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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012 FINDING ROMANCE

OFFSHORE OASIS CAMBODIA’S FIRST FIVE-START ISLAND RESORT

FINDING ROMANCE

AUG/SEPT‘12

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$2.00

CAMBODIA’S MOST ROMANTIC SPOTS


contents AUGUEST - SEPTEMBER 2012

contents 2012 AUGUEST - SEPTEMBER

FEATURES

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Calendar - Events

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Good To Know

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Next Stop - Good To Go

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This Song’s for You

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Dispatches

flashback

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Interview: Robam Tep Apsara

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Sbek Thom Shadow A Must See After Angkor Wat

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Recover all the what happened of last calendars. See what activities you missed!

mini guide JUNE-JULY 2012

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P50

Recommendation of all the stunning places in Cambodia and other cities. Phnom Penh, Sihanouk Ville, Siem Reap, Koh Kong, KomPot, Kep, Battaambang, Mondulkiri, Rattanakiri, Saigon, Bangkok, Vietian.

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PUBLISER’s NOTE AUGUEST - SEPTEMBER 2012

I’m probably one of the most romantic persons in the world, although -- like many people out there -- my definition of romantic have grown leaps and bounds beyond personal romance. This notion was rekindled as soon as our editorial team discussed this issue, with “Romance and luxury” as the theme. Thing is, there is thing called economics of publishing and my “idealized” concept of the issue (I told you I’m a romantic) somehow didn’t pan out. When reality bites, you can only either succumb to the despair of it or bravely shrug your shoulders and grin it like a Cheshire cat, because you know life doesn’t always work out the way you want it. You don’t always get what you want. You just have to make the best of what is offered you. So here it is, our “Romance and Luxury” issue, one that probably contains many elements of what we call romantic: extravagance, hyperbole, wild imagination, the improbable, the unreal, etc. - at least those that we can encapsulate in a single issue. Fortunately, travel almost always comes with romance and luxury; in fact the two nebulous things may be the most important elements that make a holiday something more worthwhile and unforgettable. When not tinted with them, especially romance, what’s the use of travelling? We travel to discover, to explore, and to experience. We travel to meet other people different from us, to learn about other culture stranger then ours, and to fulfil our dreams and fantasies - the entire romance of it actually. In this sense, we are all romantics.

And, as a friend reminded me, being romantic is hard work. We know that from experience of course and working on this issue made us realize that even more. Luckily, we live in Cambodia, where romance and luxury are more then just jazzed-up terms used to spice up press releases. Here, we can truly find romance - and luxury -- anywhere, even in the most unexpected places. So, as they say, all’s well that ends well. Wether you’re planning to cuddle up on your dream suite, or to just count footsteps in the sand handin-hand with your loved one under a crimson sunset on an isolated island -- safe travels everyone.

Vibol Phan PUBLISHER, CityLife Guide Magazine

vibol.p@veromediadesign.com


WHAT’S NEW AND HAPPENING AROUND PHNOM PENH

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All rights in this publication and the name are owned by Vero Media Design Litmited. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved. Opinions herein are those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by Vero Media Design Limited. CityLife is published six time a year and distributed throughout Phnom Penh. The magazine assumes no responsibility for the safekeeping or return of unsolicited manuscripts, photographs, or other material. To subscribe or order back issues, e-mail us at info@citylifemagz.com. You can also call 023-305-070, 023-989-037, or visit us at our office, P.G.C.T Center Building B, Level 3, Phnom Penh, Cambodia ISSN: 2223 - 1897

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Sain Tropez River House Ngon Metro Frizz Noodel House Lemon Grass Star Palace Titanic Kyo K Coffee Vego Magnolia Chicago Grill Steak House Hotels Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra Naga World Phnom Penh Hotel Angkor Miracle Royal Empire Knai Bang Chatt Intercontinental Lebiz Hotel Cara Hotel Almond Hotel Cambodiana Hotel Himawari Hotel The Quay Hotel Amara Spa Kanika Boat International Airport Phnom Penh Siem Reap Singapore Thailand Laos Vietnam

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CALENDAR AUGUEST 2012

>

For more information please visit: www.meta-house.com 023 224 140 | 010 312 333 | #37, Sothearos Blvd, Phnom Penh.

WED, 8/7 AUSCHWITZ SURVIVOR EVA KOR IS “FORGIVING DR. MENGELE” 7PM: A former concentration-camp detainee who, alongside her sister, suffered unthinkable experiments at the hands of the Third Reich’s most notorious medical monster. THURS, 9/7 ROMEO & JULIET IN NEW YORK: CULT MOVIE “CHINA GIRL” AND DJ 7PM: Born in the Bronx, US cult director Abel Ferrara started making amateur films on Super 8 in his teens before making his debut with violent exploitation films such as ‘Driller Killer’. FRI, 10/7 CAMBODIA SEXPLOITATION DOCU “REDLIGHT” AND JAZZ CONCERT 7PM (Rooftop): Narrated by Hollywood-star Lucy Liu, REDLIGHT (2009, 72 mins, Cambodian/ English with English subs) is a powerful docu about child sexploitation in Cambodia. SAT, 11/7 CHILDREN’S ART EXHIBIT “LITTLE PAINTERS” & ANIMATED SHORTS 6PM (Gallery): The Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) employs around 100 volunteers in 19 Cambodian provinces SUN, 12/7 “A PROPHET”: ONE OF THE GREATEST PRISON FILMS EVER MADE 7PM: Condemned to six years in prison, 19-year-old Malik El Djebena cannot read or write. Cornered by the leader of the Corsican gang who rules the prison, he is given a number of “missions” to carry out. STUES 14/7 “OF RIVERS AND MANTRAS”: MEKONG PHOTO 10

ENTERTAINMENT IN THEATRES

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EXHIBITION & DOCUS 6PM: Our mental time lapse film of the Mekong River in which a flurry of activity flutters and buzzes around the unfettered hydraulic pulse of the river is now irrevocably being altered.

DA’S GENOCIDE 7PM: When the Hutu nationalists raised arms against their Tutsi countrymen in the African nation of Rwanda in April of 1994, it marked the beginning of one of the darkest times in African history

WED, 15/7 THE INVENTOR OF ECSTASY: DOCTOR SHULGIN’S “DIRTY PICTURES” 7PM: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is the scientist behind more than 200 psychedelic compounds including MDMA, more commonly known as “Ecstasy”.

TUES, 21/7 INSIDE CAMBODIAN POLITICS: UNDP’S EQUITY TV AND NEW DOCUS 7PM: The current affairs TV show EQUITY WEEKLY is part of a UNDP Initiative to promote democracy in Cambodia.

THURS, 16/7 DOCU “LUCKY PEOPLE CENTER UNLIMITED” & NORDIC TRANCE DJ 7PM: A buzzing Baraka-like travelogue through belief, spirituality and the power of song, LUCKY PEOPLE CENTER INTERNATIONAL (1998, 85 mins, English subs) by Erik Pauser and Johan Soderberg FRI 17/7 META SHORTS: CAMBODIAN AND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 7PM: Watch the best local and international short films at Meta House! Based on a poem by Irish poet Seamus Heaney, BYE CHILD was written and directed by Irish novelist Bernard McClaverty and was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Short Film in 2003. SAT 18/7 “ C O N F R O N TAT I O N S ” : WORLD’S BEST HUMAN RIGHTS SHORT FILMS 7PM: (Rooftop): Berlin’s INTERFILM FESTIVAL has established itself as one of the most important short film festivals in the world SSUN, 19/7 “SOMETIMES IN APRIL”: THE TRUTH ABOUT RWAN-

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WED, 22/7 BROTHER NO. 2 ON TRIAL: KHIEU SAMPHAN IS “FACING GENOCIDE” 7PM: A prominent member of the circle of leftist Khmer intellectuals studying in Paris in the 1950s, Khieu Samphan became one of the closest collaborators of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge “Head of State”. THURS, 23/7 EXOTIC ANIMALS AS PETS: “THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM” 7PM: THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM (2010, 96 mins, English) takes viewers on a journey deep inside the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world, as common household pets. FRI, 24/7 KHMER POP & FILM NIGHT: GIRL GROUP “MON ROSE” CD LAUNCH 7PM: MON ROSE is the newest Cambodian girl group, brought to you by JTone-Media. Jasmin (20), Venisa (19) and Davida (18) will lauch their first CD “Dr. Feel Good” at Meta House, Their performance is followed by the screening of Marc Eberle’s new CAMBODIAN SPACE PROJECT video.

SAT, 25/7 CAMBODIAN CINEMA’S LOST GEMS: “ENAV & BOSPA” BY YVON HEM 7PM: During the “Golden Age of Cambodian Cinema”, from the 1960s to the early ‘70s, almost 400 films were released. Nearly all of the film stars from that era were later killed by the Khmer Rouge. SUN 26/7 MINI-SERIES “HOUSE OF SADDAM”: THE DICTATOR’S PRIVATE LIFE 7PM: Here you have it all: Power, sex, family, violence, politics, war, madness. The excellent BBC/HBO mini-series HOUSE OF SADDAM (240 mins, 2008, English with English subtitles) goes deep inside the presidential palace to depict former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s rise to power and his fall TUES, 28/7 “THE INTERRUPTERS”: AMERICAN EX-CONVICTS COMBAT VIOLENCE 7PM: The new docu THE INTERRUPTERS (2011, 125 mins, English) from acclaimed director Steve James is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in American cities. WED, 29/7 THET SAMBATH MEETS NOUN CHEA: “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” 7PM: Winner of the “Sundance Film Festival”, ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE (2009, 93 mins, Khmer, Engl. subs) is probably the best documentary about the Khmer Rouge. THURS, 30/7 “SPUN”: A DARK AND DRUGGY SCREWBALL COMEDY PLUS DJ SET 7PM: Repulsive, but mesmerizing! America’s answer to “Trainspotting,” SPUN (2002, 101 mins, English) follows a speed freak on a three-day-adventure.

BRAVE 3D 02 / 8 / 12 From Disney and Pixar, a new tale joins the lore when the courageous Merida (voice of Kelly Macdonald) confronts tradition and challenges destiny to change her fate. STEP UP REVO 3D 02 / 8 /12 This time, Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer, but soon falls in love with Sean, the leader of a dance crew. TOTAL RECALL 09 / 8 / 12 For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life. THE BOURNE LEGACY 16 / 8 / 12 Aaron Cross, a new hero, experiences life-or-death stakes that have been triggered by previous events. PARANORMAN 3D 23 / 8 / 12 The small New England town of Blithe Hollow comes under siege by the undead. Only a misunderstood local boy, Norman Babcock, who has the ability to speak with the dead. *Only available at Legend Cinema

THE EXPENDABLES 2 31 / 8 / 12 After taking a seemingly simple job for Mr. Church (Bruce Willis), the Expendables find their plans going awry and one of their own is brutally murdered by rival mercenary Jean Vilain. BAIT 3D 06 / 9 / 12 A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building ... along with a pack of tiger sharks.

THE POSSESSION 14 / 9 / 12 A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child. DREDD 3D 28 / 9 / 12 In a violent, futuristic city where the police have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner, a cop teams with a trainee to take down a gang that deals the reality-altering drug, SLO-MO.

TED 14 / 9 / 12 As the result of a childhood wish, John Bennett’s teddy bear, Ted, came to life and has been by John’s side ever since - a friendship that’s tested when Lori, John’s girlfriend of four years, wants more from their relationship.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 3D 20 / 9 / 12 Alice fights alongside a resistance movement in the continuing battle against the Umbrella Corporation and the undead.

//Legend cinema

//SABAY CINEPLEX

www.legend-cinemas.com Tel: 093 300 400

www.thecineplexs.com Tel: 086 666 210

3rd floor of City Mall supermarket

5th floor of sorya shopping center

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NEW DISCOVER REGIONAL

Grilled meat tastes different this time!

BBQ JAPAN

You might never think of anything else besides sushi, tempura, and sashimi once talking about Japanese food. It is time to eat, feel, and act different with first and only traditional Japanese restaurant in this kingdom is Uraetei BBQ.

No 5, Street 360, Boeung Keng Kong 1, Chamkar Mon District, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 218 037 Hotline: 012 346 212 Open: 11am - 2pm / 5pm - 10:30pm

Uraetei BBQ readies to drag you back to traditionally grilled meat eaten in Japan known as ‘yakiniku’, starts from the first time you enter to the restaurant until you leave. “irasshaimase” meaning “please come in”, or “welcome”, you will be greeted with this kind of expression upon your entering restaurant. A glass of tea an a wet towel will be served for free to fresh up your mind and clean your

Uraetei

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hands. You may find the wooden chopstick that needs to be separated into two before usage. Sit, relax and let the staff pamper you while you enjoy a truly authentic Japanese dining experience along with choice of beef tongue, belly beef, beef shoulder with bone, beef artery, U.S. beef rip and especially Kobe beef, accompanied by tasty sauce and fresh vegetable, grilled meat’s taste is transformed. More importantly, this kind of traditional Japanese food is not prepared using a lot of food oils. It is a good choice for those who are meat lover and wish never gain weight, and it is just for you. Written and photographed by: Rithy Lomor Pich

Fresh Salad Bar

Fresh Salad Bar offers a healthy taste in town both Salad bar and juice. A clean and green ambience immediately transforms you to a nature world, with white-green decoration, unique wood furniture design, and tree painting, every taste is whole new taste experience. Make a healthy choice with Fresh Salad Bar by making your own salad sensation. It provides daily fresh with variety of organic vegetables and fruits.

Written and photographed by: Rithy Lomor Pich

#37, St. 310, Boeng Keng Kong 1, Phnom Penh Tel: 081 5555 59, 012 877790 Open: 8am - 9pm APRIL/MAY 2012

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VIEW FINDER PHNOM PENH

La Maison D’Ambre hotel is a piece of heritage

The elegant white concrete façade typical of the Sankum era’s urban heritage has been restored to its former splendor.

#123, Street 19 corner with Street 110, Sangkat Wat Phnom, Khan Duan Penh, Cambodia Tell: +855 23 222 780, +855 23 222 782, +855 23 222 783 Fax: +855 23 222 791 Email: contact@lamaisondambre.com www.lamaisondambre.com

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his elegant white concrete façade typical of Sangkum era’s urban heritage has been restored to its former splendor. It is a home for ten different apartments with designed and decorated in a unique interpretation around the theme of luxury and travel.

Located in the central Phnom Penh, La Maison D’Ambre is an easy distance to any of the sights, both must-see places and restaurants. It is simply awesome with peaceful atmosphere extends to its recreational like dining and taking cocktail on the roof terrace opens from morning till late night overlooking the city. Feeling safe, secure, and special, only in La Maison D’Ambre where provides you a

second home in Phnom Penh. Looking for a hotel in Phnom Penh, looking no further, La Maison D’Ambre Hotel is your one-stop destination for quality hotel accommodations in Phnom Penh.

Written by: Rithy Lomor Pich Photographed by: Francis Fanelli


NOW OPEN IN CAMBODIA

VIEW FINDER PHNOM PENH

The Governor’s House in an original colonial-style mansion Once, the home of the senator of Phnom Penh, the governor’s house is an old world style architectural beauty, charmingly decorated

Villa 3, Mao Tse Tung, Blvd Sangkat Boeung Keng I, Khan Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia Tel: (+855) 23 987 025 Fax: (+855) 23 987 026 www.governorshouse.net 16

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here is a missing piece while traveling abroad as you will never find place to stay feeling home. Until you are here with Governor’s house, you find it strange why this kind of feeling come to you.

Governor’s house is designed and embodied in an original colonial-style mansion, old world inheritance. With all original colonial antiques decoration, this exclusive 10 rooms 5 stars boutique hotel’s concept based on a prior lifestyle and referred to more a private residence where guests are invited to experience the colonial way of living. This could be a major set for the film ‘Indochina’. Besides the colonial atmosphere, there is waterfall swim-

ming pool surrounding by a leafy tropical garden, banana and palm tree, where you can get wet, dine outdoor, and do message. 25 minutes drive from Phnom Penh International airport, Governor’s house is located in the top residential area where the heart of Phnom Penh is. No doubt, you can spend just 5 minutes drived by tuk tuk to explore must-see places in Phnom Penh. Imagine how wonderful it is, perhaps it is the place where to be ‘your-home-abroad’.

Dark Mocha Twist Coffee Caramel Twist Cream Velvet Choc Chip Trust Me! English Toffee Latte Peppermint Peddy Latte Velvet Chocolate Iced Caramel Macchiato Iced HI-SPEED Americano Espresso Classic Caramel Macchiato Strawberry Twist Kiwi Twist

Written and photographed by: Rithy Lomor Pich

#213, Preah Monivong Blvd, Sangkat Monor Rom, Khan 7 Makara, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 023 885 193


THE GUIDE THE INSIDE TRACK ON WHERE TO GO & WHAT TO DO

p. 20 ROMANCING THE RIVER p. 22 THIS SONG’S FOR YOU p. 29 DISPATCHES p. 38 FINDING ROMANCE

THE LITTLE GARDEN, BOUTIQUE HOTEL IN PHNOM PENH The Little Garden, housed in a modernist style villa is located in a quiet residential area of BKK I, offering customer a tranquil environment, free from the hustle and bustle of central Phnom Penh. Conveniently situated with easy access to some of Phnom Penh’s main tourist attractions including the Central Market, Russian Market, Riverside, National Museum, Royal Palace and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum,

> Sbek Thom Shadow Page 54 Pluse: > Photos from where we have been

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BOOKING Tel: (+855) 23 217 817 Mobile: (+855) 78 590 655 E-mail: info@littlegarden.asia Website: www.littlegarden.asia Villa 8A, St. 398, Boeung Keng Kang I, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


NEXT STOP ROMANCING THE RIVER

An Ancient thanks to River Every year on the full moon of the Buddhist month of Kadeuk, usually in November, the Cambodian Water Festival literally means ‘Bon Om Touk’ is celebrated in three days. As river is the source of life to people of Cambodia, this festival is celebrated in the purpose of making a pledge to the river and paying respect and giving back to what river has always offered. It has been celebrated since the time of King Jayavarman VII, Angkor period in 12th century. Back to that time, Bon Oum Touk was celebrated by the King’s Navy to kick off the Cambodian fishing season the fluvial festivities are meant to keep the river divinities happy, ensuring a bountiful harvest of rice and fish for the year to come. It celebrates a major natural occurrence: the reversing flow between the Tonle Sap and the Mekong River. During the dry season it drains by the Tônlé Sap River southeast to the Mekong River. During the wet monsoon season of June to November, the high waters of the Mekong River reverse the flow of the Tônlé Sab River and increase the size of the lake from 2,600 to 10,400 sq km (about 1,000 to 4,020 sq mi). The Mekong River

ROMANCING THE RIVER

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“Mekong River, the Mother of River” Written by Rithy Lomor Pich

omancing the river in Cambodia at the Mekong River, the majestic Mekong River, which is one of the great rivers of Asia as well as the breath of Cambodia nation life and soul. The Mekong River, has been called ‘Mother of Waters’ or ‘Mother of Rivers’, is a lifeblood artery of all Cambodian.

When visitors take a trip or cruise down the river, they are not only moving forward over leagues of water but also travelling back through the passage of time like floating to find out the untold story of the river. From generation to generation, there is a belief that the Naga is the master of the river. A dragon-snake or Naga is known to swim in the water of the river. Just as western people know the whales travel to breadths of the oceans. The river is a truly magnificent waterway, which is an important international trade routes connecting the six Mekong countries to each other, and also to the rest of the world.

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The Mekong River is the 12th longest river in the world, and even the longest river in the region, which the travel distance of 4,880km down through six countries. Its sources is in the mountain of Tibet, then it flows across Yunnan province, China to Myanmar and Laos PDR, down through Thailand to Cambodia and reached southern Vietnam and the South China Sea at last.

