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CITYLIFE GUIDE

APRIL/MAY 2012 APRIL/MAY 2012 LIMESTONE + CAVE OF KOMPONG TRACH

LIMESTONE + CAVE OF

KOMPONG TRACH

APR/MAY ‘12

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THAILAND WHITE TEMPLE 13

$2.00

BACK TO NATURE ON SOLOMON’S MAGICAL HOLIDAY ISLAND


contents APRIL - MAY 2012

contents APRIL - MAY 2012

FEATURES

10

P12

P22

P28

P38

Calendar - Events

12

Good To Know

18

Next Stop - Good To Go

22

Solomon Island

28

Dispatches

50

Staying Sober in Cambodia

54

The Guide Outdoor

38 >

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mini guide APRIL-MAY 2012

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.

flashback

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

P50

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PUBLISER’s NOTE APRIL - MAY 2012

This month’s issue of CityLife is very much “out of the zone,” with our cover story on “Kompong Trach” (page 38). We also been out to Chiang Rai in northernmost Thailand, to find out the most beautiful temple, which completely painted in white and decorate with small glasses (page 28). There’s more, of course: an insider look at Solomon Island, in the south pacific of Australia (page 22). Finally, readers may you enjoy reading this issue of CityLife as much as we have enjoyed (really, we did!) making it. --safe travels everyone.

Vibol Phan PUBLISER, CityLife Guide Magazine vibol.p@veromediadesign.com


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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 APRIL-MAY 2012

>

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

TUS, 10th “DANCING WITH DICTATORS”: THE TRUE ROSS DUNKLEY STORY 7PM: Australian journalist Ross Dunkley is the publisher of the Phnom Penh Post and the coowner of Burma’s leading English-language newspaper, the Myanmar Times. WED, 11th THET SAMBATH MEETS NOUN CHEA: “ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE” 7PM: Winner of the “Sundance Film Festival” and many other awards, ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE (2009, 93 mins, Khmer with English subs) is probably the best documentary about the Khmer Rouge. It is a personal journey into the heart of darkness by Khmer journalist Thet Sambath, whose family was wiped out in the Killing Fields. THU, 12th “AMPUN DJ”: INDONESIAN STUDENTS LOVE TO PARTY HARD 7PM: The Special Region of Yogyakarta on the island of Java is Indonesia’s smallest province. Students from all over the country flock into the city of Yogyakarta to pursue higher education. TUS, 17th “FACING GENOCIDE”: DOCU ABOUT KR LEADER KHIEU SAMPHAN 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”. The Swedish filmmakers David Aronowitsch and Staffan Lindberg have followed him two years before his arrest in 2007.

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ENTERTAINMENT IN THEATRES

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WED, 18th GENDERED LENS: “VIRGINITY TRADE” AND “GIRLS OF PHNOM PENH” 7PM: In Cambodia, each year thousands of girls and boys are bought, sold or kidnapped and then forced to have sex with grown men. UK director Matthew Watson’s new film THE VIRGINITY TRADE (2009, 60mins, Khmer/English subs) THU, 19th “CHICO AND RITA” LOVELY ANIMATIONS, CUBAN JAZZ & DJ SET 7PM: Sexy, sunny & sweet-natured, the lovely animated feature CHICO AND RITA (2010, 94 mins, Spanish, Engl. subs) by F. Trueba and J. Mariscal is a 1940s love story with all the brassy passion of a Barry Manilow number, set in the nightclubs of Havana and New York. FRI, 20th “HOME OF SORYA”: PHOTO EXHIBIT OPENING AND PRESENTATION 6PM: Hi-Khan Truong’s family had to flee Cambodia. Raised in Germany, his first journey to his homeland brought him to the villages around Phnom Chiso. This became the home of the NGO SORYA, which supports Cambodians to choose their own path through life. SAT, 21st PHNOM PENH’S “DARK CABARET”: PINEDA PRESENTS MAX ERNST 7PM: Beat poet Antonio Pineda was one of the founders of the Straight Theatre in Haight Ashbury during the 1960’s San Francisco renaissance. Nowadays he resides in Phnom Penh. SUN, 22nd STUDENT ART EXHIBIT OPENING & “BAROCKSUPERSTAR” HANDEL 6PM: The future of Cambodia’s contemporary art lies in our

youth. Northbridge International School brings the work of 4 graduating art students: R. Thamshivasakti seduces us with flowing oil paintings of our natural world. TUE, 24th “GRAFFITI BRUSHING” & “WHY I WRITE”: TEDxPP RETURNS 2 META 7PM: Older generations have overcome incredible adversity to lay the foundation for a modern Cambodia. The new generation is surging forward, shaping their country’s future, dreaming beyond anything that was imaginable 20 years ago. WED, 25th “JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG”: THE GUILT OF GERMAN NAZI JUDGES 7PM: The on-going Khmer Rouge Trial is said to be the biggest war crimes case since Nuremberg - a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II. THU, 26th FINDING YOUR OWN RHYTHM: DOCU “LIFE IN A DAY” AND DJ SET 7PM: What do you get when you ask the people of the world to chronicle a single day in their lives? You get 80,000 submissions, 4500 hours of footage, from 192 countries. FRI, 27th BELGIUM BEATZ: FILM, DJs, FOOD AND BEER FROM OLD EUROPE 7PM: In order to celebrate the most unusual conjunction of the 2012 Belgium Beer Festival and Saint Zita of Lucca’s 734th feast day, we invite you to another edition of the Belgian Beats saga! Lift off (Atlas V - AEHF II - wise) with the screening of MOSCOW BELGIUM (2008, 102 mins, English subs)

SAT, 28th “BOPHA ANGKOR”: THE LOST GEMS OF CLASSIC KHMER CINEMA 7PM: During the “Golden Age of Cambodian Cinema”, from the 1960s to the early ‘70s, almost 400 films were released..“Khmer literature” student and film aficionado Rin Chhoum Virak (17) produced a radio talk-back show called “Movie Heritage”. SUN, 29th “4 ELEMENTS: 4 SEASONS”: BERLIN’S INNOVATIVE DANCE THEATRE 7PM: The influences of Berlin’s star choreographer Sasha Waltz are like her city used to be: divided. On one side is 1930s German expressionism, which also shaped Pina Bausch. May 8, 8PM “Hommage to Boccherini” Western Classical Concert by the “ABC Quintett”, featuring musicians from Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi. Admission Fee: 5 USD; Students; 2 USD. May 13-20 “Cambodia Pride Week” Cambodia LGBT Pride 2012 is organized by Rainbow Community Kampuchea (RoCK), a voluntary non-profit group that supports Cambodian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBT). May 31, 7PM “Pharmacide” Art Exhibition Opening This art exhibition on the risks of counterfeit and low-quality medicines features paintings, sculptures and video art from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos. Free Entrance.

THE HUNGER GAMES 5th April 2012 A nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. TITANIC 3D 12th April 2012 The contemporary storyline involves American treasure-seeker Brock Lovett retrieving artifacts from the submerged ship. AVENGERS 17th May 2012 The Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. AMERICAN REUNION 19th April 2012 All of the characters we met a little more than a decade ago return to East Great Falls for their highschool reunion. THE CABIN IN THE WOOD 20th April 2012 Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. *only available at SabayCineplex

BATTLESHIP 26th April 2012 Peter Berg (‘Hancock’) produces and directs ‘Battleship,’ an epic action-adventure that unfolds across the seas, in the skies and over land as our planet fights for survival against a superior force.

SAFE 4th May 2012 A former elite agen takes on a two-tier mission: rescue a Chinese girl who’s been abducted by the Triads, then use a safe combination to outwit the Russian Mafia, corrupt NYC officials, and the Triads themselves. *only available at SabayCineplex

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING 11th May 2012 A look at love through the eyes of five interconnected couples experiencing the thrills and surprises of having a baby, and ultimately coming to understand the universal truth.

