Monday, March 15, 2010

Calling time

These restaurants near the Bayon may soon be a thing of the past
On my whizz around Angkor Thom on Saturday with my pal Now, we parked her moto at the shop of a family she's known for many years. They are located in the area north of the Bayon and east of the entrance to the Baphuon. There are a row of souvenir shops selling all manner of items and behind them are a row of small restaurants, the kind you find all over the Angkor complex and beyond. Quite often the area in front of the shops is where buses and tuk-tuks park themselves. The family we spoke to have been there since just after UNTAC moved out in 1993 and they've just been told by the police that they must move out/vacate/clear off by the 20th of this month. That's in 5 days time. No alternate site to move to, no recompense, just take your shop and/or restaurant and move out. No reason has been given. After 17 years, Apsara have decided that the area will have another use. It remains to be seen whether the police enforce their order on the 20th with their normal bully-boy tactics and what Apsara will put in their place. Probably it'll be designated a car park, to cater for the ever-increasing number of vehicles visiting Angkor each day. However if you want a bite to eat or to to buy a krama, then you'll have to look elsewhere.
Update: The shop owners have been told that the Royal Ploughing Ceremony will be held on that spot in early May and that's why they have to move. No suggestion that they will be allowed to return later on.
This area, with shops in front, cafes behind, is scheduled to be cleared on the 20th of this month



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

I understand that the area currently being occupied by the shops & restaurants is to be used for the Royal Ploughing Ceremony in early May. That's the word from the residents who have to clear all their shops, etc by the 20th of this month. The Ploughing Ceremony is usually held in Phnom Penh in front of the National Museum, but it seems that one will also take place in Angkor this year.

March 17, 2010 3:44 PM  

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