072018 ISSUE139 front
note from the editor
08 Events 10 Openings 11 Trending 12 News 14 AsiaLIFE's Picks 17 Cambodia Profiles 18 Photo Essay 22 Q&A: Uk Sochiet
Marissa Carruthers Siem Reap is the city that plants Cambodia on the international map. Home to Angkor Wat, it attracts millions of foreigners annually to traipse through the ancient temples and explore the astonishing remnants of the almighty Khmer Empire. Of course, there’s so much more to Temple Town, as those who live and work there know. And its offerings are increasing as more businesses and initiatives tap into its potential. The result is a collection of creative minds and innovative ideas that are steering the city into a new modern direction. For this month’s cover feature, we throw the spotlight on Siem Reap and the new image that is being shaped for the growing destination. In keeping with the Siem Reap theme, we ask some of its residents and business owners what their favourite spots are in the city and I spend a few nights at the incredible Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection. All for the purpose of research, of course. Elsewhere, Matt Surrusco speaks to Kampot Playboys’ frontman and guitarist Uk Sochiet about the launch of the folk band’s debut album. Miguel Jeronimo tries the recently launched Heritage Walking Tour of Phnom Penh and I catch up with dog trainer Rattana Hin, fresh from his appearance on the small screen as part of reality TV show Cesar’s Recruit Asia. With plenty more packed into the pages, enjoy this month's issue of AsiaLIFE.
on the cover
24 From Siem Reap, With Love
32 A Walk Down Memory Lane 34 Preserving Kampot's Future 36 The Khmer Dog Whisperer
38 Catles, Steam Trains And A
food & drinks
40 Cousin’s Burger & Coffee
Micky Mouse Republic
41 Kathmandu Kitchen 42 Pépé Bistro
style & design
44 Check In
61 Box Office
AsiaLIFE Media Vol. 123
4 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
FOR SALES ENQUIRIES: Hannah Morris email@example.com 011 955 464
EXPLORING HUE WITH TIM DOLING SAIGON’S GLITTERING DRAG SCENE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS PUBLISHING HOUSE
Next time you're in Vietnam, check out the latest issue of AsiaLIFE or download it from www.asialifemagazine.com
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 5
t h e p l a c e t o e at
oyster lovers be tempted one dollar each everyday 6 to 8 First Floor, maline apartment building, street 214, between norodom & street 51 tel: 092 776 552
LEE & TAYLOR FABULOUS FASHION Snapping up unique designs that will see you through all the seasons just got a whole lot easier with the opening of Lee & Taylor’s first boutique store on Bassac Lane. With the designers hailing from Malaysia and South Africa, Lee & Taylor combine artful design with luxury materials to create a range of stunning ready-to-wear pieces and custom designs for every occasion. Having made their debut at Phnom Penh Designers Week in 2016, when the designers unveiled their first collection, Lee & Taylor have introduced a fresh new take on fashion. Think bold patterns, metallic colours, light materials, floating dresses and fitted skirts. Bassac Lane, Phnom Penh. Tel. 010 329 999.
PENH HOUSE & JUNGLE URBAN JUNGLE ADDITION For those fancying a staycation in the capital or checking in for a weekend from elsewhere, there’s a newcomer on the market. Jungle Addition opens its doors on July 1 as a period boutique villa that has undergone a radical revamp to feature 18 spacious rooms set among lush tropical gardens that resemble a tamed jungle in the middle of the city. Penh House – 52 rooms and suites spread across a four-storey building, topped with a rooftop pool – is slated to open in September. It has been designed to reflect the New Khmer Architecture style of the 1950s and 60s. 34a Street 240, Phnom Penh. Tel. 023 212 200.
CHEESE & WINE DECADENCE A delight for All cheese lovers, our new wednesdAy cheese & wine Buffet is A stunning wAy to indulge mid week! every wednesdAy, 6.30pm to 10pm $38++ per person
exclusive of government tAxes & service chArge
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 OLD AUGUST SITE SOTHEAROS BLVD 12301 PHNOM PENH TEL. +855 (0) 23 999 200 - H6526@SOFITEL.COM www.SOFITEL-PHNOMPENH-PHOkEETHRA.COM
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 7
Crowdfunding for Social Impact @Impact Hub Phnom Penh
The CSP Mothership @Duplex Belgian Taverne A tribute to the life and music of Kak Channthy the incomparable front woman of Cambodian Space Project (CSP). This collective carries forward Channthy's remarkable legacy with CSP drummer Bong Sak's daughter Samnang stepping up to the microphone to front a family band performing the psychedelic grooves of Channthy's Cambodia. The CSP Mothership will perform with special guests and tributes from friends and family. This show will mark 100 days since Channthy's passing, to celebrate her life and to raise support for the young family she left behind. From 7pm.
This month's Breakfast with the Expert will provide tips and tricks on crowdfunding and raising funds online. The expert speaker Nikki Kinloch, CEO of Simply Giving, will introduce the key principles on how to raise funds online more effectively, leverage on peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate partnerships and events to amplify impact, and how building a strong network can help you reach more donors. From 8.30am to 9.30am. $3.
Seafood Paradise @Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Be spoiled for choice at La Coupole, featuring the freshest sashimi, oysters shucked while you wait and seafood on ice, including river prawns, salmon and crab. This is a great way for all seafood lovers to end the working week and welcome in the weekend on a high note. Every Friday, from 6pm. $38.
6 - 27 JUL 8 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Classical Music Series - Montparnasse 1920s @Chinese House Classical Music at its very finest, presented by Anton Isselhardt on the flute and Pongpat Pongpradit on the guitar, performing Montparnasse 1920s as part of the Classic Concert Series 2018 at Chinese House. A must-see for fans of classical music and all those who enjoy great music in a unique setting. Works by Poulenc, Ibert, Franรงaix, Milhaud and Satie. A cold cuts buffet will be available before the show from 6pm to 8pm for $15. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $10.
F * OF L % BIL 10 UR YO
The first 100% vegan cafe in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Plant based creative food / Gluten free and sugar free options / Cold-pressed juices / Wholefoods *Bring this advert to get 10% off your bill. Valid until 30th August 2018 Phnom Penh: 26a, street 446, Toul Tom Poung (Russian Market). 061764937 // Siem Reap: 715 Hup Guan Street, Kandal Village 069937900 www.vibecafeasia.com
World Cup Final Party @Cloud9 Skybar They think it’s all over, it is now! Whether you’re a fan or not, why not celebrate the end of the world’s biggest football event at one of the city’s high points? Cloud9 is marking the final whistle with a party featuring drinks, DJs, an all-you-can-eat snack buffet, prizes to be won and much more. From 6pm.
Work and Leadership in An Age of AI and Robotics @Impact Hub Phnom Penh In recent years, there has been more talk about Robotics, “Big Data” and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and their capabilities to transform business decision-making. This session will look at how these technologies are already being applied in fields such as retail, finance, consulting and law. Dr. Milo Jones is the co-author of Constructing Cassandra: Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001. He also serves on several boards and consults on strategy and the application of intelligence frameworks to business and financial problems. From 7pm to 9pm.
19 JUL AsiaLIFE Cambodia 9
OUT & ABOUT AsiaLIFE heads to Topaz to sample the flavours of visiting two-star Michelin chef Benoit Vidal, who cooked up a storm in the kitchen.
PHNOM PENH WELCOMES MICHELIN STAR CHEF
TWO-star Michelin Chef Benoit Vidal landed in Cambodia to serve up a sumptuous sixcourse meal. Phnom Penh’s Topaz restaurant hosted the event as part of its series of evenings that sees Michelin Star chefs visit the restaurant to share their award-winning skills with the team of chefs, before presenting the fruits of their hard labour to a restaurant packed full of guests. Famous for his blend of mountain and Mediterranean flavours, Vidal is the owner and chef at Atelier Edmond, a chalet-style restaurant perched 1,950 metres on the slopes of Val d’Isère in the French Alps. It is there that he secured his first Michelin Star in 2012. He was awarded his second three years later.
KNAIBANGCHATT.COM GREEN SEASON OFFER for Expats & Nationals
Signature to Vidal’s dishes are his subtle use of specific local produce and his ability to accentuate flavours by combining ingredients. And it is this skill that he brought to the table during his visit in June, shipping over native ingredients from France to show Topaz’s team how to use them. The result was a sublime six-course meal that tantalised the tastebuds with its extensive diversity of ingredients, flavours and experimentation with techniques. The first course – Patience – saw cubes of grilled trout served alongside shreds of radish and tapioca pearls. The well-presented plate presented a party of flavours on the palate, with the tang of the fish working well with the bite of the radish, all rounded out with the crispness of the tapioca.
BOOK 2 NIGHTS / PAY 1 BOOK 2 ROOMS / PAY 1 Rates @ 190+ USD for two nights / rooms Free upgrades, early check in and late check out upon availability. Valid from 1st April - 31st October 2018 Info & Reservations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Call: +855 (0) 078 888 554 / 078 333 684 **not valid public holiday periods**
10 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
The entrée followed the seafood theme, with fresh bang kang served in a seafood and sweet woodruff consommé. The fragrant dish saw fleshy pieces of Mekong lobster delicately placed in a flavoursome broth, with subtle notes of sweet and sour working well together. The Poisson course saw a fillet of Arctic char dressed with cool season vegetables and a carrot and ginger reduction served. Another well-presented dish, this course brought with it a blend of flavours. The sweet carrot foam was given a mild kick thanks to the hint of ginger, with the perfectly cooked fish’s crisp skin adding crunch to the equation. The Viande serving moved the menu onto meat, with a large roasted duck breast served with fresh beetroot, hibiscus and ginger jus. The lightly seared meat was tender nd perfectly complimented by the gravy. Moving onto the first of two desserts, the Pause Surprise was certainly a nice surprise in the form of a palate-cleansing cream cheese parfait, yoghurt sorbet and white chocolate ganache with honey-spiced bread and a blueberry and red wine sauce. Rounding out the six courses was Dessert, a mouth-watering explosion of flavours served as a citrus salad marmalade, Yuzu lemon sorbet, orange bavarois and orange cream with meringue shivers. A refreshing way to polish off a range of dishes that took diners on an exploration of flavours and ingredients from across continents. With Topaz working on its programme of visiting Michelin chefs, inviting two to three a year, we can’t wait to see who they have planned next.
inspiring arts KIDDING AROUND
A story from the arts: YIM Sotheary
Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) believes that arts and cultural expression are essential to a thriving future for Cambodia. This month, we tell the story of Yim Sotheary, who recently became one of our 2018 Living Arts Fellow. Yim Sotheary is a psychotherapist and conflict and peace consultant. She did not have much of an interest in the arts until her master’s degree in psychology, when she took a course in Arts Therapy and started to see the ways in which people can use art to heal. “Arts are vital for everyone, people can use drawing, singing, or writing to express feelings of sadness or fear, when they find it’s hard to talk about them directly”, Sotheary says. She explains that Cambodian society sometimes doesn’t encourage people to share their feelings – there is a saying, “don’t bring the fire from inside the house to burn outside”. This sometimes presents a challenge for Sotheary, who describes her work as a gift. She says, “Many people need me. Most are women, many have suffered sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence, and they feel ashamed to
speak out. To overcome this I try to use many artistic methods that help them to express their feelings.” Sotheary applied for Cambodia Living Arts’ 2018 Living Arts Fellows program, which is a year-long personal and professional development program for people working in arts and culture. She says that she realised that exploring issues related to arts and culture more deeply could help her in her work using arts for advocacy in communities, and in building her own creativity. During the programme’s first ‘Lab’, Sotheary explored in depth why, where, and how art is made, and how people reach the audiences they want to experience their work. Sotheary adds, “During the next labs, I want to think more critically about arts and culture issues, develop my creativity and build my networks with artists and people who work in culture and arts across Cambodia and internationally.” Sotheary continued, “The concept of ‘Arts’ doesn’t just mean performances on stage, we use arts in our work every day without realizing it. Everything we do has its own artistic value…. Public speaking for example, is its own art form – we use it to reach people with our message and inspire them."
To learn more about Cambodian Living Arts, find CLA on Facebook, @CamboLivingArts on Twitter, CambodianLivingArts on Instagram, or visit cambodianlivingarts.org.
Portugal has recruited the help of a herd of goats to prevent the deadly summer wildfires that last year killed 106 people. Dozens of herds have been hired by the government to eat the thick undergrowth that covers the country's hills and makes wildfires a regular summer occurrence. It is the first time Portugal has used goats, which have been used for decades in America as an environmentally-friendly way to limit the impact of fires. Miguel Joao de Freitas, junior minister for forests and rural development, said: "Last year was when it became patently clear to us that something different had to be done."
John Travolta's latest film, Gotti, about mob boss John Gotti has been savaged by critics and received a rare 0 percent score rating on film review website Rotten Tomatoes within the first few days of its release. Gotti, which sees the Hollywood star step into the shoes of the leading role, has been panned by reviewers as "a dismal mess" and a "mobster biopic that deserves to get whacked". The score is based on reviews that rate whether films are "rotten" or "fresh" based on what critics say. "I'd rather wake up next to a severed horse head than ever watch Gotti again," commented the New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski.