//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


The Plantation

NEW DISCOVER REGIONAL

Uban Resort and Spa #28 Street 184, Phnom Penh +855 23 21 51 51 www.theplantation.asia

Open from 6pm - 11pm - Selection of fresh seafood from Sihanouk Ville & both local and imported meats Start from about $15/person

ON THE MENU CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Seafood Platter for 2 Their award-winning platter is greater for sharing. Grilled seafood such as tiger prawns, dory fillet and calamari coupled with blue mussels in garlic lemon butter sauce, all served on a bed of paella rice and chips. Mussels in Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce Their award-winning dish! Blue mussels cooked in our homemade garlic lemon butter sauce. Served with warm bread.

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Danish Fish & Chips How about stuffing our fish & chips with stringy mozzarella and spice in that lightly battered fish and topped with lemon butter sauce

No 139-141 Preah Sisowath Wat Phnom, Phnom Penh Tel: 023 966 969 Tel: 088 870 0977

Fried Calamari Calamari rings coated with spiced flour and deep-fried to golden brown. It goes very well with our homemade tar-tar sauce.

Cambodian style bbq also available

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VIEW FINDER KEP - KAMPOT

Villa Romonea

Retro Villa with Driving Range in Kep

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V

illa Romonea is located in Kep, Cambodia, and has all sorts of cool features including a six hole golf driving range. How many times have you wanted to smack a few balls after a couple of drinks? It’s the type of lifestyle that makes us love the Entourage boys but curse our luck. We watch them living the dream while we’re stuck on a grey sofa with dirty laundry to do.

tennis court but the best part is the 6-hole golf driving range. By ‘driving range’ it’s actually more of a 6-hole pitch and putt with six different greens spread over a 175-metre fairway and it’s very cool indeed. A full-time chef is also available on request and if you want to banish yourself from the infants there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area such as sailing and 4WD trips. Live like the Romans.

Not so with Villa Romonea which is within our grasp. The house can sleep up to 12 guests Price includes breakfast and as you can tell from the snaps, it’s a majestic house. Built by ‘acosmopolitan Khmer family’ in 1968, the villa is set on five acres of grounds and features an 18 metre salt water swimming pool. There’s a kid’s pool if you want to banish the infants and there’s also a private

The Villa Romonea is located on the South coast of Cambodia in Kep which is 165km from Phnom Penh and 120km from Sihanoukville and 22km from the Vietnamese border of Ha Tien. All transfers can be arranged, upon request by private luxury car or helicopter from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. info@villaromonea.com Tel: +855 (0)12 879 486 Prey Thom, Kep Thmei Kep City, Cambodia


NOW OPEN IN CAMBODIA

VIEW FINDER KEP - KAMPOT

Villa Vedici

Stunning views of the riverside

V

edici is a lovely resort with a beautiful accommodation and offers you a wide range of free entertainment and recreation. My name is Frank van Zoggel and I am more than pleased to let you stay at our guesthouse. My father Hans designed this house and units for holiday purpose so we could visit our second home country. I graduated Sports management in 2009 and changed our house into a perfect place for people to enjoy as we know what to provide to feel being at home. Have you heard about the NO Program “Program� here at villa Vedici we fully understand and support this program! Enjoy all of the fun things villa Vedici has to offer. You can find information on this website.

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Please be aware that villa Vedici is one of the very few in Cambodia that is able to provide you with all these activities. So do not hesitate and contact us for a fun day!

Coming from Phnom Penh to Kampot, there are two possible routes. Both fallow National Routes #2 south to road 22 at Takeo. Turn right and follow about 10km to NR3 (the corner with the market). Turn left at NR3. At this point you have a choice. NR3 is directly to Kampot t iis the most direct route but sections of road are in rough condition. Alternatively proceed about 7km to the fork in the road at Road 31, wich is in excellent condition. Take Road 31 and continue south to Kampong Trach city. Turn right at Kampong Trach town and proceed Through Kep and on the Kampot. Skype call: frank.van.zoggel Phone: 008 55 17 29 17 82 E-mail: vedici@hotmail.com

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 #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 NEXT STOP p. 22 SOLOMON ISLAND p. 28 DISPATCHES p. 38 KOMPONG TRACH

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,

> Good place to go out in the sun 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 FLOATING VILLAGES

N

o trip to Cambodia is complete without an adventure on the Tonle Sap Lake. The combined lake and river system is the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and the richest fishing lake in the world. The Tonle Sap also includes numerous and amazing floating villages. The homes are situated on the flood plains of the lake, therefore, the world around these families undergoes dramatic transformations from dry to wet season.

Please note:

FLOATING VILLAGE TONLE SAP RIVER

More than 5,000 people here, living on wooden houses on stilts, depend on fishing for their livelihood

At different times of the year Kompong Phhluk becomes very difficult to access. If access is dangerous and water levels are low then we would conduct this trip at Kompong Khleang, a village further upstream. This village is very similar with the same style of stilt and floating homes; however there is no flooded forest at Kompong Khleang. How much does a visit cost? There is no entrance fee to the village itself, however you’ll need to travel 15km out to the boat port and from there boats can be arranged for US 13 - 26 for between 2 and 10 people.

In the dry season homes tower on their tall spindly stilts, fishermen repair boats and nets, and children make clay balls to use with their slingshots and enjoy the freedom of being able to run around.

When should I go, and how long do I need? Any time of the day is good to visit. If you get there early enough you’ll have the bonus of seeing the villagers during the busiest time of the day and under the light of the rising sun, or in the evening you can catch a stunning sunset over nearby Phnom Krom.

In the wet season the water laps at the floor boards, and travel is limited to boats and in some instances, buckets. Children paddle to and from school and life revolves around fishing.

What else can I see? The Roluos Group of temples (Preah Ko, Lolei, Bakong and Wat Attvea) and picturesque Phnom Krom are nearby and are definitely worth a visit if you are out here - all of which could be included in a full day’s itinerary from Siem Reap.

We depart the city after breakfast for an unspoiled floating community called Kampong Phluk which is astonishing for its stilted-house villages and flooded forest. We stop on the way for a brief tour of the Rolous Market. This is a great chance for you to take photos of locals selling indigenously grown vegetables, different fish species, and other local produce. We then take a boat to the floating community of Kampong Phluk; visit an island pagoda, a school, houses standing on 8 to 10m high stilts, fish farms; and learn about the village life. We stop and have lunch in a family’s house before getting into a row boat and venturing beyond the villages into the flooded forest. (The habitat to some local water-bird species.) Then, we jump back into the big boat and set off for the Tonle Sap, before finally returning back to town.

Below: A boy sitting on the boat heading to floating village.

Interesting? Clockwise from top: Family and friends gathering for dinner, after a long day; Boy in a bucket; House floating on river 20

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you don’t have to share with dozens of other camera-toting tourists. The waters here are among the most biodiverse on the planet. They constitute the easternmost corner of the so-called Coral Triangle, an equatorial region rich in reef-building corals that also encompasses the Philippines, Malaysian Borneo, eastern Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. So it’s hardly surprising that the Solomons’ nascent tourism industry is based almost exclusively on diving, with a small sideline in “culture” and “adventure.” Most people head to Western Province—a mosaic of volcanic islands, fringing coral reefs, lagoons, and bone-white beaches that, despite the ravages of a 2007 tsunami, remains the very epitome of the South Seas.

