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Published on : Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Over this weekend, tourists visited Cambodia’s newest world heritage site, which is the 16th and 17th century forest temple of Sambor Prei Kuk after it was added to the U.N. cultural organization’s heritage list.
Cambodia attracts tourists from all over the world with its inspiring and tumultuous history, and a majority of them make a beeline for the famous Angkor Wat temple complex, another world heritage site.
On July 8 UNESCO added Sambor Prei Kuk or “temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language to its heritage list. Located 206 km (128 miles) north of the capital Phnom Penh, it is home to numerous temples, 10 of which are octagonal.
This temple had been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the ancient Chenla Empire, a Khmer civilization that flourished in the late 6th and 7th centuries and existed before the Khmer Empire.
According to Sem Norm, a temple guard, who has been taking care of the temples since 1994, “Now that it is listed as the world heritage site, I hope that our people will benefit a lot from this and I say many thanks to our ancestors who built this and kept it for us until this generation.”
People residing in and around this place believe that tourism will help boost the local economy. Thousands are expected to celebrate the listing of Sambo Prei Kuk as a world heritage site on Monday. Tourist arrivals in Cambodia rose 5 percent to five million last year. About 5.5 million tourists are expected to visit the country this year.