UNIVERSAL FIRST For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the jet of material ejected when a black hole eats a star. The rapid jet of particles is caused when a supermassive black hole rips apart a star that comes too close to its event horizon. Astronomical imaging is the process of collecting electromagnetic radiation using telescopes, and although it can involve photography in this instance it did not. Using radio and infrared telescopes the team studied a pair of galaxies colliding with each other nearly 150 million light-years from Earth. A black hole at the centre of one of the galaxies was seen gobbling a star twice the size of the sun.
SPACE FORCE Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to create a US "space force", which he said would become the sixth branch of the American military. The president said the force would be "separate but equal" to the US Air Force, adding that the move represents a "big statement". Speaking at a meeting of the National Space Council, Trump framed space as a national security issue, saying he does not want "China and Russia and other countries leading us". He added: "Our destiny beyond the Earth is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security.”
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 11
JUL BY KATE 2018 BURBIDGE
DOCTORS FROM HONG KONG AND CHINA TO TREAT CATARACTS
CAMBODIANS suffering with cataracts are set to regain their sight as a team of medics from Hong Kong and China head to Cambodia to help. Dr Chow Pak-Chin and other medics will remove cataracts from thousands of the Kingdom’s poorest people. Chow, a renowned ophthalmologist, is one of the leading lights behind an overseas charity scheme aimed at eradicating cataract blindness in Cambodia, the first of its kind under China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” to boost trade and international ties. A total of 41 Hong Kong doctors, along
with medics from Guangxi province, have volunteered for the mission. A ceremony to launch the cataract scheme was hosted by the Belt and Road Hong Kong Centre, the Asian Foundation for the Prevention of Blindness and the Cambodian health ministry in November. The centre helped to coordinate the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong doctors in visa and licence applications so that they could take part in the project overseas. The scheme has already started in Kampong Cham province, which is expected to have about 8,000 patients with cataracts.
Two coaches with operation theatres and ultrasound, funded by a $1.3 million donation from the New Home Association charity, will travel to remote villages to reach the neediest. The scheme is then expected to move on to other areas. According to Cambodia’s health department, more than 90 per cent of blindness in the country is avoidable, and mostly due to cataracts. However, many either cannot afford the removal operation or do not know it is available.
VENTURE CAPITAL FUND TO PROPEL CAMBODIA INTO DIGITAL FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS are set to get a helping hand to turn digital with the launch of venture capital firm OOCTANE. Oknha Rithy Sear, chairman of Worldbridge Group, is bringing together a high-powered team of finance and technology professionals to soft launch OOCTANE, a venture capital firm to promote startups and SMEs in the Kingdom. OOCTANE is in the process of completing its registration process and aims to invest in exceptional entrepreneurs with the vision
12 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
of transforming Cambodia into a digital powerhouse of the future. The startup space in Cambodia is abuzz with local and foreign talents who have compelling ideas and business acumen to support the growth and expansion of their businesses into the future. However, the lack of mentorship and early stage capital is currently lacking. OOCTANE will be evaluate and invest in promising investment opportunities in the fields of mobility, logistics, electronic
commerce, financial technology, agricultural technology, educational technology, health and tourism. “There is no lack of innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit in Cambodia. For us, launching OOCTANE is the natural next step of progression in bringing about a radical shift in perspective among a new breed of Cambodian entrepreneurs who often lament the lack of venture capital in this country,” says Rithy.
BOKATOR UNESCO LISTING DELAYED
BOKATORS bid to be recognised by UNESCO has hit further delays. The UNESCO World Heritage List has requested a delay before it announces the inclusion of Cambodia’s bokator and lakhon khol dancing to its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC), Vath Chamroeun, said administrative issues at UNESCO will push back the decision
until 2020. “Unesco told us this year many other countries have also submitted their cultural heritage for inclusion. They want to give priority to a country that has the least number of registrations, so that’s why they’ve asked us to delay our inclusion,” he says. A group of officials from The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has been preparing the application since December 2016. The applications have been put through
rigorous evaluation by international experts before being presented for approval at an intergovernmental committee meeting which was scheduled for November 2018 and set for inclusion in 2019. The resurgence of bokator in recent years bodes well for the kingdom and is largely thanks to the work of the NOCC and San Kim Sean, who is renowned as the father of modern bokator and credited with reviving the art after suppression by the Khmer Rouge regime. Bokator suffered greatly during the Khmer Rouge years, when many people who were proficient in traditional martial arts were systematically exterminated, fled as refugees or were forced into hiding. Bokator has also been submitted as an official sporting discipline for the 2023 Phnom Penh Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), with recent reports suggesting the inclusion was supported by Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has already listed several local traditions as intangible heritage, including the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in 2003, the sbek thom shadow puppetry in 2005 and teanh prot tug-of-war in 2015.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 13
This month, AsiaLIFE asks Siem Reap business owners and residents what are their favourite things to do and places to visit in Temple Town.
14 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Best of the Bunch Stewart Kidd, who doubles up as Strangefruit DJ Stewart Kidd, has a handful of top spots he likes to spend time at in Siem Reap. His favourite café is Crane (Central Market Street), a relaxed hangout packed full of personality with a heavy focus on the arts. When it comes to shopping, Kidd heads to Paradise (Hap Guan Street), which sells an eclectic range of collectibles, homeware and accessories from Cambodia and across Asia. For his art fix, Kidd either heads upstairs to Strangefruit&Jam Gallery, which sits above The Village Café (Tep Vong Street), or he recommends Mirage (Wat Bo Road), a contemporary art space and café. Mango Cuisine (Sok San Road) is his top restaurant, and he says Gelato Lab serves “the best” ice cream. Stewart Kidd, founder and owner of The Village Café and Strangefruit&Jam Gallery.
Market Time “I love visiting traditional markets. These centres of commerce operate like malls, but with specialised and experienced sellers who have been fine-tuning their crafts for generations. Early mornings and evenings are great times to see them in full swing. You can buy delicious local fruit or sample breakfast and lunch dishes from the world of traditional market food. Popular local dishes include kwetiau, num banh chok and bai sach chrook. You can also stockpile local sweets and spices to take home or eat on the go. The most accessible traditional market is the city centre's Old Market. An easy walk from Baby Elephant is Psar Krom, a busy and lively local market.” Ilana Tulloch, managing partner at Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel
Wats, Lotus Farms and Barbecue Long-term Siem Reap resident Sarah Brown loves living in the city and cites some of her favourite things to do as taking a stroll through the grounds of Wat Damnak, which sits a short walk from the Old Market. This quiet getaway, which served as a royal palace during King Sisowath’s reign, is a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, with well-manicured gardens peppered with fragrant frangipani trees and a collection of sculptures. Another of her favourite Siem Reap past-times is to enjoy sunset. The many lotus fields that dot the area make a great spot to watch the sun sink into the horizon, or beers and a barbecue at the Angkor Wat moat. Brown also cites Siem Reap’s proximity to the countryside as another bonus to being based there. Sarah Brown, AsiaLIFE’s Siem Reap columnist.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 15
Temples & Local Life Chin Meankung says hands down the temples remain the highlight of Siem Reap. Despite living in the city for 15 years and trawling the temples numerous times, Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm still impress Chin, who originally hails from Kampong Cham. He recommends throwing in a trip to Banteay Srei and spending at least half a day exploring the countryside away from the tourist crowds. Visiting the floating villages is another experience he recommends, with Kampong Khleang remaining less touristy than Kampong Phluk. And for authentic street food, an evening stroll along Road 60 hits the spot. “I always enjoy a nice walk along the road to see the local street food in the evening, from 5.30pm to 10pm,” he says. Chin Meankung, owner of The Khmer Grill.
Jaya House: River Park Sky Bar Rounding out the day with a refreshing cocktail in hand in stylish surroundings is Adam Rodwell’s treasured Siem Reap activity. “At the end of a long day there is nothing better for me than to chill at the Sky Bar at Jaya House,” he says. “The fantastic bar service, the watermelon martini – my favourite – and, of course, the gorgeous sunset. How's that for serenity?” The luxurious 36-room resort, hidden on the banks of the river, is a secret sanctuary located amongst tropical foliage and trees. With the sophisticated rooftop bar open to outside guests and boasting stunning sunset views, Rodwell recommends this spot as the perfect way to finish off the day. Adam Rodwell, co-owner of Little Red Fox Espresso.
16 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
SOPHERAK IEM Words by Marissa Carruthers. Photo by Enric Català.
hen Sopherak Iem launched his venture in June 2017 he didn’t expect to become an internet sensation almost overnight. Harbouring a love of massage and inspired by other YouTube massage channels taking the online world by storm, the 23-year-old decided to launched his own version, using Cambodia’s natural beauty as a backdrop. “I love massage,” the Royal University of Phnom Penh tourism graduate says. “I’ve been interested in massage for about seven years and wanted to share that with other people.” Armed with just his smart phone, Iem started his venture trying to shoot footage in the swathe of salons that dot his home city of Phnom Penh. However, he quickly hit a hurdle when he was told he couldn’t record inside. “My plan didn’t work,” he recalls. “When I went to salons for a massage, they said I couldn’t film so I started to shoot in destinations with my family.” Iem recruited his brother and sister to help him launch YouTube channel, CAM ASMR
Massage. He started with footage of him giving his younger brother a head and back massage at home, garnering more than 4,000 views. “In Cambodia, people think massage is a simple thing, so I wanted to show there is much more to it,” he says. “When I started, I didn’t expect it to go so viral.” Despite his initial aim of targeting local audiences, he captured the imagination of the world, attracting subscribers from all corners of the globe, including the US, Japan, the UK and Canada. Within 12 months, Iem has had more than 75,500 people signed up to his channel, earning him a tidy profit from views and sponsorship deals.“I never expected it to be this big,” he says, adding he receives new subscribers daily. Two months into his venture and business truly exploded when he posted a 10-minute video of him giving his brother a head massage with chopsticks. “It boomed,” he says. “In that one day I got so many new subscribers and more than five million views. It was incredible. People really seened to
love that technique.” He has also travelled across Cambodia shooting DIY massage videos on the beach in Sihanoukville with the relaxing sound of waves crashing as a backdrop, Siem Reap and Kampot. “If I can, I’d love to go to India,” says Iem, adding nothing beats a good foot massage – his personal favourite. “There are many massage channels from there and they look incredible.” His future plans are to travel across Asia shooting videos of the different techniques used across the region. As well as posting inspiring videos that aim to instil a sense of calm in viewers, Iem, who posts two or three videos a week, says one element that has helped boost his channel’s popularity is his family putting in an appearance. “When I film with my brother or sister, people like it because it shows the love of a family,” he says. “They comment on how we are a nice, relaxed family. I love to have a peaceful life and massage helps me with that and I hope it will help others.” For more details, subscribe to CAM ASMR Massage on YouTube. AsiaLIFE Cambodia 17
BY SOKRITH THANG
have been living in the city all my life and I’m inspired by all of the places there, which sparked my interest to do photograph in a dense city packed with coffee shops and modern architecture. However, I knew I could experience something new. When you live in a rural province with less than 100,000 people, you live so close to nature and that’s is why Moundulkiri is one of the places where people and nature really bond. Unlike Phnom Penh’s busy street, skyscrapers
18 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
and smog, this province is silent and peaceful. Surrounded by trees and waterfalls, I couldn’t resist and unplug to soak up all of these views. As I stood at the top of Doskromom mountain, I was instantly inspired to take my camera out and capture the stunning shots of the sun melting into the sea of trees. To see more of Sokrith’s work, visit Instagram.com/Fenix.s and fenixdays.blogspot.com.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 19
20 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 21
KAMPOT PLAYBOYS' FRONTMAN
22 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Uk Sochiet, singer and guitarist of folk rock band Kampot Playboys, founded the group in his hometown of Kampot with bassist Mark Chattaway in 2011. In late May, they released their debut album Garuda. Matt Surrusco talks to Sochiet, 36, about how he started playing guitar, recording versus playing live and what the future may hold for the band. Photo by Enric Català.
How old were you when you started playing music?
I had my own guitar I think in 1999. I really liked playing music. I played with my friends and my uncles. In high school, every time we went out I always brought my guitar and we had small parties. I played music for them and had sing-alongs and had a great time.
kept it with me. Back in the old days – that was 1999, 2000 – there was no YouTube or anything like that. At my house there's no internet so I had to learn with my neighbour. He played guitar really well and played in a wedding band. He showed me, but kind of taught me as well. After that, I pretty much taught myself.
One of the two original songs on the record, ‘Riverflow’, has no lyrics. What's that song about? I played this tune a lot on my guitar. One day I brought this up with Mark [Chattaway], and we played with the drummer and it just sounded good, man. It can be used as one of the warmup songs when we start playing a gig. After that we just got this tune and we were like, “What should we call this song?” and we're on the riverside [in Kampot] so we just said, “OK, ‘Riverflow’."
