Opening of the Angkor Botanical Garden in Siem Reap
The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially inaugurated on May 19 with free entry for local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a plot of almost 15 ha in Siem Reap.
“After the first six weeks, the Angkor Botanical Garden will start collecting revenue to support itself and finance the national budget by selling entrance tickets,” said Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng. Sackona, who presided over the inauguration ceremony on May 19.
According to the Apsara National Authority (ANA) – a body responsible for managing the Angkor Archaeological Park – the garden will become another tourist destination in Siem Reap province. It will be planted with tens of thousands of trees and more than 500 different plant species, such as flowers, grasses and fruit trees.
“It will be a unique attraction in Cambodia, as the garden is done in the Khmer style with many kinds of vegetables, medicinal plants and palm trees. There will be developed areas as well as forest areas for wildlife. There will be captive animals like turtles, peacocks, pigeons and rabbits,” the ANA said on May 19.
The park will feature five main exhibits of Khmer-style zoo and botanical gardens which will include a medicinal and spice garden, a flower garden with lawns, a palm grove, and a woodland nature and wildlife area. The gardens will feature 500 different species of trees, flowers – including orchids – and other plants.
Sackona said the botanical garden was established to showcase and promote different types of plants and to increase the public’s love for nature so that they are inspired to help protect the environment.
She said the garden was designed with an attractive landscaping consisting of hills, ponds, canals and waterfalls, all connected to an automatic irrigation system connected to the Siem Reap River.
Minister of Land, Town Planning and Construction, Chea Sophara, who also spoke at the inauguration ceremony, said the garden plays an important role in preserving different types of medicinal plants and was a research center for them.
“This initiative can be seen as a contribution to maintaining the environment of the Angkor region to make it an attractive place for tourists to visit from all corners of the map. And all Cambodians must visit Angkor Wat at least once in their lifetime to see the rich cultural heritage that we should all be proud of,” he said.
He urged members of the public to participate in the maintenance of the environment by planting more trees in the Angkor area as well as in the pagodas, which will help society adapt to climate change and protect different species of plants so that they will always be there for future generations. .
“I’m not kidding either. I will personally write a letter – maybe next week – to the two supreme patriarchs requesting that all pagodas plant trees,” he said.
According to Sackona, the ANA will eventually expand the botanical garden to encompass up to 130ha, covering the southern part of the Angkor Park area to help preserve the World Heritage Site and protect it from types of more invasive development such as colonies.