Cambodia’s world heritage Preah Vihear temple greets 93,340 tourists in 11 months


Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Temple, one of the world heritage sites, welcomed about 93,340 local and foreign visitors in the first 11 months of this year, up 87 percent compared with 49,740 tourists at the same period last year, the statistics of Preah Vihear provincial tourism department showed Friday.

During the January-November period this year, the temple attracted some 86,950 local visitors and 6,390 foreigners, up 84 percent and 147 percent respectively compared with the same period last year, the statistics said.

Kong Vibol, chief of Preah Vihear provincial tourism department, said that the sharp increase was due to easy access by roads and end of military confrontation between Cambodian and Thai troops over disputed border near the temple. “With good security at the area, we predict that the temple will become one of the country’s largest tourism destinations in coming years,” he told Xinhua over the telephone.

Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple, is located on the top of a 525- meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, about 500 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

It was inscribed in the World Heritage list on July 07, 2008.

The temple was a flashpoint of deadly armed clashes between Cambodian and Thai troops in February and April 2011 as Thailand claims the ownership of a 4.6 square km (1.8 square miles) scrub next to the temple.

However, the military tensions have eased since the former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s Pheu Thai Party won a landslide victory in the general elections in July last year.