How did you learn to play guitar?
The first time I started to play guitar, I couldn’t afford to buy even a small, old, rusty guitar. One day my brother brought this guitar from [Phnom Penh] and I saw it and said, “Hold it there.” I stole his guitar and I
People often call the Playboys a “fusion” band because the music is a mix of Western rock, traditional Cambodian music and 1960s and 70s Cambodian rock. What do you think of that description?
We always say this is a rock band. But the music we have all put together, I think it comes from our kind of style, but is also inspired by the old music. We just mix it up. I mean old school fiddles and English bass players and English drummers and a really traditional tro, two strings, and then my style becomes a weird sound.
You sing mostly in Khmer. Do you think this will limit the audience for the new record?
Music is the kind of thing that makes people come together. It’s universal.
What kind of songs were you playing back then?
Some of the songs that I still play right now, actually. The classic 1960s and 70s, old school [Cambodian] rock and roll. When I was young, I listened to all kinds of music on the radio, English, Khmer. Anything that's good, I will listen to it.
I like seeing different people as I’m playing or just jamming with different people in the band, with the fans. After playing, I go around and meet and talk to different people. This is one of the good things. I can play our music for people to listen to and if they like it I'm really happy with that.
How does recording compare to performing live? It's a different experience. I had never recorded before, this was my first time in the studio and yeah, I think I prefer to play live more than as a recording band. But we can record some. At some stage, we have to record. But I prefer to play live. It's much more fun.
Music is the kind of thing that makes people come together. It’s universal. I always say that when I’m on the stage and we have a crowd made up of locals, tourists and expats, pretty much everybody. They enjoy it. They just feel it, man. They feel the energy, they like the music. And I say to them, if you don’t understand [the lyrics], it doesn’t mean anything bad. But if you really want to know, we can translate it for you.
What would you like to do next with the band?
I want to get bigger. I want to be able to play pretty much any place where they would like us to play. It doesn’t matter, anywhere. Europe, America or Asia or other places. That means people like us if they want us to play more here or anywhere. Maybe it sounds pretty good for us as well to make a bit of money from our own kind of music, Cambodian music, rock and roll. We should be proud of that. Also, if people really like it, we’ll keep playing. Download Garuda at iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Spotify and other major streaming sites.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 23
24 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Home to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap is a city that has many hooked and as Cambodia rapidly develops, Temple Town is following suit. This month, AsiaLIFE throws the spotlight on the evolving destination. Words by Marissa Carruthers.
t’s different here,” says Adam Rodwell, sat at a table to the front of Little Red Fox Espresso located in the heart of hip Kandal Village. “There’s a certain energy. I don’t know if it’s because of the temples but people seem to be attracted by it.” Rodwell is one of a string of business owners and innovative minds who are helping to shape modern Siem Reap. From bars, restaurants and cafés, to hotels, galleries, boutique stores and shopping malls, a new breed of business is landing in the city, giving it a fresh identity and making it a more attractive destination to both live in and encourage visitors to extend their stay past the few days spent exploring Angkor. With the number of foreigners descending on Siem Reap on the increase – according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Tourism, more than one million foreigners landed at Siem Reap International Airport between January and April this year, representing an 11.1 percent year-on-year rise – the tourism industry remains one of the town’s major economic pillars. Here, we speak to some of the people
who are pushing the city’s image in a new direction and look at the latest innovative ideas, businesses and activities that are firmly planting Siem Reap on the map.
It’s hard to imagine that a decade ago the thronging crowds that now pack Pub Street and the surrounding area until the early hours had relatively few places to go. But the vibrant collection of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and stores of varying styles and budgets that are crammed into the city centre today barely existed back then. Dean Williams, who opened popular Miss Wong Cocktail Bar in The Lane in September 2008, recalls a very different Siem Reap when he launched his venture. “The Lane was very quiet,” he says. “In fact, it was the first business in the street and everything else was residential. Now the whole area comprises of commercial premises and only a handful of families live around Pub Street.” With the mainstream flow of tourism still yet to descend on the city, businesses tended to jump from one extreme to the other: luxury hotels catering to high-end
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 25
26 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
travellers visiting Angkor Wat or budget spots for the backpackers making their way along the Southeast Asia circuit. “Because of the flow of tourism 10 years ago, you could open a business with a couple of tables and chairs outside and a blackboard,” says Rodwell. “You can’t do that now, you have to be more dynamic.” As competition has become fiercer, businesses have been forced to step up their game to be in with a chance of surviving. The result is an increasing collection of quality, quirky and creative offerings that make Siem Reap an exciting place to be. “The rate of development is dizzying, and the innovators are leading,” says Ilana Tulloch, managing partner of Baby Elephant Boutique Hotel. “For the most part, there are very innovative businesses opening for different niche markets. The quality of businesses is raising and the type of start-ups launching here are a lot more creative and visionary.” It was this dynamism that first attracted Stewart Kidd, who traded in Phnom Penh for Siem Reap in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Kidd, who founded The Village Café and Strangefruit&Jam Gallery above a year ago, says, “The scene in Phnom Penh was changing and things were becoming different. On the other hand, Siem Reap has this energy, opportunities and a very different vibe.” Williams has noticed more businesses setting up that want to make a social and environmental impact – something he praises. He cites Jaya River House Hotel, Saarti, The Fermenters Kitchen and Little Red Fox Espresso as examples of those leading in sustainable business ethics. “I think the perception of Cambodia
being a crippled Kingdom that requires handouts is on the change and I laud new business that are trying to achieve a triple bottom line principle [business that work with social, environmental and financial goals],” he says. “It’s not easy to grow financially while still dealing with a porous bureaucratic system and maintaining a moral compass that benefits the environment and society.”
“You could hear a pin drop here back then,” recalls Rodwell of when he opened Little Red Fox Espresso with his partner David Stirling in October 2014. “The only noise was the man shouting to sell bread.” Spotting the potential of hidden Hap Guan Street, which is located north of Pub Street and south of the Old French Quarter, Rodwell and Stirling joined the handful of boutique businesses setting up shop in this charming but then relatively forgotten neighbourhood. The neat rows of shop-lined streets, the leafy location and the charming calm away from the chaotic area around Phsar Chas and Pub Street quickly saw the neighbourhood transform into one of the city’s trendy spots, dotted with hip cafés, galleries, diners, bars, artisan workshops and fashion stores. “The area grew organically,” says Rodwell. “It started with a few businesses and we all looked at each other and said, ‘This is a thing’.” Seeing the potential to push the area as a designer destination, they formed a committee and started marketing the area, coming up with the name Kandal Village and producing a mini guide to the neighbourhood and social media campaign.
Today it is home to more than 30 businesses, including Columbian restaurant Casa Sur, which houses clothes from Cambodian, French and Japanese designers on the second floor, creative café Crane, lifestyle store trunkh and eclectic homeware brand Paradise. “Now the nightlife here is growing with more bars and different styles of restaurants opening, it’s awesome,” says Rodwell. “We have high-quality shops and businesses and there’s something for everyone. Kandal Village is its own thing and it keeps growing. We’d love to see this happen in other parts of Siem Reap.” Kidd also accidentally stumbled upon Kandal Village when he opened Armand’s bistro on Tep Vong Street, which runs parallel to Hap Guan Street, in 2015. While the concept of fine French dining failed to take off – “It was the right business at the wrong time,” he says – he radically revamped the space, transforming it into a gallery, café and bar, inviting musicians and DJs from across the globe to perform at the stylish spot. It opened a year ago as The Village Café and has become Siem Reap’s go-to night venue. “There are a lot of fashion designers, architects, artisan entrepreneurs and creative businesses opening up here and creating a community,” he says. “We want other Cambodians to see this and be inspired by it.” Williams says initiatives such as Kandal Village contribute greatly to the evolution of Siem Reap, with other pockets of the city starting to follow suit. “It has become very noticeable that hospitality businesses have spread out creating small enclaves, such as Kandal Village and the side streets running between Wat Bo Road and the
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 27
28 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
river,” he says. “Now there are a great deal more quality business, which is very positive and certainly has created more completion.”
As a destination that relies heavily on tourism, business can be tough in Siem Reap with the major challenge lying in surviving the off-season. “Low season can break some businesses and we see a lot close every year,” says Chin Meankung, who opened the popular Khmer Grill restaurant three years ago. “Low season can be very difficult.” With the town saturated with hotels, guesthouses, bars, restaurants and coffee shops, all competing for the same tourist dollar, the much quieter monsoon months can be devastating for many. “It can be challenging in low season because we still have the same overheads,” says Tulloch, adding many hotels drastically drop their prices throughout these months. “This under-pricing during low season happens a lot and it really skews the market.” Williams adds that the seasonality of the town also has an impact on a grassroots level. “My concern is that as more hospitality corporations, both local- and foreign-owned, expand into Siem Reap, their first cost saving act is to lay off casual staff, which has become common practice with even the luxury hotels. Then poor Cambodian families suffer,” he says. In a bid to overcome the lows of the off-season, businesses have taken their own measures, collectively marketing Cambodia as a year-round destination and rebranding the low season as green season, or summer. “Most people come
for Angkor Wat; Siem Reap is a bucket list destination,” says Tulloch. “However, when they arrive, they realise there’s a lot more going on. It would be great to see it become a repeat destination where people keep coming back year after year.” Despite these efforts, the seasonality remains a struggle for businesses in the town, with Williams saying belt-tightening and creative marketing during those months are critical to survive. Emma Fountain, founder of vegan café Vibe Asia, which is located in Kandal Village and Toul Tom Poung in Phnom Penh, says they feel the pinch much harder in Temple Town than the capital. “The season is shorter in Siem Reap, meaning we feel a noticeable difference when it's low season, whereas Phnom Penh, we don't feel as much difference.” She adds that individual visitors tend to splash the cash more in Siem Reap because of tourists wanting to try more on the menu and have dessert. One tourism trend that is sweeping across Asia and Siem Reap businesses are trying to tap into is the increasing Asian market, who are taking more short-haul weekend trips across the region. The city has seen an increase in yearround visitors flying to Temple Town for a few days from destinations such as China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. “We’re seeing a lot more Asian tourists and we’re trying to figure out how to market towards them,” says Rodwell. Tulloch adds that many in the hospitality industry are also formulating business strategies to target the increasing number of young independent travellers visiting
Siem Reap from China. “There’s a huge opportunity there but businesses are trying to figure out how to target them,” she says. Another shift in the tourism market that has had an impact on Siem Reap is a change in visitor demographic. Williams notes less independent, discerning tourists and an increase in budget tour groups. “As a result, this is creating a mass market that isn’t contributing to the local economy as it did in the past,” he says. “The increase in budget tourists means you have to revise your business strategy to deal with the dramatic drop in income yet try and keep the same standards.” But as more quality restaurants and diners open, hopes are high that Siem Reap is on its way to becoming a mustvisit destination for foodies. “Siem Reap will forever be a tourist town,” says Fountain. “We've noticed an increase in high-quality food offerings so are hoping that it could become a food destination on its own merits.”
Standing as the centre of the almighty Khmer Empire, Siem Reap was once alive with creativity, from artisans hand-crafting the carvings that pepper Angkor’s bas reliefs, to Apsara dancers entertaining the king, silk weavers creating their intricate outfits and stone masons shaping statues that have stood the test of time. While Battambang may hold the title of Cambodia’s artistic hub, the creative movement in Siem Reap is picking up pace. Evidence can be seen in the number of independent art galleries opening their doors throughout the town, showcasing work from local and foreign artists.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 29
30 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Niko’s Studio, For Arts’ Sake at the Thaddeus Gallery, Mirage Art Space + Café, Strangefruit&Jam Gallery and One Eleven Gallery are shining examples of the contemporary art movement that is bubbling in the town, while also building on the success of existing creative initiatives. Angkor Photo Festival is one of the city’s top international artistic successes, with its base of Siem Reap hosting the 14th edition in December. The event sees hundreds of photographers from across the region descend on the city for a series of workshops, exhibitions and talks. “The festival will always be held in Siem Reap,” says director Jessica Lim, who also co-manages One Eleven Gallery. “It’s still relatively inexpensive and accessible for people across the region. But most importantly, it has this energy of possibilities; it’s a melting pot of elements and cultures, and that’s why it’s still the best place for us. I really hope Siem Reap develops as a creative hub.” Lim is also mooting the idea of organising an annual art fare in Siem Reap, with those she has already approached, receptive to the idea. Kidd believes more galleries will mushroom in the future, as increasing numbers of creative minds are drawn to Siem Reap’s magnetic energy. “There will be more creative spaces in Siem Reap,” he predicts. “Siem Reap has a very different lifestyle to Phnom Penh or Battambang and I think more people are realising that.”
