Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples, one of the world heritage sites, received 694,700 foreign tourists in the first quarter of this year, a 8 percent rise from the same period last year, the statistics of Siem Reap provincial tourism department showed Friday.
The top three countries visiting the temples are South Korea, China, and Vietnam. During the January-March period this year, the temples welcomed some 142,040 South Koreans, up 8 percent; 87,104 Chinese, up 77 percent; and 45,760 Vietnamese, down 39 percent.
"China overtook Vietnam to become the second largest tourist source to Angkor Wat temples during the first three months of this year," Chhoeuy Chhorn, administration chief of the Siem Reap provincial tourism department, told Xinhua on Friday.
He attributed the sharp rise of Chinese tourists to Cambodia to the two countries' good relations, broader promotion of the temples to the world, and more direct flight connection between Cambodia and China.
During the first quarter of this year, some 28,300 Thais and 27, 350 Laotians visited the temples, up 28 percent and 1 percent respectively.
The Angkor archeological park is Cambodia's largest cultural tourism destination located about 315 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
An entrance fee to the temples is 20 US dollars a day for a foreign visitor, 40 US dollars for a three-day visit and 60 US dollars for a week-long visit.
Last year, the temples attracted 2.06 million foreign visitors, up 28 percent year-on-year. Tourism is a main sector supporting the Cambodian economy besides the garment industry, agriculture and the real estate industry.