NEXT STOP SOLOMON ISLAND - SOUTH PACIFIC

PHNOM PENH

The jumping-off point for most dive holidays is the provincial capital of Gizo, an unremarkable stretch of concrete shop fronts and offices whose one redeeming feature is a lively fish market. Head out from here, however, and things get seriously beautiful. Even Fatboys, a popular, mid-end dive resort just 10 minutes away by boat, has a castaway feel to it, not to mention a world-class reef right under its jetty. Only a few visitors get as far as Tetepare, however. And this is the real draw of the place—its remoteness, coupled with the abundance of creatures that thrive there in the absence of people. “Headhunters used to live here,” Allen “Tipet” Bero tells me on the three-hour speedboat ride over from Gizo. “But that was long ago. The island has been empty for 150 years, we think because of disease or attacks by other tribes.” Tipet is the program coordinator for the Tetepare Descendants’ Association. He and the TDA’s 3,500 other members, all progeny of those original inhabitants, are the presentday custodians of the island. Leaving the dolphins behind, we close in on Tetepare’s coastline, etched in sharp relief against a pale blue sky—limestone crags, stands of pandanus palm, white- and black-sand beaches. It’s easy enough to imagine spear-wielding cannibals emerging from behind the trees.

Though you won’t find legendary gold mines in the Solomon Islands, natural treasures abound, as a trip to the South Pacific nation’s remote Western Province reveals By Johnny Langenheim

We crest a prodigious South Pacific swell, and there it is—a spinner dolphin within arm’s reach of my perch at the prow of the speedboat. And it’s not alone. A pod of 30 or more of the creatures are darting and leaping in front of me now, each one seeming to return my grin as we follow the waves to the wild western side of Tetepare. Beyond us stretch 1,600 kilometers of ocean—all the way to Australia’s Queensland coast. But for now, I’m oblivious to this epic setting, mesmerized instead by the silvery flash of the dolphins as they pilot us toward shore. At 120 square kilometers, Tetepare may be the largest uninhabited island in the South Pacific, though it’s not on too many radars. Neither, to be frank, is the archipelagic nation to which it belongs. The Solomon Islands’ one brief burst of geopolitical notoriety occurred during World War II, when its main island, Guadalcanal, was the setting for fierce fighting between Japanese and American forces. A onetime British protectorate that gained independence only in 22

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1978, the Solomons today are a sleepy backwater, with most of their half-million people engaged in subsistence farming and fishing. Yet a closer look at this chain of nearly 1,000 islands turns up unexpected treasures. ow apt, then, that the promise of treasure gave the country its name. In 1567, Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña set out from Peru in search of the mythical continent of Terra Australis, rumored to be the biblical land of Ophir, source of King Solomon’s gold. What he found instead were the Solomons, where he set up camp on the island now known as Santa Isabel. De Mendaña and his crew spent several months scouring the area for riches, but left empty-handed. The name, however, stuck. The Solomon Islands remains one of the poorest nations in the South Pacific, with its main export product, timber, now dangerously overexploited. Yet for the trickle of visitors that make it out here, the archipelago’s real treasures are its ecosystems—both terrestrial and marine—which offer close encounters with nature that

Whereas most of the Solomons’ forests have been aggressively logged, Tetepare retains the largest tract of undisturbed lowland rain forest in the country. The waters around the island are also protected through a 13-square-kilometer no-take zone that embraces a vast lagoon. Things could have could turned out very differently, however. “Back in the 1980s, some of the landowners wanted to log Tetepare—but most of us disagreed,” Tipet explains. “It would have just meant short-term profits for a few people. We opted for conservation instead.” Supported by the likes of WWF and Conservation International, the TDA now monitors the numerous species that abound here. They have their work cut out for them. Tetepare is a nesting site for the endangered green turtle as well as the critically endangered hawksbill and leatherback turtles, which lay their eggs on the island’s black-sand beaches. Placid dugongs graze on sea grass in the lagoon, while huge coconut crabs forage by night. There are monitor lizards, wild pigs (tetepare means “boar” in the local dialect), bats, the world’s largest skink (a type of lizard), cuddly cuscuses, frogs, and 73 species of bird, including megapodes and pygmy parrots. And that’s not to mention the sharks, dolphins, barracuda, and myriad reef fish that await offshore. To supplement its income, the TDA runs a spartan five-room ecotourism operation called the Tetepare Island Ecolodge, which caters to a maximum of 13 guests at a time. Those seeking snazzier accoutrements need not apply—accommodation is in traditional sago-palm-leaf huts lit by kerosene lamps. There are no fans or air-conditioning, because there’s no electricity supply, other than a small solar unit in the dining pavilion cum office. But then, iPod docks, Egyptian-cotton sheets, and massage tables would be missing the point. You’re supposed to be out snorkeling

V. TABU RESTAURANT & LOUNGE (Near Russian Embessy) 61 SOTHEAROS BLVD, SANGKAT TONLE BASSAC, KHAN CHAMKAMORN 077-978-789 / 087 789 168 OPEN FROM 9AM TO 12AM APRIL/MAY 2012

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with dugongs, watching turtle eggs hatch, or glimpsing a butterfly that might be unknown to science (33 new species were recorded in 2006 alone). And at night, there’s no rumbling generator—just the buzz of cicadas and the lapping of waves.

tional beliefs still jostle with popular Christian doctrines like Seventh Day Adventism and Methodism. On Tetepare, the monitor lizards that I see sunning themselves near my hut or rooting in the sandy ground for megapode eggs, are more than mere reptiles. “They’re not afraid of us because we treat them with respect,” Mary Bea, the eco-lodge’s hospitality manager, tells me. “We believe they are the spirits of our ancestors. When we camp overnight in the bush, the lizards stay with us and eat our food. They’re even friendly with the dogs!”

Nature tourism is not for everyone. For every life-affirming en-counter (a magical moment of empathy with wild dolphins, for instance), there will be hours spent waiting for what turns out be a fleeting glimpse of feathers or fur and an exclamation of feigned wonder from your guide. But Tetepare isn’t like that. The very first time I get into the water, I see dugongs, thanks to my guide Twomey’s uncanny knack for finding them. Twomey, it turns out, is a bit of a sea-cow nut; snorkeling out from the beach, we fin past three or four green turtles and a shark, and he doesn’t even give them a glance. When we reach the dugongs, I immediately understand his fixation. While her jowly companions graze on beds of sea grass, a cow peels away from the group with a calf in tow and sidles right up to me, clearly as curious as I am. It’s a thrilling moment. Twomey is one of eight rangers who work on Tetepare on a bi-weekly rotation. All of them hail from villages on the neighboring island of Rendova, and all claim descent from Tetepare’s original occupants. When I learn from Twomey that Danny Philip, the country’s recently deposed prime minister, is a native of Rendova, I decide to visit the village where he grew up, Vankuva. It’s only a few kilometers between the islands, but the boat ride takes you across a narrow channel that provides a perfect bottleneck for the Pacific waves. I breathe a sigh of relief when we get to the other side. Vankuva couldn’t be more unlike the Canadian city named for the same British navigator, George Vancouver; indeed, life doesn’t seem to have changed much here since Methodist missionaries arrived at the turn of the 20th century. There are palm-leaf huts crouching above the shoreline. In the shade of an enormous banyan tree, a group of men, women, and children sit on an upturned canoe splitting coconuts with their bush knives before leaving them to dry in the sun. (Alongside palm oil, copra is one of the islands’ main agricultural exports.) There are children gorging themselves on papaya straight off the tree or playing on a palm-studded crescent of white sand. At the village’s low-slung schoolhouse, I am struck by the sheer diversity of features on display—skin tones range from cinnamon to ebony, and many of the children sport shocks of wavy blonde hair. Ethnically, most Solomon Islanders are Melanesian, but there are huge differences between different island groups. The people of Malaita Province in the east are known for their fair hair, while the people of Choiseul and Shortland, two northern islands close to the border with Papua New Guinea, have jet-black skin. But this is nothing compared to the number of distinct languages spoken in the Solomons—more than 70. When we stop to drop off some supplies at a village called Ughele on the way back to Tetepare, Tipet informs me matter-of-factly that it has its own language. “Only around 1,000 people in the world understand it.” Besides the ethnic and linguistic complexities, the Solomons also have, like much of Melanesia, a bewildering system of ancestral land tenure. Eighty-seven percent of the land is under customary ownership, most of it undocumented. Boundaries are determined by oral tradition, based on landmarks such as rocks and rivers. Naturally, disputes are common, and a good number of foreign investment projects have fallen through because companies looking for real estate found it impossible to identify who the landowners were. None of this makes for easy governance—in the late 1990s, the Solomons came close to being declared a failed state. The repercussions of the ethnic violence that exploded during that time are still being felt today—yet the roots 24

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The rangers also believe they have a tacit understanding with the saltwater crocodiles living on Tetepare. “No one has ever been attacked, they mainly stay in the rivers and lakes,” one tells me. This puts my mind at rest —until I actually lay eyes on one of the enormous reptiles. This happens when we’re heading out into the lagoon for the famous Tetepare turtle rodeo, an activity wherein turtles are chased by a speedboat before a ranger leaps off the side and grabs them by the shell—something they are all amazingly adept at. Not so long ago they’d have roasted the turtle on the spot; the meat is considered a delicacy. But our purpose is to tag.

