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Year-round green landscape at Angkor, new irrigation system

Sar Socheath / Khmer Times Share:
A new irrigation system begins operation to transform Angkor Wat to a green landscape year-round. Apsara Authority

A new irrigation system has been completed to provide a green landscape year-round at Angkor Archeological Park.

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Apsara Authority general director Hang Pov said: “This watering system has been built under strict monitoring by archaeologist experts in collaboration with Unesco.”

In order to enhance the green environment at the Angkor complex, Apsara Authority has been working with other partners to build an underground irrigation system in 11 hectares of the park, he said.

Cambodia Tourism Association’s advisor Ho Vandy said this is the right time for Apsara Authority, the provincial authorities and the government to realise their long-term vision of turning Angkor into a green heritage site for humanity.

“This is the appropriate time for the government to invest a large budget for the development of Siem Reap and the right long-term development vision,” said Vandy.

“If we do not take this opportunity to improve our existing facilities, we may miss out on future competition,” said Vandy. “COVID-19 is the main risk to the tourism industry now, but it is a golden opportunity to improve because our improvement projects won’t annoy visitors.”

To restore the green environment in that area, Apsara Authority has been running a campaign to have 40,000 new saplings planted, including Teal, Korki and Kranhuong in 35 hectares. Some of the temples include Prasat Prei, Prasat Prok Ko and Prasat Banteay Kdei.

Last year, Apsara Authority planted nearly 30,000 tree saplings in the Angkor area and also distributed more than 70,000 tree saplings to various communities.

Chan Rereiboth, a Phnom Penh resident who just returned back from her visit to Siem Reap on Sunday, shared her impression of the new preparations at Angkor Archaeological Park.

“It is a more fantastic and amazing view compared to my last trip there two years ago,” she said.

“The road and other infrastructure, including a public garden, car parking and a food court in front of the Angkor Wat compound, have been built well now,” she added.

Angkor Enterprise’s report said that from January to November, Angkor Archaeological Park welcomed only 399,720 foreign tourists, dropping 79.99 percent, earning $18,602,285 which is down by 79.23 percent compared to the same period last year.

According to Vandy, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is really dangerous to the tourism sector in the Kingdom and all over the world, but this is an opportunity for Cambodia to prepare for upcoming competition when travelling resumes.

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