Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Official permission now required for Angkor Wat livestream videos

Official permission now required for Angkor Wat livestream videos

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tourists visiting Angkor Wat temple in March last year. TOURISM MINISTRY

Official permission now required for Angkor Wat livestream videos

The Apsara National Authority (ANA) announced that anyone looking to film any of the historical temples at Angkor Wat or in other areas under the ANA’s purview must apply for a permit to avoid the possibility of causing reputational damage to the ancient monuments through misinformation or inappropriate use.

In a notice dated December 28, the ANA said that as a body tasked with managing the Angkor Archaeological Park, it needs to take measures to protect the temples as the invaluable cultural heritage of the Khmer ancestors and as World Heritage Sites that have universal value to all humankind.

“Please kindly submit a request for permission to go live at the temples in the park. Permissions will be granted to members of the general public in most cases in order to help promote tourism and it is free of charge for individuals.

“However, businesses engaged in filming or photographing the temples must comply with a different set of procedures and principles,” it noted.

It said that during the pandemic, ANA had allowed businesses and tour guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism to capture video on mobile phones explaining the history of various temples to visitors free of charge and without any permit required.

In explaining the new requirement for a permit, the ANA said one of its main concerns has been the management and control over the businesses doing pre-wedding photography sessions for couples in the park because they need to be scheduled ahead of time in order to avoid the situation at Angkor Wat “falling into anarchy”.

Similarly, the ANA now also requires the public to apply for traditional photography permits to ensure that the number of people filming at any given time is manageable, but permission will be granted for free.

Ngov Kim Sreng, a Chinese-language tour guide in Siem Reap, said on December 29 that the timing of the notice may be due to the fact that some tour guides have made videos on YouTube to attract customers that have ended up with such a large number of viewers that they are even earning a sizeable monthly and annual income for doing them through YouTube’s system of paying content creators a portion of advertising revenues based on audience size.

Kim Sreng suggested that those making live videos on the history of the temples, especially businesses and tour guides who have been trained and licensed by the tourism ministry, should have the right to do so because of their credentials as such. He noted that if the Ministry of Culture or the ANA want to control the information that is spread about the temples, that’s a whole other set of concerns.

“I think it would be a bad policy, but different ministries have different mindsets. I do not know whether the viewpoint of the ANA is wider than ours or looking further ahead than we do. But as I said, [tour guides] are promoting this information on the temples to encourage visitors to come to these locations,” he said.

ANA spokesman Long Kosal said on December 29 that the request for an advance permit was to prevent any misrepresentation of the temple’s history, thereby causing confusion and leading viewers to forget the true history, but broadcasting live in public and sharing their fun experience while visiting the Angkor area will not be a problem.

“We ask that people avoid livestreams that talk about the history of the temples if they do not know for certain what that history is because it can mislead people and give the wrong impression.

“Our policy for tour guides is different. We allow our licensed tour guides to livestream or film and use their training to talk about the history and other aspects of the temples. We just want them to inform us in advance about what they’re going to cover in their livestreams, but generally they are encouraged to help us with promotion in this manner,” he said.


  • All foreigners' accommodations to be inspected: Sar Kheng

    The Ministry of Interior is undertaking a serious effort to inspect all the accommodations of foreigners in Cambodia – except diplomats – in order to find and identify human traffickers. Minister Sar Kheng said this would include inspections on the homes of foreigners employed by businesses, private

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • NBC eyes KHQR payments in Laos, Vietnam

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) is working with Lao and Vietnamese authorities to expand the use of KHQR code cross-border payment systems to promote trade and investment as well as increase the scope of regional economic linkages, and in particular, facilitate remittances from overseas