In cooperation with the Apsara Authority and in the spirit of contributing to the development of tourism at Angkor Wat, four restaurant owners voluntarily relocated their premises on Sunday.
Nhean Thoem, owner of Neary Khmer Angkor restaurant, which has been catering to national and international tourists for over 10 years agreed to move to improve the beauty of the famous site.
He said moving was a difficult choice but agreed on the condition that it would benefit the temple grounds.
The Apsara Authority, in return for his cooperation, has allocated him a space in a different area.
Li Saveth, the owner of the Nokor Reach restaurant, has been operating the restaurant for over 20 years.
She also expressed her regret, stating that she has many memories at the site but her duty to the Angkor Wat was more important.
“Angkor Wat made me smile, gifted me profit from my business and contributed happiness to my life,” she said.
She also said she is pleased with the plans to clear the front of Angkor Wat, as it will improve the beauty of the site and increase tourism once the pandemic is over.
Yith Chandaroth, deputy director-general of Apsara Authority, said that by the end of August, sellers will have access to a new designated hospitality field that is now under construction.
The Authority said construction on the site is around 70 percent complete.
“Since the beginning of the year, 11 major restaurants have volunteered to move as part of the project to improve the site,” he said.
“We are now in the process of clearing the rest of the restaurants and completing the new designated area,” he added.
Apsara Authority spokesman Long Kosal said: “We are working to complete the project before the end of the year. There are currently only three or four big restaurants left, so there is still work to do,” he said.
The new hospitality field is reportedly located on the west side of the Angkor Wat temple.