at the end of April in the street running parallel to Pub Street, near the Maharajah Indian restaurant.
De Vries, a member of the Asia Motion Photo Agency, said 4Faces will schedule new exhibitions every month on a specially-created 13-metre "black wall".
Hopefully Dutch-born De Vries will not succumb to modesty by refraining from exhibiting his own works, as his arty black-and-white pieces have gained an international reputation, and an exhibition of his photos from his recent book, This Must Be the Place: Images of Cambodia, toured throughout the Netherlands.
In June 2006, FCC Angkor exhibited his funky "Blues for Buddha" series, which documented the varied Buddha sculptures found in Cambodia and Thailand, including unusual Buddhas sporting Fu Manchu goatees and what looked like a Jimi Hendrix-style afro haircut.
Frandara Khoun, director of marketing, ANZ Royal, at the FCC dinner on Saturday.
BANKING ON GOLF
The ANZ Royal Bank Invitational Golf Tournament teed off at the Angkor Golf Resort on Sunday, marking the opening of the corporate golf season.
The golf weekend got underway with a buffet dinner at FCC Angkor on Saturday evening, and next morning 48 golfers set out to do battle on the rolling greens.
Teams were selected by pairing low handicap players with high handicap counterparts, and the tournament followed an Ambrose (or Texas Scramble, as it is also called), format.
The winning team was comprised of seasoned hitters Ly Hong, Bun Hai, Bara Om Seng and Phillippe Gagneraud.
Second place honours went to the team comprising Eugene Cody, Mark Hanna, Patrick Gouley and Owen Perry.
Third place went to Raphael Gullien, Sammy Chan, Paul Barnet and Nick Preisner.
The next big event at Angkor Golf Resort is tentatively scheduled for May 14-17, when the FCC will host an actual Ryder Cup organisation tournament.
Two teams of 20 US players each will compete in a series of three 18-hole playoffs.
The FCC Indochine Cup at the resort is also scheduled for September 18-20, and this three-day regional tournament loosely follows a Ryder Cup format.
A puppet of Hanuman, the monkey god.
GIANT PUPPET AUCTION
The Giant Puppet Project charity auction raised $2,173 for this weekend's puppet festival and sparked a series of ferocious bidding wars last Saturday night at Hotel de la Paix. There were 28 items up for grabs, including a private cocktail course with Dean Williams, owner of the chic bar Miss Wong, a portrait photography session with John McDermott and a food tour of Siem Reap with Joannes Riviere, executive chef of Hotel de la Paix.
The item that commanded the highest price was a painting by Battambang artist Kim Sam, which went for $210. Kim Sam is helping to craft the 10 enormous puppets that will be paraded through Siem Reap this Saturday from 7pm.
The Giant Puppet parade starts near the Old Market, next to the Warehouse bar, and finishes near Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor. Almost 500 children are crafting the puppets for the carnival, which was started in 2007 by Londoner Jig Cochrane and local expats Stuart Cochlin and Sasha Constable.
Cochrane was very pleased with the results of the auction. "This means we're definitely going to be here next year," he said.