Above. The Solomon’s Western Province teems with coral reefs. Fisher boat

of the conflict can be traced all the way back to World War II. After defeating the Japanese in Guadalcanal, the Americans recruited large numbers of ethnic Malaitans to build an airbase in what is now the capital, Honiara. The newcomers stayed, and were followed by successive waves of Malaitan immigrants hungry for land. Many Guadalcanalese resented the incursions, which they believed were being supported by a government consisting mostly of Malaitans. Soon, militias comprising Guadalcanalese and other islanders were attacking Malaitan migrants, who responded in kind. Alisa Vavataga is a Fijian immigrant who’s spent most of her life in Honiara. “It was a hugely complicated situation,” she tells me as we sit in her family home on a palm-oil plantation on the outskirts of the capital. “In the end, the Australians had to send in a peacekeeping force in 2003, which was successful in ending the conflict and restoring order.” Alisa works for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up in 2009 to try and resolve many of the deep schisms that still exist in the country. But she has mixed feelings about Australia’s Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). “I think we still need a foreign presence here—but RAMSI operates like a private club. You only ever see expats in air-conditioned cars or in restaurants where all the faces are white.” I meet some RAMSI personnel shortly after, in the bar of the King Solomon Hotel. For a long time, this was the closest

Above. The Solomon’s Western Province teems with more of the coral reefs

thing to high-end accommodation that Honiara had. Though it’s now eclipsed by the Heritage Park next door, I prefer the “King Sol’s” kitsch primitivist decor and eccentric design (rooms are accessed by a temperamental, bright-green funicular) to its neighbor’s generic interiors. In the bar, two nurses from New Zealand and an Australian soldier are enjoying some midweek R & R, fueled by copious amounts of Solbrew, the local beer. I ask the nurses if there are many cases of malaria among the locals. “I dunno … we don’t treat the natives—they’ve got their own place,” comes the reply. The conversation quickly turns to the relative merits of Rugby Union and Rugby League. Later, I discuss this encounter with Anthony Copping, an English documentarian who’s been coming to the Solomons for 20 years. He rolls his eyes. “You can see why people here are getting resentful. RAMSI personnel get paid a lot of money—that’s why a lot of them come here. They know they can go back home after a couple of years and buy a nice house.” Copping’s own interest in the archipelago has been to record the musical and linguistic traditions of its people—a mission that culminated in a 2004 documentary series entitled The Last Voices From Heaven. “This place really is one of the last great frontiers,” he tells me. “Officially, of course, everyone’s Christian, but it’s often a veneer; you head out to the remote provinces or into the jungle, and it’s all animism and magic.” Even in tourist-friendly Western Province, tradi-

We spot the croc sunning himself on a beach perhaps 30 meters from where we’re working. He is more than three meters long, and seems to be peacefully sleeping. “Can we photograph it from the beach?” I ask. “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” one of the rangers replies, looking at me askance. As if to prove his point, the crocodile suddenly explodes off the sand and into the water. It glides swiftly past the boat, no doubt intent on tearing some hapless dolphin or turtle to pieces. I shiver involuntarily. These kind of intimate encounters with wildlife— not necessarily with crocodiles, mind you—define Tetepare. They are an everyday occurrence, but even without them, there is something about the island that quickly gets under your skin. Wild is the only way to really describe it. The irony, though, is the amount of human effort that goes into keeping it this way, which involves politics as much as conservation. “There are still people trying to secure logging concessions here,” Tipet explains. “And why not? It’s the last un-touched lowland forest in the country. But the TDA has a lot of members and supporters.” In fact, it’s the biggest community conservation project in the country, with members scattered throughout Western Province. Besides its environmental work, the TDA also funds educational scholarships, microfinance projects, and cooperatives for hundreds of people. In a society governed by close kinship allegiances, the level of consensus is remarkable. Unsurprisingly, environmentalists are keen to replicate the Tetepare model elsewhere, promoting conservation as an alternative to logging and overfishing. Nusa Tuva is another startlingly beautiful marine protected area (MPA) an hour from Gizo, on the volcanic island of Kolombangara. Eric Koti, the landowner, runs a small eco-lodge in front of his village, and though it’s simple, you’d be hardpressed to find somewhere that could match it for hospitality, food, and above all, location—a protected bay of cobalt-blue water whose shoreline sweeps upward to the peak of an extinct volcano. “All the clams and fish have come back since I set up the MPA,” says Koti, who also farms coral for the aquarium trade. “A lot of other villages around here want to do similar projects.” The Solomon Islands’ population is growing rapidly—at a rate of 2.3 percent a year, according to the Australian government. But less than a quarter is in paid employment, which is putting an increasing strain on natural resources, in particular fisheries and timber. Many are looking to nature-based tourism as a long-term solution. For now, the country is still a niche destination—there’s little infrastructure even in Western Province, making travel challenging and often expensive. But for those with just a little frontier spirit, the payoff is spectacular. APRIL/MAY 2012

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NATURAL BLOND While most common among the Malaitains, blond or reddish hair can be found throughout the Solomons, including the village of Vankuva, where this eight-year-old boys were photographed.

THE DETAILS: Solomon Islands

Airlines, which also connects Guadalcanal with numerous domestic destinations, including Gizo.

Getting There The Solomon Islands has few international connections. From Southeast Asia, your best bet is to travel via Brisbane; Virgin Australia flies between the Queensland capital and Honiara (three hours) every Tuesday and Thursday. The same route is serviced four times a week by Solomon 26

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When to Go Aim to visit between the breezy dry-season months of May through October, when the islands’ weather is at its mildest.

Where to Stay Among the most popular and accessible of Western Province’s dive resorts is Fatboys (677/60095; fatboys gizo. com; doubles from US$205), a clutch of waterside woodand-leaf bungalows on Mbabanga Island, just off Gizo. Guests not content to spend their days admiring the views from their porch can partake in activities such as surfing, diving, snorkeling, and fishing.

Roughing it comes with a big payoff at Tetepare Island Ecolodge (677/62163; tetepare.org; US$65 per person, all-inclusive), where nature is literally at your doorstep. Facilities may be basic, but bush walks through undisturbed forest and encounters with turtles and dugongs in the island’s sheltered lagoons offer a priceless experience; better still, stays here support ongoing conservation efforts.

Another ecotourism venture awaits on Kolombangara Island at Onma Lodge (677/747-0421; kolombangara. org /nusatuva; doubles from US$200), Eric Koti’s family-run operation. For stopovers on Guadalcanal, Honiara’s King Solomon Hotel (Hibiscus Ave., 677/ 21205; kingsolomonhotel.info; doubles from US$95) is an old favorite in the center of town; the best of its 60 rooms over-

look Savo (a.k.a. “Iron Bottom”) Sound, the site of fierce fighting during the Battle of Guadalcanal. Bring It Back Plunder markets in Honiara or Gizo for Melanesian souvenirs including woven-leaf baskets, shell jewelry, and nguzu nguzu, the carved figureheads that traditionally adorned the islands’ canoes.

