Parts of Angkor to open at 5am starting next year

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Angkor Wat. Source: TTRWeekly 20151109

Selected temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park will open mush earlier, at 5 am, in a bid to ease some of the tourist congestion starting next year. I personally like to visit the temples earlier in the day rather than later, so thumbs up for this measure!

Angkor Wat. Source: TTRWeekly 20151109

Angkor Wat. Source: TTRWeekly 20151109

Early opening at Angkor
TTR Weekly, 09 November 2015

Angkor Wat will open for tourists two and a half hours earlier .effective 1 January next year, to give tourists more time to explore the ruins and also reduce peak hour congestion.

Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA) spokesperson, Long Kosal, told Khmer Times the move is intended to draw more tourists to the heritage site and allow them to spend more time at the temples.

It will also give tourists an opportunity to admire the ruins at sunrise and take advantage of the early morning light to take photographs.

Angkor Wat and Srah Srang will open for tourists from 0500 until 1730 daily, and Phnom Bakheng and Pre Rub temples from 0500 until 1900. The rest of the tourist sites will be open as usual from 0730 to 1730.

Full story here.

Phnom Bakheng receives preservation grant

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Phnom Bakheng will be the beneficiary of a grant by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation to help with its conservation by the World Monuments Fund. Phnom Bakheng is one of the most heavily-visited sites in Angkor, on account of it being one of the favourite spots to catch the sunset from.

Sunset @ Bakheng Hill
photo credit: RightIndex

World Monuments Fund announces two major grants for sites in Tanzania and Cambodia, 22 September 2011
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Ancient temples face modern assault

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6 February 2007 (MSNBC)

Ancient temples face modern assault

Built by a mighty 9th-century Khmer king, the soaring temple of Phnom Bakheng stands atop the highest peak of ancient Angkor. With a sweeping view that takes in Angkor Wat — the world’s largest religious structure — the monks stationed here were probably among the first to glimpse the approaching Siamese troops that snuffed out this city’s centuries-long domination of much of Southeast Asia.

So perhaps it is not surprising that more than 500 years later, Phnom Bakheng has become the ideal perch from which to watch another assault on Angkor — by marauding armies of tourists.

Preservationists and archaeologists here increasingly fear that the frenzy to commercialize Angkor, now also a hot set location for films such as Angelina Jolie’s “Tomb Raider,” is winning out over the need for preservation.

Nowhere is that clearer than at Phnom Bakheng, where a number of new guidebooks advise visitors not to miss the sunset from the temple’s summit. Tips like that have led to a daily siege by an armada of tour buses around dusk. On a recent afternoon, about 4,000 visitors, speaking Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, English and a host of other languages, scampered to the top of the temple, stepping on pictorial stones and manhandling ancient statues as one lonely guard sat on the sidelines, overwhelmed.

“The problem we’re facing is that the pace of visitor growth is accelerating far faster than the ability to manage such huge crowds,” said Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO’s top official in Cambodia. “There is no doubt that this is beginning to cause damage to the temples and that it has the potential to become much worse if nothing is done.”