Cambodia flocks to celebrate UNESCO anniversary

11th Jul 2013

Cambodia loves its ancient cultural sites - and its enthusiasm is shared by legions of holidaymakers on group tours.

Being added to UNESCO's hallowed World Heritage List is a prestigious honour.

But nearly 10,000 Cambodians packing capital Phnom Penh's Olympic Stadium on Sunday (July 7) to mark the fifth anniversary of Preah Vihear's inclusion to its ranks showed just how deep runs the country's love affair with its old temples.

The revellers saw televised traditional art performances and concerts hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An.

The event was to promote awareness of the 11th-century Hindu temple to Cambodian younger generations and to show the country's pride in winning the accolade, Sok An said.

Preah Vihear perches atop a 525-metre cliff (1,722ft) in the Dangrek Mountains, about 500 km (310.6 miles) north-west of the capital.

It has attracted 5,240 foreign visitors during the first half of this year, up 56% on last year's figures.

Preah Vihear is tipped to become Cambodia's second largest tourism destination after the Angkor Wat temple world heritage site in the future.

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