Chub Met Music and Arts Festival also made its debut in Temple Town in 2016, bringing with it six days of live performances from musicians, singers, dancers, comedians and other entertainers. Last year’s event saw Grammy Award-winning UK singer Joss Stone headline, with other acts including Pich Sophea, Kmeng Khmer, Kong Nay and Nikki Nikki. While the committee is taking a break this year, Chub Met will return in 2019 to build on the success of previous outings. This year also saw Siem Reap hold its first Pride event, with the town painted the colours of the rainbow from May 11 to 13. Having secured huge success, it will be an annual event in Siem Reap’s calendar. “There is a lot more happening in Siem Reap that makes it a more exciting place to live and visit, with more variety of things to do,” says Chin.
Rising Siem Reap
While a law restricting buildings from being higher than Angkor Wat ensures Siem Reap will remain a low-lying city, its residential offerings are spreading fast as development surrounds the compact city. “Everything is developing so fast,” says Chin, who has lived in Siem Reap for 15 years. “The residential areas are spreading outwards and land prices and rents are going up fast.” However, it’s not just residential development that keeps Siem Reap
evolving. The hotel scene keeps feeding the city, with a string of pioneering projects opening their doors in Temple Town. The luxurious Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection saw the city get a boost in the luxury stakes with the opening of its 10 sumptuous villas in December. The Beige – a luxury tent resort – opened earlier this year, bringing with it a new concept to Siem Reap. In September, Treeline Urban Resort will open on the banks of the river as a prestigious boutique property. Comprising 36 rooms and 12 suites it was designed and is owned by young Cambodian designer Hok Kang, and promises to add an innovative urban style to the Siem Reap's thriving hotel scene. The Heritage Walk is also slated to open in the coming months as the city’s first lifestyle complex. The multi-storey mall and entertainment centre is located on a onehectare site on the corner of National Road 6 and Oum Chhay Street. It will be Siem Reap’s largest shopping complex and home to 40,000 square metres of covered and open-air retail space, accommodating about 100 shops, including restaurants, coffee shops and a cinema. With its abundance of energy, gathering of creative businesses and a collective determination to push the city in the right direction, the future looks very bright for Siem Reap.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 31
32 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Writer Miguel Jerónimo takes a step back in time for a historical walking tour of French colonial Phnom Penh. Photography by Enric Català.
arrive at Van’s Restaurant in the centre of the old French quarter, a wellpreserved building that was once the Indochina Bank – as the interlaced metal letters still proudly announce at the lofty gates. At the entrance, I meet Jean-Pierre Fréneau, a softly-spoken history enthusiast who greets me with a smile and a suggestion to enter the restaurant. Inside, he brings my attention to a door that is the thick metal gate of an old safe box – making it the best introduction to Phnom Penh Heritage Tour. The attention to details hidden in the façades of Phnom Penh, the noticeable care carried out for the research and compilation of data, the collection of anecdotes and the personal touch of someone who is well connected and versed, from the royal family to the inner life of the French protectorate that ruled Cambodia from 1863 to 1953, all make this a winning tour of the capital. And it’s this period the tour focuses on, following the changes the colonial power made to Phnom Penh, from a fishing village to its conversion to capital in 1865 and consequent urban centre. I start my tuk-tuk journey learning about nearby vintage hotels and an abandoned police station, neglected and covered with lush vegetation, that recently featured in a Hollywood film. The Post Office has stood majestically in the middle of the square since 1819, being the first infrastructure built by the French and setting the tone for the rest of the administrative buildings that surround it. Some are restored and still in use, while others look forgotten and filled with stories, their stained yellow walls wrinkled by time igniting our imagination towards what once happened inside. For instance, the Grand Hotel, explained to me through the app that accompanies the tour, once welcomed famous novelist and future French minister of culture André Malraux. His stay turned into house arrest when it was discovered he had stolen stones from Angkor Wat. All the information is given through 24 videos on a well-built app (tablet and headphones provided), available in eight languages. The most interesting feature is the hundreds of archive photos shown that transport guests to that moment in history, giving a taste of why Phnom Penh was once considered the Paris of the East. The urban designs following the French
capital, the Art Deco inspiration in the architecture, the social life of the European elite and the royal family are all chronicled. The tour is a journey through time to a hidden side of Cambodia. For instance by giving access to many private villas through indoor panoramic photos while explaining the story of the owner’s family. It’s a work of love, not only towards history but also towards the city. “I want to promote Phnom Penh, I want people to stay at least one more night and not only go to Siem Reap or Sihanoukville,” says Fréneau. He and his wife spent two years planning the tour, digging into archives in France as most of the documents were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge reign. Me and my patient tuk-tuk driver continue, crossing the old Chinese quarter, which was a primary trade area and housed many Vietnamese and Indian. It is also home to iconic Central Market, which opened in 1937. It also covers the riverside boulevard up to Chinese House, which was once owned by a wealthy Hokkien family. We also stop off at the temple next door, one of the most exquisite Taoist sites in town. An area that is also extensively covered is Wat Phnom and its surroundings, including historical places such as Raffles Le Royale, National Library, the US Embassy which was the old country club and a destination for the infamous Khmer rock ‘n’ roll parties from the 1960s. The journey ends in the area around Royal Palace and National Museum, the mansions on streets 178 and 240, the old elephant suites or interesting colonial houses such as the UNESCO office and The Mansion, all supported by information on the architecture and its mix in styles between the East and the West. Started in January this year, the tour has already welcomed 600 people and is ideal for those interested in immersing themselves in the capital’s colonial history. “The first time I came here was 18 years ago,” says Fréneau. “I fell in love [with the people]. Their kindness, their smile.” More than a work of history, this tour is a declaration of love to Phnom Penh. The tour runs daily and costs $22. To book, email phnompenhheritage@gmail. com or phone 017 496 213. For more information, visit phnompenh-heritage. com. AsiaLIFE Cambodia 33
34 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Two French-Cambodian brothers are hoping to inspire businesses to keep Kampot’s unique heritage alive in the modern world. Words by Marissa Carruthers; photography by Nataly Lee.
t was during a visit to Kampot in 2013 that the Meinnel family’s love affair with the riverside town started. A dilapidated Chinese shop-house that overlooks the river caught their eyes; its crumbling façade harking back to a different era of more prosperous times. Architect Antoine and his brother David travelled to Cambodia to restore the 1945 shop-house their parents had bought. They came equipped with the aim of preserving its history while injecting contemporary Cambodia into the space. “Our parents fell in love with the house,” says Antoine. “It was quite famous in Kampot as the nicest of the shop-houses, but people were too afraid to refurbish it because it was in such a bad condition.” Despite the authorities advising them to demolish the building and start from scratch, the brothers were determined to set a shining example of the potential Kampot’s collection of old buildings hold. “When we started, the authorities told us it’s a lot of work to keep the façade, why bother? Skip this and tear it down. But the façade doesn’t belong to us; the house belongs to the public. It is public heritage,” says Antoine. The brothers recruited a small team to help them restore the façade, using traditional construction techniques while giving it a weathered look to reflect its history. Inside they introduced contemporary touches, such as a spiral staircase, opening up the space to make it bright and using modern materials to give it an urban feel, including concrete floors. “We wanted to show what is possible to be done with old buildings to say there is a medium between tearing them down and rebuilding and repairing them and recreating a pastiche of what existed before,” says Antoine, who is also co-
founder of Phnom Penh-based Bloom Architecture. “We wanted to show a contemporary way to rebuild these houses while at the same time respecting the heritage and creating new possibilities.” Sticking to tradition where a shophouse ground floor is used for commercial space, with the upper floors reserved for residential living, the brothers’ starting to look at how they could expand their artisan approach of restoring the house to embrace other elements of the region they had fallen in love with. “While we were living there, we started to know more about the city and feel a connection,” says David, who has a background in food and commerce. “We had this lovely location on the riverside and really wanted to create a lifestyle concept. Kampot is famous for its pepper so we wanted to create a brand that talks about the architecture, culture and pepper of the region.” The boys snapped up a five-hectare spot of land in Vat Ang, about 10km from Kampot, and set about preparing onehectare of pepper plants in the first year, and another half-hectare last year. They designed a slick logo and packaging that embodied their vision, creating a stylish vintage brand presented in a cool contemporary way. “We didn’t want to just have a nostalgic vision of Kampot,” says David. “We wanted to refer to the heritage but also bring in the contemporary lifestyle concept.” Developing the business further, the brothers decided the perfect way to showcase Kampot pepper’s versatility is to cook up a range of dishes. So, they transformed the ground floor of the house into a showroom for their pepper products as well as a stylish bistro, serving up an a la carte menu of Kampot pepper-inspired
dishes, as well as a changing special menu created by visiting chefs. Their venture opened on July 1 last year, and the brothers are continually building on its success. “In the future, we want people to be able to visit the plantation to see everything from cultivation, packaging, through to the restaurant; the real farm to table story,” says David. On the remainder of the land, David and Antoine have started growing organic vegetables and fruit to supply the bistro with produce. And with the pepper taking three years to grow, Atelier Kampot is currently sourcing 100 percent of its pepper from reputable local farmers. “Even when our pepper plants are mature we will only grow them to secure our supply, and want to continue to work with local farmers,” says Antoine, adding the price for Kampot pepper is fixed annually ensuring farmers get a fair price. “In the long term, we only want a smallmedium scale farm because we don’t want to take over these farmers.” They have plans to start exporting pepper to the EU soon, further bolstering the local market, and are working with agricultural experts to find innovative methods to improve pepper farming across Kampot. “The idea is to create dynamism around Kampot,” says Antoine. “It’s a very tricky moment now for Kampot. There is a lot of development for the backpacker crowd and also a lot of local and Chinese development, so we are trying to push in a different way. We hope that with Atelier Kampot we can create a reason for people to visit and inspire other businesses like this to open.” For more information, visit atelierkampot. com.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 35
As the designer dog trend sweeps across Cambodia, dog trainer Rattana Hin is stepping up his educational game. Editor Marissa Carruthers finds out about his mission to promote responsible dog ownership. Photography by Enric Català.
uskies, Labradors, Samoyeds and Rottweilers – these are just a handful of the designer dogs and pedigree breeds that can increasingly be seen strutting along the capital’s streets. And this is a trend that is causing dog trainer Rattana Hin huge cause for concern. “In recent years, I’ve noticed as more local people are becoming financially stable they are buying pets,” he says. “The designer dog phase is happening now and there are lots of problems.” He adds the majority of these breeds are not made for Cambodia’s hot and humid environment, while many dog owners are ill-equipped with information on how to properly care for their pet pooch. However, his main concern lies in where the puppies come from. In many cases, he says they are bred at puppy farms in Thailand – often in tough conditions – and can be unwittingly bought riddled with deadly diseases. “Where do these designer dogs come from? Often from a dog farm,” says Hin. “We don’t know if it will live or die and that takes a financial and emotional toll on the owner. It also becomes a phase, look at Paris Hilton. She has a designer dog, puts it in her purse and when she’s done with it, gives it away and gets another. It’s like changing a Louis Vuitton for a Prada. I see this happening now in Cambodia.” The animal welfare advocate advises that before buying a dog, it is essential potential pet owners carry out their research. “Before I buy a car, I learn about the car, the manufacturer, whether or not it is fuel efficient. Apply the same theory
36 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
to buying a dog. Look at the breed and your lifestyle. Does it fit your lifestyle? Don’t buy a giant Schnauzer and live in a small cramped condo. Can you afford it financially and emotionally? Do you have time for a dog?” Ensuring that pets are looked after is also vital, with regular vaccinations and inevitable trips to the vets needed. Hin advises getting dogs spayed or neutered and suggests an even better option to buying a designer dog is to adopt a rescued animal. “There are too many dogs already in Cambodia that are homeless,” he says. “There are dogs running rampant on the streets that you could love just the same. It’s not a Porsche but it could be a Toyota. It will still have four wheels and you can still love it the same.” Having been surrounded by dogs when growing up in Battambang, it wasn’t until he moved to America as a teenager that he was first introduced to the concept of dog training. “I was inspired by the fact that you can control a dog and get it to do certain things you want done,” he recalls. He started volunteering at various centres before enrolling at a dog training school to learn about dog psychology, behaviour and body language. Before moving back to Cambodia in 2014, he attended a series of workshops in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, further honing his skills. Business quickly caught on in Cambodia, with Hin building up a portfolio of private clients, educational work in schools, training Cambodia Police dogs and carrying out security training with
guard and protection dogs. His most recent leap in spreading his responsible ownership message saw him take to the small screen, featuring in the second series of National Geographic Channel’s Cesar’s Recruit Asia. Fronted by dog behaviourist Cesar Millan, of The Dog Whisperer, the reality TV show sees eight trainers from across Asia compete to be crowned top dog. After having applied for the first season and not getting selected, Hin received a call back ahead of the follow up series asking if he wanted to take part. “They said they wanted Cambodia to be a part of the show,” he recalls. “It was an amazing opportunity and I used the show as my platform to bring dog ownership responsibility on to the international stage and bring more awareness to Cambodia. I’m the first Cambodian national to be on the show.” Despite being eliminated in episode five, Hin says he gained heaps of experience and welcome exposure. The show can be seen on National Geographic TV Asia’s YouTube channel, with Hin featuring in episodes one, two and five. Despite Hin’s concerns over dog ownership in Cambodia, he remains confident that with education attitudes will change and pets will be properly pampered, cared for and loved, regardless of their breed or background. For information, visit raymondsdogs. com and follow Raymond's K9 Academy and The Khmer Dog Whisperer on Facebook.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 37
The former East German state of Saxony has a wealth of history and a totally different feel to it as Mark Bibby Jackson discovers on his trip to Dresden and Radebeul.
