UNESCO has added the site of an ancient temple in Cambodia to its world heritage list.
The remains of Sambor Prei Kuk, or “temple in the richness of the forest” covers 25 square kilometers and has become increasing popular with tourists.
The UN cultural organisation said the area had been identified as the capital of an civilization that flourished in the late 6th and 7th centuries.
“I am very happy that this area is listed as the world heritage site,” said community leader and the head of security at Sambor Prei Kuk Temple area, Sem Norm.
“This temple, I considered as the widow for a long time. But we started to clean and take care of it since 1994 until now, So now that it is listed as the world heritage site, I hope that our people will benefit a lot from this and I say many thanks to our ancestors who build this and kept it for us till this generation.”
An official ceremony and celebration will be held later this month in the capital Phnom, Penh.
Tourism to Cambodia was up five percent last year. Five million people visited the southeast Asian country. That figure is expected to rise again this year.