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Long road to Thailand

Dear Sir:

I am

writing in the wake of the Thai government which has proposed building a road

from Buri Ram province in northeastern Thailand to Siem Riep.

In my

country's (Cambodia) spirit of responsible sharing, I feel that the proposal has

disadvantages for us, if the proposal should be allowed to go

ahead.

Firstly, tourists will not fly to Phnom Penh to visit Angkor Wat,

instead they will go by road via the Thai side. They might not stay in Cambodia

hotels since they can travel to Thailand very quickly. There might also be a lot

of theft of Cambodian national heritage and farmers may lose their

land.

Secondly, Thailand would achieve a good image in the international

community. There may be tax collection problems and a flow of raw materials from

Cambodia to Thailand.

Finally there would be an increase of foreign

influence on Cambodia from Thailand.

At the same time I understand that

it is very important that Angkor Wat would become known to many more people in

the world and Cambodia would one have more road for her people.

In

order to overcome the problems I have raised, I have a couple of

suggestions:

 

Thailand should enlarge the road from Poipet to Sisophon and from Sisophon

to Siem Reap. By doing so the Thais could have a lot of tourism access by road

to Siem Reap and the farmers would not lose as much land.
A fee could be

charged when entering from Thailand. Money would be invested in airline

companies and the prices should be kept low to encourage tourism. Thailand could

rebuild the airport in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap where it could cover the

other Cambodian Western provinces.

I would like to advise the government that please do not allow any airlines

to fly directly from Thailand or other countries to Siem Reap before landing in

Phnom Penh or elsewhere in Cambodia. If possible I would like Siem Reap airport

and hotels moved a little bit further from Angkor Wat so that taxis and other

tourism services could have greater access to the tourism market.

- Im Sarun, Battambang

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