PREAH VIHEAR – The ancient cliff-top temple that Cambodia and Thailand have fought over for more than a century has proved to be an unlikely hit with Japanese tourists.
Figures show that visitors from Japan are the largest group of foreign visitors at the site.
Of the 23,823 foreign tourists who visited the Unesco World Heritage site in 2016, 8,306 were Japanese, according to Cambodia’s state-run Preah Vihear Authority, which runs the off-the-beaten-track temple complex.
That is more than twice the figure for Chinese, in second place at 3,563 visitors. French (2,658) and Thai (775) were next.
Japanese ranked only seventh in the number of foreigners visiting Cambodia last year, or 191,577 out of around 5 million.
Sathol Miura, president of APEX Travel Agency which provides services tailored to Japanese tourists, attributed the temple’s popularity among them to their tendency to “want to go and see something which is new to them.”