Koh Kong Safari World will be moved to Phnom Penh

With Safari World being relocated to Phnom Penh, those in the tourism industry expect it to draw a steady crowd.
With Safari World being relocated to Phnom Penh, those in the tourism industry expect it to draw a steady crowd. Derek Stout

Koh Kong Safari World will be moved to Phnom Penh

As the northern areas of Phnom Penh are quickly being developed, tycoon Ly Yong Phat is preparing to relocate his Safari World animal park from Koh Kong to Garden City, a satellite city located on the outskirts of Phnom Penh along National Road 6.

Ly Yong Phat, CEO of LYP Group, who is developing Garden City on 2,000 hectares of land, said by phone that the company is expected to spend more than $1 million for the relocation. The size of the new location will be similar to the one in Koh Kong, he added.

“This new Phnom Penh animal park will be opened no later than early 2016, and the company expects a success here because there are lots of people and tourists,” he said.

Ho Vandy, director of World Express Tour and Travel, said if the new animal park provides numerous activities, it could become a popular destination, and tourism companies would likely organize travel packages to attract visitors. To him, moving the animal park is a logical decision, seeing that Koh Kong lacks a steady supply of tourists.

“It is a right decision to move the park because there is nothing much in Koh Kong. Phnom Penh, on the other hand, has 2 million residents, 2 million tourists and additional 7 to 8 million domestic tourists per year,” he said.

At the Kampot Zoo, visitors get to experience wildlife up close.
At the Kampot Zoo, visitors get to experience wildlife up close. Derek Stout

Kek Narin, an independent real estate analyst, said that, in general, with Safari World and the satellite city being located along National Road 6, the region possesses strong potential for residential and commercial development. Moreover, this area is “sandwhiched” between the two rivers and has been seeing numerous infrastructure developments.

He believes that this area will flourish in the future “because of the good atmosphere and good environment.” Unlike the disorganized and “messy” developments along National Road 4, he said National Road 6 has been better organized.

In addition to the relocation of Safari World, the area around the satellite city has been seeing increased investment. Currently, a stadium is being developed on 85 hectares of land for preparation of the upcoming 2023 Southeast Asian Games, which Cambodia will host.

Thong Khon, the minister of tourism and president of Olympic Committee of Cambodia, said the stadium construction is 70 per cent completed, including three buildings for volley ball, a swimming pool, Tai Twan Do, Karate and wrestling. The construction of these three buildings is being built with $30 million of Ly Yong Phat’s capital, he said.

He added that the football staduim--just north of Garden City--will be completed in 2020 and that construction will commence at the end of this year or in early 2016.

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