Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Congested streets draw the ire of local Siem Reap businesses




Congested streets draw the ire of local Siem Reap businesses

Businesses want the authorities to take action to make Pub Street more attractive for tourists.
Businesses want the authorities to take action to make Pub Street more attractive for tourists. Nicky Sullivan

Congested streets draw the ire of local Siem Reap businesses

In August 2, the owners of more than 40 bars and restaurants in and around Siem Reap’s central Pub Street filed a petition with the governor’s office asking that the authorities deal with problems of excess congestion, noise, street vendors, beggars and street children who take drugs.

Other than an acknowledgement that their petition was received, though, they have heard nothing since.

The petition reflects years of rising frustration among business owners as the streets around Pub Street have become increasingly crowded with tuk-tuks parked across the main thoroughfare along Street 11 making it virtually inaccessible except on foot. A dozen juice and food-vending carts have worsened the situation, they said.

The petition, which cited negative reviews on TripAdvisor in its support, was spearheaded by Serge Billot, the owner of the Angkor W restaurant group, and Alex Sutherland, owner of Angkor What? Bar and The Sun. They were joined by the owners of more than 20 other restaurants, including representatives of Temple Club, and other long-established businesses such as Blue Pumpkin, le Tigre de papier and Viva.

“We hope to see a safe and nice street without messy parking, no food and drinks on the road, some arrangement for the beggars who harass tourists for money, and also the street children with drugs,” said Choun Sreykhim, human resources officer for Angkor W. “Just by taking some action, the governor could solve all of these problems.”

Alex Sutherland, who also owns Café Central, Beatnik and Fifty5, echoed the frustrations.

“The governor has promised to tidy up this area for years, but no action has been forthcoming. My manager was in an audience at a meeting hosted by the governor recently where he said again that they were looking at a solution to the tuk-tuk numbers – but no timeframe or specifics were given,” he said. “No mention was made about the drinks carts.”

Sutherland’s property, The Sun, together with facing properties on the junction of Pub Street and Street 11, bears the brunt of thumping techno and dance tunes pumped out by the drinks cart vendors as they try to gain customers.

Sutherland said drinks carts not only harmed established businesses – which have to pay rent and rates – but also made a poor impression on tourists.

“The area has become so horrible now, and I think it’s only going to get worse unless something is done,” he said. “Just ask the opinion of hotel concierges. They recommend it be avoided.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia

  • Cambodia, Vietnam exchange border maps amid criticism

    Cambodia and Vietnam formally exchanged border maps on Monday despite criticism from former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that the Kingdom is losing land in the deal. The two countries said agreement on the border is 84 per cent complete, leaving