IN an attempt to reduce traffic congestion around its most popular tourist attraction, Cambodian authorities have banned cars from accessing the main road alongside Angkor Wat temple.
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the ban in a Facebook post on Tuesday, adding that the measure was meant to “boost the prestige of the world-famous cultural heritage.”
The ban on vehicles will include the 300-meter stretch of road in front of Angkor Wat, though cars and tourist vans will still be able to drive around the other temples within the 400-square km Angkor Archaeological Park complex.
Located in Siem Reap province, Angkor Wat attracts some 2.1 million tourists a year, but faces the threat of damage and deterioration due to pollution, looting, and development.
The ancient temple complex was built between the ninth and 14th centuries, and is Cambodia’s most widely-known tourist attraction. It is a symbol of national pride, emblazoned on the Cambodian flag, and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Additional reporting by Associated Press