Roads to Preah Vihear Temple Deep Under Water

The roads leading to the Preah Vihear temple have been seriously damaged by recent rains, making it difficult for visitors to reach the World Heritage Site, officials said Monday.

“The road to the temple is very bad, and some bridges are under water,” said Preah Vihear Deputy Provincial Governor Sar Thavy.

Parts of both Route 62 and Route 64 are severely flooded or have been reduced to mud, he added, with some sections deep enough under water for villagers to travel by rowboat over the road.

The road is under renovation and set to be paved by 2009, Sar Thavy said.

“The road building is the very first priority” to bring in domestic and international tourists to the temple, said Ho Vandy, president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents. He added that he requested that the government build a new road even before the temple was listed as a World Heritage Site in July.

At the moment, very few tour­ists go to Preah Vihear during the rainy season because of the muddy roads and lack of appropriate transportation, Ho Vandy added.

Parts of the Route 64 connecting Siem Reap town to the temple are also flooded in Oddar Mean­chey province’s Anlong Veng district, Sar Thavy said.

Fewer tourists and supply trucks than usual could go up to the temple, he added.

Hang Soth, secretary-general of the Preah Vihear Authority, confirmed the flooding and said the road’s condition had hurt tourism.

(Additional reporting by Isabelle Roughol)

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