Concern For Future Of Angkor Wat Due To Siem Reap Developments

We recently reported on a planned $350 million resort planned for Siem Reap.

The development, provisionally called Angkor Lake of Wonder, is proposed to include hotels, a water theme park, an indoor hi-tech theme park, a non-motorised boating canal system, business facilities for meetings conferences and exhibitions.

The resort is part of the much larger Siem Reap Tourism Development Master Plan 2020-2035 which aims to capialise on the popularity of the area. It is believed that Siem Reap and Angkor Wat accounted for as much as 15% of the total GDP of Cambodia prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Part of the plans include the construction of Grand Siem Reap, a large high-rise city located 60km (37 miles) east of Siem Reap. Siem Reap itself is limited on developed due to the areas UNESCO protected status. The building of the new city will allow the area to maximise the number of tourists in the area as well as making Phnom Kulen National Park, the birthplace of the Angkorean empire, and Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, more accessible.

The construction of Siem Reap-Angkor Airport is due to be completed by March 2023 and will greatly increase the number of flights and tourists who will be able to travel to the area. Current hotel capacity and wider infrastructure in the area would not be sufficient for this influx.

Flyingdog Travel Comment

The reality is that the area is likely to change forever once these projects are completed. Despite the wider attractions being promoted the biggest draw is, and always will be, the Angkor temples.

At peak times the temples are already incredibly busy and damage to the area is inevitable. By substantially increasing the numbers of visitors Cambodia risks damaging its biggest tourist draw.

Our advice is, if you dream of visiting Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, do it as soon as possible after the pandemic or risk missing this incredible destination at its best.

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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