The Love of the River At Phnom Penh four major watercourses meet at a point called the Chattomukh (Four Faces), where located in front of Royal Palace. Chattamoukh has four parallel channels: the Mekong River flows in from the northeast, the Mekong River proper, Bassak River, and Tonle Sap. In Cambodia, approximately 85 percent of the national area of these countries is made up of the basin of the Mekong River. Thanks to river that provide a wide range of agricultural and industrial development opportunities to communities who live along the riverside. “Our life is dependent on the water of the Mekong River. For us it is a source of life. Because everyday we eat and drink from this river and from season to season we have different jobs in relation to how high or low the river is. When the river floods we fish. When the river is low we grow vegetables. The river is not only a watercourse, it’s our family, and river belongs to us” Following the flow of the Mekong mainstream allow you to taste, adventure, learn and meet a variety of ethnic group, observing cultures difference, listening to various languages, looking at assorted faces, seeing the new angle of beauty, breathing the countryside smell, and hearing about the one all of the communities dependent on the river.

The Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world, represents the largest freshwater fishery in the world. The Mekong River is home for millions: employment, a source of food that is one of the world’s largest and most productive inland fisheries, diverse plant and animal life of the river for approximately 60 million people across several countries. By the ways, hydropower development is one such opportunity that threatens fisheries, and the river remains an important trade link between the six riparian countries through which it runs. Population increases will continue to put further pressure on the river system and the surrounding environment, as well as on the capabilities of Mekong fisheries.


CAMBODIA’S FIRST UPSCALE ISLAND RESORT

SONG SAA

BRINGS UNPRECEDENTED LUXURY TO THE WATERS OFF SIHANOUKVILLE. COULD IT ALSO HERALD A NEW ERA FOR TOURISM ALONG THIS ONCE BENIGHTED COAST? BY LEISA TYLER

THIS

SONG’S

FOR YOU

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MY FIRST MORNING at Song Saa, I wake up feeling a bit disoriented. Emerging from a cocoon of silky cotton sheets and goose-down pillows, I pad across the cool floorboards of my room, flick on the espresso machine, and head outside to a daybed shaded by switches of driftwood. Beyond my plunge pool, the sun, still low in the sky, flecks the water like a thousand glittering diamonds. I spot a clutch of turquoise-and-white boats sailing in from a night of fishing. And on the far side of the channel is Koh Rong, an island of rolling forested hills and long stretches of empty snow-white sand. The only question is, could this really be Cambodia? Song Saa Private Island lies just 29 kilometres off Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s largest seaside town. Yet it seems another world entirely. I have every luxury at hand, from a bottle of champagne in the fridge to plush Ploh robes and a pedigreed chef on call - almost inconceivable for a stretch of remote coastline that only a decade ago was mired with lingering remnants of the Khmer Rouge. Positioning itself at the top end of the market (rooms go for almost us$1,600 a night in the high season), Song Saa is forging a new future for this coastline, and perhaps even redefining Cambodia’s entire tourism industry. I first came to the Song Saa (“sweetheart”) islands - two tiny rocky outcrops officially known as Koh Ouen and Koh Bong - in 2008. I had met their owners, laid-back Sydney couple Rory and Melita Hunter, in a bar in Phnom Penh a few days earlier, and they invited me to join them on the sweethearts for a long weekend. The Hunters had built a makeshift beach shack on Koh Ouen, the smaller of the islands. It was simple but idyllic, with two overwater bedrooms positioned to catch the sea breeze and a cold-water shower fashioned from a stalk of bamboo. We spent our days sailing to five mile beach on neighbouring Koh Rong, and nights toasting the sunset with Angkor beer and feasting by torch light on fresh grilled fish. Besotted with their island hideaway, I decided to stay on for a few days after the hunters left, returning to Sihanoukville in an old fishing boat that once a week ferried locals from Prek Svay village on Koh Rong to the mainland for supplies. When the boat pulled up to the Hunters’ jetty the young children on board started to cry. They had never been so close to a white person before, 24

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someone explained. The hunters - then both in their early 30s - had purchased “local ownership” (essentially squatting rights) of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong and were in the process of obtaining a leasehold from the government. The latter, eager to encourage development, had no qualms about handing the Hunters tenancy of the uninhabited islands. But there was one condition: they had to develop them for tourism. In 2008 Cambodia’s seaboard, a 440-kilometer stretch of virgin coastline with five dozen largely deserted islands offshore, was being touted as the next big thing. “The last undiscovered paradise!” or “the Thailand of 30 years ago!” sung PR spiels. “We are hoping to build a tourism corridor from Thailand right through to Vietnam,” Dr. Thong Khon, Cambodia’s tourism minister, told me at the time. It was like a gold rush. The government had cordoned off parcels of beachfront and several islands to property developers who were busy dreaming up elaborate schemes for them. There were plans for a US$3 billion casino and resort complex on Koh Ta Kiev, a large islet off the coast of Ream National Park. Shopping malls and even racecourses were envisioned for


other islands, such as Koh Poah, which now has a bridge linking it to Sihanoukville. And on Koh Rong, which is about the size of Hong Kong Island, Asia’s “first environmentally planned resort island” was being drafted. The blueprint boasted 35 fully serviced resorts, 16 villa communities, golf courses, schools, a hospital and marina, and an international airport. The hunters were not exempt from the building bug. Having enlisted the services of Bangkok-based hotel architect Bill Bensley, they were in the process of converting their two tiny islands into a 12-room, US$45 million resort that would be managed by Per Aquum, who run Dubai’s Desert Palm retreat and Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives. These were vast ambitions for a remote region with decrepit infrastructure, frequent power outages, and no scheduled flights. Kep, the seaside village where Phnom Penh’s elites once built their holiday villas, had been among the first and last places to be occupied by the Khmer Rouge, who had a particular dislike for its languid, hedonist lifestyle. Even up until the early oughties the south coast was controlled by militia. Armed with rusting AK-47s, these young men worked the highway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, stopping cars already slowed by potholes and herds of cows to extort money. By 2008 the government had taken back control of the area and these troubles were but a memory. Then the global financial crisis hit, delaying or extinguishing developments along the south coast. The Hunters were forced to scrap their original plans. A few days later, Melita was diagnosed with cancer (she has since fully recovered). Shaken, but not defeated, the couple decided to build a resort by themselves. Although they had no previous hotel or hospitality experience, with Rory in charge of the business end and Melita doing the design, the Hunters opened Song Saa Private Island in March this year. It is, so far, the only project from the 2008 gold rush to come to fruition. “It’s amazing how your darkest hour ends up being the brightest,” says Rory, recalling the day he and his wife - who was still in the hospital at the time - made a pact to continue with their dream. I have just arrived on Song Saa and Rory, looking every bit the castaway in shorts, a t-shirt, and bare feet, is showing me around the resort, a series of wood-and-thatch villas that fan out from the small beach where their shack used to be. In tow is his fouryear-old son Naryth, a Khmer boy the Hunters adopted after Melita’s illness prevented them from having children of their own. On the walk to my overwater villa, Rory recounts the complications associated with building a resort on this isolated stretch of coastline. “We literally had to start from scratch: water, electricity, supply chains. There was nothing here,” he says. “Even finding people with the skills to build a resort of this quality was a major challenge—not to mention finding staff when you are not a famous hotel brand and when most Khmer are afraid of the sea.” The 27 ocean-facing villas take their cues from the stilted fishing villages that pepper the coast of Koh Rong. Spacious and functional, they differ only in their location: nestled into the forest on the hill; set on the beach; or perched on stilts over the water. Each has a four-poster bed and bathroom with a family-size ter-

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AMATAK BEAUTY SPA razzo tub and both indoor and outdoor showers on one level, and an L-shaped lounge leading to a timber deck and plunge pool on another. My desk is fashioned from an old Khmer bed, its thick slabs originally intended to keep malevolent spirits from passing through the floorboards. For the hunters, imbuing the resort with a sense of place was one objective; another was to make it as environmentally and socially sustainable as possible. Nearly all the timber used in construction is either recycled or driftwood collected from nearby islands; the wooden floors, for example, were salvaged from an abandoned factory in Thailand. Sandstone quarried from Koh Ouen makes for dramatic feature walls in each of the villas. Old oil barrels contributed the metal for lampshades and chandeliers. Executive chef Neil Wager, who moved here from the Seychelles’ North Island resort, champions local produce in his “deconstructed Cambodian cuisine.” He sources most of his fruit and vegetables from a biodynamic farm in the country’s northeast. The menu’s pork and duck come from a family farm belonging to one of the kitchen staff; the fish is caught locally. There are plans to establish a garden at Prek Svay that will employ villagers to grow produce for the resort. The Hunters are also in the process of installing a reverse-osmosis machine to bottle their own still and sparkling water.

All this is very admirable, though I can’t help but wonder at the Hunters’ “if you build, they will come” optimism. Is Song Saa perhaps too far ahead of its time? The Cambodian government poured millions of dollars into rebuilding Sihanoukville’s airport to accommodate direct flights from Bangkok, Phnom Penh, and Siem Reap. The project finished five years ago, but there are still no scheduled flights, so apart from the 30-minute boat transfer from the mainland, getting to Song Saa involves a four-hour drive from the country’s capital along hair-raising highways - hardly a selling point for the well-heeled travellers the resort is courting. Service is another concern. Song Saa’s staff are unfailingly gracious and warm, but not once in six days was my breakfast order correct - one request for coffee brought tea; another for tea brought wine.

DISPATCHES

We aim to reduce tension and relieve the nagative effects of everday stress.

p. 30 KOH RONG MINI-GUIDE p. 38 FINDING ROMANCE

Such gaffes aside, I find it impossible not to fall in love with the sweetheart islands and the resort’s organic simplicity; with the Hunters’ gentle respect for the local fabric and the raw, authentic beauty of the surrounding islands and villages. Best of all, if you go now, you’ll have this hidden corner of Cambodia all to yourself. Song Saa Private Island, Koh Ouen; 855-236/860-360; songsaa. com; doubles from US$1,336, including boat transfers, all food, drinks, laundry, naturalist excursions, and non-motorized water sports.

The resort’s community centre, Sala Song Saa, is also in Prek Svay. The stilted wooden house was set up by Song Saa’s team of five naturalists as a “gateway between the resort and the community,” where villagers can study environmental issues and guests can learn about the local culture. One ongoing project is to convert medicinal herbs found on Koh Rong into lotions and decoctions for the resort’s spa.

#4, St.228, Sangkat Chaktomuk, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia Cantact : 023 722 029 , 012 360 490 E-mail : amatakb@yahoo.com Web: www.amatakbeautyspa.com

CYCLO CONSERVATION & CAREERS ASSOCIATION (CCCA) Come and Ride with us, to support the cyclo community

The naturalists have also established a 100-hectare marine reserve around Song Saa to rehabilitate damaged coral. With the help of the government, they hope to extend this into a protected area around Koh Rong, where seagrass beds provide vital habitats for turtles, seahorses, and dugongs. Fishing will be restricted to traditional rope nets, rather than nylon, which doesn’t decompose when accidentally cast adrift. On Koh Bong, which is now connected to Koh Ouen by a wooden footbridge, the naturalists have built boxes for nesting hornbills. On my last day at Song Saa I recruit the assistance of Rob Major, the resident marine biologist, for a snorkelling trip off Koh Bong. The water is murky from an unseasonable downpour the night before, but we still manage to spot giant clams, pitch-black sea urchins, and bright blue fish darting in and out of sponge coral. Major, a New Zealander, tells me that Cambodia’s coastline is still in a relatively healthy state, perhaps due to the Khmer Rouge’s lingering presence up until a decade ago. Still, illegal dynamite fishing has had its effect. “Our role is to establish a framework for conservation, so that the locals are better prepared to protect this special part of the world when the big development projects do get here.”

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Song Saa founder Rory Hunter who design the resort with his wife Melita

# 09D, St. 158, Sangkat Boueng Raing, Khan Doun Penh, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 6308 762, 012 518 762, 097 700 9762, Email: cyclocca@gmail.com, w.cyclo.org.kh


DISPATCHES DESTINATION - KOH RONG - MINI GUIDE

ROMANCE GET AWAY T H E

M I N I - G U I D E

Koh Rong is a true island paradise with pristine white beaches and turquoise water. For years the island was almost completely undeveloped save for a diving outfit and a few bungalows on either side of the island. Then, in late 2010 and early 2011, a number of new operations opened up, as well as regular boats to the island. But with only seven sets of bungalows on the 78 square kilometre island, it still has an almost-deserted feel to it with just enough going on to make it comfortable. The island is truly gorgeous, and well worth the two-and-ahalf hour boat trip from Sihanoukville. There are seven bays on the island, all with fish and 30

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marine-life crowded waters, making for great snorkelling and diving. Koh Rong has 43 kilometres of beaches, but the majority of the new accommodation is on the southeast. One of the most beautiful beaches is known as Long Set beach, after the farmer who lives there growing cashews, coconuts and mangoes. No one has built any temporary accommodation on Long Set Beach because it’s thought it will be the first one to be developed. So far the development group has left bungalows built elsewhere — after months of clearing jungle — alone. The operations pay rent and have signed agreements saying they will leave whenever they are ordered to. So if you want to take advantage of Koh Rong’s

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012

perfect beaches, diving, snorkelling and phosphorescent night swimming, go now. Get in Koh Rong can be reached by a ferry ride from Sihanoukville. The ferry itself is pretty basic and there are no proper seats on any of the ferries. There are benches on either side of the ferry, leaving the middle portion to be used for luggage, though some enterprising travellers use the area to stretch out and catch a quick snooze. Make sure you carry a hat and sunglasses for the ride, and use sunscreen if required. The ferries usually leave in the morning to the island from Sihanoukville, and do a return trip in the afternoon, so

it will be sunny. As of now, water is not sold on the ferry and neither are snacks or other drinks. It may be a good idea to carry some with you, especially if you are travelling with children. There is a small toilet on board the ferry which seems to be clean and in decent working condition. To board and disembark from the ferry you will need to walk on an average sized plank of wood connecting the pier to the ferry. The process is not very efficient and can be a little scary the first time you try it, so bear this in mind if you have any foot injuries, have special needs etc. Currently, ferries run to two opposite sides of the island. The Dive Shop and Monkey Island ferries leave Sihanouk-

ville at around 12 pm or so and reach the island in the afternoon. There is also a return ferry running at 10 am from the island to Sihanoukville as of February 2012. This ferry will not take you to Sok-San bungalows, which is on the other side of the island. Similarly, Sok-San bungalows run a ferry service which leaves Sihanoukville at 9 am or so, but this ferry will not take you to the side of the island where Monkey Island bungalows, Treehouse bungalows, Paradise bungalows, Pura Vida, etc. are situated. Make sure that you are absolutely certain that the ferry you are booked to take will drop you off at your destination. There have been instances of resort owners refusing to let guests

take boats to the other side of the island (Sok-San to Monkey Island etc.), and insisting that you stay on their beach. All services cost $15 return (lately, most of the bigger boats started charging 20$ with return). However, if you find that you have ended up at a different place from where you landed on the island, you can still catch a ride on any of the return ferries if they have room. You will be charged $10 for a single trip from the island to Sihanoukville. Also note that all ferry tickets include a ride to and from the main town area in Sihanoukville, so you should not have to pay extra for the same.

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TABÚ

DISPATCHES DESTINATION - KOH RONG - MINI GUIDE

Large Selection of Japanese, Thai, Khmer & Western Finest Food Cocktails & Wines Live Bands Live DJs Everyday Outside Seating Available Open Daily: 9am - late

Thing to do Snorkelling on Koh Rong Snorkelling on Koh Rong is excellent, which is a good thing considering how little else there is to do on the island. You can rent gear at most guesthouses. Monkey Island has the least expensive equipment at $2.50 for a snorkel and mask. If you want fins, you can rent a snorkel, mask and fins for $5 from the Dive Shop. They’re also willing to take you along on their diving boat and feed you lunch for another $10, but those who have done it say that the dive sites aren’t always suitable for snorkelling and you won’t necessarily find out until it’s too late. But never fear, you don’t need a guide! Diving on Koh Rong While snorkelling on Koh Rong is good enough to keep you busy, diving is also available. The Dive Shop offers diving and diving courses. If you are diving with them, you can stay in their 14-bed dorm on the pier. It’s a bit claustrophobic but is certainly handy, and only $3 per night. 32

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Fun dives are $45 or two for $65. They also offer PADI scuba diver certification for $245, open water for $295 and National Geographic Diver certification for $495. They have a daily boat from Sihanoukville at 07:00 for $15. Walking and trekking Koh Rong is a big island — much bigger than it looks on a map — and as such, there’s lots of trekking to be had. A marked trail heads through the jungle from the village next to Monkey Island to the other side of the island at Broken Heart Guest House, where there’s good sunning and snorkelling. Start at the Cambodian People’s Party sign, go past the incinerator and then follow the marked path. It becomes rather un-path like in parts, but you’ll see white lines marked on rocks and trees. If you don’t see a mark for more than 20m or so, go back as you’re probably off the trail. Wear trainers for this one as it can be difficult in thongs. If you’re interested in more intensive trekking, try and find the Walking Man. Gil,

an Israeli, earned this moniker after traversing most of the island over the last year. He seems to know more about trekking than any of the locals (who prefer to get around by boat). He’s planning on offering formal trekking trips in the future, but is willing to help set them up now, if you can find him. He’s living at Paradise Bungalows so ask for him there.

See With 23 white sand beaches to choose from Koh Rong has plenty to see and do. For the adventurous there’s plenty of trekking to be done through the relatively untouched jungle. Diving and snorkelling is excellent both off the beach and at sites nearby. But above all the best attraction is the phosphorescent water which sparkles when disturbed like twinkling stars. Best seen in around 4 feet of water and on a dark part of the beach. Because Koh Rong has minimal development and light pollution the conditions are perfect for the phosphorescent plankton and it can be seen every single night.

Get around There are no roads on the island yet so the only way to get around is on foot. The walking man of Koh Rong (an Israeli guy called Gil) has marked trails that lead from the beach closest to Monkey Island and Paradise Bungalows to other beaches but most of the island is still thick jungle. Gil knows the hidden trails of the island very well and offers trecking tours from 1 to 4 days (cost ca. 10 USD per day per person and is worth every dollar). The only other option is to hire a local fishing boat to take you around the Island.

61 SOTHEAROS BLVD, SANGKAT TONLE BASSAC, KHAN CHAMKAMORN (Near Russian Embessy) APRIL/MAY 2012 CITYLIFEMAGZ.COM 25 33 077-978-789 / 087 789 168


DISPATCHES DESTINATION - KOH RONG - MINI GUIDE

Sleep Monkey Island (Monkey Island Cambodia), Koh Rong (Right at the pier 200m up the beach), 081830992, [1]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:30. Budget accommodation situated right on the beach. Bar with sea views to die for and great food from a Thai chef. $15. Pura Vida Resort. Italian Restaurant and Coffee Bar (Long Set Beach, Koh Rong island), (On Koh Rong’s southeast coast), +855 9 75 181 928 (info@puravida.asia). Small bungalow resort, opened in december 2011, it features two bungalows with private bathroom, shower, electricity and a double room upstairs to the reasturant with electricity and shared bathroom outside. You can eat true italian dishes here and there is a coffe bar serving cappuccino and caffè espresso. All prices include breakfast and electricity available everyday from 18:30 to 22:30. -Bungalows with king size bed, private bathroom, shower and electricity: 50$/day. Quadruple room with two king size beds, shared bathroom and electricity: 35$/day as a double, 50$/day as a triple, 65$/day as a quadruple edit Lonely-Beach Bungalow Resort, (secluded bay at northern coast of Koh Rong), +855 812.758.77 (info@lonely-beach.com). Alone standing bungalows with private bathroom. Bungalows for $20 and $30. Restaurant/Bar. Boat transfer from Sihanoukville and back $20. LA MAMI (RESTAURANTS AND ROOMS), Koh Rong (lamami.kohrong@gmail.com +855975086268, a good place to be, where things have a taste. romantic place, three rooms sharing one bathroom with shower, lovely food, fun atmosphere, happy cocktails. italian hungarian and khmer food, italian coffee, bar, music, accommodations.... all you need! 8-15 usd.

