What's New
by: Jon Bugge. Picture by : Jon Bugge ( August, 2002 Volume 2 No.8 )

Surviving The Peace Two

To commemorate ten years of service within Cambodia, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) are putting on a photography exhibition. The photographs will be by their highly acclaimed information officer and conflict photojournalist, Sean Sutton. Last year he held an exhibition in the Phnom Penh branch and showed his photographic prowess with a powerful series of shots. This year there will be exhibitions in both the Foreign Correspondents Clubs and both are sure to be as captivating as the last. It was back in 1992 that MAG first came to the kingdom and set up a Humanitarian Mine Action program. Since then they have cleared countless hundreds of hectares of land, providing a safe environment for thousands of Cambodians. There is also going to be a sponsored bicycle ride - to raise money for the organization. These events will be happening through October to December.
The staff at Leisure would like to congratulate their hard work and dedication that is allowing Cambodia to rebuild. We would also like to wish them future success in the coming ten years in country.

One is not enough.

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Cambodia is opening in Siem Reap. This new hotel, restaurant and bar is ideally located next to the Royal Villa and adjacent to the Raffles Park. Nothing new about another hotel opening at the gateway to Angkor - however with the usual attention to detail and care, this will prove to be a cut above the rest. Stylishly decorated and comfortably furnished happy hours here are sure to be busy! With a swimming pool and stunningly landscaped gardens it is no surprise that they will have more then their share of patrons. Within the compound will be a travel agent, a bookstore, a boutique and also a gourmet delicatessen. The building was a former colonial residence and adjoins the king's residence. The actual address is not finalized and at the time of writing the site and building was simply referred to as: "the building between the post office and the kings residence."
The soft opening will be late September with the hard opening in the first week of October. When they open there will be between four and six rooms, with plans to expand to 20 within a few months. The rooms will cost approximately $45 - $70 per night. They are also expanding in Phnom Penh as is evident by the construction work on Street 178. They are expanding with a new building adjacent to the original location. The ground floor will still house the original shop owners. The first floor will have additional guest rooms. The top two floors will be extensions of the existing dining and drinking areas. This extension is due to open around the same time that the FCCC in Siem Reap does.

Cardoman Mountains

Named after the spice that still grows on these fertile mountainsides, the Cardoman Mountains have received a degree of protection, in a sub-decree passed by the Council of Ministers on 27th June. The Cardamom Mountains region in southwest Cambodia is the last true wilderness remaining in mainland Southeast Asia. The area has been awarded a protected forest status. Theoretically this removes the rights of any extraction companies within the area. It was a portion of the Central Cardoman, which covers 402,000 hectares, or 162,688 acres. This constitutes approximately 10.8 % of the entire region. There are many species unique to these mountains: Cardoman Geckos are one such example. The Guar, or forest cattle, is extinct in large parts of the region but are present here. Many new amphibian species were discovered in 2000, and one new species of wolf snake was also discovered. Of the hundreds of moth species found, the Picasso Moth is one of the more striking. This is without mentioning what is considered a globally important Tiger population. The importance of this area, in the preservation of the unique environmental flora and fauna of the country, is paramount.
With approximately 1.5 million acres (3,706,500 hectares) remaining there is hope that many more species will be found to be living in this fantastically bio-diverse environment within the kingdom. Such other species could include the rhinoceroses and black leopards. These animals were mentioned in French Colonial days and it is hoped that due to their isolation that these animals may have survived within the jungle.

It's all in the name:

he Sharaton Hotel has changed its name to Casa Hotel - not to be confused with Mi Casa. The management of Casa Hotel refused to comment on the change in name but it can be surmised that it was due to the striking similarity with another well known chain of hotels. The management was quick to point out that it was only a name change and that there would be no changes to the hotel: "everything is still the same, there are no side effects," said Sim Dara, Hotel Manager in Phnom Penh. They too appear to be jumping on the Siem Reap expansion wagon and has opened a sister hotel. Imaginatively called the Casa Angkor, this new addition to the accommodation options in Siem Reap. boasts 21 rooms. With quality facilities and 30 staff, the hotel will have a high ratio of staff to rooms. The prices per night are between $40 - $50. It is likely to be a hit with the tourists who are flooding into the country in anticipation of Visit Cambodia Year 2003. Congratulations and good luck

Parkway Trade Exhibition

Parkway Square will be the venue for the 2002 Trade Exhibition. This event lasts for four days and begins on 14th August. Everyday from 9am - 9pm with 45 stalls exhibiting. There will also be performances in Parkway Stadium by popular singers, dancers and comedians from 5pm - 8pm daily during the exhibition. The goods on display will range from fashion to food and beverages and from cosmetics to electronics. On the same day a new boutique shop is opening in Parkway on the first level. This is called Vanity Square and will stock designer women's clothes. Both events are ones not to be missed, so don't forget to get along to Parkway on 14th!

Right on Time!

For the first time ever, three of the worlds top timepiece manufacturers will have a presence in Parkway. Rado and Seiko: through their distributor Thakral, will be available on sale on the ground floor in a new electronics shop called: ElectriCity. It will have the most competitive and extensive selection in the city. For many generations, both these brands have produced and invented reliable and trustworthy watches. In effect the new outlet for these items will mean a wider and more easily accessible choice of their products. The shop also sells a variety of Samsung and Canon products. It is located on the ground floor of Parkway behind Lucky Supermarket, two doors in from the rear entrance. It has never been easier to be on time!