here is a scene in Trigger Happy TV when the show’s creator, Dom Jolly, dressed as a Belgian tour guide, takes a couple of unsuspecting American tourists on a tour of Bruges in a horse-drawn carriage. If you haven’t seen it then the allusion will most probably escape you, but please bear with me. Only it isn’t any old tour of Bruges – well, it isn’t a tour of Bruges at all – but rather of the city’s square. It’s on about the third time round the square that the tourists eventually lose their rag, as Jolly keeps on saying “on your right is the town hall”, and demand to be let off. Both show and sketch have lived with me and in part explains my aversion to escorted tours, especially those that involve transport. This explains my reticence as I get on a hop-on hop-off bus in Dresden, courtesy of the local tourism department, one Saturday morning. Dresden is the UK’s Coventry. Not the metaphorical place where you are sent to when you have betrayed your fellow workers, but the city that was most heavily bombed in the latter stages of World War II in a game of cataclysmic tit for tat that Trump and Jong-Un might envy. It is also a city that I have both longed to and dreaded visiting, not knowing what the reaction would be to a British tourist even all these years later. I need not have worried. The recorded English-language tape on the hop-on hop-off bus hardly mentions the war. An oblique reference to a business person who made a fortune under the Third Reich and a statue that bears a passing reference to a Nazi salute but predates Hitler aside, the guide informs us of the history of baroque Zwinger in the centre of Dresden, its castle, opera house, cathedral and museums, the majority of which were restored following the Allied bombing. Zwinger literally translates as cave, for bears used to be kept here, now cars are largely banned as the city aims to reduce its carbon footprint. However, as we follow a circuitous route around the centre through which I walked the previous afternoon, after checking into the Hotel Am Terrassenufer, I do find myself wondering whether it’s Mr Jolly behind the wheels. The previous evening I had no such misgivings as I was led on an “anti-pub crawl” by the eccentric Danillo, a former teacher and hostel owner, who runs tours of the Neustadt by night. The “new town” on the other side of the River Elbe to Dresden, Neustadt is in fact the original settlement, with the baroque Disneyland on the other side a relative newcomer. This is where the workers of Dresden lived
38 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
while the courtiers twirled their waltzes in the Zwinger, until an 18th century fire devastated it. However, it did emerge largely unscathed from the war, at least relative to its sister town across the waters. Neustadt also has a very interesting history of its own. From 1990 to 1993 the citizens in a 0.7sqkm area declared themselves the Bunte Republik Neustadt – the Colourful Republic of Neustadt. A micro-republic much like Christiania in Copenhagen, it had its own laws, currency, passport and coat of arms, the latter two bearing the head of Mickey Mouse, therefore making it the original Mickey Mouse Republic. Despite the republic’s demise, there still exists a Bohemian spirit here that attracts a very young, artistic and political population – McDonalds is banned, as are banks – and the party lives on well into the night, as Danillo demonstrated. Each June, the Bunte Republik Neustadt is relived in a three-day street party and cultural festival of the same name, with DJs, balcony raves and impromptu performances. All of which seems a million miles away, the following afternoon as a second hop-on hop-off bus takes me along the glorious banks of the River Elbe with their wide meadows that double up as flood plains, to my next port of call the castle at Pilnitz, which has pleasant gardens and fantastic views up and down the river, although unfortunately the castle itself is closed on our visit. Eventually, I hop off for one last time and emerge in the centre
of the Zwinger and glory in the wonderful architecture, before settling down in the main square overlooking the Church of Our Lady for a dunkel beer while the sun is setting. I'm too old for Thomas the Tank Engine, but Ivor the Engine has always held a cherished spot in my heart – second only to The Clangers in terms of quality nonsensical children’s programmes. As such, the following day’s excursion on a steam train to Moritzburg is one that I am looking forward to. Radebeul is a short tram ride from Dresden, and from there a steam train takes you to the castle at Moritzburg. Standing throughout, as the train weaves its way beside narrow streets where car passengers await with their camera phones at level crossings and then through beautiful forests, the smoke from the coal-fuelled engine almost chokes me. I am blessed as this is the only sunny day on my brief sojurn in Germany. It is blissful. Right on cue, as our train pulls into the final station, my guide for the castle and its grounds, Kristina Kroemke, is awaiting for me with a driver and a horse-drawn cart – I did say bear with me at the outset. There are no squares in Moritzburg, only a straight road leading from the station to the castle grounds. Once I discard all thoughts of Jolly and his American prey from my mind, I relax into the trip, and admit the gentle sound of the horses’ hooves plodding on the stone and the inevitably slow progress we make,
ensures a most relaxing excursion. Kristina proves a most amenable host, much in keeping with the Moritzburg tradition, where guests were expected to consume two litres of wine upon arrival. Like the Zwinger, the French baroque castle was designed by the architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann, for King Augustus the Strong, who died of diabetes, possibly from an excess of hospitality. Fortunately, Kristina only invites me for coffee and Eierschecke cake at the Adams Guest House, which has stood here since 1675, at the end of our journey. In addition to having the grand castle, used as the set for the GDR Czech Cinderella film here in the 70s, in the 13sqm Pheasant Palace, Moritzburg has the smallest palace in Saxony, built by August III, the less macho grandson of August the Strong. Sadly, there are no peacocks here any longer just their huts, but the beautiful palace has striking views down to the main palace and is set next to a large lake. On my way back for dinner at my hotel, the Radisson Blu Park Hotel, I stop off in Radebeul town for another dunkel. The sun is setting and I take my beer out with me to sit on the grass island in the middle of the cobble-stone road. Just at that moment a phone goes off in the distance and someone says, “allo” into it, but nothing can destroy the moment. Eventually, I finish my beer and consider how to return to my hotel, perhaps I’ll take the bus? AsiaLIFE Cambodia 39
COUSIN’S BURGER & COFFEE 16 Street 200, Phnom Penh. Tel. 012 528 126. Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 11am to 10pm.
Miguel Jerónimo tastes the freshness and quality of Cousin’s homemade burgers. Photography by Enric Català.
A small restaurant with a welcoming feeling, Cousin’s is a hidden gem for those seeking to sink their teeth into a tasty burger. With a couple of tables outside, and wooden tables and comfortable sofas and chairs – topped with vintage design without being pretentious – inside, the restaurant serves a selection of so-called fast food, but in a slow and careful manner. We tasted the signature burger ($5.40) made of tender beef, smoked bacon, raclette cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, fresh lettuce and house barbecue sauce, which has the perfect blend of spices including cumin for an Asian touch.“We are two cousins passionate about American food with a French touch,” says Olivier Drouet, who with Aurélien 40 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Moyon started the restaurant in February 2016 after some years in Cambodia. Drouet’s wife is the general manager, setting the tone for the rest of the staff, who are friendly and helpful. Drouet says his favourite meal on the menu is the Big Couz burger with double cheese in the form of mozzarella and cheddar. However, the hot dogs are also part of his passion. We tried the Hot Paris ($5.10), which comes with a Frankfurter smoked pork sausage, crispy shallots and grilled bacon, all cooked to perfection. A good choice is a set meal, served on a black slate with neat presentation which, besides the burger or hot dog of choice, includes salad with dressing and fried potatoes in a nice little basket – we highly recommend
the sweet potato version – and a soft drink or beer, all for $8.10, or $9.50 with dessert. And being owned by French fellows, of course, the dessert menu includes delicious crepes. Other options include a 200gr steak with chips for $5.90 and salads and pasta dishes for around $5. We tried the pork belly salad ($4.50) and can say that the mixture of crispy bacon, perfectly poached egg and vegetables (lettuce, carrot, onion, tomato) is indeed worthy for those not into burgers. But who are we kidding because Cousin’s is made for the meat lovers. With burgers ranging from $2.90 to $5.40 and hot dogs from $3.75 to $5.10, this seems the perfect place for those looking for quality while maintaining affordability.
“We really wanted to provide a different taste, with fresh ingredients and everything homemade, but still maintaining the same price of a burger from a fast-food restaurant,” says Drouet. Indeed, the freshness seems to be a top requirement, with organic vegetables being used and the promise that all is washed with filtered water. Everything besides the ketchup is made in house, including the incredibly soft homemade brioche, clearly one of the highlights of the burgers. The menu also includes fresh juices, coffees, frappes or hot chocolate, plus some crunchy cookies which are worth to try. And with delivery also available, Cousin’s is definitely a place to remember.
KATHMANDU KITCHEN 13 Street 258, Phnom Penh. Tel. 012 985 844. Open daily, from 8.30am to 10pm.
At Phnom Penh restaurant Kathmandu Kitchen, Matt Surrusco and photographer Enric Català dip into and devour Indian and Nepali dishes, from chicken tikka masala to biryani and momo.
Before Shiva Raj Parajuli owned Indian and Nepali restaurant Kathmandu Kitchen he was ensuring restaurants and hotels around Cambodia’s capital were supplied with quality Indian spices. For about two years, the Nepali restaurateur distributed around 30 varieties of spices, buying from wholesalers in Bangkok who sourced from India. While Indian and Nepali food is similar, Parajuli says the cuisine in his homeland varies by region, with food in areas closer to China similar to Chinese food and Indian flavours coming to the fore in regions near India. Kathmandu Kitchen, now approaching its ninth year, maintains the welcoming charms of a casual dining restaurant, with framed photographs of
Nepali landscapes and landmarks hanging on the walls. To start, the steamed chicken momo ($4) – a plate of 10 traditional Nepali dumplings – are filled with chicken, fresh coriander and garlic, with the wrapper folded over and pinched shut in a spiral pattern. Parajuli recommends dipping the bite-size, slightly sour and spicy dumplings in a tomato and onion sauce and eating in one delicious mouthful. You can also order them fried or with a vegetable filling. Next, the chicken malaee tikka ($6.50) includes eight pieces of buttery, boneless chicken marinated in a cashew and cream sauce and served with lime and a cabbage and carrot slaw. The chicken is pleasantly tender and creamy on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside.
The chicken tikka masala ($6) with a side of garlic naan ($1.75) is a close second to the same dish at beloved Phnom Penh Indian eatery Sher-e-Punjab. The roasted, boneless chicken is bathed in a sweet and spicy tomato curry, easily scooped up with a piece of oily, doughy naan, which is generously coated with diced garlic. The chicken biryani ($5.50) is one of the highlights of the dishes we sampled. The saffronseasoned rice is mixed with thin slices of tender chicken, raisins, fried onions and tomato, and served with raita, a yoghurt, cucumber and onion sauce, which lightens and cools the spices of the rice bowl. The variety of flavours and textures in each bite makes the dish a standout. We ended the meal with a
mango lassi ($1.75), a cool, refreshing smoothie of mango, yoghurt and ice, which balances the spices of the main dishes. The Kathmandu Kitchen has a varied, mountainous menu, best traversed with fellow diners willing to share a few appetisers and entrees, from the more well-known Indian plates to what owner Parajuli calls “proper Nepali” dishes, such as momos and the chicken or vegetable thukpa, a Himalayan noodle soup. Most portions are enough to split among at least two to three people, depending on appetites. Be well prepared for a flavourful, filling trek through the Indian and Nepali cuisines of the Himalayas, with all the authentic spices and none of the altitude sickness. AsiaLIFE Cambodia 41
PÉPÉ BISTRO 223 EO Street 13, Phnom Penh. Tel. 012 986 270. Open Monday, from noon to 2pm, and Tuesday to Saturday, from noon to 2pm and 7pm to 9.30pm.
At Pépé Bistro, expect familiar French comfort food with some local twists. Matt Surrusco sat down for three tasty dishes and one sweet dessert – from homemade foie gras to crème brûlée. Photos by Enric Català.