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A whole new experience with Café Namu … Come to Café Namu to Drink, Eat, and Enjoy the moment with this environmental coffee shop, where varieties of coffee, tea, soft drinks, and dessert as well as brunch are waiting for. Surrounding by imagination and creative decoration, every coming makes a whole new taste experience. A

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#28B, St. 310 Corner 57, BKK I Khan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh. 023 220 074

T

Open from 7am - 10pm


Romance FINDING

With some of the most romantic spots in the world, Cambodia can easily excite the heartstrings, ignite the passions, and turn even the most jaded of us into an incurable romantic being


Cambodia’s most romantic spots are the key to unlock the world of Romance. The scene in almost every romance set in Cambodia’s Most Romantic Spot: “A table for two setting up the candle light dinner under the stars, a night spends in floating chic tented rooms, a walk settles a long the riverside getting smooching, a moment spend on the white sandy beach relaxing and hearing the sound of ocean giving the stolen kiss, … Enjoy all day all nigh long.” No wonder there are million of people from around the world flock to kingdom to anticipate the most romantic holiday experiences they have ever had whether for wedding, honeymoon, couple’s retreat or just any romantic great escapes purposes. Though known as a historical and cultural country, the romantic destination lurk in the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia with magnificent architectures, breathtaking landscapes, pristine beaches, wonderful tiny islands, and friendly people, which are aesthetically magical and welcoming, and the spiritual cast of the entire country makes Cambodia beat the top for romance. Cambodia is the hidden paradisiacal island that is just waiting to be explored. The romantic vibrations of Cambodia are visible in the beautiful city Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kep, Kampot, 40

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Sutie and sweet resort Angkor ,

Koh Kong, and Battambong, and also elsewhere that can simply turn anyone’s heart beat and go wild: to steal a kiss, to hold hands tightly, to give a warm embrace, to make a long walk enjoy each other’s company. And there is a multitude of places, which make idea backdrops for making a wedding proposal, getting married, and consummating a honeymoon. For sure, the scent of love is equally prevalent here. As long as you are with your signification one, any places can be romantic. It is all about you and your better half making memories; however, some places can definitely be more romantic than the others. Perhaps, it because of their unique beauty, exotic charm, or they are simply fabulous that enhance our feeling with sense of excitement, pleasure, fantasy, mystery, and

even adventure. In the spirit of our theme, “Cambodia’s Most Romantic spots” this month, CityLife guide you to the heaven of pink whether you have visited these place, you plan to go, or you are just a great dreamer, they are certain to get you to the mood of love and being in romantic. Nothing puts you in romance spot like travel, especially travelling in this kingdom, Cambodia hidden paradisiacal island. Then, do check and explore the kingdom where to find the romantic accommodation, rooftop, restaurant, and a little things means a lot with CityLife Guide Magazine. Fall in love all over again and again with your better half in the beautiful country of Cambodia. Written by Rithy Lomorpich

“Exclusive Charming, romantic and luxury” Built in traditional over the water Khmer house style, 18 stylish and privates suited set around a small lake, which is teeming with fish and attracts plenty of bird life including a private pool surrounded by an exotic wooden terrace. contact@suitesandsweet.com; Phone : +855 (0) 63 761 490; Fax.: +855 (0) 63 761 290; www.suitesandsweet.com

Mushroom Point , “Where you ROMANTIC ACCOMMODATION

The plantation , “Natural stay

in Phnom Penh” One and only in Phnom Penh, the plantation is 4-star boutique hotel, urban resort and spa, which is renovated in the old building as the front building of the former Ministry of Labor in colonial building. info@theplantation.asia; # 28, street 184 - Phnom Penh, Cambodia; +855 (0) 23 21 51 51; www. theplantation.asia

The Villa Paradiso , “A little

piece on earth” Converted from a private home to a regal mansion, the Villa Paradiso brings new taste of ambience to guest. Each

of the 15 spacious guest quarters has its own whimsical theme centered on art and travel. info@thevillaparadiso.com; Phone: +855 (0)23 213 720 or +855 (0) 210121
 ; Fax: +855 (0)21 3261; www.thevillaparadiso.com

Le Royal , “A true five star experience” Ideally situated at the heart of the city, grand in scale of its colonial architecture, the Raffles Hotel Le Royal offers guest an enchanting journey through the finest treasures of Cambodia. It has been a truly exudes a romantic era of Asian travel for over eighty years. phnompenh@raffles.com; +855 23 981 888; www.raffles.com

can sleep in Mushroom” Located on the Otres Beach, Mushroom point bungalow was built in a little hut shape like a mushroom. What a great garden of mushrooms where you can spend a night, it is mushroomlicious! mushroompoint.otres@gmail. com ; Tel: 078 509 079; Facebook: Mushroom Point

Song Saa Private Island , “Truly

unspoiled paradise” Located on a truly private tropical island, this is where you can experience the first beautiful and untouched world of true nature. Let’s forget your bustling world, and enjoy life as your own kingdom. info@songsaa.com; +855 236 860 360; www.songsaa.com


Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic Restaurant Free. reservation@bopha-phnompenh.com; (855) 023 42 72 09 ; http://www.bopha-phnompenh.com

Phka Villa Hotel , “A gem in Battambong” Far away from a busy street in the second largest city of Cambodia, Battambong province, Phka Villa hotel offers a total of 10 bungalows features feature traditional khmer taste offering a pure thrill of local lifestyle including a private veranda and an ensuite bathroom. info@phkavilla.com; 053 953 255; www.phkavilla.com

Malis Restaurant , “Contemporary Cambodia Cuisine Dining Experience” Giving opportunity to absorb the unique flavor of contemporary Cambodia cuisine which is served in an elegant garden setting in the contemporary architecture inspired by the Angkor period and traditional Khmer house. manager@malis-restaurant.com; 023 221 022; www.malis-restaurant.com

Kep Jasmine Valley Eco-Resort , “Adventure in the jungle”

Nest Angkor Café Bar , “More than just food, it is experience” An outdoor venue with music you can listen or dance to, food that’s flavorful and sumptuous and an option for those who prefer a more understated sophistication, Nest Angkor Cafe Bar has been recognized by its architecturally stylish canvas tent roof and garden like interior. sales@nestangkor.com; +885 63 966 381; www. nestangkor.com

Staying in Kep Jasmine Valley Eco-resort is spending a time in a heart of Cambodian jungle blossom. Six Solar-powered mudbrick and timber ‘treehouses’ bungalows are currently available, overlooking the rainy-season creek, deep in the valley. info@jasminevalley.com; +855 (0)77 599 248; jasminevalley.com

4 rivers floating lodge - Tatai, “Magical escape” Stay another day at 4 river floating lodge is one step forward to your own kingdom. This four-star boutique resort’s 12 safari style villas is situated on the curve of a river in the little explore Cardamom Mountains and surrounded by unspoilt forest, rare orchids and fragrant frangipani trees. reservations@ecolodges.asia; Tel: +855 (0) 23 21 73 74; Mobile:+855 (0) 97 64 34 032; www. ecolodges.asia Veranda Natural Resort , “The

hidden charm nature” It is more about personalized comfort and design combining with natural inside décor from the surrounding nature presenting a unique concept with raised wooden walkways made of stones, woods and connected true all private bungalows in the resort. verandaresort@gmail.com; +855(0)33 399 035; +855(0)12 888 619; www.veranda-resort. com

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Knai Bang Chatt , “Staying in

style” Located by the right of the sea, this exquisite lifestyle resort was built in three renovated villas, is extraordinary historical landmarks and natural beauty. Combined with its sense of history and nature, this will blend you to the mood of love and exclusive. info@knaibangchatt. com; +855 078 888 557;
Tel./fax : +855 (0)23 212 194; www.knaibangchatt.com

Romantic Rooftop

Capella , “breezing on the rooftop” Located on the 7th floor of the Queen Boutique Hotel, Capella gives you opportunity to enjoy the breeze and the view over Cambodia capital during one of the city's stunning sunsets, a snack on the terrace. Pret-

ty cool cocktails! Phone: +855 23 211 683; Fax: +855 23 211 583; www.queenboutique.asia

Le Moon Terrace Bar, “Under

the filled star sky” The first open terrace in Phnom Penh, Le Moon is located in the rooftop of Amanjaya Pancam hotel, where you can have a relaxing evening sipping your refreshing cocktail and explore our special finger food menu. Tel: (855 23) 219 579; Fax: (855 23) 219 545;
 info@amanjaya-pancam-hotel.com; www. amanjaya-pancam-hotel.com

FCC Phnom Penh Restaurant and Bar , “Open-aired dinning

on the Mekong” Siting in really comfortable chairs in colonial setting, FCC is the rooftop restaurant and bar offers the best view in town, the wonderful

view of Tonle Sap. fcc_pp@online.com.kh; Tel: 023724014; www.fcccambodia.com

Chow , “is loved by couple” Overlooking the river on the rooftop of the quay hotel, a little rooftop bar is loved by both local and international. The combination between their taste and ambience giving them, Chow is WoW. reservations@thequayhotel. com; +855 23 224 894; Fax +855 23 224 893; www. thequayhotel.com/restaurant/ Romantic Restaurant

Because of low light brings romantic, dining in the dark with the light of candlelight is a romantic idea more than lunch date at noon.

Bopha Phnom Penh, Titanic , “Living Cambodia

Cuisine Onboard” Dinning on the breezy riverside terrace with tasty Cambodian and Western dishes complemented by stylish presentation and seeing a sweeping view of the peaceful river scenery is a perfect escape from the city rush. You can alway enjoy watching Classical Apsara Dancing Show at

Meric Restaurant , “World Class dining an authentic Khmer tasting” You may wish to dine alfresco in the Fire Garden Courtyard at night with the backdrop of flickering flames from the stone torchères, next to the centerpiece Banyan tree. Choose a romantic table setting or relax on the swinging day beds around the central water feature. Tel:+855 63 966 000; Fax: +855 63 966 001; www. hoteldelapaixangkor.com/en/dining/meric The Deck Tapas Bar , “180° Dining of the sea”

With multi-seating and dining style from lounges, tables, daybed to laid back beach dining sand, you will enjoy the spectacular 180° views of the see and sunset. thedeck@sokhahotels.com; +855 34 935 999; www.sokhahotels.com/thedeck

Breezes , “Ocean sounds from the table” Laying on

the beachfront day bed in front of the sea hearing the sound of the ocean with Best fresh seafood in town of Kep province, Breezes drag you to the best romance dining. 097-6759072; 016-251454

Topaz , “Finest authentic French food” From a moment you walk in and out, dining here is like travelling to France, where you can feel a real taste of French. Ask for a table surrounded by the garden. amd@thalias.com.kh; 023 221 622; www.topaz-restaurant.com

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Cambodia Romantic When Little Things Mean a Lot

It does not mean Romantic has to be expensive or grand, sometimes the most Romantic moment comes from a very little simple thing, spontaneous and free. There are millions of ways to express how much your better half means to you. Romance can be practiced everyday so that make your time counts. Here are five small tips to find the most romantic spot in Cambodia. 1. Walking along the riverside or down the beach at night with holding hands Surrounding by the silent and low light atmosphere, the view of the riverside and beach at night is superb, which you both can find the peaceful place with private conversation. Walking and facing the windy air and other eye’s on, do not let the wind and that distraction blow your mind away, keep focusing on her unnoticeably. Then, start to hold your partner’s hands lightly at first and start to wrap your hand around slowly. Walking with holding hands is the sign of giving of comfort protection, and safety. Hands are warm, and it sure beats gloves to warm hands! Turn this moment with a-sweet-little-chatting at last. There are just some of the most romantic spots we have experienced in Cambodia - certainly there are other places that also deserve to be here- but again we don’t have enough space for all. But as we have said earlier, any place can be as romantic as you want it to be, and all of us can be a romantic, because - as Claude Baudelaire said - “romanticism is precisely situated neither in the choice of subject nor exact truth, but in the way of feeling.” Cambodia certainly is a land that arouses in us that “way of feeling.” Welcome to romantic Cambodia!

2. Watching sunrise and sunset on the top of mountain Killing your lazy morning and boring evening with watching the sunrise and sunset, perhaps, it is not just an experience but unobvious-moment with your beloved one. The cooler temperatures of the evening hours make a perfect time to enjoy a romantic sunset picnic with your lover. Pick a place on the top of mountain that is insect free if possible, where the two of you can sit and watch the sunset together afterwards. 3. Midnight cruise and enjoy the city lights and stars Taking a cruise or just small boat out on the city and watching the city lights and stars, is very romantic because it is hard to find an exclusive place to see stars, especially if you are in modern city. You can find cruise or boat along the riverside. This romantic date idea is simple. Just drive around town and enjoy the scenery. You can hold hands and spend time together while taking in the city. 4. See a movie in style Who sez’ gone are the days when going to the movies are among the most romantic things we can do? The modern cinemas of Phnom Penh - from the Sorya Mall to City Mall - refute there assertions. Romance can certainly easily bloom watching your favorite movie in the luxurious conforts of there cinemas, which include VIP options such as sofa seats. 5. Riding motorbike at the evening Riding motorbike is simple, but sexy. Rent one motorbike with two comfortable seats, it would be great if it were auto-motorbike. Let’s your beloved one hold you besides your back, let’s her feel your breath and smell. Hold your partner’s hand tight back then. When riding motorbike, the slower, the better. However, should find somewhere accompanied by good scenery. Written by Rithy Lomorpich

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Clockwise: The Villa Paradiso 1&2, Swimming pool at the The Plantation Resort, Room at the Little Garden, View from Knai Bang Chatt, Dinning room at The Plantation Resort

Clockwise: Out door dinning at Shinta Mani Hotel, One of the room in Shinta Mani Hotel, Out door swimming pool at Saravoan, View from Soka Hotel, Beach along Rubbit island.


CAMBODIA AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBAM TEP APSARA

Apsara Dance is a very slow performance with hand gestures, which form a sort of alphabet and represent various things from nature such as fruit, flower, and leaves, and accompanied by the combination of foot movement in order to convey different thoughts and concepts. In 2003, Apsara Dance was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. This dance helps us experience the tension between earth and heaven. Now let’s hear from Mrs. Sen Pich 27 years-old Cambodian Lady who created a private Apsara dance school and said “Robam Tep Apsara is my heart. I dance for my own beat”

What are points taking class Apsara Dance, Cambodian and foreigner? Taking this class to learn Apsara dance, it does not mean you only want to be the future Apsara Dancer. Sometimes, you just want to feel something and experience new thing. As Cambodian, they want to feel proud of their own culture, and they may want to complete their incomplete dream of learning this classical dance. As foreigner, they just love it. And with only saying without any action, their love is not so true. Once they try, of course, they would feel the connection between themselves and Cambodian culture. Does it have any requirement to attend this class?

Q&A What was major inspiration for becoming a Robam Tep Apsara dancer?

Robam Tep Apsara Written and photographed by Rithy Lomorpich

Think about the classical dance in Cambodia we are talking about Robam Tep Apsara, which is a Khmer classical dance, known as Khmer Royal Ballet, and created by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in the mid20th century under the patronage of Queen Sisowath Kossamak. The Apsara Dance is particularly inspired by the style from thousand of Apsara represented in the stone bas-reliefs of the Angkor Wat. 48

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I have never dreamt of becoming Apsara Dancer. But when I was young in the age of 13, I entered the classical dance class in “Krouysa Tmey” organization, where I grow up. I started to love it more and more each day. I found it is something that I really cannot live without. When I look at mirror while dancing, I am able to see the real me. With your current work opening Apsara class for both local and international student, what was the idea behind it? With around 20 years of Apsara dance practice, and I am proud of my culture, and other supporting from my husband and family. I decided to open the first private Apsara Dance School in Phnom Penh. To support Khmer culture whereas Apsara Class is normally opened only for Cambodian starting from the young age like 3 years old or something. The purpose of this school is to provide them opportunity for those who want to learn and cannot find any classes to enter know how to dance this kind of classical dance, and to share what I have known and learnt even I am not a student of Royal University of Fine Art.

Apsara dance is requires years of practice and stretching at a young age so the limbs become very flexible. However, with my class, as learning not to be future Apsara dancer, it does not require specific physical ability, but patient ability. You cannot learn well in one day because you have to build the foundation of Apasara dance like traditional exercise in the early morning. This dance is centered on teaching positions and smooth movement: The ideal core muscle strengthening exercises. Do you have any plan for the future? When time goes right, I will form up a team including my students and students from Royal University of Fine Art in making daily performance in Phnom Penh. Hence, both visitors and somebody who want to learn Apsara Dance have opportunity to watch Apsara Dance whenever they want. This is also the way to promote Khmer Culture, especially this classical dance. Program Monday – Wednesday – Friday from 6.30 to 7.30pm Fee : $30 per month Venue of lessons : Nathan Horton Photography 1st Floor, No 126, 136 St, Sangkat Phsar Sag Kandal 1, Phnom Penh (Above a mini mart and opposite of ELT school) Predict light clothing in which you feel at ease. Contact Sen Pich : apsarapichschool@yahoo.com or 012455475


A Must See after Angkor Wat

Sbek Thom Shadow Theater (La Khorn Sbek Thom) Intangible Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by UNECO, 7th November 2005 Written and photographed by Rithy Lomor Pich 50

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Head Office Address : 77, NR No.3, Prey Kombot Village, Sangkat Chom Chao, Khan Dangkor, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Office Phone : (855) 23 6400 255


CAMBODIA A MUST SEE AFTER ANGKOR WAT

“Without seeing Angkor Wat, visiting in Cambodia is incomplete”, this is what inevitably your mind will turn to once thinking about travelling to Cambodia. That idea now becomes history. The real visit in Cambodia is to see and take a deep look in Cambodia culture, besides Apasara Dance, Sbek Thom is a must see after Angkor Wat.

Sbek Thom is Back! Almost wiped out under the repressive Khmer Rouge regime, Sbek Thom has been brought to life by few surviving artists. Thank them who make it life in the kingdom again. Sbek Thom is gradually begin re-made and re-formed while the collection of Sbek Thom were mostly destroyed. Even the transmission of knowledge, techniques, know-how, and everything about the manufacture of the Sbek Thom is no longer ensured, a man with his life to art said, “In this life I dedicate it to art, everything about my country art.” 52 years-old, Mr Mann Kosal is director of Sovanna Phum Art Association, where offer Sbek Thom performance in Phnom Penh said, “It is necessary to preserve what ancestors have left to us, and develop it to be on top both local and international.”

What is Sbek Thom? The Sbek Thom or Nang Sbek Thom, literally means ‘Large Skin’, is a genre of Khmer oral music theater or a Khmer shadow theater performance that involves mime, song, music and having to dance. Holding the Sbek Thom above their head, the dancer perform accompanied by the pin-peat orchestra (krom phleng pin peat). Sbek Thom is a leather puppet, which is made from a single piece of cowhide, buffalo hide or any wild animal hide. The artisan draws the desired figure on the tanned hide, then cuts it out and paints it before attaching it to two bamboo sticks which enable the dancer to control the puppet. The leather panels are intricately incised with heroic figures, princesses, giants, monkeys and other characters as well as

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CAMBODIA A MUST SEE AFTER ANGKOR WAT

palaces, battle scenes, forests etc. The Sbek Thom tells stories from the Reamker, the Cambodian version of the Hindu Ramayana epic that is told in various forms throughout Southeast Asia. It was an all male tradition, but this performance would include female puppeteers as well. We do not know when this kind of performance began in Cambodia. However, a passage from a stone inscription carved before the Angkor period describes dolls used in religious ceremonies. And base on the movement of the characters, style of costume, crown decoration, and jewelry in the Sbek Thom are like those of artists in royal ballet and the masked dance. Hence, it is believed that it was developed during Angkor period. From the ancient time, Sbek Thom has been performed at night at the open, in rice field or a wat (pagoda) courtyard with a large white backdrop that is held between two tall bamboo screens in front of a large fire, flame torches and burning coconut shell. However, nowadays it has been modified with the convention of electrical light. The animator brings the puppet to life with precise and specific dance steps that produce a range of movements.

