Crossing Cambodia

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Parking Problems in the Province

Today two links to a story from Siem Reap (240 km from Phnom penh), site of the Angkor Wat. As the Khmer government prefers to work with friendly investors, they are gradually privatizing the country's heritage. A friendly investor with good connections (he is actually part of the government) collects entrance fees for this ancient site, but to improve the revenue stream to the government new more innovative schemes have to be thought out... (1 ideawas to rent out slippers, them being compulsory for visitors). Part of that is to introduce electric powered vehicles which, while environmentally friendly, should compete with the anarchists locally known as tuk-tuk, moto and taxi drivers. And the government are justified! The Cambodian Daily (via Details are Sketchy) mentions that 'Around 200 angry tuk-tuk drivers blocked the entrance' .The Associated Press (via Khmer Intelligence) mentions 'About 300 taxi drivers angrily protested' Monday (September 4). However the investor (did I say he/she is Chinese?) is having problems with his return so the government are assisting in his battle with local tourist touts and have moved the park space for those not assisting the government in generating revenue 500m's. The authorities also insist that parking fees be paid! (to whom?). The Cambodian Daily in its never ending search to give all and sundry to the opportunity to view their standpoint finalizes their article with:
"Officials at the Apsara Authority could not be immediately reached for comment."

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