Preah Vihear Temple Marks Heritage Listing

The government on Tuesday celebrated the seventh anniversary of Preah Vihear temple’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site, which last week began charging foreign visitors for the first time.

Kong Puthikar, head of the National Authority for Preah Vihear, said more than 1,500 soldiers, police and students joined the ceremony, which saw an official delegation plant trees and release fish into the nearby Barai river.

He said that since the site “officially” opened on July 1, foreigners were being charged a $10 entrance fee while Cambodians can continue to visit for free.

Mr. Puthikar said that tourists have so far come from countries including Laos, Japan, Korea, the U.S. and France, but not Thailand.

“We allow all national and international guests to visit the temple, but if anyone does something contrary to our conditions we will invite them to leave the site,” he said.

Cambodia won a U.N. court decision for ownership of the border-hugging temple in 1962 and fought several brief but deadly battles over adjacent land with Thailand, which lost the court decision, in recent years.

pheap@cambodiadaily.com

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