The Svay Rieng provincial Sangkran committee, in collaboration with the Provincial Water Supply Authority, has announced that its popular “Cool Zone” programme, which began during Khmer New Year, will run each weekend until the end of the month.

The Cool Zone is a section of street in front of the Svay Rieng provincial hall which has been designated for water play. To this end, local officials and the water supply authorities have provided water hoses, shallow splash pools and even cooling foam cannons.

It is expected that the fun facility – open from 1pm until 5pm each Saturday and Sunday until the end of the month – will be especially popular, with temperatures forecast to rise as high as 40 degrees in the coming week. The zone was initially planned only for length of the New Year period.

“The extended availability of the Cool Zone is result of the exceptional response it received during the Svay Rieng Sangkran event,” said the announcement.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that the continuation of the Cool Zone would encourage people to select Svay Rieng for weekend trips, boosting the local economy.

“In my opinion, it is smart marketing. As long as the authorities pay attention to the safety of the public who join in the games, it sounds like an excellent tourist attraction,” he added.

He explained that he had no objections to water fights or spraying one another, provided it did not affect public order and was done safely.

According to the provincial administration, Svay Rieng saw 757,392 visitors during the three-day Khmer New Year.