“I first explored Angkor Wat in 1995 during the long civil war. Pol Pot was alive, the Khmer Rouge was still fighting the government, and there were land mines around remote temples. And yet there were more visitors than today.”
It’s 18 months since Nick Ray spoke those words on a video produced for Lonely Planet. Called Social Distancing at Angkor Wat, Ray showed how deserted South East Asia’s most visited temple ruins had become due to the pandemic.
Ray’s Phnom Penh-based film production company, Hanuman Films, was subsequently commissioned to produce a similar video for the BBC Travel Show in May 2020. It interviewed tour guides, conservation experts and vendors at Cambodia’s iconic attraction, which usually attracts over 2.5 million people per year.