Ready to experience Sbek Thom? While Sbek thom is a complex shadow play with all songs are sung in Khmer language, the rhythms of music and vivid performance of show well beat the stage. Moreover, the moral values of the people of one nation also represent their culture. The importance of culture lies in its close association with the living of the people. These are what you will get once you experience Sbek Thom. “Only hear the sound of the drum playing and artist singing, it is enough for me to enjoy the show understanding Khmer culture, and I would say it is absolutely fantastic and amazing,” said Mrs. Denzil, 65 years-old, from England. Mr. Kosal confirmed that whether you love or not, come and watch it once. It will be a great moment of your life in Cambodia. However, he is sure you will love it, and you may ask for it more than one time, “To mirror one country is to understand that country’s culture.”

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CAMBODIA A MUST SEE AFTER ANGKOR WAT

TAPAS • CONTEMPORARY KHMER CUISINE • INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR • PASTAS • DESSERTS • WINE BAR • COCKTAILS and more

Good Ambience...

Outstanding Food Quality and Cocktails. reasonabe price !!!

Located in the main tourism complex of Angkor Night Market. Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia +855 12 578 998 +855 86 444 438 +855 63 650 0040 56

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palateangkor@yahoo.com


VIEW FINDER LETS COOK

Linna Cooking School Inspired by her own mother and another 2 years learning in cooking and food hygiene management in Japan, Ms. Vong Linna decided to open cooking school rather restaurant. Established in June 2010, Linna Cooking school offers both traditional Khmer and International cuisine with the focusing on nutrition and food hygiene. More importantly, in order to raise the awareness of and promote Khmer cuisine to be heard in international stage, Linna cooking school also opens a class, ‘One Day Khmer Cooking Class’ for foreigners. Recipe: Tofu snail Soup Ingredients Chopped pork 50g Chopped snail 100g Enoki Mushroom 100g Soaked black fungus 10g 10g Black mushroom Coking wine 1g Chinese cooking wine 1 café spoon Pure water 1000ml Cooking powder 4 café spoons Egg with only white side 1 egg Tofu 1/3 piece 35g Crab meat Sugar Salt Oyster sauce Soybean sauce Pepper Chinese cooking wine

1 café spoon ¼ café spoon 1 café spoon 1 café spoon ½ café spoon 1 café spoon

One Boil 1000ml water until it reaches the high heat, then put chopped snail Second When chopped snail is already cooked, put chopped pork, crab meat, and all vegetables plus all (A) ingredient Third Mix together with cooking powder and egg. Wait until it boil again.

Recipe: Pork and Bamboo shot in broth Ingredient Bacon 200g Cooked duck egg 5 eggs Palm sugar 150g Garlic 15g Red garlic 25g 400g Bamboo shot Oil 4 spoons Fish sauce 3 spoons Pure water 1000ml Garlic 15g Pepper 10 eggs Fish sauce 1 spoon Sugar 1 spoon Black soybean sauce 1 café spoon One Cut bamboo shoot into a small piece about 3cm and put them in boiling water. After 30mn, take it out and fresh up with water. Two Crash the entire ingredient in part A and keep for a while Three Chop bacon into cube shape and mix with crashed ingredient A and keep for 30mn Four Burn wox until it get hot, put oil mixing with garlic and palm sugar. When palm sugar appears red, put a small amount of water in and fish sauce Five Put a small amount of water each time it run of water. Wait until meat is cooked. Serve with rice. Enjoy your meal! Provided by Linna Cooking School, contact: 016 666 623, www.linnacooking.com

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Princess Diamond

your style, your diamond #40Eo, St. 67 Sangkat Pshartemey II, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 089 888 789 | 023 648 99 88


PIX OF THE MONTH

Just snapped a cool picture? Send it to info@citylifeguide. com with Snapshot in the subject line.

< BEST PICTURE WINS A 3D/2N stay in a Executive Deluxe room at The Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort for two, worth USD 500++! Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra offers 5-star accommodation in Siem Reap close to the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. The Siem Reap hotel, which elegantly combines Khmer and French architectural design, features landscaped gardens, 5 restaurants and bars, meeting facilities, a luxury spa and the largest free form swimming pool in Cambodia. The leading luxury resort in Siem Reap also boosts a world-class 18-hole golf course at the Phokeethra Country Club, which is only a 25 min drive from the hotel.

WINNER

Homeless Boy, Phnom Penh

SECOND PRIZE WINS > A Canon PowerShot worth USD 110++!

RUNNER-UP

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Flooded house, Phnom Penh

i-Qlick (Cambodia) Pte., Ltd. No. 146, Preah Sihanouk Boulevard, Phnom Penh Tel: +855 (23) 996 638 | Fax: +855 (23) 996 639 Email: sales@i-qlick.com | Website: www.i-qlick.com


The Little Garden

Sofitel

Meta House gallery

PHNOM PENH

em (63)

ska Pa Preah Tra

em (63)

raska Pa Preah T


WHAT’S NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF

Postcards from the Heart by Ella Griffin A smart portrayal of four friends’ efforts to find a path through the undergrowth of life, this funny, clever and intelligent novel is high quality writing guaranteed to appeal to women readers. It is a first novel from this author and Griffin’s fresh and entertaining story has been acclaimed by all. Monument Books price: USD 10.00 (Paperback)

The Guilty Plea by Robert Rotenberg If you are a John Grisham fan, this is one for you. On the morning his headline-grabbing divorce trial is due to begin, multi-millionaire Terrance Wyler is found dead on his kitchen floor. When Wyler’s ex-wife shows up at her lawyer’s office with a bloody knife, it looks as if the case is over. But Detective Ari Greene soon discovers the Wyler family has secrets they’d like to keep hidden, and they’re not the only ones. And if there’s one thing Greene knows, it’s that the truth is never simple . . . Monument Books price: USD 12.50 (Paperback)

Zero Hour by Andy McNab When the beautiful twenty-year-old daughterof a Moldovan businessman goes missing from her university, British Intelligence is unusually interested in her safe return - they need to find her quickly. Only one man is skilled and ruthless enough for the job but for the first time in his life, Nick Stone doesn’t want to play ball – another bestselling action thriller featuring the ever-reliable secret agent. Monument Books price: USD 11.50 (Paperback)

The House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz Critics and fans alike have given a warm welcome to this authentic and exciting new Sherlock Holmes novel. London, 1890: fine art dealer Edmund Carstairs visits Holmes and Dr John Watson to beg for their help. He is being menaced by a strange man in a flat cap who has followed him all the way from America and he believes himself to be in danger. Monument Books price: USD 18.50 (Paperback)

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PANDAW S.E.ASIA The real Cambodia

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FLASH BACK WHERE HAVE WE BEEN

ABOVE: NOVA grand opening

BELOW: SEDUCTION I - The Launch only at Pontoon Lounge

ABOVE & BELOW: Lunching of NagaLottery & Music Concert


mini guides the boutique of khmer www.royalempirehotel.com

LEGIAN SAMSUNG

Phnom Penh

SIEM REAP

SIHANOUKVILLE

KOH KONG

KOMPOT

KEP

BATTAMBANG

MONDULKIRI

RATANAKIRI

BANGKOK

VIENTIENE

SAIGON

from your magazine to your pocket Address: National Route 6, Airport Road, Siem Reap / Angkor. Kingdom of Cambodia. Room Reservation Tel: (855) 63 969 599 reservation@royalempirehotel.com

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Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

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hospitals |Clinic | Doctor

Ambulance 119 (from 023 phones) 023-724891 Police Hotline 117 (from 023 phones) Tourist Police 097 7780002 Child Abuse/ Exploitation Police Hotline 023 720555 Fire 118 (from 023 phones) 012 786693

American Medical Center

why go?

Hotel Cambodiana, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 991863

Calmette Hospital

Main Hospital #3, Monivong, Phnom Penh

Tel: 023 426948 Polyclinique Aurore Local clinic, local doctors. General medicine. Maternity clinic. X-ray and ultrasound. Reasonably priced. #58-60, Street 113, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 360152 / 012 779824

International SOS Medical & Dental Clinic

International standard medical clinic with full facilities. General medicine. Emergency care. Pediatrics. Translation. Evacuation. #161, Street 51, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 216911 / 012 816911 www.internationalsos.com

Naga Clinic

Insurance

Courier

Pharmacie De La Gare

Asia Insurance (Cambodia)

DHL - Worldwide Express

#5, Street 13 Tel: 023 427981

#353, Street 110 Tel: 023 427726 Fax: 023 427680

U-Care

1) #26-28, Sothearos Tel: 023 222399 2) Sihanouk, corner of St. 55 3) Corner of Norodom Blvd & St.136 4) #844, Kampuchea Krom 5) #254 Monivong Tel: 023 222399 www.u-carepharmacy.com

International SOS Medical & Dental Clinic

International standard medical clinic with full facilities. General medicine. Emergency care. Pediatrics. Translation. Evacuation. #161, Street 51, Phnom Penh Tel: 023-216911, 012-816911 www.internationalsos.com

Naga Clinic

Forte Insurance

#325, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023 885077 www.forteinsurance.com

Infinity Insurance

#126, Norodom Tel: 012 800001 www.infinity.com.kh

Import&Export Intra Co. #2-3, Street 118 Tel: 023 211811

N.H International

11, Street 254 Tel: 011 811175 www.nagaclinic.com

#106, Street 310 Tel: 012 842964

Agrovet, #26, Street 294, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 216323

#28, Monivong Tel: 023 430922 Fax: 023 430923

Veterinarians

TNT

MINI GUIDE

11, Street 254 Tel: 011 811175 www.nagaclinic.com

Pharmacies #81Eo, Monivong Tel: 023 430205

The sights of Phnom Penh are largely cultural and historical but only part of the experience exploring the city. Exotic shopping, unique dining, indulgent spas and a bit of nightlife complete the Phnom Penh experience. Set aside two or three days to see the major points of interest.

what is there to do?

See

FedEx

ROYAL PALACE

#701D, Monivong Tel: 023 216712 Fax: 023 216721 #28, Monivong Tel: 023 430922 Fax: 023 430923

NATIONAL MUSEUM

Home of English #30, Street 282 Tel: 023 220960

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located just north of the Royal Palace, it housed in a graceful terracotta structure of traditional design (built 1917–20), with an inviting courtyard garden. The museum is home to the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture – a millennia’s worth and more of masterful Khmer design. Price : 25,000r Hours : 8-11am & 2-5pm

#27, Street 134 Tel: 023 427511 Fax: 023 366323

#46, Street 214 Tel: 023 212113

ROMDENG

1

Royal Palace

UPS

ACE (IDP)

Eat & Drink

with its classic Khmer roofs and ornategilding, the Royal Palace dominates the diminutive skyline of Phnom Penh. It is a striking structure near the riverfront, bearing a remarkable likeness to its counterpart in Bangkok. Address : Samdech Sothearos Blvd. Price : 25,000r Hours : 8-11am & 2-5pm

TNT

English Schools

It is possible to squeeze the most important sights into a single day, but this leaves very little time at each. Popular city sights include the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Khmer Rouge ‘Killing Fields,’ the National Museum, the Russian Market, Central Market and Wat Phnom. Except for the ‘Killing Fields,’ which is about 16km away, all of the major points are inside the city within a five or ten minute car/moto ride of each other.

Phnom Penh

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Emergency

Once the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh’s shine was tarnished by the impact of war and revolution. But that’s history, and Phnom Penh has risen from the ashes to take its place among the cool capitals of the region.

Dream Land

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Dreamland Kid Playground is one of the newest park which had just opened to public for couple of months now! This place attracts hundred and thousand of people coming to the park at the weekend bringing their friends, family members to enjoy the space and having fun with different activities and games inside. The Dreamland is located just right on the south of the famous hotel Cambodiana or opposite of Naga Hotel in Phnom Penh.

Tuol Sleng Museum

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S-21 has been turned into the Tuol Sleng Museum, which serves as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Entry is on the western side. Address : St 113 Price : US$2, video US$5 Hours : 8am-5.30pm

Cambodia Korean cultural center

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Exhibition Show room, Korean shopping center, available 3D Movie everyday Free entrance. Address : Central Phnom Penh Hours : 06:30 to 17:30

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The best things are found in the most unexpected places. Tucked away on Street 174 you will find our Cambodian training restaurant, Romdeng, run by former street youth in training. Set in a beautiful colonial building, Romdeng serves a great variety of Cambodian food ranging from almost forgotten recipes from the provinces to contemporary creative Cambodian cuisine. Allow yourself some time to enjoy the pool and free WIFI. Romdeng can also provide catering for weddings, functions and parties and can host events for up to 160 people. #74 Street 174, Phnom Penh Tel: 092 219 565 or email us at restaurants@mithsamlanh.org

brown coffee

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BROWN Coffee and Bakery aims to provide an inspired and ethical work environment. We endeavor to offer the best quality coffee, pastries and service. BROWN Coffee and Bakery provides an inspired and ethical work environment; offer the best quality coffee, pastries and Delivery service Delivery : (855) 92 222 567 Open:7am - 4pm From Mon - Sat #17 Street 214 Mobile: 092 222567 info@thebrowncoffee.com

Sarika Pool & Pizza Bar

sarika pool & pizza bar

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Sarika Pool & Pizza Bar offers you an unforgettable dining experiencewith a menu that boasts an array of Asian influenced dishes as well as international specialties and the best wood-fired pizza in the city! Enjoy your meal amongst our beautiful garden setting; with intimate bungalow tables nestled throughout tropical vegetation or upstairs in the Diplomat’s Bar; a private retreat for the discerning customer who likes a touch of class. Better yet, if you have a family bring your kids for a swim whilst relaxing poolside and enjoying a delicious meal. Address: #69, st. 566, Coner st. 317, Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, Cambodia chitchatt@saenterprises.asia Tel: 017 456 116 / 012 821 259 http://sarika-chitchat.info/

turn over for map and number locationS


At its heart, Siem Reap is still a little charmer, with old French shop-houses, shady tree-lined boulvards and a slow-flowing river. But it is expanding at breakneck speed with new houses and apartments, hotels and resorts sprouting like mushrooms in the surrounding countryside.

MINI GUIDE PHNOM PENH

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there Phnom Penh is a fairly easy city to get around. Tuk-tuks’ have become quite popular in Phnom Penh,only $1-$2 for short trips and $10-$15 for the whole day. Motorcycle Taxi (Motodup) ,can be found virtually everywhere in town, just step to the curb and they will find you. Motos cost from 4000R-8000R for a trip in town and $6-$8 per day. Cyclo ride should cost about the same as a moto, is easier and cooler ride. Motorcycles can be rented for $5 - $9/day. Choice Taxi,Meter taxi service. Available 24/7, Tel: 023-888023, 010-888010.

why go? Angkor is a place to be savoured, not rushed, and this is the base to plan your adventures. Still think three days at the temples is enough? Think again with Siem Reap on the doorstep.

when to go

Sleep

See

River 108 Hotel

Angkor Wat

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Me Mates Place has been the Top Rated Hostel in Phnom Penh for 3 years consecutively! Come and enjoy the comforts home, High speed Wifi, Comfy Beds, Western Showers ( high pressured and steaming hot ) freeaccess to a nice chillout pool about 200m down the road, Fluffy super clean Linen, yet experience real Cambodian Culture with our wonderful staff. 1B4 Preah Sotheavong, Phnom Penh 12202, Cambodia +855 15 605 051

Phnom Penh City Hotel

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Whether you are visiting Phnom Penh, Cambodia for business, or for pleasure, Phnom Penh City Hotel is your best choice! It is a boutique hotel [Brand new! open Octo

The Quay

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As you step from the vibrant riverfront of Phnom Penh along the banks of the Tonle Sap, prepare yourself for a fusion of innovation and tranquility.As you enter the calming ethereal design of the lobby, you immerse yourself in form and comfort. From the start, your stay at this minimalist 16-room hideaway is urbane and relaxed. Consider yourself home at The Quay Phnom Penh’s first environmentally sound hotel. Address Sisowath Quay, Phnom Penh, Cambodia The Quay Hotel +855 23 224 894 Email reservations@thequayhotel. com

Phnom Kulen

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Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

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Me Mates Place

Eat & Drink 1

Is more than just an astounding architectural feat; it is the national symbol, the source of fierce Khmer pride and the epicentre of their civilisation. At first sight, it is a sumptuous blend of towers and sky, a magnificent spellbinding shrine to Vishnu with its captivating image replicated in the reflective lake below, a feast for unbelieving eyes. Address: Angkor 6km (3.7mi) N of central Siem Reap

Opera Suite bedroom in Sofitel Phokeethra Phnom Penh -Luxury Hotel

ber 01 2009] conveniently located in the heart of the city, opposite the cafe sentiment, close to Asia corner travel Galaxy pub, and close to Bus station to vietnam and supper market Lucky about 100m. 157, Street Trasak Pa-Em, Street 63, Beung Keng Kang, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tel: 023 217 967.

Angkor Wat is more than just an astounding architectural feat; it is the national symbol, the source of fierce Khmer pride and the epicentre of their civilisation. At first sight, it is a sumptuous blend of towers and sky, a magnificent spellbinding shrine to Vishnu with its captivating image replicated in the reflective lake below, a feast for unbelieving eyes. And there are many antique templs you cant’s be miss. A variety of shopping centers, spas, cafés, parks, and other activities can be found throughout the the old market area, and fabulouse nightlife.

SIEM REAP

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

River 108 is located toward the north end of the popular river front entertainment district, often referred to as The French Quarter. Along this strip there are dozens of restaurants and bars catering to an international clientele, as well as numerous travel agencies offering connections to destinations across the country and beyond. #2, Street 108, Sankat Vat Phnom, Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel : (+855) 23 218 785 Email : reservations@river108.com

what is there to do?

MINI GUIDE

WaterFall at Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap

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Waterfall cascades off the mountain where King Jayavarman II announced independence from Java and proclaimed himself god-king. The river here also runs over lingas and is an attractive sight for modern-day pilgrims. There is also a little explored unnamed set of ruins at the foot of the mountain that is gaining mythical status among locals. Not many know how to get there, though they know of its existence. Would-be explorers are challenged to find it! Price: admission US$20, Hours: last admission 15:30

Banteay Srei

Samot Fine Wine &Cuisine

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This ‘Citadel of Women’ dedicated to Shiva, is a stunning tour de force of classical art and the most ornate of all of the temples. hough it is relatively tiny in size compared to its mammoth counterparts, it has the most intricate carvings and is believed to be the instigator of the Khmer art movement. The detail is astounding and each doorway, each lintel and every wall is a masterpiece. Address N of Angkor

Angkor Night Market

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Careful not to create a tourist park, as in often case, there’s no warehouse like setting instead you will find smoothly laid out huts built from natural materials and design in beautiful Khmer style. Over the years we already have 200 souvenirs shops which sells traditional Cambodian handmade products from clothing’s, silk, arts, jewelries, wood and stone carvings. Address: In front of old market,next to the Sala Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap.

