Battery-powered bicycles will soon be available for hire at the Angkor Archaeological Park as part of the Apsara Authority’s efforts to cut down on vehicle emissions at the tourist site, officials said on Friday.
Around 300 of the Chinese-made bicycles will be offered for rent in August to visitors at a cost of $3.50 per day, Apsara Deputy-Director Tep Henn said.
The plan, however, was criticized by motorcycle taxi drivers in Siem Reap who fear the bikes will put them out of business and a tourism industry officials who said there were far more pressing matters for the Apsara Authority to address at the Angkor complex than clean air.
“This investment is one initiative the Apsara Authority wants to promote; a better medium of transport that avoids air pollution,” Tep Henn said.
“It is just one option. People are still able to use their own transportation. But if they want to ride a battery-powered bicycle, we will have them,” he said.
Moeung Son, managing director of Eurasie Travel, said the idea was laudable if the Apsara Authority does not try and create a monopoly on vehicle traffic at Angkor.
Air quality at the temples is not a priority given the much more pressing need to address waste management issues at the historic site and the need to develop a larger airport that can accommodate larger planes, Moeung Son said.