Coronavirus deals heavy blow to Cambodia’s shaky tourism industry

Angkor Wat nearly deserted as travel restrictions disrupt key pillar of economy.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, tuk-tuk driver Long Kim Chhin ferried foreign tourists “every other day” to Cambodia’s Angkorian temples, marveling each time at the grand stone structures erected by his forebears.

“I miss coming here,” the 42-year-old told the Nikkei Asian Review as his motorbike-drawn carriage neared the Angkor Wat temple in May. “Before today, I haven’t had a passenger in three months.”

Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor temple complex, Cambodia’s biggest tourism draw. Since the coronavirus outbreak, however, the city has been transformed from a bustling holiday hub into a virtual ghost town.

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