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Samot Fine Wine &Cuisine fed us our best meal in Siem Reap. The prices are a bit higher than we like to pay (but at about $8 for an entree, still not exactly steep). We tried the snapper special, which was $5, fantastic, and came with a complimentary appetiser of smoked salmon on toast. The desserts sounded great too. The former chef from Sofitel Angkor opened the place in May 2008. It’s set down The Passage’s quiet extension, and feels a world away. Walls are painted baby blue, with seashell curtains on the patio, and a wine cellar in the rear. Wines start at $4 per glass. Recommended. old market area T: (092) 410 400, Open daily 16:00-24:00

The red piano

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Red Piano is another Western-owned establishment with friendly staff delivering good Western and Khmer food. For pub grub try Molly Malone’s, while if you’re in the market for a barbecue, Villa Siem Reap has barbecues in their garden restaurant every Tuesday and Friday. No 341, 50 m Northwest of the Old Market, Svay Dangkom, Mondul I. redpianocambodia@online.com.kh

Great food somtuous desserts @ Samot Fine Wine &Cuisine

Blue Pumpkin

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Blue Pumpkin remains arguably the best cafe/baking house in Siem Reap with a slick, air-con interior and fine food the day through. Anyone familiar with Bangkok with be struck by just how Bed Supperclubbish the place looks. Wireless internet is available. The acoustics upstairs are poor. Very white. Near Old Market, Siem Reap. T: (012) 946 227. Open daily 06:00-22:00

PALATE ANGKOR CAFE

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A young Cambodian chef owner’s and his junior team are enthusiastic to delight your dinning experience with both local and international blended flavore, setting in a charm tropical garden that reflected the truely Cambodian culture . Our rural students have trained to serve and deliver the friendliness experience from their heart. Open everyday from 3.00pm until late with wifi Please book your table at 063 650 0040 or ask tuk tuk driver to bring you there, just right next to Angkor night market

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Surrounded by white-sand beaches and undeveloped tropical islands, the port city and beach resort of Sihanoukville (Krong Preah Sihanouk), also known as Kompong Som, is the closest thing you get to the Costa del Cambodia.

MINI GUIDE SIEM REAP

Getting around

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Essentials Getting there

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The road linking Siem Reap to Phnom Penh is now surfaced all the way, and air-con buses thunder up and down daily. The road west to Sisophon, Thailand and Battambang is in a messy state in places, but is finally being overhauled. It is served by some buses and plenty of share taxis. There are several companies operating buses between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and services depart between 6.30am and 12.30pm. The average cost of a bus ticket is US$5, depending on the company. There are daily express boat services between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (US$20 to US$25, five to six hours)

why go? The big attractions around here are the four beaches ringing the headland. None of them qualify as the region’s finest but on weekdays it’s still possible to have stretches of sand to yourself. On weekends and holidays Sihanoukville is extremely popular with well-to-do Phnom Penhers.

MINI GUIDE

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

Plan your itinerary

Ream National Park

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For traditional Cambodian flare with colonial architecture and influences, check into this luxurious resort and spa. Centrally located and yet surrounded by nature, it makes an ideal base for leisure and business travelers in Siem Reap. The hotel is in close proximity to one of the World Heritage sites, Angkor Wat. Siem Reap’s Old Market, local bars and restaurants are also in the same vicinity. Enjoy a walk around the quaint Royal Park across the road. Central Park, P.O. Box 93145, Central, Siem Reap, Cambodia,Tel: (063) 760 428

Angkor Spirit Palace

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Angkor Spirit Palace is located in Phneachey Village in Siem Reap. The hotel offers traditional Khmer architecture, free Wi-Fi and a spa. A restaurant and an outdoor pool is available. Rooms at Angkor Spirit feature modern facilities like a TV and personal safe. A fridge and bathroom amenities are provided. Rejuvenate your body at the hotel’s spa, which features a sauna and massage services. The hotel also offers a tour desk and an on-site ATM machine. Hotel Rooms: 23 Phneachey Village, Svaydongkom Commune, Siem Reap Tel: 063 760 029

Cabana Suite - Master bedroom Raffels Grand Hotel D’Angkor

Auberge Mont Royal d’Angkor

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Situated 13km east of Sihanoukville, Ream National Park is a great place to view Cambodia’s wildlife. The sandy beaches, mangrove forests, monkeys and dolphins make it a favourite among locals. A moto to the park’s headquarters should cost USaround US$2. From here, guided walking tours with rangers can be arranged from USaround US$5. Boat tours around the park cost around US$20 for a boat holding four people. E of Sihanoukville 11

Auberge Mont Royal d’Angkor is a city hotel in the center of Siem Reap. The hotel is in a quiet side road and ideal as a family hotel or business hotel. Hotel Spa, swimming pool, free WI-FI, Internet and hotel restaurant with garden offer all business travelers as well as an entire family with children all services for an enjoyable vacation. Within easy walking distance from Siem Reap center, Siem Reap river and all Siem Reap night life, spa, night market and gourmet restaurants. For more distant excursions into Siem Reap city or Siem Reap neighborhood, a hotel owned car or mini-van and a number of Tuk Tuk are available. Telephone: +855 (0)12 630 131, +855 (0)63 964 044 Address: P.O. Box #34, 497 Taphul, Siem Reap, Kingdom Of Cambodia E-mail : gm@auberge-mont-royal.com

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Occheuteal Beach

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Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

Occheuteal Beach is the most popular beach in town, with a high concentration of bungalow bars and restaurants set up on the sand.

Koh Ta Kiev

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There are quite a few islands dotting the gulf within day-trip distance of Sihanoukville. For snorkelling, Koh Ta Kiev is one of the best.

Happy Herb Pizza

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Holy Cow

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A pizzeria with a breezy, tropical twist. In addition to Khmer dishes, options include garlic bread, salads and pasta. Free delivery available. Address : 81 Ph Ekareach City Centre, Phone tel, info: 34 632198 Hours : 08:00-23:00 Mirax Resort on the Dèk Kol Island in Sihanouk Ville

Bamboo Island

INDEPENDENCE BEACH

Southeast of of tiny Koh Pos Beach, Independence Beach, named after the hotel that has dominated the area since the 1960s, is a good stretch of clean sand but lacks shade and facilities.

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Victoria Angkor Hotel

The reefs around Sihanoukville are rich in corals, sponges and all sorts of sea life, from eels to anemones and stingrays to dolphins. Some of the best diving is around Koh Tang and Koh Prins, which require an overnight trip, though there’s also decent diving closer in near Koh Tas (Koh Kaong Kang) and Koh Rung Samloem (two hours one-way). Excellent snorkelling locales include coral-rich Koh Khteah, about 2km off Otres Beach.

SIHANOUK VILLE

when to go

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what is there to do?

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Imagine that you are relaxing on a lounge chair with a cool beverage, and all you see is golden sand beach, and shimmering aquamarine water, and all you hear is the sound of tropical birds, and wildlife. You hear no cars, see no development, and the real world seems a thousand miles away. Such a scenario exists only in your dreams, you say? Wrong. It really exists, it is called Bamboo island, and it is only 45 minutes away from Coasters on Ochheuteal beach at Sihanoukville. Address: Bamboo Island

At this attractive, chic-funky caférestaurant, options include pasta, sandwiches on homemade bread and a good selection of veggie options, including two vegan desserts, both involving chocolate. The small shop sells M’lop Tapang products. Address : Ph Ekareach City Centre, Phone : 34 478510 Hours : breakfast, lunch & dinner

food stalls

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In the evening, food stalls set up one block north of Psar Leu. Options include barbeque chicken, rice porridge or noodles with chicken, and a variety of Cambodian desserts. Address : cnr Omui & 7 Makara Sts City Centre

Fish Grill in Bamboo Island,

Sea Dragon

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Starfish Bakery & Café

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This large airy restaurant does tasty Western food, but it’s the delicious Khmer that you’d come for. Please let us know if you have any special preferences, environment that make you feel comfortable and care free. Address : Occheuteal Beach Phone tel, info: 034 016 595252, (855)034-933 671 Hours : breakfast, lunch & dinner

Tucked down a red-earth alley, this attractive, NGO-run garden café serves filling Western breakfasts, light lunches (sandwiches, quiche, tortillas, salads) and teatime treats such as brownies and apple tarts. Veggie options are legion. Income goes to help poor Cambodians get medical care, housing and micro-loans. Address : 62 7 Makara St City Centre Hours : 07:00-18:00

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Once Cambodia’s Wild West, its frontier economy dominated by smuggling, prostitution and gambling, Krong Koh Kong has recently taken big steps towards respectability. The city centre is still scruffy but new midrange hotels are going up, especially along the landscaped riverfront, and ecotourism promises to transform the town into the gateway to some of Southeast Asia’s most breathtaking coastal and mountain habitats. .

MINI GUIDE

SHIANOUKVILLE

Getting around

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Essentials Getting there National Highway 4 (NH4), the 230km highway between Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh, is in excellent condition but is quite dangerous due to the prevalence of high-speed overtaking on blind corners. It’s doubly dicey around dusk and at night, when all intercity road travel is best avoided. NH3 to Kampot (105km) is also in tip-top shape. Taking NH48 to Krong Koh Kong and the Cham Yeam–Hat Lek border crossing will be a breeze once the four ferry crossings are replaced by bridges, an engineering landmark that should happen sometime in the future.

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Is perfect for a tropical holiday or even as a brief interlude of relaxation during a hectic tour of South East Asia.

Koh Kong Safari World

Western run, we are aware of the needs of the weary traveller and our staff will ensure you get the most from your time with us. We can arrange boat trips to Cambodia’s Inner and Outer Islands, Snorkling / Diving excursions and local tours of Wat’s (Temples) and Waterfalls. Add: Serendipity Beach,Sihanouk Ville,Cambodia Tel. 017 595 191 or 016 463 492

Koh Kong island

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In Cambodia it is very difficult to find a quality hotel but if you go to the Reef Resort in Sihanoukville you are in for quite a surprise. There is also a first class pool table, darts, two bars, and a restaurant on site. Sporting events, DVD’s, movies or other cable fed programs can be viewed at the large open air bar on the 42” plasma television. If you desire to read one of the many books in the library or just relax and watch a movie, +855 12 315 338, Nr Golden Lion Roundabout, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The Disneyesque gateway. The park has the usual zoo animals but it also puts on the sort of live-animal shows banned in most countries, with performances reminiscent of a 19th-century circus sideshow. Birds ride tiny bicycles, orang-utans dressed up as boxers throw punches and a man puts his head inside a crocodile’s mouth.

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The park has the usual zoo animals but it also puts on the sort of live-animal shows banned in most countries, with performances reminiscent of a 19th-century circus sideshow. Every morning, and into the early afternoon, birds ride tiny bicycles, orang-utans dressed up as boxers throw punches and a man puts his head inside a crocodile’s mouth. Address: Krong Koh Kong, Phone tel, info: 016 800811

Junior Suit bedroom in Cambodian Resort, Sihanouk Ville

Reef Resort

what is there to do?

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The best place in town for Russian mains (pelmeny, manty, chicken Kiev) and soups (red and green borsht, solyanka); it also serves seafood. In a unique, slithering twist, diners sit at glass-topped tables with live serpents - many venomous - inside. The jungle-enveloped complex includes a bar, a guesthouse and a crocodile farm: one false step and the crocs will eat as well as you did. Address:Ph Soviet Weather Hill Phone: tel, info: 34 673805

Tranquility Guesthouse

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Plan your itinerary

Aqua Resort Sihanoukville is located near Ochheuteal Beach. It is easily accesbile to Sihanoukville’s many restaurants, bars and casinos. This boutique hotel offers 24 rooms with Air Conditioning, free Wifi Internet, En suite bathroom with hot water and Cable TV with 60 channels. Hotel facilities include a swimming pool, bar, restaurant and laundry Service. +855 16 224 257 Polaway Street (Formerly Kanda St), Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Snake House

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Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

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Aqua Resort

KOh kong

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

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The best nearby beach is on the eastern (ie city centre) side of Stung Koh Poi about 4km south of the bridge at the tip of the peninsula. You can get there along the river on foot or by moto; by car you have to loop around to the east.

MINI GUIDE

when to go

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why go?

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Save a few shacks that are home to coconut farmers, Ko Kong is largely uninhabited leaving its pristine white sand beaches just for you. The water at its many beaches is remarkably clear and the setting is pristine (save the general flotsam that washes up onto the beach). Around an hour by fibreglass boat from Ko Kong town, the island is a popular escape for a daytrip from dusty Ko Kong. While accommodation is not available, we were told that some people have camped on the island.

River waterfall

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A very worthwhile trip, regardless of the season is to do a boat trip up the Kah Bpow river to a large waterfall that crosses the river. In the wet season the waterfall spans almost the entire river’s width, whilst in dry season (when the rivers are all lower) the waterfall is restricted to the far left side of the river. When the river is low there are ample swimming opportunities, just be very careful jumping off any of the large rock ledges.

Baan Peakmai

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Fat Sam’s

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One of the best restaurants in town, this Thai place, out of doors in a relaxing garden, has a monster menu with two dozen vegetarian choices and a fair spread of seafood. Address: St 6 Phone: 035 393906 Price: mains 60-250B Hours: 6am-10pm TaTai water fall in Koh Kong

kickboxing

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Traditional Khmer kickboxing - similar to Thailand’s Muay Thai, which Khmersinsist is in fact Cambodian - is especially popular in Krong Koh Kong, and many of the country’s top boxers, including the national champion, Eh Phouthong, hail from here. Matches are sometimes held in Krong Koh Kong on Saturdaynights, especially in the dry season.The hugely enthusiastic crowds include quite a few women and the provincial governor who, it is said, never misses a match. Locals are joined by Thai punters from across the border.

You’ll know the food is good, once you meet Sam and the family. Food, Pool Table, Free Internet. Sam and Lin look forward to seeing you soon! Some of Koh Kong’s best Western meals all day.Located Downtown on the main street. Live football Saturday and Sunday,Tel: 099 59 23 10 e-mail: emalcolm18@yahoo.com

Cafe Laurent

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Lovely place on stilts over the sea serving some very good, albeit expensive food. We liked it enough here to return on several nights as the foos was as good here as it was bad at our hotel (ASEAN Hotel, excellent value rooms, terrible food!). Koh Kong is a grubby town, almost as grim as Kampot, but with a vibrant atmosphere and a busy, beautiful estuary which is lovely to watch from Cafe Laurent. There is one other place which I cannot remember the name for located a few hundred yards from here

Fried Crabs

over the little bridge, which is also an excellent and cheaper cafe.Next to the Koh Kong City Hotel. Tel: 035 63 66 388 / 016 37 37 37

WATERFRONT KOH KONG

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We had several meals at this little place, located just along the Koh Kong town riverfront (in between Sunset ice-cream and Koh Kong Divers). The prices are average, and all the food we had was delicious (khmai, thai & western)! Good portion size too. They have a happy hour every evening, as well as a special burger + beer for $4. But the best part is how helpful and sweet the 3 sisters who run the place are. They helped us find tuk-tuk and boat rides to various places, and answered any questions we had. Riverfront Rd. (next to Koh Kong Divers), Koh Kong, Cambodia

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More and more visitors are discovering the sleepy riverside town of Kampot, a charming place with a relaxed atmosphere and a fine, if run-down French architectural legacy. Eclipsed as a port when Sihanoukville was founded in 1959.

MINI GUIDE KOH KONG

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Essentials Getting there

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When NH48 finally gets its four new bridges, ending the frustrating traffic jams at the ferries, travel times will plummet and transport options to Sihanoukville (220km) and Phnom Penh (290km) are likely to mushroom.Krong Koh Kong is linked to the Thai border by a dual carriageway of sorts – not only does it lack lines, lanes, signs, reflectors and verges/shoulders, but some locals drive as if it were two parallel two-lane highways! The 1.9km bridge over Stung Koh Poi, built and run by the Thais, costs 4800r/44B each way for a car and 1200r/11B for a motorbike; bicycles and pedestrians cross for free.

why go? Kampot makes an excellent exploring Bokor National Park verdant coast east towards including Kep and a number cave-temples.

Plan your itinerary 11

Remote but accessible, getting to 4 Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge is your opportunity to acclimatise yourself to the country, the region and its always smiling, welcoming peoplece. The resort is ideally situated in Tatai, next to the Thai border halfway between Bangkok and Phnom Penh (via Koh Chang). Add: Koh Andet Island, Tataï Village, Cambodia +855 17 240 859

Koh Kong City hotel

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Povides nicely arranged hotel facilities, whether its accommodation, dining, or business facilities, to all its guests. The restaurant located within the premises of this hotel offers tastefully served delicacies. The hotel also hosts a business center for the convenience of our guests. Some other activities that can be enjoyed while staying in this hotel include laundry services, travel/tour information, Internet service, and 24-hour in room service. Tel: 012 901 902

Eat & Drink

Old bridge

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Boat excursion

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Kampot’s riverside location makes it an excellent place to begin a boat excursion, either to scenic areas upstream or - at around 17:00, when the fishing boats head out to sea - downstream. Enquire at your guesthouse or ask around along the river. You should be able to arrange a seaworthy vessel.

Front of Koh Kong City Hotel

Champa Guesthouse

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Opposite Koh Kong River Side, is the only riverside option in Ko Kong, and you are right on the river, with the rooms opening out onto a wooden terrace that faces straight onto the river. All rooms are with fan and shared bathroom facilities. Rates are very reasonable and Rob is a good source of information on the Ko Kong area. Add: Koh Kong, Tel: 035 939 912

Otto’s

Strolling

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Heading inland from the river road, Otto’s sits on a well shaded corner with a bunch of functional though basic wooden rooms in rambling wooden setup. The two large and well-decked-out balcony areas are a big asset here and a perfect escape from the heat and take a snooze. The best tight budget bet Ko Kong town T: (035) 93 6163;

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Kampot’s most enjoyable activity isstrolling along streets that evoke days long gone. Blocks lined with decrepit Frenchera shops can be found in the triangle delineated by 7 Makara St, the Central Roundabout and the post office.

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

River kayaks

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Les Manguiers, a riverside guesthouse 2km north of town, rents out river kayaks (rates are marginally more for twoperson boats).

Bokor Mountain

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For the ride, for the scenery, for the cool mountain air, for the

Bokor Mountain Lodg

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Epic Arts Café

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Bokor Lodge is our favourite for a streetside sundowner, while Rikitikitavi gets the vote for a splash out meal. Bonkors was closed for several months in mid2009 but we heard the owner plans to reopen or perhaps sell the place. Bokor Mountain Lodge: River Rd, Kampot. T: (033) 932 314. Open daily.

The old bridge is quite a sight: destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period, it has been repaired in a mishmash of styles.

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4 rivers eco lodge koh kong

Kampot’s most enjoyable activity is strolling along streets that evoke days long gone. Blocks lined with decrepit French-era shops can be found in the triangle delineated by 7 Makara St, the Central Roundabout and the post office.

KOMPOT

when to go

Sleep

what is there to do?

MINI GUIDE

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

base for and the Vietnam, of superb

Nipa Huts at Rabbit Island

adventure, for relaxation. All good reasons to travel the the top of Bokor Mountain. (note: there are many difficulties getting up the mountain while road construction is going on. This should end in 2011. You should call ahead to one of the hotels or guide services in Kampot in advance, to check if the road is even open)

Rapids (Tek Chhou).

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A series of stones in flowing water, a major tourist resort for the Khmer and fun for all, cool crystal clear water running down from the semi de­mined hills of Bokor. One of the many Generals here hasbuilt a spa on the back of this water, he claims it has health improving qualities and has called it “Tada Bokor”.

A great place for breakfast (around US$3), home-made cakes or tea, this mellow eatery - staffed by deaf and disabled young people - can also pack a bagel lunch for a trip up to Bokor. Sometimes it hosts dance performances. Profits fund dance, music and art workshops for deaf and disabled Cambodians. Epic Arts Cafe: A block back from the abandoned market, Kampot. Open daily.

