Pokemon Go Safety Caution at Angkor Temples

While Pokemon Go is welcome at the ancient site, players should be cautious as they weave through the temples and surrounding grounds of the Angkor Archaeological Park, its management body said in a statement on Friday.

The Apsara Authority said the notice was in anticipation of mishaps among players of the virtual reality game, which has caused numerous accidents since its international release last month and was met with worry by many in Cambodia upon its arrival here earlier this month.

Monks and tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple complex in 2012. (Pring Samrang/Reuters)
Monks and tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple complex in 2012. (Pring Samrang/Reuters)

“Therefore, in order to keep the temple and individuals safe, the director of the Apsara Authority requests local and international tourists and the public to be very responsible in playing the game Pokemon Go in the Angkor area, especially around the ancient temples,” the statement said.

The GPS-based game allows players to use smartphones or tablets to hunt Pokemon creatures, which appear superimposed on the user’s surroundings.

Long Kosal, a spokesman for the Apsara Authority, said no accidents had been reported at the park, but that the site’s topography could enhance the likelihood of injuries.

“In the temples, there are uneven areas…trees and statues. We are afraid that they might run into them,” or other visitors, he said.

Five days after the game’s release, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh banned users from playing on the premises after two Pokemon Go hubs were set up there.

Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a special safety message over Twitter warning players in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos to avoid any remnants of war.

“Playing #PokemonGo in #Cambodia #Laos #Vietnam? Beware of #landmines or anything that looks like an old bomb! #UXO,” it said.

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