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Phnom Penh (Ah!) Travel Tips - Faces & Places - What's Going On - June 2006

James Loving NR

Miss Cambodia Contest starts August 1


DJ Ken - National Radio Text Service

Thursday June 29, 2006

Miss Cambodia Contest - Olympic Stadium site of University Games & Rugby tournament - Cambodian Premiere Football League Is On HOLD AGAIN - Naga Casino Football team to play in Vietnam - Joachim Fickert - Sorya Shopping Center - US Billionaire Warren Buffett Donates $37 Billion but lives modestly in $31,500 house - A 21-year-old girl buys house in Phnom Penh for $35,000 -- - Monument Books Delivers - US Embassy Moved - Cambodia University Internet Service - Toshu Fukami Library @ University of Cambodia Open to Public - Cambodia's funny money - NR Top 10


What's Going On In Phnom Penh


Bung Orn of Planet Communications one of the organizers of the Freshie Boy & Girl contest said the applications for their Miss Cambodia Contest will be accepted starting August 1st.

In association with the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts applications will be sent out to all of the provinces. An application booth will also be at the Sorya Shopping Center.

The contest will start September 1st and the winner will be entered in the Miss World contest. At present Leo Beer has signed on to be one of the sponsors.


Olympic Stadium is where the action is. It is the site of the University Games through July 5. Participating universities from Cambodia compete in football, basketball, volleyball and track/athletics.

The Cambodian Federation of Rugby is hosting the 6th division of Asian Rugby championships that will finish July 1. Teams from Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia and Laos are competing.


Olympic Stadium is the site of the Cambodia Premiere (Football) League. The schedule was suspended in May and was to resume at the beginning of June. The schedule has since been revised and the league is to begin July 22nd as the powers that be are in Germany attending the World Cup.

Former president of the Cambodian Football Federation Ravy Khek is also in Germany attending the World Cup.

Khek was voted out of his position in a recent election. As a result FIFA is no longer funding the CFF since it is in dispute with the elections. They have set a 90-day window to review the case. FIFA has given the federation $1 million over a 4-year period.


The Naga Casino Football team currently level at the top of the Premiere league standings with Phnom Penh Football Club (PPFC) and Prince Ranariddh's Khemara football team will play two friendly matches in Vietnam in preparation for a CPL title run.

One of the teams they are playing is one of the top four teams in the Vietnams V League. Former Cambodian national team coach Joachim Fickert is coaching the Naga squad that includes 11 former national team members that played for Fickert when he was the national coach.

Since his departure as the national coach Fickert was a technical advisor for the Togo national team that competed in this years World Cup.

Prior to coming to Cambodia to be an advisor to the national team in 1996 and then coach he coached the Congo national team to the African Cup finals in 1992 and 1994.

Olympic Stadium is where the action is (NR Photo)

Joachim Fickert - AFC photo

VANDA (NR Photo)

Sorya Shopping Center

A key landmark in Phnom Penh is the Independence Monument. (Photo - Municipality of Phnom Penh)

Baan Thai restaurant - NR photo

Toshu Fukami - NR photo

Warren Buffett - Business Wire photo


He said what happened to the Togo national team's dispute over salary resulting in their strike just days before their first game of the World Cup is normal in Africa (or our interpretation SOS - Same old $#!t) where players have to fight for their money. Hmmmm does that sound familiar?


Some images that you see on Cambodian television are pleasant and others alarming. Former 2005 Freshie Girl 1st runner-up was outstanding in a TV show where she co-hosted a program that visited sites in Phnom Penh on TV 3. She was exuberant and worked well with her co-hosts.

Since that time TV 3 has moved her to the Women Talk show that airs at 7:30am. The two other co-hosts who were originally hosting the show before Vanda's addition talk, talk, talk. It appears that Vanda is put in the position of having to politely listen while the other two co-hosts ramble away talk to each other and ignore her. When she does speak they interrupt.

This is rude and unprofessional. Perhaps the show should be renamed Two Women Talk and One Listens.


For shopping in air-conditioned comfort the place to be is the Sorya Shopping Center. It has Cambodia's first escalator that serves as a thrill ride for some Khmers that come from the provinces that have never been on an escalator before. There are many shops and places to eat. Parking is available on premises. Located on Street 63 just one block south of the Central Market in downtown Phnom Penh.