French restaurant and bar Pépé Bistro opened in March, but the owners behind it are not so new to the Phnom Penh culinary world. Aude Moulard, co-owner and executive chef, finished a two-year stint cooking for the French ambassador in Phnom Penh earlier this year. Her business partner, Florent Montmeat, who manages Pépé, opened popular cocktail bar Chez Flo on Street 308 in 2014. In mid-June, Montmeat said he was in the process of selling the bar so he could try something new and focus on Pépé. Moulard, 26, graduated from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, France, in 2015. As the second-oldest of seven siblings, she says she often cooked for her family at home. 42 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
“I was too energetic so [cooking] was the only way to calm me down,” the chef says, adding the bistro’s name is in part a homage to Moulard’s grandfather, a retired chef. We started with the mackerel rillette with beetroot and raspberry sorbet ($6), which offers a variety of flavours, including the sweet sorbet, plus mango, pomegranate and market-fresh fish in the rillette, placed on two thick pieces of sourdough bread from a local French bakery. Tuna on toast will likely never satisfy me again. Next, the homemade foie gras ($12) with Fine de Bourgogne – Moulard’s father’s recipe – was served with four slices of buttery brioche, a mango compote and Kampot sea salt and pepper on the side.
The chef suggests laying a piece of the French foie gras atop a slice of brioche, then adding a pinch of salt and pepper and finally the syrupy mango, all of which created a pleasant balance between the spices and the sweet compote. For our main, the saku tuna tataki swam in a bowl of mashed sweet potatoes and vegetables ($14), resembling a cream soup with a sushi surprise. Five cubes of Pacific red tuna, are marinated in ginger and soy sauce and seared on two sides, retain a tender, red colour in the middle. The potato puree has some crunch from broccoli, chopped red and yellow peppers and carrots and thin cuts of aubergine, with black sesame seeds sprinkled on top. For dessert, we tried the
chef’s grandmother’s recipe, mémé’s crème brûlée ($5), which had a fruity Cambodian twist – diced pieces of passion fruit, dragon fruit, mango and watermelon spread to one side of the crackly layer of torchcaramelised brown sugar. The sugary crust of the light cream mixed well with the juicy fruit. Pépé’s elegant yet comfortable atmosphere includes dark blue interior walls simply accented by lines of gold paint and black metal accoutrements, and cosy chairs and a couch. There’s also a front patio with outdoor seating and beautiful Cambodian tiles. Combined with the ambiance, Pépé’s fine-dining-meetscomfort-food cuisine is a culinary choice of which your grandpa – pépé in French – would surely approve.
health & fitness
Dieting Vs Diet Sofie Herbstreit
With summer knocking on the door and Phnom Penh’s expats taking their escape, one thought has been surfacing in many minds: sculpting that summer body. It is once again the time to start dieting, get ready for the beach and prepare for showing off flawless abs and toned legs. And while many succeed in their feat to drop a size or two, almost as many will return to more comfortable habits after the summer and regain lost pounds. Although crash diets have become increasingly controversial with the rise of a fitness trend that puts healthy eating and athletic physiques at its centre, the drastic changes often made to eating and exercise routines before the summer remain very much present. But does it have to be that way? “Dieting is often referred to as a kind of shortterm change – just eat less for a short time”, says Lorenzo Lanzafame, owner of LLFitness. “But diet also means long-term eating habits. A healthy diet is always part of a healthy lifestyle and has nothing to do with temporary changes”. For those used to seasonspecific health regimes, that may sound shocking: pre-summer eating habits all year round? Rather not.
“Balance is key”, comments Lanzafame – a mantra he relentlessly repeats to clients. To establish better eating habits as part of a healthy, sustainable lifestyle, the principles of dieting no longer apply. The focus is shifted on creating habits that last, without cutting back too much on personal preferences: Keeping the pleasure in food instead of censoring it. For example, healthy eating does not always mean cutting out all the sugar, it just means cutting out as much as possible without encouraging cravings, and balancing the amount of sugar with healthy, nutritious and natural food. “If you allow yourself to have a piece of cake every now and then without beating yourself up, it will be much easier to stick to your diet. It helps to work towards it step-bystep,” says Lanzafame. “First remove some sugar and fast food from your diet and replace it with more nutritious food. Then shift the scale until you reach a balance that keeps you healthy and lets you feel good in your body while enjoying life”. A balanced diet goes hand in hand with exercise – being active throughout the year helps create better habits that will last – through Christmas feasts as well as beach holidays.
Sofie is the nutritionist of LLFitness, a leading fitness and health company in Phnom Penh specialised in personal training, physiotherapy and nutrition. For more information, visit www.llfitness.it or send an email to email@example.com. AsiaLIFE Cambodia 43 43 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
SHINTA MANI ANGKOR – BENSLEY COLLECTION Words by Marissa Carruthers.
44 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
here’s one major issue with Shinta Mani Angkor – Bensley Collection. Once you walk through the stylish black and white doors to your private villa, you’ll never want to leave. While this isn’t too much of a problem for us lucky enough to have already trawled the temples and Siem Reap’s other attractions; it poses a potential problem for first time visitors to Temple Town. Having opened its doors in December, the collection of 10 villas have taken luxury in Siem Reap to new levels. True to Bill Bensley’s signature style, the design is flawless, and every detail is carefully thought out so that each step guests make through the property presents a fresh thrill. The first gasp comes when you open the doors to a cute corner seating area with sofas and a table, a large lap pool and the front of the stunning two-storey art deco-inspired villa. A high-walled façade ensures complete privacy, with slick white walls portraying the “hands of meditation”. In contrast, a bold black and white theme runs throughout, with striking tiles and splashes of colour added with orange cushions and traces of gold. The first of the two minimalist pavilions that collectively offer 156sqm is home to a bed that poses the second dilemma: getting up in the morning. The reason? Because you sink deep into the cloud-like mattress, with super-soft feather pillows wrapped around your head, guaranteeing a great night’s sleep. Motivation comes in the fact guests can open up
the floor-to-ceiling window and dive straight into the lengthy lap pool – what a way to wake up. Moving around the property, a path weaves through a tropical garden that transports guests out of urban life and into the jungle. Hidden among the foliage is a large outdoor bath tub – perfect for bathing under the stars – with the second pavilion housing a large walk-in wardrobe, bathroom and sheltered outdoor rainforest shower. And the offerings don’t stop there, with a rooftop terrace containing tables, chairs and a relaxing sofa all overlooking the surrounding canopy of ancient Palace trees – the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or watch the sun set for the day with a glass of wine in hand. With all this on offer, it’s easy to see how difficult it is to leave your villa for the outside world. However, if you manage to tear yourself away, then make sure you stroll over the road and make good use of the spa or learn how to cook like a local with a cookery class led by one of the hotel’s chefs. Alternatively, put a call into your designated private Bensley Butler, who will happily help make some suggestions on how to spend your day and carry out any arrangements. Bill Bensley designed these uber-chic villas as he likes to live, and he has definitely created my dream home in the form of one of the best spots to stay in Siem Reap. Temples? What temples? Shinta Mani Road, Siem Reap. Tel. 063 967 885.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 45
Shirt, pants and shoes: Armada
Photography: Merja Yeung Model: Keo Chan Sonin Hair & Makeup: Kosal at The Dollhouse Styling: Ryan Drewe Taylor Location: The Tea House
46 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Jumpsuit, hat and top: Don Protasio Shoes: Armada
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 47
Pants and top: Ambre Shoes: Armada
48 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Dress: Lee & Taylor Hat: Don Protasio Shoes: Armada
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 49
HOTELS & RESORTS
Chow Restaurant with WiFi.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal Street 92 Tel: 023 981 888 www.raffles.com/phnom-penh/ Emanates the same class as its more famous namesake in Singapore. The Elephant Bar is a popular expat haunt during the 4pm to 8pm happy hour.
Almond Hotel 128f Sothearos Bld. Tel: 023 220 822 Owned by Cambodia’s top chef, Luu Meng, this hotel boasts 70 guest rooms, and is aimed at the visiting business community. Tasty dim sun is served from the ground floor restaurant, YiSang. The Great Duke 296 Mao Tse Toung Blvd. Tel: 023 424 888 www.thegreatdukehotels.com.kh Previously the InterContinental, this is one of Phnom Penh’s most luxurious five-star hotels, the 346 air-con rooms have all the expected facilities including in-room safes and king size beds. Also has a large swimming pool, a fitness centre and spa. The Quay Sisowath Quay Tel: 023 224 894 www.thequayhotel.com Five-storey, 16-room riverside boutique hotel has beautiful contemporary rooms designed by Gary Fell. The stand-out features are the roof-top Jacuzzi and the very contemporary ground-floor bar and
50 AsiaLIFE 50 AsiaLIFE Cambodia Cambodia
Rambutan Resort 29 Street 71 Tel: 017 992 240 www.rambutanresort.com Urban modern oasis located in a quiet residential area only 5 minutes from all major sights in Phnom Penh. Deluxe pool view and garden rooms with outdoor bathtubs. Salt water pool and private spa room for some unwinding treatments. Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd Tel: 023 999 200 www.sofitel.com Set on the riverside amongst landscaped gardens this 12-storey, five-star colonial style hotel is close to key attractions, embassies and the central business district. TEAV Boutique Hotel
14 Street 310 Tel: 023 981 818 / 017 989 191 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.teavboutiquehotel.com Located in a quiet, peaceful setting in the prestigious central heart of Phnom Penh near the Independence Monument, the uniquely designed art deco style TEAV Boutique Hotel provides single travellers, couples, families, leisure and business with a relaxing and highly personalised stay. Siem Reap Belmond La Residence DÁngkor River Road Tel: 0845 0772 222 Having undergone a revamp, the all-suite hotel boasts newly-designed interiors, lush landscaped gardens surrounding a salt water pool, a deluxe poolside suite, 20 poolside junior suites, 12 garden junior suites, eight deluxe studio suites and 18 junior suites. Lynnaya Urban River Resort & Spa Tel: 063 967 755 www.lynnaya.com A luxury resort equipped with swimming pool, spa and restaurant. Prince D’Angkor Hotel & Spa Sivatha Blvd.
Tel: 063 763 888 Email: email@example.com www.princedangkor.com Experience ultimate luxury and bask in the splendour of elegance at the Prince D’ Angkor Hotel & Spa, the perfect base from which to explore the legendary Angkor temples. Rambutan Hotels & Resorts Phum Wat Damnak, Kum Sala Komreuk, Krom 10 Tel: 012 654 638 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rambutans.info The former Golden Banana resort contains the same deluxe suites and villas in modern Asian style build around a salt-water pool. Private balcony or terrace with outdoor bathtub/splash shower. LBGT-friendly. Sokkhak Boutique Resort Kok Chork village, Wat Thmey Tel: 063 765 697/ 063 765 698 www.sokkhak-boutiqueresort.com Stay in either one of the two suites, four junior suites or five uniquely deluxe rooms and one classic standard room, decorated in a homely style. Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort Vithei Charles de Gaulle
Tel: 063 964 600/ 063 964 610 www.sofitel.com Ultimate in comfort and refinement, combining the traditional architecture of Cambodia with elegant French colonial style. Five-star accommodation, swimming pool, spa and international standard 18-hole 72-par golf course.
Accommodation established by the former manager of Bokor Mountain Lodge set in the French Quarter. Six rooms have AC, hot water, DVD and TV. The large garden has a patio pizzeria and bar. Rikitikitavi Riverfront Tel: 012 274 820/ 012 235 102 www.rikitikitavi-kampot.com Western food served in large portions in this river-facing restaurant, bar and three-room guesthouse. A more upmarket venue for Kampot, the upstairs seating affords great sunset views. Restaurant and bar open daily.
Templation Route du Petit Pont Tel: 063 969 345 From the masterminds behind The Plantation and Pavilion in Phnom Penh, Templation offers a slice of serenity from the madding temple crowds. Boasting a secret lake, swimming pool reflecting majestic palm trees, a vast expanse of tropical flora and 33 living spaces, most with their own private pool.
FOOD & DRINKS
Knai Bang Chatt Tel: 078 888 557 www.knaibangchatt.com An exclusive resort offering personal service in private grounds housing a collection of remodelled 1960’s style colonial villas. Offering 18 rooms, infinity pool, spa and media centre. All rooms refurbished to international standards. Choice of two dining options – upscale The Strand or the adjoining Sailing Club.
Blue Pumpkin 245 Sisowath Quay Tel: 023 998 153 At multiple locations in Phnom Penh, serving breakfast sets, Asian and Western entrées and an array of ice cream flavours in air-conditioned comfort. Open daily from 6am-11pm.
