SIEM REAP, 30 May 2017: A 200-metre temporary floating pontoon bridge has been opened to allow tourists to enter Angkor Wat, while the original bridge undergoes restoration.
The temporary structure can support nearly 6,400 people with a total weight of more than 400 tons at one time.
The floating bridge is made from plastic air bags and floats on a moat just south of Spean Harl, the original bridge, which is expected to be ready for reopening within three years.
The original bridge, west of the temple, is about 190 metres long. The first phase of repairs was completed in 2007 by the Apsara Authority and Japan’s Sophia University, which spent 12 years repairing one 90-metre section.
The Apsara Authority and its Japanese counterpart signed an agreement and held a ground-breaking ceremony for the second phase of repairs, which will fix the other 100 metres at a total cost of nearly USD1.6 million.
Ticket sales revenue earned from foreigners visiting Angkor Wat’s archaeological park reached USD39.25 million during January to April, this year, up 60.21% compared with the same period last year, according to Angkor Enterprise, the state-owned institution in charge of Angkor income management.
The number of foreign visitors to the World Heritage site rose 11.54% to 945,366 in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period last year.
The new entrance fees took effect 1 February. They are: One-day pass USD37, three-day pass USD62, and a seven-day pass USD72.
Last year, Angkor entrance ticket sales generated USD62.5 million representing 2,197,254 foreign tourist visits.
The Angkor Archeological Park is the top tourist attraction in Cambodia, considerably ahead of the coastal resorts in and around Sihanoukville and ecotourism sites in the northeast part of the country.
Angkor Historical Park was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992 and is now the country’s largest cultural tourist destination. It is located in Siem Reap province, some 315 km northwest of capital Phnom Penh.