Angkor hilltop sunset rationed

SIEM REAP, 14 March 2017: Apsara authority has announced it will restrict visits to the top of Phnom Bakheng hill, a popular spot for for sunset photography where an ancient temple is located.

A maximum of 300 visitors will be allowed to visit the hill-top temple at any one time.

Agence Kampuchea Presse quoted Apsara’s Tourism Management Agency president, Phoeun Sophoan, saying the limit on visitors will help to protect the ancient temple.

“The authority has also arranged places for tourists to see the sunset on the hill without going up to the temple.”

The report did not explain how Apsara will manage the crowd, but to ensure not more than 300 people are on the hilly knoll at any one time would probably require a head count through entry and exit points to control the flow.

Located in Angkor region, Siem Reap province, Phnom Bakheng is a 65-metre-high temple mountain built between the end of the 9th century and early 10th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman I.

Located on the top of a hill, it is now a popular tourist spot for sunset viewing with excellent views of the bigger Angkor Wat, which stands  about 1.5 km to the southeast.

The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of the Angkor Historical Park.

Since 2004, World Monuments Fund has been working to conserve the temple in partnership with Apsara.