Authorities in Siem Reap city on Wednesday banned people from selling goods around the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom shrine area after vendors populated the area without permission from authorities.
Sou Platong, governor of Siem Reap city, said that during Khmer New Year, nearly 100 people came to sell clothes and souvenirs around the Royal Residence, Royal Gardens and the popular Buddhist shrine – an area frequently visited by tourists.
He added the vendors did not move out after Khmer New Year and continued selling in those areas, affecting public order and beauty in the tourist city.
Mr Platong said authorities informed the vendors that they needed to move but they did not agree so they were forced out on Wednesday.
“The authority bans any selling around Buddhist areas that tourists always come to visit. But they came to sell illegally and create a bad environment there,” he said.
Mr Platong said that the operation went smoothly and there was no negative reaction from the vendors, who understood and agreed to move.
“There was no violence. The sellers agreed to move and agreed not to come back again to sell there,” he said.
“We tried to explain to them that their selling created a loss of beauty and public order. That location is for praying and where tourists always come to visit,” he added.
Srey Sam, 37, one of the displaced vendors, said she saw others successfully selling there so she decided to try it out herself.
“I came here to sell following other vendors. I saw that they were selling well because there are a lot of tourists there. But I agreed to move after the authorities banned us,” she said.
Say Phaya, who visited Siem Reap province with her family over Khmer New Year, said she noticed many vendors selling around the Preah Ang Chek Preah Ang Chom shrine.
“Before, there were fewer people there selling things such as flowers for praying, but this year, when I visited over Khmer New Year, there were many people selling clothes and souvenirs,” she said.
“I don’t know why they were allowed to sell because it made it very crowded.”