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In Cambodia, Recycling can be Deadly

By: Bronwyn Sloan Posted: January-01-2006 in
Bronwyn Sloan

In other countries, scrap collectors scramble for cans and bottles. In Cambodia, especially in provinces which experienced heavy fighting, your local "etchay" may have a stash of bombs and bullets.

Authorities in Banteay Meanchey district on the Thailand border confiscated 6,000 bullets and more than 1,000 bombs and grenades from scrap collectors in the past two days, saying they posed a threat to public order as the seven raided storage areas are mostly located in built-up areas.

The Q-ba Rocks (and Rolls)!

By: Aaron Leverton Posted: January-01-2006 in
Aaron Leverton

"It's all about soul" Billy Joel sang on his 1993 album River of Dreams. Billy Joel may not be coming to Phnom Penh any time soon, but another Billy has brought soul to the Kingdom.

Billy Haynes is a big man with a big voice and since his arrival in Phnom Penh has given couple of sneak previews (one of them via satellite to the whole nation) of what it is he does and what he does is sing. Oh, and play the bass. Last night was his opening night at the Cambodiana Hotel's Q-ba and Billy doesn't just sing. He rocks.

Nou Hach Journal Interview

By: Expat Advisory Posted: January-01-2006 in
Expat Advisory

EAS confers on culture with Teri Yamada and Kho Dararith of the Nou Hach Literary Journal, which is having its annual meeting this weekend.

Isn't it an utterly unprofitable idea to publish new writing in Cambodia, one of the least literate countries in Southeast Asia?

Without some contemporary literature to read, why bother reading for pleasure?

Why the name Nou Hach?

A Palace of Potential

By: FCC Cambodia Posted: January-01-2006 in
FCC Cambodia

It's one of Phnom Penh's most visible architectural relics: a prime project for preservation and a developer's dream. It's known as simply the "Old French Mansion," and now it has a new owner, and a bright future.

After years of interest and negotiations, the FCC Phnom Penh and its parent company Indochina Assets Limited recently obtained the title for the ornate colonial-era villa across from the National Museum at 32 Sothearos Boulevard.

An New Taste of an Old Favourite

By: Aaron Leverton Posted: January-01-2006 in
Aaron Leverton

Freebird is an old name in Phnom Penh. If you can get a copy of an old guide book, it will probably be described as "American-style bar with large injections of Australia and New Zealand." Or something very similar. Since its "re-launch" on Independence Day, 2005, the reviews tend to emphasise the "American-ness".

In 2005 the Freebird Bar and Grill was awarded "Best Restaurant" in Phnom Penh. A year later, after the categories were modified to separate bars and restaurants, Freebird was awarded "Best Value for Money".

Le Cedre - a taste of Lebanon

By: Mitchell Isaacs Posted: January-01-2006 in
Mitchell Isaacs

The diversity and quality of the international cuisine available in Phnom Penh is a constant source of surprise and excitement to me, however cuisine from the Middle East has been notably under-represented.

Needing some sort of pick-up after the aftermath of a rowdy Friday night, I was glad to be going to the opening of Phnom Penh's new Lebanese restaurant, Le Cedre. Greeted by the owners in the stylish front garden, I was quickly ushered to the outdoor dining section, and poured a sharp, but very drinkable red from Lebanon.
More photos of Le Cedre are available in the EAS Photo Gallery.

LA Star to Sing, Phnom Penh Blues

By: Bronwyn Sloan Posted: January-01-2006 in
Bronwyn Sloan

Billy Haynes lists musicians like Lou Rawls and Tina Turner on his CV. He played in the Middle East just months after 9/11 in an attempt to soothe tensions with his music. And now he is in Cambodia looking to overhaul the live music scene.

Billy Haynes is one of the top Rhythm and Blues artists to ever come out of Los Angeles.

"Well, it's a challenge - I mean, this is not a music town," he says of Phnom Penh. "But that's the great thing about it. In LA, London, Amsterdam, if you try to do this, there are already people doing it. This is a one-horse town."

Clean hands and criticism for Pact plan at BBAC

By: Bronwyn Sloan Posted: January-01-2006 in
Bronwyn Sloan

A tough crowd greeted special guest speaker at last week's British Business Association of Cambodia (BBAC), Aaron Bornstein. The Chief of Party for the Mainstreaming Anti-Corruption for Equity (MAE) Project, which is overseen by the anti-corruption non-government organization Pact Cambodia, was there to introduce the 'Clean Hands - Clean Business' project to BBAC members.

Cambodian police, child rights groups need the public's help

By: Bronwyn Sloan Posted: January-01-2006 in
Bronwyn Sloan

Cambodian anti-trafficking police have appealed to Interpol for more information on a man believed to have preyed on at least a dozen children here and in Vietnam and posted graphic photographic evidence of his crimes on the internet.

Anti-trafficking police chief for the Ministry of Interior, Bith Kim Hong, said he has requested Interpol forward him details of the case as police were keen to investigate.

Metro - "Where Hip Meets Phnom Penh"

By: Claire Superfine Posted: January-01-2006 in
Claire Superfine

You don't meet a "founding father" everyday - but I got lucky, and met one from Phnom Penh's nascent restaurant industry. Determined to make Metro Café a success, Aussie owner - Tom - is golden. Recognizing a void of restaurants outside backpacker joints or traditional Khmer, the former chef has identified a niche.

Metro's swanky yet hospitable atmosphere allows an eclectic crowd to enjoy one thing they share - a taste for modern cosmopolitan class. If trends exist for imitation, I hope Metro is no exception.

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