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Siem Reap welcomes increasing number of Khmer New Year revelers

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Tourists visit Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap on April 14. SUPPLIED

Siem Reap welcomes increasing number of Khmer New Year revelers

Domestic and international travellers have flocked to temples in Siem Reap province amid the Khmer New Year holiday, as the government permits celebrations for the first time after a two-year Covid-19 hiatus.

Long Kosal, spokesman for the Apsara National Authority (ANA) – a body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park – told The Post on April 14 that travellers from near and afar had visited temples in great numbers.

He said the province has organised many events to attract visitors, such as the Siem Reap Songkran festival that includes traditional games and folk dances, among many other events. He added that the completion of the 38-road reconstruction also provided great convenience for visitors.

’All temples in Siem Reap province are open to visitors and we have seen more and more people coming to visit. Generally, the temples are never closed to tourists, but there were less people [before the holiday] ... I expect that this three-day Khmer New Year holiday will see even more travellers visiting the temples,’’ he said.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), said that every time a traditional festival is held in Siem Reap, it tends to attract more people than other provinces do as it is a major tourist destination that has plenty to offer to visitors besides the iconic temples.

‘’I believe that Siem Reap this year will surely have a lot of visitors. The [rebuilding of] roads and other infrastructures in the town is now complete, drawing people, especially domestic tourists, to come witness the rapid development and new image. This is a positive sign for domestic tourism,’’ he said.

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