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Siem Reap’s New Attraction, Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium, Opens in October

SIEM REAP: Siem Reap’s new US $70 million attraction, Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium, is still on track to open its first phase towards the end of October. Located on approximately eight hectares of land, the aquarium consists of 2,600 square meters and features both regional and international freshwater species, as well as a 600,000 liter saltwater tank.

Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium is located about 30 km southeast of Siem Reap along National Road 6 in Sotr Nikum district.

“The AWA Park concept is to offer a world-class Wildlife Park and Aquarium which would provide educational, preservation and conservation awareness into Cambodia’s natural fauna and flora,” said Benoit Jancloes, the General Manager of Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium.

AWA targets national and international travelers of all ages who can enjoy a series of activities and services within the park such as recreational activities, a touch pool, lots of areas for visitors to take photos, gift shops, the AWA café and food carts. Additionally, AWA Park will also be able to host events in the future.

Siem Reap is expected to benefit greatly from this new attraction, in terms of the enhanced social environment, the new jobs it is creating, and the investment of AWA into the local community, which helps to increase the lengths of stay of tourists.

AWA Park is located on approximately eight hectares of land, with an aquarium that spans across 2,600 square meters and features both regional and international freshwater species, as well as a 600,000 liter saltwater aquarium tank.

“The concept [of the AWA Park] was made around informing people about the fauna and flora of Cambodia within a beautiful landscape and recreational activities which makes it quite unique," said Jancloes.

He added that he had been living in Cambodia for 25 years and himself had never seen some of the fish featured at the aquarium.

The aquarium itself consists of three main areas. The fresh water area is located near the aquarium’s entrance and features many different varieties of fresh water species coming from Cambodia. Towards the end of the river fish exhibition, visitors can also see different species from the Amazon area.

The salt water aquarium provides a fun venture into the Ocean world, giving visitors the ability to enjoy a theater style sitting space, or they can enter the tunnel and see fish swimming overhead and all around them, providing a more immersive and close-up experience.

Lastly, there are also the touch pools where children and adults will be able to touch and feel the various friendly species of sea creatures.

Siem Reap was chosen as the location of this new attraction because the Angkor Wat temples have always acted as a cultural hub for Cambodia, attracting the bulk of international tourists. Cambodia is also home to the largest lake in South East Asia, the Tonle Sap, and also has the third largest river in in the region, the Mekong River, passing through. Cambodia has the lower Mekong basin, which has the highest diversity of fish and is home to more than 850 different species.

The AWA Park will also include enclosures for wildlife species such as tigers, sun bears, Asian small-clawed otters, Civets, Porcupines, reticulated pythons and oriental whip snakes. Soon after, more animals such as elephants will also be featured.

AWA will not only be for sightseeing but will also act as a conservation site for rare or endangered Cambodian wildlife species. The park would help to educate younger generations and deepen their knowledge of local and international wildlife.

Entrance fees for Angkor Wildlife & Aquarium are at two tiers. For Cambodian nationals and expats living in Cambodia, tickets are five dollars for children and US $10 for adults, while for international guests, tickets are US $10 for children and US $18 for adults.

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