Royal Railways Cambodia on April 12 resumed passenger transport services from the capital to six provinces – Takeo, Kep, Kampot, Preah Sihanouk, Pursat and Battambang – to celebrate Khmer New Year and ease the travel burdens of the public.
Sok Vanny, manager of Royal Train Square – a station of Royal Railways in Phnom Penh – said on April 12 that the resume of operations came at the request of members of the public who prefer to travel by train. Due to the ongoing pandemic, all passengers must present their vaccination cards and will be required to wear masks.
“We have been so busy that we’ve hardly had time for meals in the last three day – as so many people were booking tickets. Customers are lined up at the station, and we cannot take breaks at all,” she said.
She said tickets – from Phnom Penh – to Takeo were $6, Kep $8, Kampot $9, Preah Sihanouk $10, Pursat $7 or Battambang for $8.
As the Khmer New Year holiday approaches, people have already begun to leave the capital and head to their hometowns.
Sek Sambor, president of E-Booking Express, a transportation firm, said a large number of people had booked bus tickets for the holiday. He said his company had specifically instructed its drivers to be vigilant while driving.
Phnom Penh Municipal Administration spokesman Meht Meas Pheakdey said the City Hall was aware that many people had already left for their hometowns, although he did not have the numbers. Authorities are also beefing up security during the holiday.
Municipal police spokesman San Sok Seiha said that following the orders of capital police chief Sar Thet – traffic police had started working to ease traffic congestion on April 9, when people began leaving the city.
“We deployed officers to the six major exit points of the capital in order to control traffic flow,” he said.
He said the number of people leaving the capital increased noticeably on April 11 and 12.
Soeng Ith, a construction worker in Phnom Penh, said he wanted to work until the official holiday date of April 14, but it was not possible because construction was postponed on April 12 as so many of his co-workers had already left for their hometowns.