|Villagers ride on a 'norry' in Kompong Chhnang province, northwest of Phnom Penh. Cambodia is planning an ambitious overhail of its rail network.|
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
There is an appealing history to the Cambodia gambling dens that lie just over the national boundaries from neighboring Thailand, where gambling establishment betting is illegal. 8 casinos are located in the fairly tiny area in the city of Poipet in Cambodia. This area of Cambodia bettings houses is inside a perfect place, a 3 to 4 drive from Bangkok and Macao, the 2 biggest betting centers in Asia. Cambodia bettings houses do a thriving business with Thai workers and guests from Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, with only extremely couple of Westerners. The extraordinary earnings gained from the casinos ranges from $7.5 million to over 12.5 million, and there are couple of restrictions or registration requirements for betting house ownership. Ownership is assumed to be mostly Thai; nevertheless, investment sources are vague. The borders are formally open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and though visas are allegedly required to cross, you can find techniques to circumspect this, as is true of most border crossings.
The initial Cambodia gambling establishments opened in Phnom Penh in ‘94, except were pressured to close in 98, leaving only one gambling den in the capital, the Naga Resort. The Naga, a fixed boat betting house, functions one hundred and fifty slot machines and 60 table games. The Naga gambling den is open round the clock with 42 tables of mini-baccarat, four tables of pontoon, 10 of roulette, two of Caribbean Stud Poker, and one each of Pai gow and Tai-Sai.
The initial gambling establishment in Poipet, the Holiday Palace, opened in 1999 and the Golden Crown soon followed. There are one hundred and fifty slot machines and 5 table games at the Golden Crown and 104 slot machine games and sixty-eight table games at the Holiday Palace. The newer Holiday Palace Casino and Resort features three hundred slot machine games and 70 table games and the Princess Hotel and Gambling den, also in Poipet, has one hundred and sixty-six slot machine games and ninety-six gaming tables, including eighty seven baccarat chemin de fer (the most well-liked casino game), Fan Tan, and Double-hand. Furthermore, there could be the Gambling den Tropicana, with one hundred and thirty five slot machines and sixty-six of the familiar table games, as well as one table of Gambling establishment Stud Poker. An additional one of the eight casinos in Poipet, also in a hotel, is the Princess Betting house with one hundred and sixty-six slot machine games and 97 games. The Star Vegas Gambling den is part of an international resort and hotel complex that characteristics a number of amenities additionally to the gambling den, which has 10,000 square feet of 130 slot machine games and eighty eight table games.
Across the Cambodian border at Asmech/Surin is one betting house, the Gambling establishment O Samet, with a hundred slot machine games and fifty tables of baccarat chemin de fer. In addition, the Koh Kong Betting house, in the province of Trat, is open every day from nine a.m. to 10:00 p.m., with a hundred slots and 4 table games. A smaller betting house, Le Macau Gambling establishment and Hotel, opened not too long ago at Bavet on the Vietnamese border.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010
By CECILIA S. ANGELES
Amazed at the weird trees literally clawing ancient temples, buildings, architectural structures, I asked our tour guide, Mr. Tann Bunto, to identify the tree during our tour at Siem Reap City. “Banyen tree,” he wrote on my notebook. I verified it in the dictionary and my encyclopedia. Both books gave banyan, both vowels marked short. I am amused no end at the growth of its roots which appear as extra trunks. Their colors and textures are far different from the true trunk and branches. The encyclopedia describes them as secondary trunks or branches. Banyan trees are very sacred among the Hindus. They also grow in Florida, Guam, Mexico, South America, and other warm regions. The Philippines is a warm country. Do banyan trees grow here also? I have not seen one growing in our country, or perhaps I have not been quite observant. Is the tall tree fronting the walls of Fort Santiago parking area in Intramuros a bayan tree? Some people claim it to be balete. Is balete also the banyan tree?
Roots (?) or branches protrude downward from their upper horizontal trunks and settle their lower ends in the soil or the structure beside them. I am amused no end at this strange tree. Some roots glide horizontally across roofs or facade walls of temples. The same structures penetrate easily to any nearby elements—whether growing or lifeless like bricks or stones. Others with no obstruction shoot vertically downward and bury their lower ends underground. Some creep about the ground forming graceful long lines which can cause amblers to trip if they do not notice the growth.
Banyan trees are native of the lower slopes of the Himalayas. They have large thick leaves and cherry-like fruit. Perhaps dropped by birds, their seeds are capable of sprouting even on branches of other trees where they happen to settle. The young banyan sprouts many roots in the air which bend downward perhaps because of gravity. These become the new trunks of banyan. Because a number of them grow in the same area, they grow in groves. Usually the host tree dies because the new groves consume the nutrients due the host tree. A banyan tree may produce as many as 3,000 trunks.
This tree is just like some people who grab what other people have. Despite its weird existence and unwelcomed habits, I enjoyed capturing banyan trees in Siem Reap City in Cambodia.
(Cecilia S. Angeles is a college professor and a regular lecturer at the Photography Workshop sponsored by FPPF at Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org )