Website advises travellers to stay clear of Angkor Wat

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The Apsara National Authority has put in place a plan to fight the rapid erosion of Angkor Wat – the icon of Cambodian tourism. YOUSOS APDOULRASHIM

An Australian website has advised travellers to avoid Angkor Wat during their trip to Southeast Asia because the ancient temple is showing signs of rapid erosion and faced water management issues.

In a recent article entitled Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid published on Traveller.com.au, author Ben Groundwater told readers that it was best to stay clear of the Unesco-listed temple during their trip to Southeast Asia and instead visit the other temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park.

“If you’re interested in travel, you’ve either been to Angkor Wat already, or you know someone who has.

“This Unesco World Heritage site has become phenomenally popular, particularly with Australian travellers, and it’s now beginning to show signs of wear and tear, as well as having issues with water management.

“Instead, try: There are some 72 temples or other buildings of importance on the Angkor site, and only four or five of them are particularly popular. Check out any of the others and you’ll have the place to yourself.”

Apsara National Authority spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Monday that the temple was indeed facing rapid erosion but that there was a plan in place to fight it.

“Over the past a few years, our department has striven to bring tourists to new destinations in the area. We encourage travellers to visit some of the many other temples in the province. We have also urged them to visit local villages.”

“When we learned about this erosion, we started to limit the number of visitors to popular sites, including Bak Kheng Mountain and Angkor Wat. This is a good way to minimise the erosion.”

Regarding water management, Kosal said water shortages in the Angkor Archaeological Park were rare.

“We have plenty of water to use in the temple complex and to irrigate rice fields during the dry season,” he said.

Kosal said they have revived an ancient irrigation system used during the Angkorian period almost 1,000 years ago.

He said the reservoirs at Western Baray and the Angkor Wat temple are at maximum capacity. The Northern Baray Reservoir has also been refilled after having been restored.