Lonely Planet Writer

Myanmar and Cambodia team up to promote their spectacular ancient temples

Two of south-east Asia’s most beautiful countries are coming together for a joint tourism plan to entice more visitors to their countries.

Temples of Bagan
You can fly direct from Myanmar to Cambodia. Image by Roy Chan/500px

Cambodia and Myanmar announced a new Angkor-Bagan Tourism Cooperation last week after a meeting between the countries’ two tourism ministers, with a formal deal expected to be signed in 2018 once the details are finalised. Many tour companies already offer packages that put both countries in the same itinerary and now the official marketing will do so too.

The tourism campaign will be marketed as “two ancient capitals, one destination,” highlighting the similarities between the countries, both of which are famous for their ancient temples. Cambodia’s Angkor Wat remains one of the top tourist draws in Asia while the temple of the province of Bagan has quickly become a bucket list item.

Ta Prohm temple ruins, Angkor, Cambodia
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat remains one of the bigget tourist draws in Asia. Image by Dmitry Rukhlenko/Shutterstock

Cambodia already has a similar arrangement with Thailand which has proved enormously successful and there are hopes that this new campaign will replicate a similar boost for both nations, which have already been growing steadily on their own. More than five million tourists visited Cambodia in 2016, while Myanmar has been a popular destination for travellers since the end of military rule in 2011.

There are already existing air connections between Yangon and both Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, and Phonm Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Emirates also now have daily flights from Dubai to Phonm Penh which stop in Yangon, making it easier than ever for people to hop between the destinations.