Mass evictions at Angkor Wat leave 10,000 families facing uncertain future

Cambodian government claims ‘voluntary relocations’ needed for Unesco status, but stallholders say they are being forced out of the site.

After years of farming rice, Houn Chenda finally fulfilled her ambition of opening a shop at Angkor Wat last year, renting wedding outfits and costumes to tourists who pose for photos at the ancient temple complex.

“I love it,” says Chenda, 33. “I’m keeping cultural traditions alive.”

She pawned the family jewellery and pooled her savings – about £3,300 – in the hope the business would provide a better income than rice. But by the end of the year, the shop will be knocked down.

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