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DISPATCHES

p. 36 WAT RONG KHUN INFOMATION p. 38 WAT KIRI SELA

�ន ម៉ូតសំ�ៀកបំ�ក់��ញនិយម ��រក��សម�ស�� ��ឿងអល���រ �ឡិ���

PHOTO BY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM THAILAND

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SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2011 citylife


DISPATCHES DESTINATION - THAILAND - CHIANG RAI

W h i t e Te m p l e o f

Northern Thailand

T

he city of Chiang Rai in northernmost Thailand is one of the last remaining areas where traditional Thai art and culture flourish. Located about 5 kilometers to the south of Chiang Rai is the beautiful Wat Rong Khun or White Temple. The White Temple of Northern Thailand has become a national landmark and, as one of the most recognizable temples in the country, attracts an increasingly large number of visitors every year. This trip is not my first time visiting the White Temple, but its striking white radiance never fails to overwhelm me. Wat Rong Khun is unique from other temples in that it has been constructed entirely in a radiant white exterior. The sparkling reflections that emanate from the temple are due to mirrored glass mosaics embedded in the white plaster.

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The temple is the idea of Mr. Chalermchai Kositpipat, one of Thailand’s most renowned artists, who wanted to build a completely white temple to signify the purity of Lord Buddha. The artist continues to puts his religious belief and desire to enrich Buddhism in Thailand into his contemporary art design. The construction of the White Temple is Khun Chalemchai’s masterpiece; he refers to it as an offering to Lord Buddha and his beloved country. Approaching the main entrance to the main chapel gives a feeling I can liken only to enlightenment, or at least that is how I feel. The passage is flanked by two tremendous man-like giants who somehow frighten me until I have to lower my eyes. But this doesn’t help me at all, as those grasping hands near the floor shake my nerves again. The hands are in an assorted array, outstretched and seem to be pleading. I realize that this piece of art must symbolize hell and how people in hell will suffer from their bad karma. While climbing the bridge to the main hall, I notice that I am surrounded by a huge pond containing white fish and fountains that spout up every now and then. The pond, to me, perhaps signifies the river – Si Tarndon – that divides the mundane world from heaven. As I get closer to the main building I think that this must be a representation of heaven. Before the main chapel and at the end of the bridge there are several sculptures of meditating Buddha’s sitting in a lotus circled by spirits of the world. The outer-decoration of the temple hall is completely white, representing purity and wisdom of Lord Buddha, however, a dra-

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matic contrast in color is found when arriving inside the main hall. I feel a great sense of serenity when looking at the several Buddha altars set inside golden flames. The most surprising aspect is the beautifully painted walls. They are covered with a colorful, larger than life story that teaches about Buddhism in a very modern and contemporary style. The artist uses modern culture icons such as Superman, alien spaceships, and even Neo from the Matrix movies to tell the story of Buddha in this very unique display. On the left of the temple’s compound is a golden toilet which Chalermchai seems to also use to transfer some hidden message to visitors. It is as though he is saying, “I want this golden toilet to be a symbol of the human response to imagery.” I am one of the many who paused to consider what may be the artist’s message. Perhaps the message is also that there is beauty in all things, just like this golden toilet which impresses people by its beauty rather than the fact that it is simply a toilet.

Wat Rong Khun is also known as the White Temple. Whereas most temples visited by tourists have a history going back many centuries, this magnificent place of worship was built only recently. It is the realization of a dream for Thailand’s noted artist.

Chalermchai hopes Wat Rong Khun will become a learning and meditation center for people to practice dharma and benefit from the teachings of Lord Buddha. Wat Rong Khun is still a work in progress and will be for years to come. It is planned to comprise nine buildings including the ubosot (chapel), pagoda, hermitage, crematorium, monastery hall, preaching hall, museum, pavilion, and rest room facilities which will be built on an area of 7 rai (about 3 acres).

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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW Wat rong khun INFORMATION

White Temple (Wat Rong Khun), located at Ban Rong Khun, Tambon Pa O Don Chai, along Phahonyothin roadside at Km. 816, approximately 13 km from the city. This unique modern temple was designed and built by artist Chaloemchai Khositphiphat starting in 1998. A beautiful white ordination hall – Phra Ubosot - is decorated with silver glittering pieces of mirrors. There are large mural paintings of the Lord Buddha in different gestures. A gable is decorated with a gable apex, a leafshaped gable-edging - in the shapes of Phya Naga, dragon and mythical creatures, which are entirely made of white stucco. There are viharn, small hall for recitation surrounding the ordination hall, museum and reception pavilion. The gallery exhibits paintings of Chaloemchai Khositphiphat. Work on the temple continues, and it is not expected to be completed for the next few decades. It opens daily at 08:00 - 18:00. Tel: 0 5367 3579 Fax: 0 5367 3539. It’s easy to get to the Temple by public transport: there is a public bus from the Chiang Rai bus station (20 THB, 30min; in july 2012, platform 8 but ask driver or counter). To get back, flag down a public bus from the police station on the left side of the road leading back to the main highway.

EAT Aye’s Restaurant Great restaurant, serving both European and Thai quality food. From German Schnitzels and English Breakfast to traditional Thai food. Located near the bus terminal, opposite the Adidas shop. There’s a nice atmosphere and a live music every night. Chiang Rai Beach during the day or the early evening is an excellent spot. There are around 20 cafes and restaurants overlooking the ‘Mae Kok River’. Bring your dictionary with you for there are no English menus to be found. A bit out of town. Go by tuktuk or motorbike. The North is a restaurant in The North Hotel which specializes in home made northern style food. Here you can find Northern Thai sausage, Kaeng Hunglay (northern pork curry) and a variety of

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northern style dishes made by the mother of the owner. Their family recipes will give you a real taste of Northern cuisine. The North Hotel is situated next to Oasis, just in the middle of a small street between the Night Bazaar and fruit and flower market.

SLEEP Akha Hill House, (Free pickup service leaves from Akha River House), +66 (08) 9777 5505, [12]. Based 23 kilometres to the west of Chiang Rai in the jungle covered hills, a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The rooms views of the jungle and sun rising over the misty mountains , and the nearby waterfall and hot springs are well worth a visit. The staff are friendly and eager to learn or practice their English. Open air restaurant, electric hot water, free wifi, pick-up and drop-off. Chat House [13] 80-400 Baht. Good attached restaurant and friendly staff. Free wifi. near Wat Phra Kaeo. Laundry for 40 THB/kg. Orchids Guesthouse 1012/3 Jedyod Road Muang (off Th Jet Yot). 15 new very clean, spotless double rooms with air-con, TV, free Wi-Fi, coffee/tea included at 350 THB or 450 THB at high season. Central location, quiet rooms, they also offer car, bicycles or motorcycle hire and trekking options with a licenced guide. +66 (0)5371-8361. Wangcome Hotel, 69/90 Pemawibhata Rd, (053) 711-800, [16]. Chiang Rai’s grand old 1970s hotel, now getting on in the years, but rooms have been renovated and are looking reasonably up to date. Right across the street from the Night Market and the bus station but not really an ideal family hotel as is surrounded by massage parlours offering more than massage, and by pick-up bars. Glum shady pool, mediocre breakfast buffet. Airport transfer 100 THB. 1400 THB


