Introduction Siem Reap Province is the one ofcapital of Cambodia, and it has a lot of temples that has located around here.Angkor Wat is the biggest temple in Siem Reap, and it is the most tremendousreligious monument in the world.
It build on the 162.6 hectares (1,626.00 sqm),but it was built as a god Vishnu’s Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire. As a result it transformed into a Buddisttemple in the early 12th century in the king Yasodharapuara. AngkorWat was built and combined by two basic plans of Khmer monument architecturethat we called the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple.
It wascreated to represent Mount Meru and house of devas in Hindu mythology. It had amoat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres, and Angkor Wat is stand to the west andscholars are divided as to the significance of this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat). Cambodia has witnessed big cultural,environmental, political, and technological changes in the past decade. The quicklyincreasing of tourism on big scale in some region is a significant role ofthese points, but it is not all every changes. Cambodia has a lot of naturalresources that has exploited in the attaching tourists and some of regionsbecome the cultural heritage site, so the tourism changes very fast from yearto year, but some of the private companies try to cut down the heritage zonebecause of their economic and they ignore their socio-cultural values (S.
Son Soubert 1995). Tourism is the most factors inCambodia, and Angkor Wat is the biggest tourist destination of many people whocome from other places as Asian, European, and other places. According to theministry of tourism in 1993 it had only 7,650 visitors who came to visit it. (S. Son Soubert 1995 In this study, we will knowvery clearly about the development of cultural tourism over the past 30 yearsand see about the how the tourism grown, changed, who came to visit it and theimpact of the cultural tourism.
CulturalTourism Grew and Changed at Angkor Wat Angkor Wat Teample is the World Herigage Site inSoutheas Asia, and it is around 400 km2 of flat plains in northwest Cambodia.Angkor has four main elements as tropical forest, areas of cultivated land, anumber of isolated villages, and the architectural legacy of its period (T.Winter, 2002). So too many, cultural tourism grew and changedbecause Cambodia has a good traditional with an asset of tourist sites, morethan ever the Angkow Wat Area. It means that Angkor Wat Area is a good placefor the visitors who want to visit from over the world. If we talk about thenumber of tourists whom came from to visit Angkow 1950s after that the numberof the tourist grow from 21,180 to 46,701 in 1969 (S. Son Soubert 1995: 2), but about the middle years of 1970 it has nonoted concerning tourism, and it was destroy by human and natural and startsfrom 1979 till the end of 1980s.
The transportation in Cambodia during the 1980sit was very bad for tourism because the passengers can use only dirty road, andthey can travel only by car, railways and boat, so the numbers of touristincrease very slowly; it had planes from other countries, but in local areascannot fly to other provinces in Cambodia (S. Son Soubert 1995: 3). The government creates the Angkor Tourism in1986 because they want to increase the amount of tourists that they can come tovisit Angkor Wat after they create it, they try to open the domestic flights andincrease the new provincial airpoets as from Phnom Penh by Siem Reap,Battambang. During 1986, the government wantedto get more tourists from other countries, so the government tried to negotiatewith the government of India to restoration work at Angkor Wat Temple, and theysigned agreement most noteworthy for its political implication vis-à-visIndia’s relationship with the Soviet Union, and both of them wanted Cambodia tosupport during this period (L. French, 1999). Afterthe Pol Pot Regime, the government agrees with the government of India torestoration of Angkor in 1986, and the money and everything are paying by Indiagovernment, but India government is not give a figure on the cost ofrestoration; they just said it close to the millions of dollars (http://www.nytimes.
com/1987/01/31/arts/restoring-angkor-wat-a-vast-six-year-job.html). The number of tourist is increasefrom day to day because the government tries to develop the telecommunication,accommodation and restaurants. About the telecommunication, the governmenttried to improved considerably with the establishment of two satellite linksfrom Soviet and Austalia in 1991, and it had Thai company that they came andintroduced the mobile phones and equipped it with the telephones and fax, so itwas easy to the tourists to make call. Accommodation and restaurants, it grewvery fast, too. The private companies built the hotel and restaurants veryquickly because of the tourists increased very fast. The number of hotels 8with total room 315 plus several guest houses in 1991, but the service stillneeds to improve to meet the international standards because the governmentwants to increase and increase the number of tourists, so the government andthe private companies always try to find the best way to serve the tourists andcompletes their goals (S.Son Soubert 1995: 3-4).