SAY SABOK

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Pleasant shopfront restaurant with an impressive menu and reasonable prices. Popular with the town’s expat community as well as tourists. Comfortable seating and another good spot to catch the sunset over a cocktail or meal. River Road, Kampot, Cambodia

Crab soup Bamboo Island,

LITTLE GARDEN

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RIKITIKITAVI

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Pleasant, popular restaurant and bar with western management. Great sunset views, wide-ranging, reasonably-priced menu offering local specialities, Khmer dishes and western fare in a breezy garden or inside. Open every day from 7 am ‘til 10 pm. Riverfront, Kampot, Kep Tel: (855-12) 256 901

Pleasant rooftop restaurant and bar at the popular Rikitikitavi guesthouse. Offers a wide selection of well prepared and presented western and local dishes in generous portions, and diners will enjoy the spectacular sunset views. Good wine selection. Riverfront, Kampot, Cambodia Tel: (855-12) 235 102 / 274 820

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The seaside resort of Kep-sur-Mer, famed for its spectacular sunsets and splendid seafood, was founded as a colonial retreat for the French elite in 1908. Cambodian high rollers continued the tradition, flocking here to enjoy gambling and water sports, and in the 1960s it was home to Cambodia’s leading zoo.

MINI GUIDE KOMPOT

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there

map display here..

MINI GUIDE

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

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mid-20th century villas

Moliden GuestHouse

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The Orchid Guesthouse is a relative newcomer to the guesthouse scene in Kampot but is generating plenty of interest with visitors to the town. Located across the street to the long-popular Blissful guesthouse and restaurant, the Orchid offers good value rooms for around US$10 to US15 with air-conditioning set in a pleasant garden. Across the river, Kampot, Cambodia Tel: (855-33) 932 634

KAMPOT GUESTHOUSE

King Sihanouk’s Palace

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Rather characterless guesthouse slightly away from the riverfront, with friendly staff and decent rooms for around US$10 with a/c (US$5 with fan). Pleasant terrace and small restaurant complete the picture. Off the river, Kampot, Tel: (855-16) 885 255 (855-12) 292 150

Eat & Drink

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

JUNGLE BAR & RESTAURANT

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From Kep’s northern roundabout, NH33A heads north past the mildewed shells of handsome mid-20th-century villas that speak of happier, carefree times - and of the truly terribly Khmer Rouge years. Built according to the precepts of the modernist style, with clean lines, lots of horizontals and little adornment, they once played host to glittering jet-set parties and may do so again someday, though for the time being many shelter squatters (and, some say, ghosts). Don’t even think of buying one - they were all snapped up for a song in the mid-1990s by speculators well-connected in Cambodia’s murky corridors of military and civilian power. Address : Town Centre

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Rikitikitavi offers a small, but stylish range of individually decorated rooms situated in a tastefully renovated wooden framed rice barn. Each room comes with a beautiful bathroom with hot water shower. Air conditioning, cable TV, DVD player with 100s of free DVDs to watch, fan, mini-bar, safe, free WiFi and, most importantly, a fantastic bed and bedding. The double rooms also have a small private patio area and gorgeous four poster beds. Locally sourced Art and Khmer silks adorn the walls with massive wooden beams and rattan in abundance. Add:Rikitikitavi,Riverside Road,Kampot,Cambodia Tel: (0855) 012 235102 (0855) 012 274820

Dining in Kep is all about fresh seafood. For the best deals head to the Crab Market, a row of wooden waterfront shacks where you can tuck into mouth-watering grilled prawns, crab, squid, squid and fish. In case you’re interested, crabs kept alive in pens tethered a few metres off the pebbly beach - cost per kilo.

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ORCHID GUESTHOUSE

what is there to do?

KEP

Plan your itinerary

Le Soleil d’Or , an ancient French colonial hotel/guest house completely tastefully restored, only a few meters from the Kampot (Cambodia) riverside and five kilometers to the gulf of Thailand, offers you double rooms and one hotel family room. Our four hotel rooms are tastefully decorated and possess all the comfort necessary for a pleasant stay with us. Add: 20 Road Moui Ousaphea Village,Kompong,Kandal Comune, Kampot 0000, Cambodia. Tel: +855(0) 90 589 008 +855(0) 86 295 894

Rikitikitavi

why go? After several false starts, Kep finally seems to be rising from (or among) the ruins. It’s again popular,especially on weekends and holidays, with the wealthy elite of Phnom Penh. Drawn by the languid, Riviera-like atmosphere, they drive down in SUVs to picnic and frolic on the scruffy beaches (even before the war, white sand was shipped in from Sihanoukville to keep up appearances). If you want to see the town before big money transforms it, you’d better hurry.

when to go

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Le Soleil d’Or

NH3, these days in sharp shape, links Kampot with both Phnom Penh (148km, two hours) and Sihanouk ville(105k m).Both Phnom Penh Sorya Transport and Hour Lean (012 939917) run two buses daily to midday to/ from Phnom Penh (US$4, four to five hours). Both companies take the long way around – via Kep (US$2, 40 minutes) and Angk Tasaom (the gateway to Takeo; US$2.50) – because the Bailey bridges on NH3 aren’t bus-friendly. Both companies have ticket desks around Sokhoda Restaurant (facing the Total petrol station).

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On top of the hill northwest of Kep Beach is a palace built by King Sihanouk in the early 1990s. Before his overthrow in 1970, Kep was one of his favourite spots and he used to entertain visiting foreign dignitaries on an outlying island nicknamed Île des Ambassadeurs. The king may have harboured thoughts of retirement remains unfurnished.

Knai Bang Chatt Resort in Kep

Kep Beach

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Kep Beach, which faces south and is thus not great for sunsets, is sandy but narrow and strewn with little rocks. The eastern end of the shaded promenade is marked by a nude statue of a fisher’s wife. A waterfront promenade to the Crab Market was under construction as we went to press.

Coconut Beach

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Coconut Beach is a few hundred metres southeast of Kep Beach, just past the giant crab statue and across the NH33A from two gilded statues that locals say - with a great deal of justification - look like oversized chickens.

Popular bar and restaurant at the Veranda Resort. Good food too. Our nine Standard Bungalows, two Deluxe Bungalows, one Superior Hillside Bungalow, one Family Suite Bungalow, one Superior Suite Bungalow and two Deluxe Suite Bungalows all feature private veranda with hammock overlooking the Gulf of Thailand and Bokor Mountain, well-appointed en suite bathroom with hot water shower, fan cooling and some with air con. The lively open air Jungle Restaurant in a beautiful natural garden setting, offers Western and Asian food as well as fresh seafood dishes and a special BBQ grill menu. The Jungle Restaurant with its exceptional view presents an irresistible culinary adventure and is open daily from 7.00 am – midnight. The Jungle Bar brings in its own touch of exclusivity, providing a spectacular sunset overlooking the ocean, Phuc Quoc Island and Bokor Mountain.Our Barman will be pleased to mix a refreshing cocktail from our wide selection. You will be carried away by the ambient music while enjoying our wine selection or sip a tequila sunrise. @ The Veranda Natural Resort, Kep Hillside Road, Krong Kep, Cambodia Tel: (855-12) 888 619

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Squid fried , Seafood cuisine

THE BEACH HOUSE

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LE BOUT DU MONDE

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CHAMPEY INN

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Good value western and Asian dishes at this resort-based restaurant overlooking Kep’s beach. Near the “White Lady” Statue, Kep, Cambodia Tel: (855-12) 240 090

Good quality French fare - especially the seafood - at this pleasant ocean-view restaurant. Good value too. Kep Hillside, Kep, Cambodia Tel: (855-12) 198 9106

Good French fare at this ocean-view terrace restaurantat the popular Champey Inn, serving some of the best seafood preparations in Kep, plus a welcoming beachside bar. At the beach, Kep, Cambodia Tel: (855-12) 501 742

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Cambodia’s second-largest city is an elegant riverside town, home to some of the best-preserved French-period architecture in the country and to warm and friendly inhabitants. The city itself is developing fast but timeless hilltop temples and scenic villages can be seen on leisurely day-trips.

MINI GUIDE KEP

Getting around

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Eat & drink

Essentials

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Getting there

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Kep is 25km from Kampot, 172km from Phnom Penh and 49km from the Vietnamese town of Ha Tien. The Cambodia –Vietnam border at Ha Tien has been open to tourists since mid-2007. Both Phnom Penh Sorya Transport and Hour Lean run Phnom Penh–Kampot buses that pass through Kep (they also serve Angk Tasaom, near Takeo). On Phnom Penh Sorya, the fare to Kampot (40 minutes) is US$2; arrival times from Phnom Penh are variable. Buses stop at Kep Beach, where motos await, but you can ask to get off near the Riel bar or Kep Lodge. Ticketing is handled by guesthouses or Sunny Tour.

why go? Battambang’s many temples, which survived the Khmer Rouge period relatively unscathed thanks to a local commander who ignored orders, include Wat Phiphétaram, a long block north of Psar Nat, built in 1888; Wat Damrey Sar, west of the Battambang Museum; and Wat Kandal on the East Bank, once famed for its library. A number of the monks at all three wats speak English and are glad for a chance to practise; they’re often around in the late afternoon.

MINI GUIDE

when to go

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

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Sleep

Plan your itinerary

Battambang Museum

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The Beach House has 16 rooms in total - 10 single/double, 4 twin and 2 family rooms. The cost of a single/ double or twin room is USD40 per night and a family room is USD55 per night. All rooms are air-conditioned and have hot water. The cost does not include breakfast but does include full use of the pool and spa. Satellite television is available in every room. There is also a meeting room available for business retreats. Kep beach, Kep (+855 - 12) 712 750 (+855 - 12) 240 090

Kep Lodge

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Located in scenic Kep town, the charming Kep Lodge enjoys beautiful views of Bokor Mountain and the Gulf of Thailand. Offering free Wi-Fi, it has free bicycle rentals and an outdoor salt-water pool. For relaxation, guests can request for an in-room Khmer or oil massage. Scooter rentals and day trips to Rabbit Island can be arranged. There is an on-site sundry shop selling local products. Add: Pepper Street, Krong Kep, Kep Tel: 036 6900 143 092 435 330

Villa, Kap

Ek Phnom

Veranda Natural Resort 11 Set in a very pleasant and breezy spot with uninterrupted views, Veranda is popular with Phnom Penh expats so book ahead if you think you’ll be there over the weekend -- especially a holiday weekend. Accommodation ranges from fairly standard-sized wooden bungalows through to massive family-sized villas. The accommodation is accompanied by a wide, tiered restaurant and bar, which boasts some of the best views across the sea to Bokor to be had in the area. Hillside, Kep. T: +855(0)33 399 035 +855(0)12 888 619

Tree Top

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A Swiss Family Robinson experience Tree Top is true to its name and worth a night’s stay for the novelty alone. The four rooms are all actually tree houses, three of which are connected by wooden platforms, and the one room with a private bath is set off on its own. In front of Kep Lodge, Kep,Tel: (012) 515 191

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

Green House Café

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Ek Phnom dates back to the 11th century and is one of the most-visited attractions around Battambang. If you’ve already seen Angkor you’ll probably find it a bit disappointing, but if you haven’t been there yet, it’s a fine taster. On weekdays, you’re likely to have the entire place to yourself, How to get there: Ek Phnom is best reached from Battambang by motodop along the river road and takes around 45 minutes, passing through some beautiful scenery.

Phnom Banan

The bamboo train is one of the world’s all-time classic rail journeys. From O Dambong, on the east bank 3.7km south of Battambang’s Old Stone Bridge, the train runs southeast to O Sra Lav, via half an hour of clicks and clacks along warped, misaligned rails and vertiginous bridges left by the French.

Eat & Drink

Two elegant - though as yet nameless - avenues, with parkland down the middle, grace the city centre. One goes by the Centre Culturel Français (one block north of NH5), while the other stretches west from the worthwhile Battambang Museum .3Address: St 1 City Centre, Price: admission USUS$1 Hours: 08:00-11:00 & 14:00-17:00 Mon-Fri

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The Beach House

BATTAMBANG

what is there to do?

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Just over 20km to the south of Battambang, Phnom Banan is the best kept of the remaining Khmer ruins in the area, though again, when compared to Angkor Wat it isn’t so impressive.

Phnom Banan Temple

Dating back to the 11th century, Phnom Banan has been heavily looted but remains mostly upright. Location: 25 km south of Battambang Price: US$ 2, the ticket is also valid for Phnom Sampeau and Wat Ek Phnom

Phnom Sampeau

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Serves coffee, shakes, Khmer-style rice and noodle favourites, salads and exotic dishes - the menu has photographs so clients know what they’re getting - such as pizza, hamburgers and doughnuts. Popular with students from the nearby colleges. Address: East Bank Phone tel, info: 012 467313 Hours: 06:30-20:30

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This hilltop temple on the road to Pailin is one of the main locations of Battambang’s killing fields, with a large cave where victims were thrown either after being bludgeoned or having their throats cut, or simply to their death. Children, some of whom speak very good English, hang around the base of the temple and will walk up with you and act as your guides. Location: 18 km southwest of BattambangPrice: US$ 2, The ticket is also valid for Wat Ek Phnom and Phnom Banan

FRESH EAT Café

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Run by an NGO that helps children whose families have been affected by HIV/AIDS, this little place serves Western breakfasts, including bagels, and holds dance performances (USaround US$3) from 19:00 to 21:00 on Friday and Saturday. Address: City Centre Phone: tel, info: 012 953 912 Hours: 06:30-21:00

KHMER DELIGHT

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Khmer delight is the ideal place for people seeking a change from Khmer food and has an amazing range of international cuisine accompanied by amazing value 60cent draft Angkor unparalleled in Battambang. The waiting staff are nice and speak English well, but watch your bill after you've drank a couple as the ticks tend to accumulate faster than the beers...

Cambodia Red Wine, At Banan

76/6 Street Two & A Half | Central Business Dsitrict, Battambang 0000, Cambodia Tel: +855 12778666

MADISON CORNER

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However, with the majority of the menu consisting of a make your own crepe scheme, it doesn't appear that too many of Battambang's tourists are interested. Opting for the burger located under the sandwich section of the menu's miniscule Western food besides crepes section, I was heartbroken to receive a nugget of meat without a bun. The espresso was fantastic, and the establishment does get a late rush of drinkers as it's usually the last the close. Good for a nightcap. A pool table and WiFi are available. On the corner of 3rd street, one block west of The White Rose. T: (053) 731 486 The

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Mondulkiri is a totally different experience from the rest of Cambodia. High up in rolling hills, with a constant, all-year-round breeze, it’s a destination which makes you feel on top of the world.

MINI GUIDE BATTAMBANG

Getting around

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Essentials Getting there

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Battambang is 290km from Phnom Penh along the heavily trafficked NH5. Travelling after dark is best avoided for safety reasons. Boat and bus tickets can be arranged through hotels and guesthouses. NH57 to Pailin (80km) is still sometimes referred to by locals as NH10. Half-a-dozen bus companies have offices and stops on or near NH5, most of them west of the river. All serve Phnom Penh (US$4, five hours), Pursat (US$2.50 or US$3, two hours), Sisophon (US$2, one hour) and Poipet (US$4, three hours). Booking through a hotel may incur a US$1 commission.

why go?

MINI GUIDE

when to go

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

Sleep

Plan your itinerary

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Khemara 1 Hotel in Battambang is a newly built hotel within a short walking distance from the city center. The rooms are decorated with rich wooden furniture and parquet floor in a contemporary Khmer style. Building #611, Street 515, Chrey Kourng Village, Sangkat Slaket, Battambang City, Tel.: +855-53-737 878 info@khemarahotel.com,

Bungalow hotel

See Bousra Waterfall

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Phka Villa Battambang is an oasis of calm and peaceful retreat, located in center of town and far away from the busy city streets. The hotel is one of the finest in battambang and offers a beautiful black tiled pool and a restaurant serving Khmer and Western dishes. K.O Street, Romcheak 5, Sangkat Ratanak, Battambang, Cambodia Tel: +855(0) 53 953 255 H/P: +855(0) 89 969 366

Khemara 1 Hotel

MONDULKIRI

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The Bungalow hotel is situated on a quiet location in Battambang; a colonial legacy style building which awards you great unwind impression. The Bungalow is suitable for a nice family getaway since it offers affordable accommodations in calm and peaceful surrounding.

Hotel, Battambang

Elephant Treks

Within a close proximity to the central market, guests can make use of the bicycles available on site to travel to attractions that are within the hotel’s vicinity. # 144, Gr. 4, Kamarkor Sangkat Svaypor, Tel: +855 12 916 123

La Villa

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La Villa in Battambang is a boutique little hotel set in a colonial house built in the 1930s. The owners have renovated the building maintaining its colonial style and furnishing it exquisitely with art deco and antiques. The hotel has a pool and a restaurant with views over the garden and all the rooms contain telephone sets. The hotel has 7 en suite rooms and are equipped with air conditioning and fans, TV set and cable network, mosquito net. N 185 Pom Romchek 5 Kom Rattanak Srok Battambang - Cambodia Tél. + FAX : +85553730151 Mobile : +85517411880

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

what is there to do? For an original elephant experience, visit the Elephant Valley Project. The trip starts with a tour of the project before learning about the body language of elephants. Students are then given the chance to try a series of short rides to build their confidence. After lunch, wannabee mahouts get the chance to experience a longer ride to a nearby waterfall.

Eat & Drink 5 Green House Restaurant and Bar

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This is the largest waterfall within easy motorcycle distance -- 37 km -- of Sen Monorom, taking about one hour each way on average to poor dirt roads. The falls are in two main levels and the main picnic area is between the two. The upper falls are wide and strong with a couple of swimming holes, while the lower falls, at 25 m high, are narrower but far taller.

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Phka Villa

Home to the hardy Pnong people and their noble elephants, it is possible to visit traditional villages and learn how to be a mahout. The landscape is a seductive mix of pine clumps, grassy hills and windswept valleys that fade beguilingly into forests of jade green and hidden waterfalls. Wild animals, such as bears and tigers, are more numerous here than elsewhere, although chances of seeing them are about as good as winning the lottery

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The villages of Phulung, 7km northeast of Sen Monorom, and Putang, 9km southwest of town, are the most popular places to arrange an elephant trek. Most of the recommended guesthouses around town, as well as the tourist office, can arrange day treks for around USaround US$30 or so, including lunch and transport to and from the village. It can get pretty uncomfortable up on top of an elephant after a couple of hours; carry a pillow to ease the strain. Location: Villages of Phulung and Putang Timing: daily, morning till late afternoon Costs: US$ 25 up

is located right near the bus stop, and is essentially the only real backpacker hangout in town with any steady clientele. There are two main reasons for its draw. One, it has bamboo floors, rattan walls, and low ceilings covered in palm fronds. There’s a small bar and Western music always playing. T: (017) 905 659. Open 06:30 a.m. to 23:00 p.m.

Bousra Waterfall,

Sunset Hill

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Located before the air strip, 7 km down a side dirt road off the road to Bou Sra, this is a great place to ask your motodop to stop after returning from the waterfalls from a long day of trekking and swimming. You can also stop at Phnom Doh Kromom Pagoda, which is a small temple off the next road to the right heading toward the traffic circle.

Phnom Bai Chew

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Check out the observation deck of Phnom Bai Chuw, 6km northwest of Sen Monorom, for a jaw-dropping view of the emerald forest. It looks as though you are seeing a vast sea of tree tops, hence the locals have named it Samot Cheur (Ocean of Trees). Address NW of Town Centre

The Middle of Somewhere

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It serves primarily drinks andsnacks, but serves as a makeshift travel agency, organizing elephant treks with Jack’s refuge, which are about $50 for a full-day trip. The shop also sells an array of handmade Phnong crafts. Bananas restaurant, located on a patio behind the bamboo hut where Middle of Somewhere is housed, serves full meals. T: (012) 161 3833

Khmer Kitchen

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Also within eyesight of the bus stop on the same road, is a nice compromise between a Khmer- and Western-oriented restaurant. The ambiance, long tables under a metal

Fish Curry

awning. The food is great and wellpriced. Its all-inclusive breakfast combo eggs, toast, and coffee for $2, is a steal. The restaurant’s main attraction is its Khmer BBQ. You can choose fish, chicken, or beef. A one-person platter, with salad, marinated meats, and rice, is $5 while a two-person platter, which is plenty of food for three, costs $8. Tél : +855 11 620 461

Bananas

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Bananas is a new restaurat bar serving up Western favourites like shepherd’s pie and Flemish stew, with a dose of expat insight on life in Cambodia. By night, beers and spirits flow. Address: Town Centre Phone: tel, info: 092 412 680

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Ratanakiri is making a name for itself as diverse region of outstanding natural beauty that provides a remote home for a mosaic of minority peoples. The Jarai, Tompoun, Brau and Kreung are the Khmer Leu (Upper Khmer) people with their own languages, traditions and customs.

