Adding a bit of value to a visit to Cambodia’s iconic Angkorian temples, which will become significantly pricier for foreigners from Wednesday, the Apsara Authority is set to launch a new website on the same day to guide tourists around the sites.
“We created the website with only one ultimate goal, which is to provide information for tourists to clearly know about Angkor Archaeological Park and about places that they are going to visit when they come to Siem Reap,” Long Kosal, the authority’s spokesman, said on Monday.
A screenshot of the Apsara Authority’s new travel website about the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is set to go live on Wednesday.The website includes tips for international travelers such as visa requirements; an interactive map; information on various tours, museums, outdoor excursions and cultural performances available in and around Angkor park; and the new prices for tickets to the park.
Beginning Wednesday, the price for a one-day ticket will rise from $20 to $37, three-day tickets will increase from $40 to $62 and seven-day tickets will climb from $60 to $72. Entry will remain free for Cambodians and all children under 12.
An Apsara Authority team spent about a year building the website, hosted at angkor.com.kh, Mr. Kosal said, declining to say how much the initiative cost. It will initially be available in Khmer, English and Chinese, and will eventually be translated into more languages, he added.
A visitor code of conduct is currently available in eight languages and includes rules on how to behave when visiting sacred sites and monuments, what to wear and how to interact with monks and children who ask for money inside the park.
The authority released a YouTube video in 2015, following a series of incidents in which foreign tourists were caught taking nude photographs at the temples, with an Angkorian warrior king shaking his head at the bad behavior.
Mr. Kosal said the website would attract more users than other travel sites and online guides because it would provide more comprehensive information.
“We have the most unique features compared to others, because we are the body that takes care of and oversees the Angkor Archaeological Park, so we know all points, big or small, in the Angkor area,” he said.
Nuy Nol, who has worked as an English-speaking tour guide in the province for a decade, said he wasn’t worried about the new initiative putting him out of a job.
“Providing information helps make things easier for tourists,” Mr. Nol said, adding that sightseers still preferred to hire guides to explain the history in person.
Much of the website’s information was already available elsewhere, he added. “If we talk about the website, there are so many guide books that describe the same things.”
soumy@cambodiadaily.com
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