INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

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phuketrichard
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INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by phuketrichard »

thought this might be useful tp those around form the early days. was really interesting to roam around ( after a small payment to the guards) after it closed down
Peering over the loosely padlocked gate, visible is the traditional Khmer orange-tiled roof, offering the last glimpses of an abandoned structure being consumed by the ever-expanding foliage around it. Today, the sign out front only hints at the building’s name – the white letters overlaid on chipped green paint spelling out Hotel R-nak-e.

But the neglect to which it has been subjected since its closure in 2009 belies the crumbling colonial-era landmark’s significance in the course of press freedom in post-war Cambodia and Indochina in the early 1990s. On its premises, one of the first major international wire services returned to the country, and two of Cambodia’s now-extinguished beacons of press freedom, the Phnom Penh Post and the Cambodia Daily, were born.
https://southeastasiaglobe.com/renakse- ... hnom-penh/
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Bitte_Kein_Lexus
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Re: INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by Bitte_Kein_Lexus »

Sounds interesting, I'll read this when I have a bit of time.
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Jerry Atrick
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Re: INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by Jerry Atrick »

Nice short write up. I never knew that hotel existed or that it still stood; I suppose I thought it was some part of the Buddhist university buildings in the same area.
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Re: INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by Ong Tay »

Fascinating article, both about the hotel and the history of the start of the PPP and Cambodia Daily. Thanks for sharing it.
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Re: INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by Ot Mean Loi »

I knew the old Renakse Hotel well. It was my home when I was with UNTAC at the change over from UNAMIC. I was later to be sent down to Singapore with a swag of USD$ and instructed to set up an UNTAC Office in Singapore and be operational in four days. But that is another story for another day except, perhaps, for those that wish to trawl through my former postings on TOF.

I occupied the only room no one else wanted but in to which were squeezed two single beds with almost no room between them. The tiny room immediately on the left as you entered, which had a small glass window with a small hole in it and to which people went to pay their fines.

Most readers would not recall that the "Renakse" had originally been part of a suite of buildings opposite the Royal Palace and a part of the Ministry of Justice. Mysteriously, this fine public property had managed to be transferred in to private ownership prior to UNTAC and was set up as the Renakse Hotel. But all good stories have a twist in them. The powerful male that had managed the transfer of the former Justice Department in this superb location in to private ownership was to lose it in a divorce settlement. And, when UNTAC arrived, it was the divorced former wife that was running it as the Hotel Renakse. But there is a further twist to this tale. The state of Cambodia later reclaimed the Renakse as public property and without compensation of any sort as I understand things.

The upper floor of the Renakse was at that time fully occupied by female United Nations Volunteers, mostly from Japan.

I have been in to my former "home" several times in recent years and what a shambles it is now. It's not only been deliberately allowed to fall in to a ruinous state but literally anything of use has been stripped out of it. My suspicion is that this is very deliberate policy given the prestige location and the very high value of the site. At some convenient moment the Cambodian government will declare the building to be beyond repair and fit only for demolition and make a truck load of money from either the sale or long term lease of the site to a "friendly" Okhna for development.

I well remember the very small USA contingent to UNTAC celebrating the 4th July in the front of the hotel with a very generous party for the other occupants. I still recall the hundreds of hands poking through the the railings begging for food.

Sad, really, as it was once an interesting colonial building well worth of some efforts at preservation.

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Re: INSIDE THE DECREPIT HOTEL RENAKSE

Post by John Bingham »

Ot Mean Loi wrote: Wed Jun 09, 2021 12:57 pm
Most readers would not recall that the "Renakse" had originally been part of a suite of buildings opposite the Royal Palace and a part of the Ministry of Justice.
Yes, there was some mystery in the reports about it, nobody seemed to know when it was built or what for. The article above says 19th century but I don't believe that's true, 1930s would seem more accurate.
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