LIMESTONE + CAVE OF KOMPONG TRACH

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By Oliver Johnson

Bright and early I headed to the bus station to catch my bus. Kompong Trach is not a tourist destination, there is only a single paragraph on it in the lonely planet and the only reason that paragraph is there is because of it’s proximity to the Vietnamese border. But in that paragraph there was a little jewel of information. 2km from w is Wat Kiri Sela, a buddhist temple built into the side of a limestone karst mountain. I was instantly intrigued by this mysterious wat and simply had to go there. The lonely planet described the wat as having hundreds of caves and caverns under the mountain and a ‘hidden valley’ at the exit to one such cave. They described the walk through the cave as a ‘stumble back in time to the Jurassic period’. That 40

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sealed the deal so off I went. The one-road, onetourist town of Kompong Trach. Kompong Trach was a one-tourist town and that tourist was me. The locals seemed shocked that a tourist was in their town and I was stared at constantly. It’s a strange feeling, being stared at, and it’s somewhat disconcerting. But their stares weren’t malicious, just curious and they were some of the friendliest people I’ve met. Nobody spoke English in Kompong Trach so I had to get by with my limited Khmer. Basically all I could do was say hello and thank you. I did a lot of miming in Kompong Trach. The beauty of getting away from other tourists is that you get charged the local price for everything. There’s no farang


MOUNTAIN SCENES Clockwise from right: View top of Mt Kompong trach, Inside of the 112 caves, Kid standing in the middle of the cave comparing the size of it, Way out of the cave into the middle of the mountain (which call the dragon stomach), One of the many worship place in the cave.

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CLOCKWISE RIGHT: OUR VIEW ON THE ARRIVAL, STAIR UP THE MOUNTAIN CAVES, EARLY MORNING BOAT CROSSING

mark-up off the tourist trail. Because of this, Kompong Trach became the cheapest place I have ever been to. The first meal I had there cost me only 25c (American) and I left feeling completely full and satisfied. When one gets off the tourist trail one doesn’t expect to have the same quality of food as they are used to - I thought I might have to become accustomed to tarantulas for dinner. It was to my great delight that I was proven wrong. In fact, I had one of the best meals of my journey in Kompong Trach and for only 75c. I’ll dream forever more of that fantastic pork and ginger dish with steamed rice. It looks like I’m rambling again. What you really want to hear about is Wat Kiri Sela, I’m sure. The day after I arrived in Kompong Trach I borrowed a bicycle from the guest house and headed off to Wat Kiri Sela. Nobody could really point me in the correct direction, but thankfully the lonely planet gave clear directions. Hoping I was going in the right direction, I headed down a gravel road in the direction of a karst mountain. On the way I met a boy who was heading to the wat. He spoke good English and was going to the wat to guide tourists through to the hidden valley. Score. I said he could guide me. The wat wasn’t far from the main road and before I knew it I was at the base of the karst mountain in the centre of the wat. My young guide pointed at the cave entrance and said I should follow him through to the valley. Caves are generally very dark places and this cave was no exception. The only light that penetrated it was from its’ two openings - the one we had entered through and the one to which we were headed. In the distance I could see the light coming from the exit, but the valley was impossible to make out. We walked through the cave and my young guide pointed out limestone formations that looked like animals and common objects. All of a sudden we were at the exit and what confronted me was one of the most beautiful natural phenomena I have seen. The cave opened up into the centre of the mountain. The valley was not so much a valley as it was a depression in the centre of the mountain, but it was fantastic nonetheless. Sheer limestone 44

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cliffs towered around us and vines and lush vegetation hung down from the mountaintop. We spent the next hour wandering through the little caves and caverns that are peppered around the hidden valley. It was an amazing place to be and I was lucky to be the only tourist there to experience it. Thoroughly please with myself, I headed back to Kompong Trach and inquired about a bus to Kep, a beach town 30km from Kompong Trach. I was able to gather that a bus comes past every day at 10AM and 4:30PM. I was also able to gather that nobody sold tickets for the bus. I would need to wait until the bus came past and then flag it down. If you’ve ever flagged down a bus in Southeast Asia you know that it can be very hit-or-miss. I was a little apprehensive about missing the bus. Kompong Trach was great place.


Getting There Kompong Trach is on NH33 37 km east of Kampot, 23km northeast of Kap and 18km north of the Prek Chk-Xa Xia border crossing to Vietnam. To get to Wat Kiri Sela a great day trip from Kep or Kamport - take the dirt road opposite the Acleda Bank for 2km. Sleeping Kompong Trach’s Kiri Sela Guesthouse has 22 very average rooms. The property’s Corinthian colonnade is easy to spot on the town’s main drag. 012 33 02 01 Price: fan/air-con US$7/12)


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S TAY I NG

SOBER IN CAMBODIA Grace Robinson illustration by David A Ullery

Often expat social scenes are based around drinking

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What is it about that time in the evening when the sun is going down, perhaps after a long day at work or a busy afternoon, and a thought subtly arises in your brain and all of a sudden you are itching for a cold beer or a soothing glass of wine? Often living in Cambodia expats may feel tempted to drink more than in their home country, many foreign friends have told me they either do, or could, drink every day here. Boredom, loneliness, cheap alcohol, warm weather, an abundance of bars, too much free time, pretty bar maids, drinking pals, a great social scene, a stressful job or life are all contributing factors that may lead expats to drink more in Cambodia. But for some expats alcohol is more than just a temptation and poses a threat of addiction with damaging effects to mental and physical health, personal relationships and work life. Connie Moser, an expatriate writer living in the Netherlands has been researching the subject of alcoholism among expatriates. In a recent article in Escape from America Magazine Moser says substance abuse is a common issue for expats and their dependents, unsurprisingly due to the expat lifestyle, characteristically involving numerous moves and changes, demanding


STAYING SOBER IN CAMBODIA

careers, adapting to new cultures, languages and places. Often living alone in a foreign country, individuals feel isolated, lonely, homesick, and can face culture shock, loss of self worth and peer pressure. Moser believes, “All of those factors and more can lead to coping mechanisms such as self-medication through overindulgence in alcohol, prescription medication, or recreational drugs.” A recent study of expats living in Cambodia found expats drank because it was easily available in the places they spend time in and that drinking was a popular free time activity. The study found disparities in the amount of money expats spent on alcohol, some spending 40, 80, or up to 300 usd per month. Often expat social scenes are based around drinking occasions, and for those employed in certain industries, drinking is part of the profession, whether it be wining and dining clients or after work drinks with colleagues. Despite very harsh drug laws in Cambodia, alcohol is readily available and relatively cheap. There is a big bar culture in Cambodia especially for expat males. Drinking alcohol is an easy habit to pick up when it constitutes as the main social interaction in an expat’s life. In an interview with Paul Garrigan, Paul says “In Cambodia people have fewer commitments such as a job, family, friends, or a long term partner compared to in their home country, so things that grounded them before no longer hold them back from drinking.” Garrigan adds, “For some people Cambodia is like being let loose in a sweet shop, they feel like they are invincible, for example, you would never ride around on a motorbike without a helmet on in England.” Realistically how much is being an expat really to blame for reaching for the bottle? Sensationalists may equate the expat lifestyle in Asia to excesses of drink, drugs, sex or gambling, but next to Thomas, Dougal, and Scotty, an English man, an Irish man, and an American man, all members of Phnom Penh’s Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) group a contrasting story develops. “Nah we were all drunks before we came here.” says Scotty. The group members tell me most alcohol52

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ics in the expat community did not develop their problem with alcohol from one too many beers at some expat club, it was something that they had battled since living in their home country. It is evident the expat lifestyle in Cambodia can increase social drinking and perhaps excessive drinking, however, more often than not it is neither the place nor the situation that makes someone an alcoholic, but rather the person. Having a family with a history of alcohol abuse, emotional and psychological issues and addictive tendencies comprise significant factors leading to substance abuse and addiction. Experts on the subject, including Simon Mott said, “Although in living an expat life, there may be more chances to drink, expats are no more at risk for addictions that any general population.” At the back of the hospital is a humble wooden building, in this meeting room a group of expats join others with similar problems to form a support network and social group for recovering alcoholics. The articulate group members each had a different story to tell, they agreed that in Cambodia there were many temptations to drink, but that the main causes of their problems were related to biological predetermination, personality types, childhood influences, post traumatic stress, depression, and emotional difficulties. “I came to AA meetings to borrow money off someone I knew who went to them.” says Tom an American national, “I never knew I was an alcoholic, how was I supposed to when everyone in my family drank lots. I continued going to the meetings and after 6 months I realised I was an alcoholic.”

