Compiled by: Ly Vanna. Picture by : Bobby Viceral.. ( May, 2002 Volume 2 No.5 )

Surfing Holidays in Cambodia

Potential visitors to the Kingdom can now log on for information before they make the trip. The Ministry of Tourism launched its own website recently, and Internet surfers will be able to look up the website at http://www.mot.gov.kh for all the information regarding everything from visas to tourist attractions. Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Tourism, H.E. Ruos Ren, said it was an important innovation to help Cambodia keep up with rapidly increasing tourist numbers. "The tourism market is an area of worldwide importance and tourist figures are escalating," he said. "To stay competitive, the ministry wishes to rely on the network of communication that the Internet conveniently provides. "Through the internet, we can access market sources and optimize cooperation structure. Our hospitality industry has not missed out on the revolution of electronic commerce.
"Ministry of Tourism General Director, Mr Kousoum Saroeuth, said a website was a matter of necessity. "They (visitors) want to know things before they come in Cambodia and we must reply them. We must prepare information for them," he said. Although tourist numbers are on the increase, most tourists still only stay a matter of days in the Kingdom, visiting the Angkor complex in Siem Reap but missing other places of interest-often through lack of knowledge and promotion.
Chief of the Ministry's Information Technology Center, Mr Kong Sopheareak, said it was important to promote potential attractions many visitors might otherwise be unaware of, such as the rare Irrawaddy dolphins which live in the Mekong in the Kratie region of Cambodia and the now secure former Khmer Rouge strongholds such as Anlong Veng in Oddar Meanchey Province."With this new tool we hope to introduce relevant information about potential attractions in each of the 24 provinces and municipalities," he said. First Trademark Law Approved. A law dealing with intellectual property, including the registration of trademarks, has been recently approved by the National Assembly. Trademarks are logos or symbols used by a company or manufacturers to differentiate their products from the others. In this connection, the Sharaton Cambodia Hotel has changed its name to Casa Hotel since the name Sharaton is deemed to be an infringement of sort.

Koh Kong Bridge Is Up

The 1.9 kilometers new Koh Kong Bridge was officially declared open on the 4th April 2002 by Prime Minister Hun Sen. It is believed that the new 8 million dollar bridge linking Koh Kong to Thailand would help promote tourism, investment and trade. In the past, people had to travel to Koh Kong by boat from Sihanoukville, but with the new bridge, the situation has changed. For a fee of 1,000 riel for motor cycles and 4,000 riel for any vehicle with four wheels, the convenience that this new bridge offers is certainly a welcomed change.

Indian PM Talked About Ta Prohm Temple

Last month on his trip to Cambodia, Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, has agreed to renovate the Ta Prohm, one of the most popular temples in the province of Siem Reap. Cambodia has a good cultural relationship with India for a long time and this is certainly a great gesture. During his visit, the 75-year-old premier paid his respect to His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk and also met with H.E. Chea Sim as well as Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

Operation Smile

A team of volunteer American doctors are here to perform a targeted 160 operations on children with clef lip pallets for FREE at the Sihanouk Hospital in Phnom Penh. (Read the full story in our next issue)