MINI GUIDE MONDULKIRI

Getting around

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Essentials Getting there The easiest way to arrive is from Snuol. Buses come to Snuol directly from Kratie (around two hours) and Phnom Penh (around three hours) by bus; once there, it is straightforward to find a pick-up or taxi which can take you on the three-hour trip up to Sen Monorom, the provincial capital. The road is in generally good condition, and the second half is possibly one of the beautiful routes in Cambodia, climbing through the jungle and suddenly bursting out onto the top of the hills. Prices for all of these kinds of transport are very reasonable, and they can be arranged through guest houses and hotels.

why go?

MINI GUIDE

what is there to do?

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

Plan your itinerary

Yeak Loam Lake

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Is a backpackers haven. Set on the side of a hill, filled with horses nibbling brush, the lodge has a wonderland feel to it. Friendly travellers convene in the restaurant area, a circular enclosure made of knotty pine that feels like a childhood tree house. Far and away the best place to stay A five minute moto ride outside town T: (012) 230 272;

Pich Kiri Guest House 10

Pich Kiri Guesthouse was the first lodging house to set up in Sen Monorom, and as of mid-2009, with a large, 47-room expansion, it is now by far the largest place to stay in town. Oldest and the best East of the market, Sen Monorom T: (012) 932 102;

Angkor Meas Guest house

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The rear view of the house looks out over a lush field of mango trees. The rooms are sparse and clean, featuring big beds with enormous headboards. Air-con is less of a necessity in this cooler climate than is hot water, but if you arrive in the middle of the hot season and need to find

Nature Lodge in Mondulkiri

Eisey Patamak Mountain

a refrigerated room for the evening at a decent price. Past the airstrip, Sen Monorom T: (011) 696 828;

Kachang Waterfall

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

LE JOVIAL JARAI

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At the top of Phnom Svay is the statue of a reclining Buddha, situated 2.5 km. Awesome and peaceful, it has lain undisturbed throughout the years. Cast your eye outwards to glimpse Laos in the north and Vietnam in the east, and enjoy the spellbinding serenity of the surrounding countryside.

12 Long Vibol Guest House and Restaurant

This pleasant enough guesthouse feels like it is far more targeted towards the NGO crowd than independent travellers and backpackers. While the rooms, hidden in a few low-slung row houses set behind a small stream and some treelined paths, are very clean and spacious, with hot water showers and TV, there is little to justify the walk (or short moto ride) out here as opposed to staying closer to town. A fave with NGO crowd Past the airstrip, Sen Monorom T: (012) 944 647;

Eat & Drink

Yeak Loam Lake is situated 5 km. south - east of Banlung. The Yeak Loam lake (volcanic crater) is the most beautiful lake of Ratanakiri formed by a volcanic eruption almost 4,000 years ago with 50 m. deep, 800 m. diameter and a walking path around the lake of 2,500 m. Two hundred meters of the track is a quaint wooden building housing tribal handicraft, the Crafts Museum.

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Nature Lodge

Trekking has really started to take off around Ratanakiri, but it is important to make clear arrangements with your guide to ensure you get what is expected out of a trip. There are lots of popular routes that take in minority villages and scenic spots around the province.

ratanakiri

when to go

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Many visitors opt for a trek into Virachay National Park, but be aware that some of these treks barely scrape the park itself, and spend much of the time in the park buffer zone. There are now multiday treks into the park, and these are a great way to explore one of the wildest and most remote areas in Cambodia.

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Kachang Waterfall is situated 6km. north west of Banlung. This Waterfall is located in the Kontung stream and flows into the Sre Pok River. The height of it is 12 m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. A beautiful or magnificent landscape and huge amounts of fresh mist surround the waterfall. The visitors can take a bath and sit to look at the waterfall and other natural scenic beauties. or the visitors can also go around to view other natural sights on foot or take an elephants ride.

Water fall, Ratanakiri

Katieng Waterfall

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Katieng Waterfall is situated 7 km. north - west of Banlung. It is also located in the Koutung Stream, below the Kachang Waterfall, 3 km. The height of it is 10m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. The visitors can see a beautiful natural landscape and take a break to take pictures of the birds and then continue to the waterfall.

Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall

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Located at the popular Terres Rouge Lodge resort just outside town, Le Jovial Jarai offers a comprehensive range of traditional Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese specialities together with a small selection of of western favourites, and all at reasonable prices. Groups catered for. Terres Rouge Lodge, Ratanakiri, Cambodia Tel: (855-11) 725 881

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Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall is situated 26 km, South of Banlung. This Waterfall has 4 floors and the height of each floor is 4 m. The water flows throughout the year. Around the Waterfall are beautiful natural landscapes and the visitors can go take a bath if they wish.

SAWASDEE FOOD TERRACE

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A very pleasant dining terrace at the popular Yaklom Hill Lodge, the Sawasdee offers a wide selection of excellent Thai, Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese dishes, all prepared from quality ingredients in a hygenic kitchen. Also has a few western favourites such as burgers, pasta etc. Yaklom Hill Lodge, Banlung, Ratanakiri, Cambodia Tel: (855-11) 725 881

TRIBAL CAFE

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A decent guesthouse restaurant Khmer and some western dishes in a quiet, open aspect venue close to the town centre. Good cheap guesthouse too. Banlung Town, Ratanakiri, Cambodia

Bar & Restaurant in Lodge des Terres Rouges, Ratanakiri

AMERICAN RESTAURANT

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A good, inexpensive choice for hearty western fare including burgers, pizzas, pasta, fries etc. Also offers a selection of decent Khmer, Thai and Chinese dishes. Cheap and popular. Banlung Town, Ratanakiri, Cambodia

SAL’S RESTAURANT

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Sal’s has been aropund for a little while now and gets good reviews for its burgers, spaghetti, meatballs, fish and chips and more. Also serves decent Khmer food and is very popular with the small expat community in Banlung. Airport Road, Banlung, Ratanakiri, Cambodia

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Bangkok is excess in all of its unrestrained glory. Biger, better, more: the city is insatiable, a monster that feeds on concrete, shopping malls and diesel exhaust.

MINI GUIDE RATANAKIRI

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there

why go?

There are two main legs to the trip, Phnom Penh to Stung Treng and then Stung Treng to Banlung. The first leg usually requires a ferry ride for part of the way in order to bypass the extremely bad road between Kratie and Stung Treng. Either: 1) Take a taxi (2 hours, 8000 riel) or ferry (15,000 riel) to Kampong Cham, and then take a ferry from Kampong Cham to Stung Treng (9 hours, $15), or; 2) Take a taxi (5 hours, 13000 riel) or ferry (5 hours, 30,000 riel) to Kratie, and then take a ferry from Kratie to Stung Treng (5 hours, $7). Once in Stung Treng take a shared taxi or truck from Stung Treng to Banlung (25,000 riel, 3.5 hours in the dry season. 5-10 hours in the wet season.

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Bangkok’s best feature is its intermingling of o posites. A modern world of affluence orbits around a serene traditional core. Step outside the four-star hotels into a typical Siamese village where taxi drivers knock back energy drinks and upcountry transplants grill chicken on a streetside barbecue. Hop the Skytrain to the glitzy shopping malls where trust-fund babies examine luxury brands as carefully as the housewives inspect produce at the open-air markets.

MINI GUIDE what is there to do?

Thailand, BANGKOK

when to go

Cambodia can be visited at any time of year. The ideal months are December and January, when humidity levels are relatively low, there is little rainfall and a cooling breeze whips across the land, but this is also peak season when the majority of visitors descend on the country.

Sleep

Plan your itinerary

Welcome to Norden House Yaklom Ratanakiri, an unique newly built bungalow village in the famous Yaklom lake area. Our bungalows are 36 sq. m each with pinewood interior, attached bathroom w hot water, TV and DVD, furniture’s in pinewood and local hardwood, imported bed linen. We can arrange 3-10 days trekking in Virachey national park. Email: info@nordenhouseyaklom.com Tel: +855 12 880327 Mobile: 012 880327

Bangkok Calypso Ladyboy Show

Eat & Drink 1

Red curtains, glamorous feathers and long legs… and, since you are in Thailand, may we add ladyboys? While this is no Broadway or Can-Can show, Calypso Cabarat promises to be a feast for your eyes and ears. A fantastic evening at the Calypso involves a lot of dazzling performances by a wildly talented troupe of transvestite dancers, entertainers and lip-sync singers, not to mention bringing Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson back from the dead. Some say it’s touristy and strange, but we say it’s a star-studded evening with glistening stage design, extravagant costumes, thrilling soundtracks and simply superb entertainment.

Delux Room in Lodge des Terres Rouges, Ratanakiri

pleasant lakeside setting Far side of lake, Ban Lung Tel: +855 92 390 063 The Rattanak Hotel, Ratanakiri pro- E: chhenglok@yahoo.com vides wonderful accommodation with its well appointed rooms. All the rooms at the Rattanak Hotel, Ra- TERRE ROUGES LODGE 14 tanakiri are spacious and splendidly Charming traditional wooden lodge seat decorated. The units at the Rattanak on the edge of a lake and surrounded Hotel, Ratanakiri conform to the in- by peacefull garden. The team at Terres ternational standards of hospitality. Rouges offer professionally organised The warm ambience makes you feel tours of Ratanakiri Province, and the at home. Address: Banlung District, Lodge features a restaurant and bar serving local specialities and a wide Banlung, Ratanakiri, Cambodia. selection of wines and spirits, plus a Tel: (089) 259 029; small massage operation. Rooms are comfortable, some of them air-conLakeside Chheng Lok 13 ditioned. Rates run from US$32 to Hotel US$75 per night for double occupancy, In a prime spot overlooking Boeng depending on type of room or suite. Kansaign, this is the best all-rounder English-speaking local guides are availin Ban Lung. Set in a lush garden, able for US$20 per day. Lakeside, Banthere is a choice of attractive garden lung, Ratanakiri, Cambodia bungalows or smart rooms. Hot wa- Tel: (855-75) 974 051 ter, cable TV, it’s all here, and there is Mob: (855-12) 959 115 a local restaurant amid the flourishing Phnom Penh: (856-23) 215 651 plants.

Rattanak Hotel

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Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

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Norden House

Come find your niche among dazzling temples, hotels of every breed and size, eclectic markets, gleaming palaces, ritzy shopping malls, a famous nightlife and the many things in between. Enjoy a memorable dinner cruise adrift the Chao Phraya River. Bask in the city’s warm, affluent glow at a skyscraping rooftop bar. Experience all the things – tuk-tuk ride, ladyboy show, Muay Thai (kickboxing) match, Thai massage – everyone always comes home talking about.

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A dazzling site from afar, the Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew command respect from all who have walked in their sacred grounds. Built in 1782, and for 150 years the home of the Thai King, the Royal court and the administrative seat of government, the Grand Palace continues to have visitors in awe with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. Wat Pra Kaeo enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald, dating from the 15th century AD.

Bacchus

Dream World, Bangkok

Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market

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Bringing the finest French and Itaian recipes to your table, this fusion restaurant combines traditional European dishes with Asian accents such as Tokyo onion curry, pan-fried foie gras with eggplant in Japanese miso and balsamic sauce, and grilled pork fillet with umeboshi (Japanese apricot) sour sauce. Opening Hours: 24 hours Location: 999/9 Rajdamri Road, in front of Central World. 3

Perhaps the best choice to enjoy a traditional Thai floating market without the touristy push is Bang Khu Wiang. Monks arrive by boat in early morning on their daily ‘tak baat’ (alms round), and a variety of farm - fresh produce is offered. Opening Hours: 04:00 - 07:00 (every day) How to get there: One option is to rent a boat from Chang Pier (in Bangkok), and ask to be taken to Noi-Khlong Om-Bang Khu Wiang Floating Market. A cheaper option is to catch a boat from Wat Chalo Pier for a 45-minute ride to Bang Kruai (5 baht), which runs every 15 minutes from 05:00 - 20:00. From there it is a 10-minute boat ride to the market. If boats don’t suit you, no worries as taxis and tuk-tuks are available for hire at the market.

Café@2 – Conrad Hotel Bangkok

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Describing itself as a French-Thaibrasserie, you might mistakenly think that the menu at Café@2 follows the fusion cuisine line. But no, this upscale eatery offers classic Thai and French dishes on its lunch and dinner buffet menus, coffees and freshly blended juices. Opening Hours: 06:00 – midnight Location: 2nd floor, Conrad Hotel Bangkok on Wireless Road BTS: Ploenchit Tel: +66 (0)2 690 9299 Cuisine: French and Thai buffet

Circle

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With downstairs serving as a bar, patrons can enjoy a drink before dinner and observe the chefs work their magic through the glass-walled kitchen. If it

Papaya Salad with salty crablet

take your fancy, eating in the bar is an alternative to the main dining area, upstairs. Opening Hours: 11:30 - 14:30 and 17:30 – 24:00 Location: Ruam Rudee Village, Soi Ruam Rudee Tel: +66 (0) 2650 8049 Cuisine: International

Biscotti

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This upscale Italian practices an openkitchen concept that enables customers to observe the cooking process and enjoy the aromatic flavours of the fresh ingredients while enjoying a glass of wine from the extensive wine list, also served by the glass. Opening Hours: 11:30-14:30 and 18:00-22:30 Address: Four Seasons Hotel, 155 Rajdamri Tel: +66 (0) 2 126-8866 Cuisine: Italian

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This delightfully friendly capital, studed with cru bling French mansions, bougain villea­ -blooming streets and steaming noodle stalls, is somewhere between a big town and a diminutive city; the kind of place you might find a Graham Greene protagonist.

MINI GUIDE

THAILAND, BANGKOK

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there

map display here..

Bangkok’s thousands of brightly coloured taxis are some of the best value cabs on earth. Most are new, air-conditioned and have working seat belts in the front seat, though less often in the back. You can flag them down almost anywhere in central Bangkok. The meter charge is 35B for the first 2km, then 4.50B for each of the next 10km, 5B for each kilometre from 13km to 20km and 5.50B per kilometre for any distance greater than 20km, plus a small standing charge in slow traffic.

why go? Full of things to see, from Buddha Park to the Morning market and an impossibly rich selection of international cuisine – most pointedly French – you’ll find yourself slowly won over by the easy charms of this evolving backwater.

MINI GUIDE

what is there to do?

when to go

The southwest monsoon arrives between May and July and lasts into November. This is followed by a dry period from around November to May, which begins with lower relative temperatures until mid-February (because of the influence of the northeast monsoon, which bypasses this part of Thailand but results in cool breezes), followed by much higher relative temperatures from March to May. It usually rains most during August and September,

Sleep

Plan your itinerary

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Novotel Bankok Fenix Ploenchit is nestled between the central business district, Ploenchit-Sukhumvit Road and popular shopping centers such as MBK, Siam Paragon and Central Chidlom. Address: 566 Ploenchit Road, Lumpimi, Patumwan 10330 Bangkok, Thailand

Grand President Bangkok

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It was inevitable the big hotel companies would co-opt the ‘boutique’ idea, as Accor did in 2007 with this 147 room, eight-floor place at the end of busy Soi 11. It’s aimed at young, partyoriented tourists and is reasonable value. It looks contemporary enough with a lobby daubed in orange and white opening onto a ‘look at me’ bar. Down lounge-music-filled corridors the small rooms are, well, small. 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Klong Toey Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand+66 2 305 4000

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit

laoS, vientiane

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Seamlessly comfortable and beautifully decorated serviced apartments in the most happening part of Sukhumvit. If you’re spending more than just a few nights in Bangkok it’s worth considering this kind of option.

Laos National Cultural Hall

Delux Twin Room in Rikka Inn Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

It’s an excellent choice for business travellers, or anyone seeking an extra notch of comfort. 14, 16 sukhumvit soi 11, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

SC Sathorn Boutique

Eat & Drink

Patuxai

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Check Inn Chinatown is located in Bangkok’s Old City neighborhood, close to Memorial Bridge, Wat Suthat, and Wat Saket. Nearby points of interest also include Temple of the Reclining Buddha and Grand Palace. Hotel Features. Dining options at Check Inn Chinatown include a restaurant and a snack bar/deli. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Guestrooms. 34 air-conditioned guestrooms at Check Inn Chinatown feature minibars and coffee/tea makers. Rooms are individually decorated. At this 2.5-star hotel, accommodations include kitchenettes with microwaves, refrigerators, and cookware/dishes/utensils. 204,206,208 soi charoenkrung14, Charoenkrung road,samphanthawong, Bangkok 10100, Thailand

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at info@citylifemagz.com and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

Aria Italian

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Built by the Chinese in the 1990’s, as a gift to the Laos people, the building is not the most attractive Vientiane has known. Occasionally French cinema and Lao classical dance events are held here within the hall, although it is difficult to access information to find out exactly when. Those interested should keep an eye on the Vientiane Times.

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Le Fenix Sukhumvit

Spread over the lower slopes of Phu Pasak (also known more colloquially as Phu Khuai), Wat Phu is small compared with the monumental Angkor-era sites in Cambodia or Thailand. But the tumbledown pavilions, ornate shiva-lingam sanctuary, enigmatic crocodile stone and tall trees that shroud much of the site in soothing shade give Wat Phu a mystical atmosphere.

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Patuxai (literally Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph), formerly the Anousavary or Anousavari Monument, is situated in the centre of Vientiane. Built between1962 and 1968, the Laotians built it as a mark of respect for all those who fought in the struggle for independence from the French. Ironically, the monument bears a slight resemblance to the Arc de Triomphe, although the attention to detail and intricate design is typically Laotian, boasting four rather than two archways. The view from the top is spectacular. Built with cement that was purchased from America, with the intention of constructing a new airport, the locals sometimes refer to the monument as the ‘vertical runway’.

Temple, Vientiane

Buddha Park (Xieng Khuan)

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Buddha Park (aka Xieng Khuan) is a famous sculpture park with more than 200 religious statues including a huge 40-metre high reclining Buddha image. It was built in 1958 by Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, a monk who studied both Buddhism and Hinduism. This explains why his park is full not only of Buddha images but also of Hindu gods as well as demons and animals from both beliefs. Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00 Location: About 25 kilometres southeast of Vientiane, along the Mekong River How to get there: The Buddha Park can be reached by public bus or tuk tuk Tour Available: Vientiane City & Temple Tour

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If and when you have had enough of Laos food, Aria represents a good change. Located right downtown Vientiane Aria’s reputation precedes it as one of the best of its genre in Asia. With a classical Italian feel and a welllit and roomy dining area, Aria’s pizza selections from its open kitchen comprise its highlights but it also features recomendable lamb, veal and sliced sirloin – all complemented by an excellent wine list. Opening Hours: 00-856-021-222589 Location: 8 Rue Francois Nginn Tel: 00-856-021-222589

Bor Pen Nyang

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‘No worries’ is the laid-back mantra at the Bor Pen Nyang. Relax while you face a great view of the Mekong River. From the lazy and relaxed afternoons to the vibrant nights, this restaurant and bar offers complete entertainment. Enjoy a game of pool or snooker with your friends or read a book in solitude at the Sidewalk Garden Cafe. Take along that special someone and make sparks fly with yummy cocktails and the fiery sunset. Bor Pen Nyangoffers a range of snacks. Address: Fa Ngum Rd, Wat Chanh Village. Tel: +856 21 26 1373

Laos, Ginger Chicken Cuisine

Khop Chai Deu Food

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(means ‘Thank you very much’) A favorite with expats, backpackers and tourists, this colonial-style building has a great menu of Laos and international dishes, each page reflecting the different types of customers. For example, the ‘Backpacker Page’ is where you will find spring rolls and other reliable dishes; likewise the ‘Laos Discovery Set’ takes you through various short courses of typical Lao dishes. The ‘Expatriate Relief Page’ is packed with home-cooked favorites such as pizza, pasta and hearty stews. Location: Southwest of Nam Phu Fountain, Around Town. Remarks: Credit Cards: Master Card and Visa Tel: +85621/212-106

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One factor that makes Saigon City exceptional is the contrast between the old and the new. This is the country’s business centre, and there are many areas under development, but there are also many places and buildings from earlier eras that are well preserved and well worth visiting to see the French colonial influences as well as ancient Buddhist sites. From fine art to war memorabilia, the list of things to see in Saigon City is seemingly endless.

