IMPHAL, Mar 26: Manipur can become an international tourist spot and generate adequate income like Cambodia and Bangkok, according to an observation made during Editor Guild’s Manipur (EGM) 3rd International Tour where they travelled to the said regions to learn more about their people, culture and environments.
Cambodia is situated in the South East Asian neighbouring region of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand and is a popular tourist spot. Cambodia Riel and USA dollars are the main currencies of the region.
Siem Reap , one of the more popular tourist destinations has many areas which are quite similar to the Kangla fort of Manipur mainly Angkor Wat, which is surrounded by moats.
Tourists visiting this place are usually charged 37 dollars or Rs 2420 per ticket. Some interesting point to note are that tourists are given a ticket with their photograph on the spot and 2 US dollars or Rs 131 out of the total cost of the ticket is donated to Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital’s Fund, as written on the ticket itself.
Angkor Wat is a world heritage site under the protection of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The 400 square kilometres area is one of the most important archeological sites in the whole of South East Asia.
Angkor Wat is full of buildings, structures and monuments crafted by skilled architects and craftsmen who lived in the Khmer Empire from 9th to 15th century.
The temples of Angkor Wat namely Angkor Thom and Bayom temple are among many structures which are famous worldwide for their sculptural decorations.
Another main attraction in Siem Reap is the War Museum which has many collections of (deactivated) weapons, vehicles, landmines and uniforms used by the soldiers during the Cambodian civil war which lasted three decades.
The museum is open to visitors from 8 (Cambodian time) till 5.30 pm and the ticket costs 5 US dollars or Rs 327.
Another main attraction in Siem Reap is a floating village on Tonle Sap lake similar to the Loktak lake of Manipur.
Choeung Ek and Toul Sleng also known as ‘the killing fields’ are two places in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia which are quite popular with the tourists.
A gory sight awaits in Choeung Ek, where the human skulls of more than 8000 men, women and children are displayed in guarded glass enclosure, a grim reminder of the 1.7 million people massacred by Pol Pot and his men from 1975 to 1979.
Toul Sleng was a high school which was also used for torturing people who were captured by Khmer Rogue. Prisoners were often tortured to death through various methods like being chained and shocked or by enclosing one’s head in a box full of scorpions.
Cambodian National Museum, Independence Monument, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Central Market, Russian Market, Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue, Cambodian Performing Arts Centre, Phnom Chisor Temple and Wat Ounalom are some of the popular tourist attractions at Cambodia.
MBK shopping mall situated in Bangkok’s 444 Phayathai Road, Pathumwan 10330 is a mall famous for its good quality yet cheap merchandises. The large mall has over 2000 vendors selling bags, shoes, leather dresses, shirt, belts and other items. Bangkok is famous for its night markets like Rot Fai Market, Srinakarin, JJ Green, Asiatique, Ratchada and Patpong which usually opens from 4 pm to 2 am although none of the markets open and close at the same time.
Bangkok is also famous for its floating market, a marvel in itself. The floating market also enables the poor people to easily earn their livelihood as these kind of markets are a big attraction for the tourists.
These kind of ideas can be implemented in Manipur to eliminate the problem of unemployment. By developing floating markets, the people can also earn and the State can also become a tourist spot at the same time.
According to the experts, it is possible to improve the economy of Manipur and promote it as a tourist destination if the natural beauty and resources of the State are utilised and developed in the right way similar to Cambodia and Bangkok.
Source: The Sangai Express