City To Start Ferry Service From Waterfront to Peninsula

The Phnom Penh Port Auth­ority will begin its own ferry service in November for people wanting to cross the Tonle Sap river to reach the Chroy Changva peninsula.

The ferry will be free, according to Hei Bavy, director general of the Phnom Penh Port, but no motos or cars will be allowed. Owners will instead have to park them near the ferry for a fee—500 riel per moto and 2,000 riel per car.

At the request of Phnom Penh Governor Chea Sophara, the authority came up with a plan to ferry passengers to the peninsula from three different points.

The waterfront near Wat Un­alom and Hun Sen Park will each be launching points for the 150-person ferries on the Phnom Penh side of the river.

There will also be a launch point across the Mekong in Ksach Kandal district, Kandal province, according to Hei Bavy.

It will cost $100,000 to build ferries and moorings for them, Hei Bavy said.

“This is a way to reduce the traffic on the [Japanese Friend­ship] bridge,” Chea Sophara said.

The municipality is trying to develop on the Chroy Changva peninsula a promenade similar to the one on the Phnom Penh waterfront. Construction is al­ready under way, and is expected to be completed within three years, Chea Sophara said.

The city also plans to build a $3 million convention center on the peninsula in order to host a tourism conference in 2003. Work is under way to dredge the river off the point of the peninsula to use as fill for the planned park, promenade and center.

But some engineers have ex­pressed concern that the proper testing and planning was not conducted before work began.

People can begin to use the ferries Nov 16, Chea Sophara said, adding it would be most useful to people living in Chroy Changva but working in Phnom Penh.

Currently there are several independent operators running ferries from the Phnom Penh waterfront to the peninsula.

Thong Khon, secretary of state for the Ministry of Tourism, said the creation of the ferry was a good idea because it will transport people in an organized manner.

Chroy Changva “will be a good place for relaxing in the fresh air,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Brian Calvert)


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