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Visak Bochea, Buddha's Birthday

Visak Bochea
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Sacred to millions of Buddhists all over the world, Vesak marks the birth, enlightenment and, in his eightieth year, passing away of the Buddha almost 2,500 years ago. Called Visak Bochea in Cambodia, the festival is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of May, which this year falls on the 7th. In Cambodia, it is one of the most important festivals of the year and, in common with Thailand and Myanmar, will be celebrated on the 6th.

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ADB Report on Asian Growth and Innovation

ADB Report on Asian Growth and Innovation
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In 2017, it was projected that Cambodia’s GDP would reach a record $23 billion by 2020. The country streaked past that projection in 2018, exceeding $24.5 billion before settling down to a GDP of $24 billion last year. In the seeming alternate universe that existed before the beginning of this year, the projection for Cambodia’s performance in 2020 had been raised by a whopping $3 billion, almost as much as the kingdom’s entire GDP just 20 years ago. But all of that, of course, has come screeching to a halt.

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Thalias Newsletter April

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We are all facing unprecedented times and, in that light, I would like first of all to use this message to extend my heartfelt sympathies to all those in the hospitality industry in Cambodia who have been forced to make some difficult, sometimes crushing, decisions in the face of the catastrophic fall-off in tourist numbers as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


No one has been spared the pain of this contraction, which is pushing us all into new, some possibly permanent, ways of being. We all need to work harder to protect ourselves, our family and friends, our staff, and our customers. At Thalias, we take all of this extremely seriously, which is why we have decided to close both Malis Siem Reap and Khéma Angkor restaurants until further notice. We have also implemented a wide range of measures in our Phnom Penh's restaurants while they are still open to keep our guests and employees safe.


To protect our customers, we have not only introduced temperature monitoring at all entrances, and upgraded our sanitation practices, we have also ensured our staff are fully and continuously aware of the ways in which they can protect themselves, and by extension you, from infection. We have also upgraded our take away and home delivery services so that you can continue to enjoy delicious food from Topaz, Malis or Khéma from the comfort and security of your home. To find out more about how to order yours, check out our respective Facebook pages.


We have also worked hard to ensure that our staff are protected from the worst economic ravages of this disease by ensuring their jobs are safe and that their training will continue in their downtime. We also provide advice on how to avail of relief that may be available from banks and other lending institutions so they can protect their families, some of whose members may be losing their jobs.


But even with all of this going on, it is also important not to forget the events that define the year, and which normally bring much joy. Khmer New Year falls on April 13 to 16 this year, and it is our hope that perhaps it will mark the beginning of a new turn in the development of this virus, in Cambodia and beyond. In the meantime, we wish you a very Happy New Year.


Yours sincerely,
Arnaud Darc,
CEO and Chairman Thalias Hospitality Group

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Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation 1860–1945, Penny Edwards

The Cultivation of a Nation 1860–1945
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The period under which Cambodia existed under French protectorate and then colonial rule is one of the least studied in Cambodia’s history. Lacking the grandeur of the Angkor era or the terrors of the Khmer Rouge reign, the space in time between the 1860s and 1950s has attracted scant attention. Yet understanding the events of that time is fundamental to understanding the events that followed.

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