Currently the largest airport in Cambodia, the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI) is situated 25 miles east of Angkor Wat.
In an attempt to increase tourism, Cambodia opened a brand-new airport that provides a better way for visitors to get to the well-known destination of Angkor Wat.
The Associated Press stated that on Monday, the brand-new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI), which is currently the largest airport in Cambodia and is situated 25 miles east of Angkor Wat, received its first aircraft. A Bangkok Airways flight from Thailand was the first to arrive at the new airport.
Compared to the previous airport, which was located slightly over 3 miles from the temples, the new one is situated farther from the ancient site. The foundations of the temples were being threatened by the vibrations from the frequent aircraft, officials feared.
According to The Phnom Penh Post, Vongsey Vissoth, the deputy prime minister and minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, stated that “the launching and commissioning of the first commercial flights to SAI is a turning point for Cambodia in promoting tourism development in its historic territory.”
According to the AP, the new airport, which was built in accordance with a deal between China and Cambodia, can handle 7 million passengers annually. As of right now, plans are in place to modernize it to accommodate 12 million people annually starting in 2040.
2020 marked the start of building on the new airport, which will be completed as Cambodia attempts to regain the level of tourist it had before the pandemic. According to the news service, the nation has welcomed over 3.5 million foreign visitors in the first eight months of this year. Compared to 2019, when it had over 6.6 million foreign tourists, that number is far lower.
According to flight tracker FlightAware, flights arrive at the new airport from a number of regional locations, such as Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, and Singapore.
Although Angkor Wat is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Cambodia, the nation is home to numerous other, less well-known temples, such as Mahendraparvata. And for those who do wish to see Angkor Wat, accommodations such as the Amansara, which admits guests through a secret rear entrance at sunrise, make it possible to do so without the masses.