in Wat Tham Krabok in Saraburi, Thailand, a temple famous in the western media for images of projectile vomiting rehab patients. Substance abuse patients are given a herbal detoxifying remedy which induces vomiting. Like many alcoholics, Garrigan was a ‘highfunctioning’ alcoholic, who held down a professional job, was able to maintain family, friends and social relationships and was seen as a responsible adult. After relocating various times to escape addiction, another alcoholic trait known as ‘geographical move’, and trying various treatments Garrigan found the methods in Wat Tham Krabok (Thailand) successful in curing his addiction. “There is no revolving door at the temple, there is only one chance.” states Garrigan. In July last year a BBC article suggested Tham Krabok (Thailand had a higher success rate than Britain’s National Health Service. However, other experts doubt the long term success rate of the temple. Mott an experienced addiction counsellor says “This practice may be more beneficial for Khmer people who are spiritually linked to Buddhism, also especially if they continue to live as a monk after treatment. However, it is vital to find and deal with the root of the problem causing addiction, which is better sought through psychology, coun-

selling, and cognitive behavioural therapy. It is important to examine the way people think about things, and try to adapt thinking patterns to heal addictions.” Tham Krabok (Thailand) is one place people visit as part of the growing niche market dubbed ‘rehab tourism’. Rehabs in Cambodia vary from budget Buddhist temples giving spiritual healing, to luxury retreats offering western approaches of counselling and holistic therapies for the rich and famous. So what help is out there for expats dealing with addiction? It seems that to fight addiction a willingness to change and seek help must come from within the individual themselves. The saying, ‘You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink,’ takes on a pertinent twist here. Often it can take an addict to hit rock bottom before they take action. One of the main points raised at the AA meeting was honesty. If addicts can be honest with themselves and others, admitting they have a problem, that is the first fundamental step towards sobriety, then they can begin the process. ‘Each group has but one primary purpose - to carry its message on to the alcoholic who still suffers.’ one of the twelve traditions of AA.

“When I started going to AA I stopped trying to kill myself, crashing my car and getting arrested by the cops.” said Billy an American ex-Vietnam service man. Often people who are diagnosed as alcoholic get a dual diagnosis and are also diagnosed with depression or other psychological disorders. Alcoholics typically self medicate, many use alcohol to make them feel better but it usually makes the situation far worse. Author Garrigan tells me about his familiarity with alcoholism and getting sober in Cambodia. “Cambodia is a great place to get drunk, and it’s also a great place to get sober”. Garrigan told me about his time spent APRIL/MAY 2012

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THE GUIDE OUTDOOR

SOUTHERN ADVENTURE MANGROVE FOREST OF KOH KONG

I

n Phnom Penh, we walked to the Soraya bus station near the central market, which resulted in a sweaty arrival despite the morning hour of 7:30 am. The Sunday morning traffic was truly buzzing; it certainly felt like the middle of the Monday morning rush hour. The terminal was full of occupants bursting from the smallish seating area where passengers were awaiting transport and taking in all the sights and sounds - omnipresent food hawkers selling morning meals, tuk-tuk drivers loitering, and clouds of grey diesel fumes floating about like an early morning fog. We made our way about six hours west towards Krong Koh Kong, a

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small border town linked to Thailand by a 1900 metre bridge that crosses the Kaw Bpow river, adjacent to the mouth leading into the Gulf of Thailand. Until recently where a bridge was built (2002) and a newly upgraded access road constructed (2008), Krong Koh Kong had remained relatively isolated as no public transport and few vehicles were able to make passage to the town. Its close proximity to the Cardamom Mountains, the secondlargest virgin rainforest in Southeast Asia with endangered species such as tigers, leopards, and Malayan sun bears, means Krong Koh Kong will not remain a remote location much longer. Slowly, ecotourism is developing and locals are being educated in an attempt to protect what is now known as the

Koh Kong Conservation Corridor. While the town encompasses not much more than a few dirt roads lined with market shops selling water, shampoo sachets, baskets of lychee, and mangosteen fruit, the town itself was more pleasurable on the eyes than our guidebook had suggested. It had a good selection of budget and mid-range accommodation, with run-down shacks along-side newly constructed hotels, a central market area, stilted homes that lined the riverbank and a few one-room bars scattered around town. The stand-out riverside mecca, Cafe Laurent, was a favourite haunt where we enjoyed a latte under the shade of a stilted hut overlooking the water. Krong Koh Kong was our launching pad into the adjacent Peam Krasaop APRIL/MAY 2012

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THE GUIDE OUTDOOR

HOW TO GET THERE visitors can hire boats to birdwatch among the mangroves. There's also a "resort" and restaurant set up, with a dozen or so air-conditioned bungalows for those who want to spend the night watching the fireflies in the mangroves (though since when is air-con environmentally friendly?) The easiest way to visit is to organise the journey from Krong Koh Kong, where you can hire a moto to take you there.

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

Good Ambience...

Outstanding Food Quality and Cocktails. reasonabe price !!!

Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary Off NH 48, Koh Kong Province

SLEEP Bangkayak Resort Sangkat Steng Veng, Kemrak Phumen City, Koh Kong T: (011) 253 333; (017) 600 669 bangkayakresort.com Don’t forget to check out the 360 degree view of Tatai River at: www.mouthtosource.org/tatai/tatai.html

WWilderness Protected Area, a 260 square kilometer sanctuary of mangroves flecked with fishing hamlets. With an oven fresh baguette in hand, purchased conveniently from a bicycle baguette vendor (with insulated box) near our hotel, we were introduced to a smiling captain of our motorized dingy shortly after 7am. Off we cruised, first past a Muslim village of stilted houses each with its obligatory blue long-boat, then into a vast expanse of mangroves as far as the eye could see. The hearty mangrove root systems plunged into the depths of the waters, their shape looked like a petrified spider with its legs dangling, some appendages with milky, white oysters clinging to the blackened roots. Villagers could be 56

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seen in waist-deep waters harvesting these little oysters. Stopping at the village of Boeng Kayak, we sauntered across a raised one kilometer long boardwalk taking us through the mangroves that enveloped the little village, listening to a distinct cracking sound coming from within the forest. Apparently, the ebony coloured crabs living amongst the mangrove roots communicate with one another by making this cracking sound, as if they came upon a pile of walnuts and regularly cracked into them for a mid-morning snack. During the walk, we saw many little black crabs scurrying over the mud floor, long needle-like fish in the shallows, and some rather fat, ugly brown fish bobbing at the surface

as their oversized eyes bulged from their head. We also passed through the fishing village of Koh Kapi, a Thai community now living in Cambodia, mostly deserted as its occupants were out fishing in the early morning hours. A couple men remained in the village tending to nets along with a handful of women minding the children, preparing a meal or lounging in a hammock. Most fishing in this area was done using nets, whereby the fishermen would drop a float to which a long rectangular net was attached, then they proceeded to motor around the area knocking on the hull of their boat to scare fish into their nets. At least that is the intention...we only saw empty nets being dragged from the waters.

