The Apsara Authority on Saturday notified vendors to voluntarily remove their stalls, located on the west side of Angkor Wat temple and Trapaing Ses pond in Siem Reap province, on or before August 15.
The call comes following plans announced in January to revamp the temple complex in a bid to promote its value as the symbol of Khmer heritage.
Since the announcement, the Apsara Authority said 15 owners of restaurants and stalls built within the Angkor Wat compound have vacated the premises and handed over their lots to the Apsara Authority.
However, it said five other big establishments and over 100 small stalls remain.
“After the deadline, the Apsara Authority will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of properties,” it said.
“The Apsara Authority has built stalls at a relocation area nearby, which is set to be completed by the end of August. We plan to open in September so we need to prepare in advance, thus the deadline,” deputy director-general Yith Chandaroth said yesterday.
Sokha, a food vendor in front of Angkor Wat temple, said yesterday: “We have seen the announcement of the Apsara Authority, but they haven’t given a specific date for when the new stalls will be completed. So, how can we remove our stalls if our livelihoods depend on the income that we get from selling every day? If we dismantle them now and the new place turns out to be not yet ready, how can I earn a living?”
Mounh Ratana, a souvenir shop owner who voluntarily dismantled her stall, said she did so because she wanted to see the improvement of the Angkor Wat temple, which could then attract more tourists and help local businesses thrive.