MINI GUIDE

LAOS, VIENTIANE

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there Buses use three different stations in Vientiane, all with some English-speaking staff. The Northern Bus Station (260255; Th T2), about 2km northwest of the centre, serves all points north of Vang Vieng, including China, and has some buses to Vietnam. The Southern Bus Station (740521; Rte 13 South), commonly known as Dong Dok Bus Station or just khíw lot lák kāo (Km 9 Bus Station), is 9km out of town and serves everywhere south. Buses to Vietnam will usually stop here.

why go? Saigon City is a fun place to shop for bargains. Some goods can be unique and fascinating – old propaganda posters, for example; we found one that exhorted people to plant garlic for export. Clothing includes silks and hand-woven fabrics with a reputation for high quality. Vietnam is also famous for handicrafts including bamboo ware, ceramics and lacquer. There are, too, all the usual holiday souvenirs such as T-shirts and beaded handbags at prices that are hard to beat.

MINI GUIDE

when to go

The best time for visiting most of Laos is between November and February, when it rains the least and is not too hot. It’s also Laos’s main season for both national and regional bun (festivals). If you plan to focus on the mountainous northern provinces, the hot season (from March to May) and early rainy season (around June) is not bad either, as temperatures are moderate at higher elevations.

Sleep

Plan your itinerary

korn Inn Hotel

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Vayakorn Inn is ideally situated in the heart of Vientiane, 15 minutes from the Wattay International Airport and 30 minutes from the Friendship bridge. Conveniently located in downtown Vientiane, the hotel is close to major tourist sites, plentiful shopping opportunities and provides the perfect setting for business, leisure and relaxation. 19, Henbounnoy Street, Ban haysoke Chanthabouly District, Vientiane, Lao PDR Tel: (+856-21) 215348, 215349 E-mail: vayakorn@gmail.com; vbinn@laotel.com

Sabaidee and welcome to Hotel Chanthapanya, Vientiane, Laos. From the front door, through the lobby, in the dining room and in every guest room, three words describe our Hotel – exquisite, exclusive and excellence. Entering the hotel lobby, guests will be greeted by exquisitely carved timber furniture – exclusive to our Hotel – that exudes an air of traditional charm and elegance, and provides guests with a homely comfort. Add: No. 138 Norkeokoummarn Road. Ban Mixay Chanthabouli District, Vientiane Capital, Lao P.D.R. Tel: (856-21) 244 284

Day Inn

Bink Quoi Tourist Village

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Day Inn is located in the heart of Vientiane near to Namphou Circle, surrounding by restaurants, shops, banks, car or motorbikes rental, 500 meters from the Mekong River and 15 minutes from Wattay International Airport. 30 Rooms. Hotel Address : 059/3 B Sisakhet Unit 1, Vientiane, Chanthaboury District

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

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As the name suggests, this village is tailor-made for package holidaymakers, but nonetheless offers a pleasant choice of activities including water puppet shows, boat rides, and river cruises. It was built in 1994 by the Sai Gon Tourist Corporation on the banks of the Sai Gon River in Binh Thanh District, eight kilometres from the centre of Saigon. Generally considered the largest tourist attraction in Ho Chi Minh City, it has an evening dinner cruise with cultural show.

Cholon (Chinatown)

Au Lac do Brasil

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The original Ben Thanh Market was built in 1859 but was destroyed when the French invaded and was rebuilt at its current location at Cong Truong Dien Hong – formerly a landfill – in 1899. For anyone on a tour of Ho Chi Minh City this is an essential stop for souvenirs such as T-shirts and handicrafts. The market is very well organized, with stalls grouped in sections according to what they sell.

Don Chan Palace, Exectutive Suit

Chanthapanya hotel

Saigon City’s entertainment industry is growing fast, though it’s still not a city for round-the-clock entertainment – most places close soon after midnight. But what’s available is quality fun. There is a wide variety of pubs and bars, especially in the city center, and the number of discos and clubs with regular live music is booming. Some of these are must-visits for newcomers, especially those traveling alone who may want to make new friends and meet local people.

Eat & Drink

Ben Thanh Market

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le Leela Hotel, a newly opened hotel. Is now on track in Vientiane. It’s small Boutique hotel with only 15 rooms. Our rooms are uniquely designed with the modern and contemporary’s style it specially bring the cozy and unique experience during your stay. The hotel has 9 Deluxe rooms, 3 Superior, and 3 le LeeLa suites where a couple, family, friends could spend their enjoyable time together. Moreover, we proudly present and serve you with cuisine Indochina.Vaya Ban Phiawat 33 Unit 10 T: (021) 214 048; F: (021) 215 532

what is there to do?

See

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Angkham Hotel

vietnam, saigon

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The district of Cholon comprises Ho Chi Minh’s Chinatown. Established in 1879, it was a separate entity from Saigon but

Saigon night market

was later merged in 1931 by the Frenchcolonial government. The Chinese began to settle in Cholon in 1900 and as a result there are a lot of sights to see, such as the Binh Tay Market on Phan Van Khoe Street, Thien Hau Pagoda in Nguyen Trai district, Quan Am on Lao Tu Street, the Cholon Mosque on Nguyen Trai Street and a lot more interesting places.

Giac Lam Pagoda

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For a taste (and then some) of Brazil, head to Au Lac. Decked out with Carnaval-themed paintings, this churrascaria (barbecue restaurant) serves allyou-can-eat steak (and 11 other cuts of meat), just like back in Rio. Plus a new à la carte menu. Address: 238 Ð Pasteur Phone: 08 3820 7157 Price: set dinner 390, 000d

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This pagoda the oldest in Saigon. It was built in 1744 and remodeled in the 19th century and again about 100 years ago. The temple reflects interesting Taoist and Confucian influences in addition to Buddhism. Shoes may be worn in the temple but visitors should take off their hats and refrain from smoking. Location: 118 Lac Long Quan St in District 5

Camargue

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French Camargue is in a beautiful villa with a lovely garden courtyard and attracts diners with its romantic atmosphere. The restaurant’s bar is an ideal spot for a pre-dinner cocktail or two. Address: 16 Cao Ba Quat, District 1 . Tel: +848 823 2828

Cantina Central

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Mexican Cantina Central is the well known among locals, expats and regular visitors to Saigon for the fresh authenticity of its Mexican food. It also serves the best Margaritas in town, amid attractive, relaxing surroundings. Address: 51 Ton That Thiep Street Tel: +848 914 4697

Cepage

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An impressive addition to the international dining scene, Cepage is a trendy wine bar with a lounge downstairs and a serious foodie place upstairs. Try the ‘black box’ – a mystery three-course set lunch for 130,000d.

Noodle Crab Soup

Address:22 Ð Le Thanh Ton Lancaster Bldg, Phone: 08 3823 8733 Price: mains 150,000-350,000d

Nam Kha

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Temple Club

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IThis is one of Saigon’s best-known designer restaurants, quite literally, as it is run by the Khai Silk group. The setting is striking with a reflective pool set amid Romanesque pillars. The menu is all about aromatic Vietnamese flavours. Address: 46 Ð Dong Khoi Phone:08 828 8309 Price: mains around 200,000d

Vietnamese Housed in an old Chinese temple, with beautiful woodwork and masonry, and a terracotta floor, the Temple Club has a bar, a lounge and a formal dining room with a menu featuring Vietnamese food from all over the country. Address: 29-31 Ton That Thiep St, District 1 . Tel: +848 829 9244

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MINI GUIDE

VIETNAM, SAIGON

Getting around

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there Intercity buses depart from and arrive at a variety of bus stations around HCMC and are well served by local bus services from Ben Thanh Market. HCMC is one place where the open-tour buses really come into their own, as they depart and arrive in the very convenient Pham Ngu Lao area. This saves an extra local bus journey or taxi fare. Most of the open-tour companies sell tickets to Mui Ne (around US$5), Nha Trang (around US$9) and Dalat (around US$8), plus there are night buses to Nha Trang (around US$12).

map display here..

when to go

Vietnam’s weather is dictated by two monsoons, meaning double trouble on the rain front. The winter monsoon comes from the northeast between October and March, bringing damp and chilly winters to all areas north of Nha Trang, and dry and warm temperatures to the south. From April or May to October, the summer monsoon brings hot, humid weather to the whole country.

Sleep Grand Hotel

Plan your itinerary

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Guests wishing to combine business with pleasure will find much to recommend in this hotel, centrally located in the city but surprisingly quiet. While the rooms are not flashy they are spic and span and nicely decorated with all the trimmings and trappings any business traveler or vacationer could want. Since there are only 104 rooms, it’s not overrun with visitors. Add: 117 Le Thanh Ton Street, District 1, District 1 - Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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CITYLIFEMAGZ.COM

AUSTRALIA #. 16B, Assembly Tel: 023 213 470 www.embassy.gov.au

JAPAN #. 194, Norodom Tel: 023 217 161-4 www.kh.emb-japan.go.jp

BELGIUM Phnom Penh Center, Sihanouk Blvd., Block F- Floor 7 Tel: 023-214024

LAOS #. 15-17, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023 997 931

BRUNEI #. 237, Street 51 Tel: 023 211 457-8 BRITISH #. 27-29, (St. 75) Tel: 023 427 124 www.ukincambodia.fco.gov.uk BULGARIA #. 227-229, Norodom Tel: 023 217 504 CANADA #. 9, Senei Vinna Vaut Oum Tel: 023 213 470 Ext 417 www.infoexport.gc.ca/kh

MALAYSIA #. 5, Oknha Peich Tel: 023 216 176-7 MALTA #. 10, Street 370 Tel: 023 368 184 MYANMAR #181, Norodom, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 223761 www.phnompenh.um.dk FRANCE #1, Preah Monivong Tel: 023 430 020-2 www.ambafrance-kh.org

CHINA #156, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023 720 920-1

GERMANY # 76-78, Yougoslavie Tel: 023 216 193 www.phnom-penh.diplo.de

DENMARK #8, Street 352 Tel: 023 987629

INDIA # 5, Chakrey Nhek Tioulong Tel: 023 210 912-3

N. KOREA #50-52, Samdech Pan Tel: 023 211 900-3 www.khm.mofat.go.kr

INDONESIA #1, Chakrey Nhek Tioulong Tel: 023 216 148

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Grand Hotel Saigon is within 1 km from the General Post Office, Notre Dame Church and the Reunification Palace. Tan Son Nhat International Airport is a convenient 25-minute drive away. Featuring classic French décor, rooms at the Grand Saigon are luxurious with fine beddings and furnishings. Each air-conditioned room offers views of the city or pool and come with cable TV, minibar and tea/coffee maker. Add: 8 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam Tel : ++84 8 38230163

Norfolk Hotel

EMBASSIES INFORMATION

PHILIPPINES #15Z, Street 422 Tel: 023 222 303-4

Norfolk Hotel, Saigon, Vietnam

thien thao hotel

POLAND #767, Monivong Tel: 023217782

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Thien Thao Hotel is ideal for tourists and business travellers alike. Here at Thien Thao Hotel, we proudly cater to the needs of our valued Guests by providing the highest standards of services. We are aware that you have a choice of facilities to choose form, and are extremely pleased that you are taking a moment to see all that our hotel has to offer. Add: 89 Cao Thang Street - Ward 3 - District 3 - Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam

Saigon Mini Hotel

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Saigon Mini Hotel is close to the central backpackers area but secluded enough to be away from the noise and disturbances. Most of the rooms catch a good dose of this light and air -- but not all, so ask to see a few if the room you’re shown lucked out in the window department. Wifi is available throughout the hotel.102/1A Cong Quynh, District 1. T: (08) 836 1008 F: (08) 838 9599

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012

PAKISTAN # 45, Street 310 Tel: 023 996 890-1 RUSSIA # 213, Sothearos Tel: 023 210 931

AIRLINES INFORMATION

Send us your recommendations!

Tell us about your favourite restaurant, hotel or attraction in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Kep, Kompot, Banttamabang, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Bangkok, Vientiane, and Vietnam. Email us at

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue.

Air Asia # Cambodia International Airport Tel: 023 890 035

Cambodia Angkor Air # Mao Tse Toung, 12306 Tel: 023 023 666 786-8

Angkor Airways Corp # 32, Norodom, 12205 Tel: 023 222 056-8

Cebu Parcific Airways #333B, Monivong Blvd Tel: 023 219 161

Angkor Asian Air Co. Ltd # Phnom Penh International Airp Tel: 023 726 672

China Southern Airline Co.Ltd #53, Monivong Blvd Tel: 023 430 877

Bangkok Airways # 61A. Samdech Pan (St. 214) Tel: 023 426 624

Eva Airway Coroporation #11-14B, St. 217 Tel: 023 210 303

TRANSPORTATION IN Hong Kong Dragon Airline #168, Monireth Tel: 023 424 300 Indochina Airlines #36B, Mao Tse Tung Boulevard Tel: 023 994 502-3 Jetstar Airways #333B, Monivong Blvd Tel: 023 220 909 Korean Air #254, Monivong Blvd, RoomF3 Tel: 023 224 047-9 Lao Airlines #111, Sihanouk Blvd Tel: 023 424 300 Leisure Cargo Ltd #171-173 E0-E3, St. 110 Tel: 023 890 980 Pacific Crown Air Limited # 254, Monivong Boulevard Tel: 023 723 244 Philippine Airlines #333B, Monivong Blvd Tel: 023 291 161 Qatar Airways #333B, Monivong Blvd Tel: 023 218 040 Shang Hai Airlines #19, St. 106 Tel: 023 723 999 Silk Air #313, Sisowath, Himawari Hotel Tel: 023 426 806 Singapore Airlines #313, Sisowath, Himawari Hotel Tel: 023 426 807 Thai Airways International Pub-l #International Airport Tel: 023 890 292 Thai Airways International Pub-l #294, Mao Tse Toung Tel: 023 214 359 Vietnam Airlines #41, Samdech Pan Tel: 023 215 998 Lufthansa Co.Ltd #171-173 E0, Stt. 110 Tel: 023 213 325-6

Drop us an E-mail for your further update information: info@citylifemagz.com

PHNOM PENH

Taxi CHOICE Taxi 24/7 hours 2000 Riels for first 1.2km Tel: 023 888 023, 069 888 069 Boat Excursions-Rental Seng Hour Boat Rental Size: 4mx22m, Two floors Time Open: from 5.00 PM Cambodia $1/h Foreigner $ 5/h Tel: 023 723 476 Tuk Tuk Take you everywhere in town! Mr. Bun Leang Tel: 011 36 37 80 Mr. Deth Tel: 017 619 386 Mr. Bou Sokun Tel: 012 50 34 69 Mr. Thai Tuk Tuk The Surviver Tel: 011 722 788 / 092 774 227 ( English, Thai Spoken ) Car Rental LYNA-CARRENTAL.COM Price $250-1,1500/month or $15-40/day Airport Taxi service OW=$9.00 & RT=$15 Tel: 012 924517 (English) Tel: 012 554 247 (Khmer) www.lyna-carrental.com Larryta Trading & Travel Co., Ltd (Car Rental) Available all kinds of vehicles for rent: Sedan, Land Cruiser, Pajero, 4WD (Wagon, Pick up), Mini Van, VIP Tel: 023 994 748 Nº. 9, Street 310 Phnom Peh Motor Rental Angkor Motorcycles Sale - Rent - Repair Motorcycles & Visa Service. Available all kinds of Motorcycles for Sale & Rent: AX-1, Degree, BAJA, XLR, XR, Dream & Auto Bikes Nº. 92Eo, Pasteur (St. 51), between Street 172 & 174 angkormotorcycles@yahoo.com Tel: 012 722 098 / 012 222 205 Fax: 023 986 333 Vannak Bikes Shop # 40Eo, Khemarak Phoumin (St. 130) Tel: 012 220 970 Sean Ly Motor Repairing Shop Kampot # 27, Seong Ngok Minh Street, 1 Usaphea Village. Tel: 012 944 687 Phnom Penh Motor #645, Oknha Khleang Moeung (St. 70) Tel: 023 991 535 Little Bikes #178 Street 13 (between St. 178 and 172), Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tel: 023991570 (English & Khmer) info@littlebikescambodia.com

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2012

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FUN QUICK QUIZ + RIDDLES + SUDOKU

RIDDLES 1. Name four days of the week starting with the letter T? 2. What word has fi ve letters but is pronounced as one letter? 3. Can you decipher this expression? A canine creature is the favourite companion of a member of Homo sapiens. 4. Complete the phrases and work out what Hollywood movie title is hidden here. i. Fortune favours the … ii. Wear my … on my sleeve

QUICK QUIZ

5. Can you work out these phrases? i. BUSINE… ii. JOANB ii. ENDSSDNE iv. GENER___ATION

1. ‘Ti amo’ means ‘I love you’ in what language? 2. How many sides does a heptagon have? 3. What are the only two sports contested at the 2012 Olympics that are for women only? 4. Which pop star recently had a baby named Maxwell Drew? 5. Self-awareness is a trait only demonstrated in humans, apes, Bottlenose dolphins and what other mammals? 6. Which team did footballer David Beckham play for before transferring to LA Galaxy in 2007?

SUDOKU To solve a Sudoku puzzle, every number from 1 to 9 must appear in: • Each of the nine vertical columns • Each of the nine horizontal rows • Each of the nine 3 x 3 boxes Remember no number can occur more than once in any row, column or box.

7. In relation to cars, what does SUV stand for? ment in Alcatraz when he was convicted of what crime? 9. Name the monk who often accompanies Robin Hood in the famous legends. 10. What would you be doing if you were krumping

• QUICK QUIZ 1 Italian 2 Seven 3 Synchronised swimming & rhythmic gymnastics 4 Jessica Simpon 5 Elephants 6 Real Madrid 7 Sport utility vehicle 8 Tax evasion 9 Friar Tuck 10 Dancing • RIDDLES 1 Tuesday, Thursday, today and tomorrow 2 Queue 3 A dog is a man’s best friend! 4 Braveheart 5 i. Unfinished business ii. an inside job iii. making ends meet iv. generation gap 102

CITYLIFEMAGZ.COM

JUNE/JULY 2012

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1 9 8 7 4 9 2 8 3 9 3 1 4 8

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PUZZLES ARE COURTESY OF LOVATTS CROSSWORDS & PUZZLES www.lovatts.com.au

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8. Gangster Al Capone was sentenced to imprison-

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Tel: +855 (0)906 63 965(0) 906 Tel: +855 63 965 9 Tel: +855 Tel: (0)+855 63 965 (0) 63 965 906 #598-600 Street Tep Vong,Tep Street #598-600 #598-600 Street#598-600 Tep Street Vong, Tep Vong, Mondole Village,I Village, Mondole Mondole Mondole I Village, IIVillage, SvayDangkom Dangkom Commune, Svay Dangkom Comm Svay Dangkom Svay Commune, Commune, SiemReap Reap Siem Reap Siem Reap Siem



cambodia citylife issue 15