Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Old battlefield to welcome thousands for New Year

Old battlefield to welcome thousands for New Year

Old battlefield to welcome thousands for New Year


Ta Moan Thom Temple opened up by new road, border stability.

Photo by:

A tourist smiles at a soldier stationed at Preah Vihear temple in July last year.

HUNDREDS of tourists have flocked to Ta Moan Thom temple in Oddar Meanchey province ahead of the Khmer New Year, following the completion of a new road to improve access to the remote border province.

The area around the small temple, which was drawn into the Preah Vihear conflict last year, continues to be a source of tension between Thai and Cambodian troops. Last month, Thai shells landed on the Cambodian side of the border.

Despite this, Neak Vong, deputy commander of Brigade 42 based at Ta Moan Thom, told the Post that more than 600 people visited the temple on Sunday.

"We are seeing that many tourists are coming to visit Ta Moan Thom temple, and they are giving encouragement to our soldiers," Neak Vong said.

"Ta Moan Thom is changing from a place accustomed  to armed conflict to one that serves tourists. It is no longer a battlefield."

Kao Houn, governor of Ampil district, where the temple stands, said that between 30,000 and 50,000 Cambodians visited the temple last Khmer New Year. But he said visits dried up later in 2008 as armed tensions grew following the listing of Preah Vihear Temple as a UNESCO World Hertiage site in July.

But now, tensions have eased and the final 9-kilometre stretch of road connecting the temple to Rom Chong village - which is linked into the provincial infrastructure -  is complete.

"From now on, we will have tourists visiting the site every day, but the military commanders are asking them to come just twice a week to the temple itself, since they [still] need to provide security for the people amid the tensions between the two sides," he said.

Kao Houn added that he had asked the provincial governor to authorise the building, about a kilometre from the temple, of a village for the military and a new market for the tourists.

"Many thousands of people will visit the temple over the New Year. We will make sure they are safe," he said.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states