Regulations for the erection of billboards in Bagan are being finalised.
Guidelines for the erection of billboards in the Bagan cultural zone will be drawn up to ensure that they conform to the structure of ancient buildings in the area, said Daw Yu Yu Lin, coordinator with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Bagan’s tourism development project.
The government plans to limit the number of visitors who will be allowed access to Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java, to only 15 at any given time, an official said on Tuesday (30/08).
State-run Antara news agency quoted Nadjamuddin Ramly, the director of heritage and cultural diplomacy at the Ministry of Education and Culture, as saying that there are concerns about the preservation of the ninth-century Mahayana Buddhist temple. He said the Unesco World Heritage Site often receives hundreds of visitors, who all enter the at the same time, which may affect the building’s structural integrity.
He said the government will issue a regulation that limits the number of people allowed to enter at any given time. The figure of 15 is based on research data related to the structural capacity of the building.
Still, if Angkor Wat is on your bucket list, there’s no need to panic just yet. Southeast Asia travel specialist Andrea Ross tells us, “They just moved the Angkor Wat entrance gate to an area that can accommodate more tourists entering, so it doesn’t look like they’re planning on limiting numbers anytime soon.” Traditionally, there have been two main gates through which visitors can enter the site, colloquially known as the East and West gates, and the ticket booths were stationed at the much larger, and busier, West gate. However, the booths were recently moved away from this gate in order to cut down on bottlenecking. Ross adds that other solutions, such as making some roads one-way only, could help reduce traffic (the human kind and the vehicle kind). A few measures are already in place. “They have capped visits to the top floor of the Central Angkor Wat Tower to 100 people at a time,” says Ross. “This is to reduce the wear and tear on the top tower.”
Another travel specialist familiar with the area (who also asked to remain anonymous) says that the issue of overcrowding at Angkor Wat is a controversial one in Cambodia: The Tourism Management Plan for Angkor, the official body that oversees the UNESCO site, is considering several plans to limit visitor numbers, while the national Ministry of Tourism is actively courting travelers from China and Korea as part of their plan to increase tourism revenue. He adds that this has created conflict between the two groups, and no one is sure who will win out. The Siem Reap airport is also due for an extensive upgrade and renovation, which hints at a bigger tourism strategy as well.
Borobudur Working Group head Priyono concurred, attributing the surge in the number of vendors in the area to the lack of assessment regarding the social and environmental impacts of the Borobudur tourist industry on the more than 75,000 people who live in 20 villages in the environs of the temple.
“We are hoping that the government’s new body will be able to better manage the temple in terms of both preservation and local empowerment,” Priyono said.
Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is also home to hundreds of ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, most of them built between the fifth and 14th centuries, at the time of the arrival of the two religions in the country.
Borobudur, located some 40 kilometers northwest of Yogyakarta, is one of the world’s most famous temples, renowned for its gigantic size and sophisticated architecture. Built in the ninth century, the Mahayana Buddhist temple is 1.5 hectares in size and has a volume of 60,000 cubic meters.
The Citadel of Ho Dynasty in the central Thanh Hoa Province will be preserved better following a master plan unveiled by the provincial People’s Committee on Monday.
The master plan aims to preserve and embellish the citadel, which has been recognised as a World Cultural Heritage site, and build special tourism facilities based on the area.
Specifically, the master plan will involve survey and assessment of the situation of the site; study of archeological documents and the management work of tourism activities; and defining the space for preservation and development of the surrounding areas.
At the request of Myanmar’s department of archaeology, Thailand will assist in the development and management of the Pyu Cities World Heritage Site, based on Thailand’s experience with Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.