The Apsara National Authority (ANA), in cooperation with the Siem Reap provincial Department of Tourism, has worked with residents to remove 10 stalls and restaurants near the Angkor Wat temple during the first six months of this year.
The ANA plans to demolish or remove all constructions in the Angkor Wat temple area by the end of the year, said ANA spokesman Long Kosal.
Kosal said restaurant owners had agreed to remove the 10 constructions and stalls in the area and handed the locations to the ANA to develop tourism infrastructure.
He said all the businesspeople in the affected areas were willing to cooperate with the ANA and would remove their structures as requested.
“The 10 removed constructions are big stalls and restaurants that were roofed. Some of them were covered with zinc and others were thatched roofs. There are no more left – they have removed them almost completely.”
Restaurant owner Srun Kimseng, who owned a restaurant in front of the Angkor Wat temple, said on Monday that his restaurant was 20m long and 30m wide. He said he removed it last month to maintain the area’s beauty and help the ANA.
“Usually, the problem of removing this restaurant affects both livelihoods and materials. But we must join together to promote the environment, culture and beauty of the temple’s compound.
“I still have another restaurant in Siem Reap town. If the ANA could find a proper location for us to reopen, I will follow their guidance,” he said.
ANA’s Facebook page quoted the organisation’s deputy director-general Yith Chandaroth as saying that all constructions must be removed without exception, even the ANA’s compound in the off-limits area.
On behalf of the ANA, he thanked the Ministry of Tourism, the provincial Department of Tourism and all businesspeople for cooperating in a common mission to preserve and increase the popularity of Angkor Wat.
He said the ANA will develop a community square in front of the famous temple.