Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Angkor Wat re-opens

Access to the top level of Angkor Wat will re-open soon after 2 years of closure
You heard it here first okay. Visitor access to the top level of Angkor Wat will begin again on 15 January. That's straight from the Apsara Authority (AA) spokesman. However, that access will be strictly limited to 100 people at any one time and they will be closely monitored by AA staff with visits lasting only 20 or 30 minutes max. There are other restrictions like no under-12s, you must dress properly, only English-speaking guides will be allowed and so on. This access will be for 1 month to assess how the management control of visitors is proceeding. Access to the top level of Angkor Wat, the area is known as Bakan, has been out of bounds for visitors since October 2007 and during that time restoration efforts by Khmer, German and Italian teams have been on-going. Their work will soon be seen again by the lucky ones who are prepared to queue for access to the top.
The top level of Angkor Wat, known as Bakan, has been off-limits since Oct 2007. It will re-open on 15 Jan.



Anonymous Kent Davis said...

Great scoop Andy! Given the volume of tourist traffic this is a necessary step. First, to preserve the delicate carvings at the top but, more importantly, to begin reclaiming the sanctity of that location.

These monuments represent the most holy Hindu and Buddhist traditions of the Khmer people. I hope a time is coming when they will be understood in those terms again, and not just seen as mere tourist attractions.

Personally, I think visitors should remove their shoes to visit the top. Thailand enforces that restriction for EVERY wat in the country, including large areas like the top of Doi Sutep.

Angkor Wat's top level embodies the divine Khmer intelligence that has blessed the traditions and culture of this entire region - maximum respect is called for. It is up to Cambodian citizens to demand that.

January 7, 2010 8:58 PM  

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