Some “limbo hotels” may get licences if international experts and government officials agree, the hotels ministry says. Owners of more than 40 hotels in the Bagan cultural protection zone, some of them still under construction, are waiting to find out if they will receive permission to operate.
Perhaps they’re giving thanks. After a slow October and November, during what is normally peak season, Gaya pilgrimage bookings suddenly took off after the election, travel companies say.
Infrastructure in Cambodia is not as well developed as in neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, and floods and poor roads make travel challenging during the monsoon season, from May to October, but cheap frequent bus services, a good domestic airline and easygoing locals make travelling here an adventure – and easier than you might think.
Inbound, outbound and domestic tour firms say their numbers are way down compared to last year – but all are hoping that a successful election and change of government will help the industry to bounce back.
Next to religious sites, village life is one of Bagan’s main tourist attractions. People from all over the world have come to see how people in the local villages, their culture and customs, feasts and faiths, and their cottage industries, say local tour guides.