The Apsara Authority has imposed a ban on laying mats, hanging hammocks and other similar things in certain areas of the Angkor Archaeological Park.
The areas include the Trapaing Ses pond in front of the Ta Prohm Kel sandstone monument and the grass surrounding the Angkor Wat temple.
The authority’s director-general Hang Pov announced on Tuesday that the ban would become effective in 45 days and warned that failure to comply would result in confiscation.
“In case vendors and tourists continue to do that, Angkor Wat’s coordination committee will take administrative measures and seize the items and will not be held liable for any damage,” the announcement said.
Such acts negatively impact the culture, environment and public order of the park, it said, adding that they are detrimental to the global value of the historic site as well as national honour.
“In the past, the working group of the Apsara Authority had collaborated with the Heritage Police and local authorities to order an end to these acts, but some vendors and tourists disobeyed them, placing their interests first,” Pov said.
Environmental activist Pheng Sreysor welcomed the ban and requested that strict action be taken against those in violation.
“I strongly support this measure because most of those who use mats and such are Cambodians. It has become apparent that they don’t care about cleanliness or the surrounding environment. People criticise their habit of throwing rubbish just anywhere after eating or hanging out,” said Sreysor.
However, she requested that Apsara Authority prepare designated sites for vendors as well as national and international tourists to sit and relax.