About the neighboring countries, the government always takes aboutit because the government wants to get the number of tourists from theneighboring countries, so the government opens three official border entries asBavet, on the border Vietnam, Kompoang Som, and the Phnom Penh. Thais can enterbut they cannot go far away from the Poipet market (S. Son Soubert 1995: 5). The formality improver to “the entry formalitiesin Cambodia the government facilitated as visas can be obtained directly at theMinistry of foreign Affairs or in the various Cambodian consulates in foreigncountries.
The immigration service at the international airport can delivervisas upon enter for a short period, for a cost of 20 us. The Royal CambodianGovernment allows tourist to enter Cambodia without visas for a period of sevendays” (Quoted in S. SonSoubert. (1995)). The number of tourists always change from one day to daybecause the Cambodia has a political stability, this country is the middle of arapidly expanding Southeast Asian tourism industry, so the internationaltourists came to visit Angkor Wat; it increased from 30% a years with thenumber of visitors 466,365 in 2000 (Tim Winter 2004: 335).
According to thetourism office of Siem Reap, the number of arrivals of tourist in Siem Reap was5134 tourists in 1990, 5492 tourists in 1991 and 10530 tourists in 1992. Thetourists still grow during the latter half of the twentieth century, thevisitors come to visit Angkor 466, 365 and will increase 1,000,000 visitors in2003 (Aurora, Maria and Candelaria, Fe 2005).Thelocal people and foreigners come to visit AngkorDuring 1990s the stability and international tourism isfar away from the international of Cambodia because of the Pol Pot regime, butAngkor came under the world heritage committee in December 1992 that we calledthe International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Developmentof Angkor (ICC), and it ordered to protect the newly listed world heritage siteto the oversee efforts (T. Winter 2004: 334).
The foreigners tourists who cameto visit Angkor was ” some Spanish, Portuguese and Asian travellers visited theregion after Angkor’s demise, the late 19th century travel diariesof Henri Mouhot, a French botanist, were portal in awakening interest in Europeto the existence of the site (Dagense, 1995).” The majority of visitors whowant to visit Angkor as United States, Japan, France, European countries,Australia, and some neigh boring countries as Vietnam, Loa and Thailand (S.Son Soubert, 1995). We have the travel agencies were registered 122 at theend of 1992, and some of them are Japan, Thailand, France, Italy, Taiwan, HongKong, and the United State. More than ever, they do not care of foreigners, butthey also take care of Cambodians who want to visit Angkor from other provincesin Cambodia (S. Son Soutbert, 1995). The local tourists are around 200,000 to400,000, and the tourism help to increase the population influx in the nearbytown of Seim Reap, so it is expected that 2005 the population would haveincrease 177,000 up from 41,000 inhabitants in 1992 (Aurora, Mariaand Candelaria, Fe 2005).
Theimpacts of cultural tourism About the effect on cultural tourism when the governmenttried to set the plans to build new hotels and buildings is arbitrary, and itdoes not account for the ancient urbanism of Phnom Penh and of other places asBattambang and Siem Reap Cities when they build the building, theirarchitecture always meet with the traditional setting because they tried tochange some styles of Khmer tradition to other styles as foreign styles, theytried to decorate interior of hotels and restaurants to the modern styles, butsome of the Cambodian people as Cambodian architecture still wants the owner ofbuildings to maintain the Khmer styles Thailand (S. Son Soubert, 1995).When they built the hotels and buildings, some of them had some problems withsewage treatment throughout the buildings to other places as the result thewater pollution will flow to the rivers or ponds around there, and the waterpollution will increase from one day to day; the government does not have theplans and money to solve this problem (S. Son Soubert, 1995). If we talkabout the impact on the culture and environment, and both of them have not yetbeen studied very clearly because the Ministry of Tourism try to beco-operating with other ministries and local and foreign organization, and nowthey created as the Secretariat of State for Environment and the NationalCommittee for the Management of the Territory because they want to avoid otherpossible misunderstanding (S. Son Soubert, 1995).
Because the governmentwants to increase the tourists and protect the Angkor area, the governmentsuggests the King to sign the Royal Decree on the Zoning of the Region of SiemReap/Angkor adopted on May 28th, 1994, and the law will process onJanuary 25th, 1996 to protect the natural and cultural. When theKing and government sign to create the APSARA National Authority, they set theregion as zone one, zone two and zone three for the Angkor Site Properties, sothe people live around Angkor Wat they are very difficult to build the houseand sell their properties to others (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/668). To sumup, the development of cultural tourism at Angkor Wat over 30 years is veryinteresting because it had a lot of tourists who came to visit it as UnitedStates, Japan, France, European countries, Australia, and some neigh boringcountries as Vietnam, Loa and Thailand, but it is impact of the culturaltourism because some of the investor and government tries to change the Khmertraditional to the new style as foreigners.