The lesser-known Ta Moan Thom temple, another border temple in dispute between Thailand and Cambodia has seen a rise in local tourists for the current new year celebrations. While both sides have a military presence in the area, they seem to be doing a good job of cooperating by organising the new year celebrations together and opening the temple to both Thai and Cambodian tourists. There’s also a small side note about a ceremony to remove a steel cord around the neck of one of the naga (snake) statues in Preah Vihear. The cord was placed because the statue looked in danger of collapse, but apparently some villagers have said the naga appeared to them in a dream and have asked them to remove it!
Calm at Preah Vihear temple, tourism increases at Ta Moan Thom temple
Khmerization, from Koh Santepheap Newspaper (in Cambodian), 19 April 2009
The easing of military tensions at Preah Vihear temple during the Khmer New Year, provided an impetus for an increase in tourism at the Ta Moan Thom temple, reports Koh Santepheap newspaper.
Koh Santepheap reported that, in the past, Thai army always considered Ta Moan Thom temple their own, but after 3-4 armed clashes between Khmer and Thai troops near Preah Vihear temple, they now considered Ta Moan Thom temple as a “disputed zone”. As a result, both Khmer and Thai tourists can access the temple without restrictions, said Koh Santepheap.
Both Khmer and Thai authorities had even jointly held a new year celebration together at the temple site.