Many tourists usually walk around Phnom Penh to see the historical sites. In doing so the Independence Monument is one place they will most likely see. If you decide to walk about in that area there are several places nearby to dine.

The Baan Thai restaurant is also close by. They feature Thai food and a $1.50 buffet during lunch available Monday through Saturday from 11am to 2pm.

It has a clean environment smoking is not permitted and no alcohol is served.

The Baan Thai is located a block from the Norodom Boulevard Pannasastra University campus at # 2 Street 306. Tel: 023-362-991

For pizza lovers there is Ecstatic Pizza. Located at #132F Norodom Boulevard between streets 308 & 294 near the Independence Monument. It is located between the University of Cambodia and Pannasastra Universities on the south side (Pannasastra University side) of the street. Open 9am - 11pm - Tel 023-365-089.

Helen's restaurant and bakery is also nearby. Helen's specialty is Philippine food and her excellent bakery goods.

Helen is a great person to talk to if she is not busy. She came to Cambodia in 1990 when UNTAC arrived.

She has a lot of experience and stories about the changes of Cambodia since she landed on Cambodian soil.

Located on 1598 Norodom Blvd. between St. 306 & St. 294. Look out for it there is a small tree in front of the entrance.Tel: 016-848-001


For those that are visiting or living in Phnom Penh there is a library that has books and magazines in ENGLISH.

The University of Cambodia offers such a facility that is open to the public seven days a week.

During the week Monday through Friday the TOSHU FUKAMI library is open from 7:30am to noon. In the afternoon it is open from 2 to 8pm. Saturday and Sunday 7:30am to noon and 2-6:30pm.

The university is located near the Independence monument at #143-145 Preah Norodom Boulevard. Tel: 023-993-276.


University of Cambodia now has an Internet service open to the public. Hours of service are from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. Rates are 1000 riel for a half hour and 1500 for one hour.

The university is located near the Independence monument at #143-145 Preah Norodom Boulevard. Tel: 023-993-276.


The USA's second richest man Warren Buffett will be donating $37 billion dollars to Microsoft founder Bill Gates to a foundation that he and his wife have to help impoverished people in developing countries with health issues.

Buffett is a low profile conservative individual that made his money in the insurance business and investing in stocks. His worth is said to be $44 billion.

Buffett continues to live in a house that he bought in Omaha, Nebraska in 1959 for $31,500. Omaha is not exclusive like Beverly Hills or Marin County, California or any other exclusive area.

In contrast a 21-year-old single girl in Phnom Penh, Cambodia bought recently bought a house in a not too exclusive area of Phnom Penh for $35,000. She earns her living exchanging money and selling jewelry in an outdoor market in PP.


In the US you learn that real business people do not wear jewelry hustlers do.

In journalism school you learn that if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck…. It's a duck.


The US Embassy has moved to a new location opposite Wat Phnom and the Sunway Hotel.

New telephone number: Tel: 023-728-000


Monument Books has a delivery service to your home or hotel/guesthouse available for newspapers and magazines. You can subscribe for a daily newspaper service or for one issue. Monument also has back issues available.

Contact Meng Hong. Tel: 012-224-222 or 023-217-617. Fax 855-217-618. Email: info@monument-books.com


As the saying goes…if it ain't broke don't fix it.

A couple of years ago the 50-riel note was introduced to the Cambodian public. It wasn't well received.

WHY??? Good Question

The note valued at just over 1 US cent can easily be confused with the 500-riel note valued at 12 ˝ US cents

Those who had one wanted to get rid of it as fast as possible. Vendors and super and mini markets were dumping them on patrons.

Another reason is carrying 50-riel notes takes up a lot of room.

When a customer complained of receiving a pile of BRAND NEW 50-riel notes for change the vendor replied, "Give it to the beggars."


A new 1000-riel note has been released.

What's wrong with that?

Answer: The old 1000-riel note is brown. Its value is around 25 US cents. It is easy to recognize being the only brown note in Cambodian currency.

The new 1000-riel note is blue note is confusing to a traveler or a not so familiar foreigner. It has a bright blue color on one side and a not so bright blue color on the other.

As it ages it gets dull. The notes it can easily be confused with other blue notes.

The 100 riel note is valued at just over 2 1/2 cents. If you snooze on this one you really lose.

The 5000-riel note is valued at US $1.25. The 10,000-riel note is valued at US $2.50.

There is a 50,000-riel blue note that is seldom seen valued at around $12.50.

Why the change??? GO FIGURE.


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