Angkor suffering from too much adoration

The LA Times has a feature on how the massive tourist influx to Angkor is taking a toll on the ancient structures. One monument in particular, Phnom Bakheng, has seen rapid deterioration due to increased tourism.

Too much adoration at Cambodia’s Angkor temples
LA Times, 19 July 2008

The ancient sandstone temples of Angkor have stood up to endless assaults down the centuries, from medieval raiders armed with clubs and spears to genocidal looters laying land mines.

These days, the onslaught begins in the early-morning darkness, when invading columns of buses, taxis and sputtering tuk-tuks converge on a dirt parking lot across from Angkor Wat’s broad moat.

They disgorge hundreds of camera-wielding tourists, who march through the gray light toward the awesome gates of the world’s largest religious monument.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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