Cambodian officials consider new border pass scheme for Thais to Siem Reap

Cambodian officials are looking to boost tourism, and are mulling over a potential new scheme for Thais who live in provinces bordering Cambodia. The idea for the potential new scheme was brought up at a meeting on Monday.

The scheme would allow Thais who have an official residence in any of the seven bordering provinces to travel by land to Siem Reap province with only a border pass and not a passport.

Siem Reap is home to Cambodia’s iconic Angkor Archaeological Park, which contains the ancient ruins of the Khmer Empire, and the famous Angkor Wat temple.

Cambodia’s Tourism Minister of State Hor Sarun said that nation’s tourism recovery would highly benefit from Thai vacationers making their way to Angkor Wat. He added that many Thais long to see the historic temple, but lack passports.

Siem Reap does not border Thailand, but Surin said that residents of Thailand’s Sa Kaeo or Surin provinces could make their way there via Cambodia’s Banteay Meanchey or Oddar Meanchey provinces.

The seven Thai provinces that border Cambodia are Trat, Chanthaburi, Sa Kaeo, Buriram, Surin, Sisaket, and Ubon Ratchatani. Conversely, the seven Cambodian provinces that border Thailand are Koh Kong, Pursat, Battambang, Pailin, Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, and Preah Vihear.

As Southeast Asia reopens and scrambles to attract international tourists, Cambodia has announced triumphant numbers from the Ministry of Tourism, declaring over 740,000 tourists from abroad between January to the end of July this year.

The swell of tourists is about 22.5% of the number of travellers pre-pandemic, but a 560% increase over figures for the first half of 2022.

SOURCE: Phnom Pen Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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