Poipet city in Banteay Meanchey province yesterday officially moved the checkpoint on the Thai border to a new circular-shaped facility.
Officials are also dismantling the old three-temple topped crossing gate which symbolises the Poipet border.
City Governor San Sean Hour said travellers, especially those from the city, were fond of the gate. He said that the government had to replace the checkpoint, but the three-temple top gate would be rebuilt.
“Because people love the temple gate and always see it when they cross to Thailand, we will still keep it and put it at the new circular facility nearby,” he said.
He said $500,000 would be spent to keep the same style as the old gate. Ros Sros, 43 who lives in Poipet city, said she was sad to see the temple gate go, but is glad it would move to the circular area.
“When everyone arrives at the Poipet border, they always take a picture to show that they have arrived,” Ms Sros said. “Everyone who crosses to the Thai market always looks at this gate.”
She added that many people wanted the authorities to keep it at the old location.
“But anyway, we will still see it at the new circular area,” she noted. The new checkpoint will be more modern and bigger than the old one.
The project is estimated to cost between $2.2 million and $2.8 million. It will facilitate the checking of passports and other documents as well as helping to ease border congestion.
Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to open three new border checkpoints to facilitate trade and the movement of people.
Last month, Thai Ambassador to Cambodia Panyarak Poolthup confirmed that the new border gates would open in the next few months.
He said the checkpoints would boost trade, particularly in agricultural goods.
Last year, a Ministry of Commerce report said trade between the countries was worth $6 billion, ten percent higher than the year before.
Cambodian exports to Thailand were worth $900 million.