Le Bout du Monde Tel: 011 964 181 www.leboutdumondekep.com Individual and separate bungalows in traditional Khmer architecture located on a hill-top with good views and nice gardens. Serves French and Khmer cuisine. Rooms have hot water, mini-bar, fan and safe. Spring Valley Resort Tel: 036 666 6673 www.springvalley-resort.com Spring Valley Resort, at the base of Kep National Park, is just a short walk to the beach. The rooms are scattered throughout vibrant green gardens, connected by walkways that wind through vines, trees and flowering plants. Villa S’aat Tel: 017 383 185 www.villa-kep.com Elegant and spacious villa for rent in Kep during holidays and weekends. Located around 2km from the crab market, with spacious rooms, fully equipped kitchen, swimming pool, large terrace, garden and household staff. Kampot Mea Culpa 44 Sovansokar Tel: 012 504 769 Email: email@example.com
Brown Coffee & Bakery 17 Street 214 and other locations throughout the city. Tel: 023 217 262 Stylish, locally owned café with bakery on the premises serves a variety of coffees and pastries, with the green tea latte a house speciality. Open 7.30am8pm. The Chinese House 45 Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh. Tel: 092 553 330 Under new management and having undergone a radical revamp, Chinese House has a fine dining restaurant upstairs serving fusion food, and a bar space downstairs, serving tapas. Still has the uber-cool vibe created by the previous management. Do Forni Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 Sothearos Blvd. Tel: 023 999 200 Sophisticated Italian diner set in the grounds of the Sofitel hotel, dishes up much more than your basic pizza and pasta. Excellent range of wines, dimmed lighting and plush surroundings make this an excellent romantic meal for two option. Open daily 6.30pm-10pm. FCC Phnom Penh 363 Sisowath Quay Tel: 023 724 014 The first stop for newcomers and it’s easy to see why. Set in a beautiful colonial house with sumptuous views across
Forbidden Planet Kate Burbidge
Here comes the rain again, time to curl up with a good book or in front of a good movie. The latest blockbuster or indie hit, or something classic, something that has stood the test of time. Weather, perhaps The Tempest would be the order of the day. Or something a little more futuristic. Forbidden Plant has floated onto my radar again recently and I have to admit, I had forgotten how much of an enjoyable romp it is. Directed by Fred Wilcox and starring Walter Pidgeon and (a young) Leslie Nielsen, Forbidden Planet (1956) is widely considered to be one of the great science fiction films of the 1950s. Pioneering many aspects of the sci-fi movie genre, it tells a tale of boy-meets girl in a far-flung out post, boy meets opposition from girl’s father, girl’s father has strange powers and a non-human sidekick, the land is threatened by a mysterious unearthly entity. Hang on… that sounds an awful lot like the plot of The Tempest. Surely not? Sci-fi does Shakespeare? Well, yes, Forbidden Planet is a loose reimaging of what is generally accepted as the bard’s last work. Compare Morbius (Pidgeon) and Prospero, each master of their own little realm, respectively a distant planet and a deserted island. Each possessing paranormal powers, Morbius’ advanced technology and Propero’s magic and both jealously guarding their sources, each having an only daughter who is even more jealously guarded. Compare the isolated nature of Propero’s island and Altair
IV, the (space)ship wrecking of Antonio and Ferdinand and Commander Adams (Nielsen), the power struggle between the newcomers and the incumbent authority of the island/planet, the forbidden love between Ferdinand and Miranda/Adams and Alta. Swap Robby the Robot for Ariel, the Id-Monster for Caliban and the plots of both narratives still function, albeit somewhat surreally. Leaving the Shakespearean analogies aside, Forbidden Planet broke much sci-fi ground on its own account, being the first science fiction film to depict humans travelling in a faster-than-light in a ship of their own creation. Robby the Robot is one of the first film robots to be more than just a mechanical tin can, notably inspiring the robot from Lost in Space (“Danger, Will Robinson, danger!”) and many more. Robby displays a definite personality and is an integral supporting character in the film, making his own decisions, contemporary robotics is only just catching up Robby, albeit more elegantly. The film was also the first of any genre to use an entirely electronic musical score, and the effects team was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects at the 29th Academy Awards. In 2013, the picture was entered into the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. So, find it, download it and simultaneously step into the past AND the future. Not even Propero could manage that.
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 51
the river on one side and the National Museum to the other, it’s best to come at sunset when the streets below are most crowded and enjoy the happy hour. Open daily from 7am-midnight. Fu Lu Zu Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd Tel: 023 999 200 x 6613 Elegant Chinese restaurant specialising in contemporary Cantonese delicacies and dim sum with private rooms for intimate ambience. Lunch & Dim Sum Buffet: Monday to Friday, from 11.30am to 2.30 pm/ weekends, from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Hachi Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd Tel: 023 999 200 On the black granite sushi bar, the Japanese chef prepares guests’ favourite selection of sushi and sashimi, with fish imported daily from Japan. Il Forno Restaurant Phnom Penh 11 Street 302 Tel: 081 660 515 Traditional imported ingredients from Italy to keep all of recipes 100 percent Italian. Wine bar for nice aperitivo, lunch special menus. Java Café & Gallery 56 Sihanouk Blvd. Tel: 023 987 420 Great coffees, salads, mix-and-match sandwiches and juices served in an elegant setting. The upstairs terrace, overlooking the Independence Monument, is a good place to watch the chaos below, while the downstairs space is a great place for coffee and catching up on your emails. Has exhibitions both upstairs and down. Open 7am-10pm. K West 1 Street 154, cnr. Sisowath Quay Tel: 023 214 747
52 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Stylish aircon bar and restaurant below the Amanjaya with an excellent steak menu and good value happy hour from 6pm-8pm Fridays. Now has a brasserie menu with daily specials. Also has free WiFi. Open 6.30am until midnight. Daily happy hour from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Khéma Pasteur 163 Street 51 Khéma La Poste Street 13 with cnr Street 98 Tel: 015 823 888 A sophisticated international boutique restaurant featuring an on-site gourmet café, bakery and delicatessen with a wide range of specially imported and house-made delights, Khéma offers a unique concept on Cambodia’s dining scene scene. La Coupole Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 26 Old August Site, Sothearos Blvd. Tel: 023 999 200 www.sofitel.com Casual and authentic Indochinese and French cuisine with live cooking by chefs in an open kitchen concept. Offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and the Sunday brunch, all set in a stunning restaurant with high ceilings and natural light. Metro Cnr Sisowath Quay & Street 148 Tel: 023 222 275 Cool east-meets-west decor and a chic menu offering tapas, starters and mains, comprehensive cocktail menu, favourite among which is the Espresso Martini, Metro also offers a range of classic breakfasts and an elegant lunch spot with free wifi in an air-con and smokefree (until 10pm) atmosphere. Open daily 9.30am-1am. Sher e Punjab 16 Street 130, Phnom Penh. Tel: 092 992 901 Phnom Penh is blessed with a vast array of Indian kitchens, but many expats put this small place at the top of their list. Top Indian food, with an authentic
Tandoori oven producing fine breads and grilled meats, also excellent for veggies. Open daily, 10am-10pm. The Shop 39 Street 240, Tel: 092 955 963023 986 964 Stylish café, with a wide range of fresh bread, tempting patisseries and juices, excellent salads and sandwiches. Crowded at lunchtime, but the small, cool courtyard at the back creates a perfect haven from the sun. Has a Chocolate Shop three doors along, and a second outlet in Tuol Kork. Open 7am-7pm Topaz 182 Norodom Blvd. Tel: 012 346 555 / 023 221 622 Sophisticated, air-con restaurant with outside dining, upstairs bar, wine shop, cigar room and private rooms. One of Phnom Penh’s finest restaurants. Has a popular piano bar, night club upstairs. Open 11am-2pm, 6pm-11pm. Van’s Restaurant 5 Street 102 Tel: 023 722 067 French fine-dining in a grand setting awaits at Van’s, located on the second floor of a well preserved colonial-era building near the Post Office. Has an excellent value set lunch. Open daily 11.30am-2.30pm, 5pm-10.30pm.
from the provinces to contemporary creative Cambodian cuisine. It is set in a beautiful colonial building featuring wooden carvings, tables, chairs and unique lights all hand-made in Cambodia. Open daily from 11am-10.30pm (kitchen closes at 9.30pm). Siem Reap Armand’s The Bistro 584-586 Tep Vong, Sangkat Svay Dangkom Tel: 092 305 401 A true bistro experience in a cosy woodpanelled space, despite the informal and relaxed ambience it has the menu to even satisfy high-rollers. Chanrey Tree Pokombo Ave. Tel: 063 767 997 www.chanreytree.com Traditional Khmer food in a beautiful contemporary setting. Alongside the river, 50m before Preah Phrum Rath Pagoda. Open daily. Lunch 11am-2.30pm, dinner 6pm-10.30pm. Il Forno Restaurant Siem Reap Paris Alley, off Pub Street Tel: 063 763 380 Come and try our wood fire pizza and our traditional homemade pastas. New air con room to cool off with a nice Italian wine and a charcuterie.
Malis 136 Norodom Bvd Tel: 023 221 022 www.malis-restaurant.com Beautiful modern Khmer restaurant with a courtyard set around narrow water channels and decorated with terracotta floor tiles. Has air-con rooms inside for those who find the midday sun too much. The cuisine is modern Khmer, with no MSG. Open 6am-10pm.
Hot Stone Café Old Market area, next to Angkor trade center Tel: 012 926 562 063 966 966 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.hotstonecafé.asia The hottest culinary concept in town, with two dining options, cook yourself BBQ selection and Khmer dining.
Romdeng 74 Street 174 Tel: 092 219 565 Romdeng serves Cambodian food that ranges from almost forgotten recipes
King’s Road Angkor 7 Makara Road, Achar Sva Street Tel: 093 811 800 www.kingsroadangkor.com A unique dining and shopping village in
Siem Reap, comprising of 15 restaurants and cafés and 12 boutiques.
CULTURE Cinemas The Flicks Movie Theater 39b Street 95 (BKK3) www.theflicks.asia Local expat oriented movie houses with revolving schedule of international films and art house, screened in comfy air conditioned movie rooms. Also offers possibility for movie parties, with option to hire the movie room for a private session (max 30 people). Minimum two screenings per day. Check the website for the weekly schedule. Reservations advised. Cover charge $ 3.50 per day Major Cineplex Aeon Mall Tel: 023 90 1111 Major Cineplex is located on the second floor of the Aeon Mall Phnom Penh and is the biggest cinema complex in Cambodia with multiple screens, 3D and 4D theatres, showing the latest blockbusters from Asia and Hollywood. Open daily, from 9am to midnight. Meta House 37 Sothearos Blvd (opp. Phnom Penh centre) Tel: 012 607 465 Movie shorts and documentaries from Cambodia and the rest of Asia. Screenings normally start at 7pm. Closed Mondays. Platinum Cineplex 5th Floor Sorya Shopping Centre Tel: 081 666 210 International-standard three-screen Cineplex featuring the latest Digital 3D technology and the most recent Hollywood and international releases, located in the heart of downtown with ample parking, shopping and eating options. Open 9am-11pm. Tarantino Movie Theater & Restaurant 8 Street 258 (Chaktomuk) Formerly The Flicks 3 location. Screening the hit classics from the previous century on the big screen. Includes full restaurant with international kitchen. Dinner and movie deals available. Cover charge $ 3.50 per day. The 11 Happy Movie House 89-90 Street 136 Formerly The Flicks 2 location, located inside the 11 Happy Backpacker. Daily screenings of mostly Cambodian orientated movies. Cover charge $ 3.50 per day. Galleries
Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center 64 Street 200 Tel: 023 992 174 Preserving much of Cambodia’s audiovisual material. Hosts regular exhibitions. Open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm and Saturday, from 2pmto 6pm. Din Art Gallery 79 Street 136 Tel: 017 931 900 Located above Feel Good Cafe, Cambodian artist Din Borin showcases his abstract art, with apsara dancers featuring heavily. Browse his work or buy some unique pieces from the collection. French Institute 218 Street 184 Tel: 023 213 124 Offers cultural activities including exhibitions, festivals, and film screenings to promote French and Khmer culture. Onsite shop Carnets d’Asie offers a selection of French books. Java Café & Gallery 56 Sihanouk Blvd Tel: 023 987 420 www.javaarts.org Contemporary art gallery with exhibitions of Cambodian and international artists, as well as performing artists. Has second gallery on the ground floor. Website has details about Cambodia’s contemporary art scene. National Museum of Cambodia Street 13 Tel: 023 211 753 The museum houses one of the largest collections of Khmer artefacts in the world, including sculpture, ceramic and ethnographic objects. Spending a couple of hours here is a good introduction to Cambodia’s long tradition of art and creativity, and a brief insight into the spirit of the Kingdom. Romeet Contemporary Art Space 34E1 Street 178 Tel: 023 650 9392 Founded by Phare Ponleu Selpak in 2011 as a Phnom Penh platform for emerging and established alumni of the PPS’s Visual Art School in Battambang. Romeet is a dynamic space for contemporary art exhibitions, talks, workshops, local collaborations and international exchange. Sa Sa Bassac 18 Sothearos Boulevard An expansion of the Sa Sa Art Gallery and a merger with Bassac Art Projects, Sa Sa Bassac is an artist-run gallery for contemporary art. Includes a library, reading and workshop room, and a 60-metre gallery space. Ongoing visual literacy programmes.
Top Cafe 2017 - Sovrin Magazine -
SIEM REAP Cambodia
Performing Arts Amrita Performing Arts 128-G9 Sothearos Blvd. Tel: 023 220 424 www.amritaperformingarts.org Performance art company that puts on contemporary and classical music and theatre.
