Sambor Prei Kuk temples complex in Cambodia dating from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, attracting a large number of visitors.

Foreign tourists traveling to Cambodia often go directly to Angkor Wat (Seam Reap), one of the world’s most famous wonders. However, on July 8, UNESCO named Sambor Prei Kuk, also called “The Sanctuary in the Jungle”, on the new Heritage List.

It is 206 km north of the capital, Phnom Penh, where there are many temples. Ten of these temples are octagonal. UNESCO said Sambor Prei Kuk was identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the former Chenla Empire. It was a flourishing Khmer civilization in the late 6th and early 7th centuries, before the birth of the Khmer Empire.

N7 Tower, Sambor Prei Kuk, South Group temples, pre-Angkorian period, built under Ishanavarman I king, Kompong Thom province, Cambodia, Indochina, Southeast Asia, Asia

With Angkor Archaeological Park and Preah Vihear Temple on the border between Thailand and Cambodia, this region is recognized as a new world cultural heritage.

Tourists started to visit Sambor Prei Kuk on July 15th. A couple even took a wedding photo here.

Many visitors come to visit this ancient temple. Photo: Reuters

“This place has been recognized as a World Heritage Site, I hope people benefit so much, we are grateful to the ancestors who built the structure and have preserved us to this day,” said a temple guard named Sem Norm. He has been taking care of the temple since 1994.

Others hope that the tourism industry will promote the local economy.

“As more and more tourists come here, locals can increase their income by selling souvenirs and kids can learn English easily,” said tourist Uch Srey Leakhena.

The number of tourists traveling to Cambodia has increased from 5% to 5 million by 2016. About 5.5 million visitors are expected in the country this year.