Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sam's jaunt

Samantha Brown (above) has been globetrotting with her Travel Channel television show for the last decade. Last week she completed filming of her first visit to Cambodia for her Passport to Asia series having spent time in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and the Angkor temples and on the south coast at Ream. Local fixers were Hanuman Films. In October last year she was in Vietnam. The Travel Channel is available in more than 95 million US cable homes, so she's pretty well known. Talking of Vietnam, Adam Bray, one of the contributors to my To Cambodia With Love guidebook, which is nearing completion, has been involved in the latest Insight Guides Laos and Cambodia guidebook, which should be out sometime next month. He also chipped in with updating the DK Eyewitness Vietnam & Angkor Wat publication that came out last month. A DK book dedicated solely to Cambodia is in the works as well after the two writers were spotted in town recently. Adam was also a contributor to the To Vietnam With Love guidebook by ThingsAsian, which came out last year.
It's raining outside as I type this which is really unusual for January here in Cambodia. It rained yesterday afternoon as well. Parts of the country have also been experiencing fog. Crikey me, we'll have snow next. This Friday night at Meta House (7pm) will see the Messenger Band performing acapella while presenting a film by the Meta House crew of the I Am Precious! fashion contest, held in November. Garment factory workers designed dresses and t-shirts to raise their profile and demonstrate their skills and of course, the all-girl band are all former garment workers themselves.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

On a roll

Some of you will be worn out by the number of football-related posts on my blog in recent weeks. I know I am. But it was for a good cause as I tracked at close quarters the Cambodian U23 football team's efforts to bring some SEA Games medals back home. We knew it was going to be a tall order and so it proved. However, the overall Cambodian team that took part in the 25th SEA Games in Laos performed admirably and when competition finished yesterday, they'd accumulated no less than 40 medals - an incredible increase on their previous best in 2007 of 18 medals. The roll of honour included 3 golds, for which the winning athletes will each get a personal monetary award of $6,000, 10 silvers and 27 bronzes. Kudos to all of the Cambodian sportsmen and women who took part in making this SEA Games the country's best-ever. The final medal standings showed Thailand at the top with 86 golds (and 266 medals in total) with Vietnam just 3 golds fewer and Indonesia in third place with 43 golds. Laos, the hosts, grabbed no less than 33 golds. An incredible result for them.
Now, turning away from the SEA Games, I will try and get back to some sense of normalcy with blog postings on books, films, exhibitions, ancient temples and the usual array of goodies that cross my path. Talking of which I've just had an invitation to attend the premiere screening on home soil of the film Same Same But Different at the Cine Lux cinema in Phnom Penh this evening. Shot in 2008 in various locations around Cambodia, its a love story with a twist and all the film's stars will be in attendance. You can find out more about the film here. I'll let you know what I think later. I also had an email today from one of the producer's on the Passport to Asia, a television travel show with American host Samantha Brown, which will be coming to Cambodia for the shooting of an hour-long episode in January. Ms Brown's travel shows are incredibly popular on the Travel Channel in America and this will be another rung on the ladder of opening up the wonders of Cambodia to a wider audience.

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