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 palateangkor@yahoo.com


GUIDE KHMER COMPLEX ART


VIEW FINDER PHOTOGRAPHY COMPLEX ART

The gravity-free, stone-faced subject is photographer Natsumi Hayashi from Saitama Prefecture. She blogs her self-portrait series called “Today’s Levitation” as a sort of fictional diary, posting one photo per day. Hayashi’s blog yowayowa camera woman diary (http://yowayowacamera.com/) has hosted the series since last year, and features photos of a “floating” Hayashi at various locations. She said she does not use computer graphics such as by digitally inserting herself into the photos. Instead, she simply uses a self-timer or asks someone to press the shutter release button. The most difficult part, she says, is perfectly timing her jump and the shutter’s release. To get one photo, Hayashi sometimes takes more than 200 shots.

Princess Diamond

your style, your diamond 60

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


T H E FAC E O F CA M B O DI A Photography Contest

Sponsored by

Delighting You Always

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

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The Little Garden

Sofitel

Meta House gallery

PHNOM PENH

em (63)

ska Pa Preah Tra

em (63)

raska Pa Preah T


APRIL-MAY 2012

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

info@citylifemagz.com

and we’s love to run your recommendations in a future issue. APRIL/MAY 2012

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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 APR/MAY 2012

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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esse

nt ial

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

4

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

8

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

Don’t forget to use CityCard for discount when you visiting a store. For more information please contact us at, info@ citylifemagz.com 023 666 0359 023 30 50 70

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.

Tear out page here then fold along the dotted lines

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 APR/MAY 2012

WaterFall at Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap

2

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

3

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.

5

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

turn over for map and number locationS


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

See

Eat & drink

Sleep

Essentials Getting there

2

map display here..

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 APR/MAY 2012

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

See

10

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

Eat & Drink 1

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

Sleep

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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Eat & drink

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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.

Eat & Drink 1

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?

See

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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 APR/MAY 2012

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

Getting around

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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 APR/MAY 2012

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 APR/MAY 2012

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.

See

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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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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 APR/MAY 2012

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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Eat & drink

Sleep

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 APR/MAY 2012

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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Eat & drink

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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 APR/MAY 2012

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 APR/MAY 2012 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

info@citylifemagz.com

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

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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

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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 APR/MAY 2012

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

1

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.

Tear out page here then fold along the dotted lines

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

turn over for map and number locationS


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 APR/MAY 2012

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.

2

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

Tear out page here then fold along the dotted lines

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

8

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

turn over for map and number locationS


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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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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WHAT NEW ON THE BOOKSHELF

A Model American by Elsie Burch Donald It is 1969, and businessman Bill Bolton decides to surprise his wife with a trip to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat - they will be the first American tourists there since Jackie Kennedy. On the return journey their plane crashes and now five Westerners of vastly different outlook find themselves stranded awaiting rescue in a Cambodian jungle village. But soon they will be in the path of the advancing Vietnam war and the Khmer Rouge. Beautifully written, add this to your collection of books about Cambodia. Monument Books price: USD 14.50 (Paperback)

Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life by Michael Moore Michael Moore is an Academy Award-winning American filmmaker, bestselling author and liberal political commentator much vilified by the American Right. Unflinchingly honest and always funny, now he has written a sort of autobiography - he presents twentyfour far-ranging, irreverent, and stranger-than-fiction vignettes from his own early life. Monument Books price: USD 18.00 (Paperback)

Top 10 of Everything 2012 by Caroline Ash This bestselling Top 10 annual is back, with over 700 updated lists and brand-new features revealing exactly who or what is the best, worst, richest, deadliest, or simply biggest of almost everything and now in more detail than ever before. This full colour book covers more than 7,000 of the most intriguing facts about history, science, sports, music, movies, nature, people and places - good for learning and trivia! Monument Books price: USD 20.00 (Hardback)

501 Must-See Movies (Revised and Updated) by Bounty Books If you are a movie buff, this is the book for you! A compilation of critically or commercially successful movies ranging from the 1920’s to 2010, it is organized by genre. Each entry details year of release, director, casting information, academy nominations and a brief description of the movie’s story, premise and in some cases, critical analysis – lots of colour illustrations make this a great-value gift. Monument Books price: USD 18.50 (Hardback)

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FLASH BACK WHERE HAVE WE BEEN

ABOVE & BELOW: Vertu Grand Launch @ Sofitel

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ABOVE: Tiger Translate, Metropolis @ The Railway Station BELOW: Elyxir Grand Opening and Fashion Show


FUN QUICK QUIZ + RIDDLES + SUDOKU

RIDDLES 1. What am I? I am not a number, but if I lose one I have eight to spare. 2. What am I? Spelt the same but pronounced differently, I was used by Robin Hood, I decorate hair or colour the sky and as a verb, I occur every day in Japan, or in front of the Queen. 3. How many? There is a mix of red, white and yellow sweets in a bag, totalling 60 in all. If there are four times as many red as white and 6 more yellow than white, how many of each colour sweet are there?

QUICK QUIZ 1. Which Michael Jackson album is the best-selling album of all time with 110 million copies having been sold worldwide?

4. Riddle How much dirt is there in a hole that is three metres round and half a metre deep? 5. Riddle If there are 10 oranges and you take two how many oranges will you have?

3. Bösendorfer, Steinway and Mason & Hamlin are all famous as makers of what instrument?

SUDOKU

4. Which country has the longest coastline?

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.

5. What does the name of the famous entertainment company Cirque du Soleil translate to in English? 6. Which part of a duck or goose is the delicacy foie gras made from? 7. What does the acronym SETI stand for? 8. Which semi-aquatic mammal is said to kill more humans in Africa than any other?

8 5

4 5 4 8

9. Cobalt is a shade of what colour? 10. The Sicilian mechanic Jo Calderone is the alter ego of which eccentric pop star?

• QUICK QUIZ 1 Thriller, 2 Shark, 3 Piano, 4 Canada, 5 Circus of the Sun, 6 Liver, 7 Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, 8 Hippopotamus, 9 Blue, 10 Lady Gaga • RIDDLES007 1 Cat’s lives, 2 Bow, 3 Red = 36, White = 9, Yellow = 15, 4 None – it is a hole, 5 Two – you took two • 102

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3 1 7 7 6 9 5 8

9 3

5 9 2 7 3 1 6 8

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5 2

5 2

8 4

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

2. Is the whale shark a whale or a shark?

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Tel: +855 Tel: (0)+855 +855 23 726 (0)906 23 726(0) 906 Tel: Tel: (0) 23 +855 726 906 23 726 906 #164 Norodom #164Norodom Norodom Blvd, Blvd, #164 #164 Norodom Blvd, Blvd, Sangkat Sangkat Tonle Bassac, TonleBassac, Bassac, Sangkat Tonle Sangkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmone, KhanChamkarmone, Chamkarmone, Khan Khan Chamkarmone, PhnomPhnom Phnom Penh Penh Penh Phnom Penh

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


The Syphon’s contemporary 1 to 4 bedroom apartments have been carefully designed with the lifestyle in mind that comes with living in such a spectacular location. The living spaces are generous and comfortable, yet streamlined and functional. The glass fronts that open onto the decks and into the view create a sense of openness and space, bringing the sun-filled lakescape right into the rooms, yet each apartment is quite private. Everywhere there is a careful attention to detail and a sensitivity to living life on the lake view front. This you just have to see! Come and view our stylishly luxurious Show Suite. Enjoy its opulent elegance and be entranced by the breathtakingly tranquil lakescape view. syphonapartment.com #23, Norodom BLVD, Street 41, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, HOUSE OF MODEN LIVING, Khan Chamkarmon, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

All of our apartments include... > Fully furnished > 1-4 bedrooms with separate living facilities > Entertainment facilities > Hight speed internet > Hight quality linen > Fully equipped kitchens > Laundry facilities > Secure car park > Roof top swimming pool > Cleaning service > 24HR security > Mini mart > Cafe shop > Top floor gym

Cambodia CityLife  

CityLife is Cambodia’s premier FREE guide magazine, bringing good reading to all those in Phnom Penh and around town who like to keep their...