Angkor Wat bridge set to close for a 5-year restoration project

Starting next year, a five-year restoration project will commence on the stone walkway that has served the Angkor Wat monument for centuries. During this time, tourists will use a floating bridge to cross the moat that surrounds the world-famous temple.

 

Although the stone path remained open during the first phase of the restoration project between 1996 and 2007, it must be shut down for the second phase, which is expected to begin early next year and finish in 2020. The project will be led by Japan’s Sophia University, which is splitting the cost of the work with the Apsara Authority.

 

During the restoration, Angkor Wat’s visitors will make their way across the 200-metre-wide moat on a plastic floating bridge. Construction of this temporary bridge is expected to begin at the end of the month and finish in May 2017. Designed with safety and durability in mind, the alternative bridge will withstand the high volume of tourists crossing the moat into the temple. Visitors will also be able to pose for pictures on this temporary bridge, just as they had done in the past on the stone bridge.

 

The Apsara Authority is funding both the floating bridge in and the restoration of the original stone bridge, although the final cost has yet to be determined. Cambodia’s contribution to the restoration will mainly come via support from labourers and technical experts.