Cambodian Living Arts 128-G9 Sothearos Blvd. Tel: 023 986 032 www.cambodianlivingarts.org A non-profit arts organisation devoted to the revival and transmission of traditional Khmer performing arts that puts on performances and provides tours.
Apsara Arts Association 71 Street 598 Tel: 011 550 302 Organisation that promotes Cambodian arts and culture. Open from 7.30am to 10.30am.
Chaktomuk Conference Hall Sisowath Quay Tel: 023 725 119 Designed by master Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, this under-utilised building is worth a visit. Open Monday to AsiaLIFE Cambodia 53
54 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Will I pay Capital Gains Tax on My UK Property? Paul Dodd
Many expats from the UK living in Asia maintain a property back home in order to keep a toehold in a vibrant market that it is very easy to get priced out of. But what happens when circumstances change, and you want or need to sell? What is the situation with capital gains tax (CGT)? Here is the lowdown on CGT on UK property sales and how it is calculated. What is capital gains tax? Capital gains tax is a tax on the profit realised on the sale of the property calculated on the increase in its value between purchase and sale. It is not payable on a main residence but is payable on a second home. The amount owed is based on the ‘chargeable gain’. The rate you pay will depend on your tax band. How do I work out my chargeable gain? This is the sale amount minus the purchase amount, maintenance costs, the costs related to the sale and minus any Private Residence Relief that you are eligible for. What is Private Residence Relief? This is an allowance you are given for the following: 1. The years that you lived in the home. For example, if the property was your family home for 10 years before you moved to Asia, the gain over those 10 years will not be subject to CGT.
2. The last 18 months you owned the property – even if you weren’t living there. 3. In addition, if you only own one home and you are disabled, in long-term residential care or sold the property before April 6, 2014 you get full relief for the last 36 months before you sold your home. How much is Letting Relief? The maximum amount of Letting Relief you can have is £40,000 and the relief you will get will be the lowest of the three following values: •The same amount you got in Private Residence Relief •£40,000 •The same amount as the chargeable gain you made from letting your home Letting Relief doesn’t cover any proportion of the chargeable gain you make while your home is empty. All this information comes with the usual proviso that tax is complicated and you should seek qualified advice with regards to any tax matter. Also consider your overall financial situation before purchasing a rental property. As ever, diversification is key and you should seek to invest across different assets. If the purchase of a second home is going to hold a disproportionate percentage of your portfolio in an asset, which is notoriously illiquid, you may be better advised to invest elsewhere.
Paul Dodd is Country Director at Infinity Financial Solutions Cambodia, living and working in PP for the past 10 years. AsiaLIFE Cambodia 55
Budget Bites Sarah Brown
The relatively wallet-friendly cost of living in Siem Reap is certainly a factor in attracting both expats and tourists, offering many of us luxuries and lifestyles that we might not quite be able to cough-up for in our home countries. However, just because a cappuccino in Cambodia costs half the price of one on our native shores doesn’t mean we all feel the need to splash the cash at every given opportunity. For me, one of the many things I like about living in Siem Reap is the relative ease and accessibility of travel in the region but travel certainly isn’t an inexpensive hobby. Indulging in my favourite pastime means being mindful of where my money is going on a day-to-day basis, and as such I’ve become well-versed in some of Siem Reap’s most bargainous foodie options (because – you’ve guessed it – eating is my other favourite hobby). Here are a few of my favourite finds, in case you too are on a strict savings plan. I think the cheapest meal you can possibly have in Cambodia is a local breakfast, which never fails to fill my belly for less than a dollar – a fact that even after living here for years still amazes me every time I “git loi”!
Sarah Brown is a Siem Reap stalwart who comes with an abundance of knowledge about Temple Town.
EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED BY
Phnom Penh 023 986 350
AsiaLIFE Cambodia Siem56 Reap Sihanoukville
063 964 409
034 934 155
My personal favourites are borbor kreung (rice porridge) with cha kwai (savoury doughnuts) inside the old market, or freshly made coconut waffles sold on many street corners in the morning. For lunch my go-to is the Mie Kola restaurant on the corner of Wat Bo Road. It looks fairly unassuming from the outside and you sometimes have to fight your way through the hordes of parked motos outside to get in but is it ever worth it. For a couple of bucks you can dine like a king – or queen – on cold noodles, bahn xeo (Vietnamesestyle pancakes), and what I firmly believe are the best fried spring rolls in Siem Reap. It’s actually a wonder I’m not there every day. My most loved bargain dinner spot is Little Kroma. Close to Wat Damnak, this is a popular familyrun restaurant serving up hearty Khmer grub for a few dollars per dish. Do yourself a favour and order the breaded chicken – so sinful but so good. If I’m looking for something other than Cambodia fare, however, Tuktuk Tacos on Sok San Road, Hawaii Pizza on Street 20, or Brother in Kings Road are my favourites for international flavours.
Kep & Kampot 033 930 000
Battambang 053 953 855
Friday, from 7am to 11.30am and 2pm to 5pm.
LEISURE & WELLNESS Amusement Cambodian Country Club Street 2004, Group 6 Toeuk Thla Tel: 012 231 755 A peaceful heaven providing tennis, swimming, badminton, fitness centre and horse riding, 15 minutes away from the city. Open from 6.30am to late. Phnom Tamao Wildlife Park Phnom Tamao, 44 kilometres out of the capital along Highway 2. Cambodia’s top wildlife centre. All animals are either rescued from traders or bred at the centre. Many of the animals are critically endangered. Open daily, from 8am to 4pm. Classes Equestrian Centre CCC, Street 2004, Group 6 Toeuk Thla Tel: 015 231 755 With 31 ponies and horses, an international sized arena and spacious stables. Open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9amto 11am and 2pm to 5.30pm.
Music Arts School 14 Street 360 Tel: 023 997 290 www.music-arts-school.org A NGO school providing music training for Cambodians and expats – of all ages and levels – at affordable tuition fees. Learn guitar, piano, violin, vocals, and traditional Khmer instruments. Also has a scholarship fund to provide music education to the less fortunate. C Nathan Horton Photography 126 Street 136 M Tel: 092 526 706 www.nathanhortonphotography.com Y Photography tuition and guided toursCMto Kampong Chnang and Udong, covering technical and creative considerationsMYin the context of travel photography. CY
Scuba Nation PADI 5* IDC DivingCMY Centre K 18 Sothearos Blvd (near FCC) Tel: 012 715 785 www.divecambodia.com Learn to scuba dive in Phnom Penh. The academic and pool part of the course can be done in Phnom Penh and you finish with two days in Sihanoukville on the boat. Offers refresher courses, try dives and kids’ pool parties as well as the full range of courses. Open Saturday, from 9am to 6pm and Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.
A . # 2 9 , S T. 2 8 8 ( S T. 5 5 ) W. BLACK-BAMBU.COM
A unique art deco buidling, serving an eclectic selection of creative sharing plates and main courses.
This month, AsiaLIFE throws the spotlight on the top five games to get on download. Prepare to waste a lot of time.
FREE ANDROID $4.99 IOS
$2.99 IOS ANDROID
RIPTIDE GP: RENEGADE
Snowboarding at high speed has never been as relaxing as it is in this highly-addictive game. Simple one-touch controls enable users to guide Alto and several other unlockable characters down the mountain while getting big air, grinding edges and performing multiple backflips. With beautiful endless mountain scenery, amazing day-tonight transitions and a mesmerising soundtrack – users are advised to wear headphones for the full experience – this is a must have on any device.
Riptide GP: Renegade is one of those games that seems like it would be impossible on mobile. Why? Because the graphics are just so jaw-droppingly gorgeous. A jetskistyle racing video, the game sees users – a disgraced former champion – compete against other racers, performing stunts and defeat bosses for a chance to reclaim their former glory. It’s built on the developer’s own engine and is a dream to play. This is definitely one to get on download with a few hours to spare.
FREE IOS ANDROID
FREE IOS ANDROID
PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a free survival shooter that lets users experience what it’s like to be dropped on an island with 99 other players to see who will ultimately survive. Users parachute in, loot buildings to gear up and do their best to survive all the way to the end. Players can go solo or create a squad of up to four players to try out a team effort to get to the top. Be careful though, this game is incredibly addictive.
The mobile format is perfect for digitising card games, and if you’re looking for the best collectible card game experience, then this is it. The game is based on World of Warcraft (WoW), and each of the nine classes has a deck based on its WoW equivalent, which allows for a variety of play styles. There are also meaty options for both singleplayer and competitive multiplayer, and it’s perfect whether you want a quick play or something more in-depth.
60 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
MAMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN
In the sixth Mission Impossible outing, Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt 22 years since the first film hit the big screen. When an IMF mission ends badly, the world is faced with dire consequences. As Hunt takes it upon himself to fulfil his original briefing, the CIA begins to question his loyalty and motives. Hunt finds himself in a race against time, hunted by assassins and former allies while trying to prevent a global catastrophe. Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson and Alec Baldwin also reappear in their roles from previous films.
Two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War and before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, this installment follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who is under house arrest, is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope van Dyne and Dr Hank Pym, Lang must once again don the Ant-Man suit and fight alongside the Wasp. The urgent mission soon leads to secret revelations from the past as the dynamic duo finds itself in an epic battle against a powerful new enemy.
Set a decade after the original Mama Mia! film, on the Greek island of Kalokairi, Sophie is pregnant with Sky’s child while running her mother’s villa. Selfconflicted that she can’t do it by herself without her mother around, but with Tanya and Rosie’s guidance, Sophie finds out more of Donna’s past and how she fronted The Dynamos, came to start up her villa on the island, met each of Sophie’s dads and raised a daughter without a mother to guide her – with an unexpected visit from someone she had not invited or never even met.
Former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and amputee Will Sawyer lives in the tallest and “safest” skyscraper in Hong Kong with his family. The skyscraper houses several floors that function as their own society and despite the risks highlighted by Sawyer, who is the head of security, his bosses insist it is impenetrable. When the building comes under attack by terrorists, Sawyer takes action. Matters are complicated further when he finds himself framed for the attack, and his family trapped above the resulting fire line.
COMING SOON MOVIE RELEASES Major Cineplex See majorcineplex.com.kh for screening schedule Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Jun. 07 Ocean’s 8 Jun. 08 Terminal Jun. 08 The Incredibles 2 Jun. 14 Future World Jun. 21
Legend Cinemas See legend-cinemas.com for screening schedule Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Jun. 07 Tag Jun. 15 Future World Jun. 21 Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado Jun. 28 Patrick Jun. 29
AsiaLIFE Cambodia 61
1. Which character features as a clergyman in the stories of Robin Hood?
AsiaLIFE Group Group Editor-in-Chief / Director Cambodia: Mark Bibby Jackson email@example.com
Group Director Sales & Marketing / Director Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor Cambodia: Marissa Carruthers email@example.com
Director Thailand: Nattamon Limthanachai (Oh) firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Which national flags make up the Union Jack?
Contributing Writers: Matt Surrusco & Miguel Jeronimo
Art Director Cambodia: Thang Pham L.C. email@example.com
5. Which Las Vegas hotel did the bachelor party stay at in the 2009 film The Hangover?
Siem Reap: Sarah Brown
6. What is the highest number visible on a dartboard?
Accountants / Distribution: Seang Seiha 012 887 118
Photographers: Enric Català Lim Sokchanlina
7. How many yards are there between the wickets in a game of cricket?
Distribution: Son Veasna 096 222 7231
2. What is the name of the longest river in France? 3. What type of beetle is sacred in Ancient Egypt?
8. What type of vegetable is known as celery root?
10. How many lines does a Limerick have?
4 2 1
6 3 8
7 5 4
1. Friar Tuck 2. Loire 3. Scarab Dung Beetle 4. The crosses of St. George, St. Patrick, and St. Andrew 5. Caesars Palace 6. 20 7. 22 8. Celeriac 9. Beatrix Potter 10. 5.
Pub Quiz Answers
62 AsiaLIFE Cambodia
Accountant: Sorn Rathana
Special thanks to: Darren Gall, Paul Dodd, Pet Grooming Cambodia, Ryan Drewe Taylor and Cambodian Living Arts for their contribution.
9. Who is the author of Peter Rabbit?
Printing: Sun Heang Printing House
Advertising Sales: Hannah Morris firstname.lastname@example.org 011 955 464
On the Cover Design & Art Direction: Thang Pham L.C.
AsiaLIFE is a registered trademark. No content may be reproduced in any form without prior authorisation of the owners. © 360º Media.
WINE & CHEESE Enjoy our famous free-ﬂow Wine & Cheese evenings every Tuesday and Thursday (6pm-8pm) for only 20$++ per person. Good food, good wine with good friends!
Reservations recommended www.khema.online/booking Khéma La Poste | #41 St. 13 corner St. 98, Phnom Penh Khéma Pasteur | #163 St. 51 Corner St. 228, Phnom Penh Khéma Angkor | Coming soon in Siem Reap! All prices are stated in US dollars and subject to 7% service charge and 10% government tax.