Tourists throng Cambodia’s latest world heritage site


Latest attraction: Sambor Prei Kuk, an archaeological site of ancient Ishanapura, has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site. — Reuters

PHNOM PENH: Tourists flocked to Cambodia’s newest world heritage site on the weekend, the 16th and 17th century forest temple of Sambor Prei Kuk after it was recently added to the UN cultural organisation’s heritage list.

With its inspiring and tumultuous history, Cambodia attracts tourists from around the world who often make a beeline for the Angkor Wat temple complex, another world heritage site.

On July 8, Unesco added Sambor Prei Kuk or “temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language to its heritage list. Located 206km north of the capital Phnom Penh, it is home to numerous temples, 10 of which are octagonal.

Unesco said Sambor Prei Kuk had been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the ancient Chenla Empire, a Khmer civilisation that flourished in the late 6th and 7th centuries and preceded the Khmer Empire.

It joins the Angkor Archaeological Park and the Preah Vihear temple, located on the Thai-Cambodia border, as world heritage sites.

Tourist arrivals in Cambodia rose 5% to five million last year. About 5.5 million tourists are expected to visit the country this year. — Reuters

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