Locals ‘ready’ for Preah Vihear access to historic temple ruins in Si Sa Ket province to be restored

Cambodia Construction News
Thailand wants to open access to the Preah Vihear temple ruins in Si Sa Ket province to promote tourism with Cambodia. The neighbouring country closed the site to visitors from Thailand 16 years ago due to a border conflict. (File photo: Wassana Nanuam)

Locals ‘ready’ for Preah Vihear access to historic temple ruins in Si Sa Ket province to be restored

Si Sa Ket: The public and private sectors in Kantharalak district are ready for the reopening of access to Preah Vihear temple for the first time in 16 years.

Since Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul’s visit to Si Sa Ket on Friday, the government’s policy to open a temporary checkpoint to provide access to the temple in Cambodia has captured public attention, especially among locals in the northeastern province.

The checkpoint will allow tourists and locals from both sides, Thailand and Cambodia, to cross the border for tourist visits and trade in the area, said Anupong Suksomnit, the governor of Si Sa Ket.

A 2008 dispute between the countries over the area around the historic site resulted in access from the Thai side being closed.

Local authorities took media outlets on a tour to inspect the readiness of different sectors in Si Sa Ket. Everyone seemed keen to get started.

Jit Ardsanjorn, chief of the Khao Phra Viharn National Park, said the authorities in Si Sa Ket have formed a task force to prepare for the reopening of the border.

She said all sectors in the area are ready and are awaiting the green light from the government.

She said tourist attractions around the park are ready to welcome visitors, and new hotels and resorts have been built in Kantharalak to accommodate them. Local shops and amenities have been renovated as well.

Ms Jit said the opening of the checkpoint will boost the number of tourists from as low as 170,000 a year now, back to a high of 700,000 or so as it was in the past.

The Interior Ministry under the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been pushing for the opening of the checkpoint to boost tourism, said a source.

On Feb 7, Mr Srettha also met Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet to discuss the matter.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/2756384/locals-ready-for-preah-vihear-access-to-be-restored