Angkor Archaeological Park includes Angkor Wat and hundreds of other temples. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple carries historical as well as religious importance. It is also an attraction for archaeologists those dig into the past. It has even grown rapidly as tourist attraction point due to its beauty and value.
Angkor Wat was built between the years 802 and 1431. During that time, the city of Angkor was the center of the Khmer empire. It is in Cambodia and is a part of Cambodian flag since 1850. It is one of the largest religious structures around the world and stretches in an area of 400 square kilometers.
Angkor Wat is a complete complex of temples, basins, dikes, reservoirs, and canals.According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the site “is a unique concentration of features testifying to an exceptional civilization”. World Archaeology remarks it as the most extensive urban complex in the pre-industrial world.
Angkor Wat has emerged at the world’s top tourism landmark in TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice awards in 2015. It scored 33,000 5-star reviews making to the top spot for the second time. According to Long Kosal, “This is the Khmer nation’s pride because Angkor is not only part of the prosperous heritage of Cambodia, but it has also become the heart and soul of the nation.” He is a spokesman for the government’s Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA).
Angkor Wat topped the 2015 TripAdvisor landmarks list. And in 2014, Lonely Planet, another travel site, gave the temples of Angkor the top spot. Ang Kim Eang, the founder of the Great Angkor Tour Company, said that such awards will bolster tourism as more people become aware of the temples.
To prevent damage to the complex, they doubled the entry fees to complex. This was done to reduce the crowd entering the complex. Angkor wat was being affected by rapidly increasing tourists as knowingly or unknowingly, they were hampering it. For foreign tourists, the price of a one-day pass increased from $20 to $37. The local Cambodians still enter without any charge. Different local bodies believe that it is necessary to aware tourists. They must be made aware of how they should act in the sacred site and how they can contribute to its preservation.
Angkor Wat was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993. As per official records, it had 7,650 visitors during that year. Last year, there were more than 2.2 million tourists visiting the temple complex. This brought $62 million to government reserves. As per government records, the majority of tourists are from China and the UK. Until November 2015, the complex was leased to a company owned by Sok Kong. But after that, it has been under government control.