The Apsara National Authority (ANA) is trying to educate local tour guides about new discoveries made in the past three years in the Angkor Archaeological Park so that they can properly educate and inform foreign visitors about Cambodia’s history and the important works that are in progress.
ANA spokesman Long Kosal said on June 8 that the ANA had made many new discoveries over the past three years. He said they found buried remains of nearly 1,000-year-old wooden structures as well as a Brahman-related statue as part of archaeological excavations at the bottom of a pond north of Angkor Wat.
He added that there was also the discovery of a ceramic kiln dating from the Angkorian or post-Angkorian period north of the pottery gate of Angkor Thom as well as Buddha statues.
Kosal said the findings were explained by the ANA to 65 Siem Reap-based Angkor Wat tour guides through a special training course that lasted 10 days from June 7-16.
During the training session, the ANA instructors also made presentations describing the global vision of the Khmer ancestors for the organization of infrastructure and the proper management of the territory.
He added that the ANA also made presentations for the guides on the conservation of ancient structures and for the sustainable development of the Angkor site.
“First, we trained them in some leadership concepts and task management in the park. We told them the appropriate explanations to give to tourists.
“Secondly, we have made it clear to them, without a doubt, that they should avoid telling tourists their personal opinions, as this could damage the prestige of our nation,” he said.
Kosal confirmed that organizing tours has taken on a new importance as part of their training as they want to be able to better manage the flow of tourists through the park and they don’t want the guides wasting time visiting the sites. more popular. .
“Tour guides allow us to control the flow of tourists, otherwise they just walk everywhere and they lose the opportunity to visit the best places in the temples,” he said.
Hang Peou, Director General of ANA, said the training course had two main objectives: first, to share knowledge and introduce new tourist destinations in the Siem Reap-Angkor region to tour guides, as they are the ambassadors the most influential for the park which can promote new research results and the discovery of new Khmer cultural achievements, which will confirm the true value of the Angkor site.
Second, ANA wants tour guides to cooperate with ANA tour agents in helping manage tourists in a new way at the Angkor site as tourism fully resumes, he said.
Pich Chhada, a tour guide specializing in Japanese customers, said on June 8 that even though this course had just started and was only on its second day, he had already found the training useful. He said it would give tour guides a better understanding of what they didn’t know before, especially when it comes to discoveries from new excavations that show structures beneath Angkor that no one knew existed.
“I think it will increase our ability to respond to our tourists, because in the past we also had points that we could not respond to immediately and we had to ask for time to research, but now we know more points about the site than before. This training will help us answer a wider range of questions from tourists,” he said.