Sat, 28 May 2022

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's APSARA National Authority (ANA) has launched a new visiting circuit at Bayon temple in the Angkor Archeological Park in northwestern Siem Reap province, the authority said in a statement on Tuesday.

The new visiting circuit at Bayon temple, one of the famed temples in the complex of the Angkor Archeological Park, aimed at ensuring a better flow of tourists and avoiding the rush hour craze, the statement said.

"The new circuit at Bayon temple is to organize the flow of visitors through the temple as well as to avoid of being crowded during the visit," Seng Sotheara, deputy director of the ANA's Department of Angkor Tourism Development, said.

"It also aims to make tourists get to appreciate more of the temple, such as the history of sculptures in all the galleries, and maintain a safe distance for tourists while COVID-19 still stays around us, so we can significantly reduce the risk as guided by the Ministry of Health," he added.

The new circuit is offering three options, Sotheara said, adding that the first option lasts one hour and 45 minutes, the second option lasts 55 minutes and the third option lasts 45 minutes.

In addition, the new visiting circuit also features photo spots for tourists to take pictures of themselves with special scenes, he said, adding that the ANA has also set up new information boards in three languages, namely Khmer, English, and Chinese.

According to Sotheara, in the past, the ANA has already organized such a visiting circuit at other temples such as Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Banteay Srei.

The 401-square km Angkor Archeological Park, inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992, is the most popular tourist destination in the southeast Asian nation.

The site received up to 2.2 million international tourists in 2019, earning a gross revenue of 99 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales.

But during the pandemic, the ancient site greeted only 12,873 foreigners in 2021, down 96.8 percent year-on-year, the Angkor Enterprise said, adding that it earned gross revenue of 528,121 U.S. dollars from ticket sales last year, also down 97 percent.

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