The Anlong Veng Historic Walk will return for a second edition next year with organisers aiming for an even larger turnout than January’s inaugural event.
After a recent meeting with the Anlong Veng District Authority in Oddar Meanchey province, Vath Chamroeun, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism and Secretary General of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said that the next walk would take place on Saturday, February 1, 2020.
The inaugural sport and tourism walk in Anlong Veng District and the Dangrek mountains in January was jointly organised by the Ministry of Tourism and the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia (NOCC) in collaboration with the Oddar Meanchey Administration, Anlong Veng administration, and the Anlong Veng Peace Center.
Nearly 1,400 participants took part in what the NOCC and relevant authorities dubbed a ‘Historic Walk’.
“First, we did not expect is that there would be so many participants, said NOCC secretary general Chamroeun. “Much more than we expected because we only estimated 1,000 people. But actually, nearly 1,400 people took part,” he added.
The governor of neighbouring Thai province Sisaket, and a small contingent of Thais also took part. The event coincided with the Victory over Genocide Day and the inauguration of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Win-Win monument, a dedication to the 20th anniversary of peace in the kingdom.
“As the organising committee of course, we are very happy about the event. Thanks to strong support from the people of Anlong Veng, we can organise a series of sporting events and tours in the region, said Mr. Chamroeun after the inaugural edition. “[It is] the last [stronghold] of the Khmer Rouge, as well as historic sites such as Ta Mok’s house. We hope that in future events we will attract more foreigners.”
“We want to educate Cambodians about the dark period of the Pol Pot regime,” added Mr. Chamroeun. “And remind them to defend peace and avoid evil. We also want the border area to become a bustling area and [for it] to begin to benefit from development as other regions have. A boost to the economy can come from tourism events such as these.”
The walk seeks to draw attention to the historical significance of Anlong Veng, as one of the last surviving outposts of the Khmer Rouge, while also serving as a symbolic turning point in Cambodia’s tragic past.