Feature: Chinese-invested expressway in Cambodia facilitates travel during traditional New Year holiday

(Xinhua) 08:45, April 15, 2024

A drone photo taken on April 14, 2024 shows a toll station on the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway in Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia. (Photo by Van Pov/Xinhua)

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia, April 14 (Xinhua) -- A large number of vehicles traveled on the Chinese-invested Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway on Sunday as people flocked to the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk in southwest Cambodia during traditional New Year holiday.

Tang Sochetkresna, director of Preah Sihanouk Provincial Department of Tourism, said the 187-km expressway has prompted a surge in tourist arrivals to Preah Sihanouk for its safe, comfortable and fast travel mode.

Sochetkresna said the expressway, which connects Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh with the Southeast Asian nation's most popular coastal province Preah Sihanouk, facilitates tourists' travel for leisure.

Cambodia kicked off its four-day traditional New Year on Saturday.

Phang Veyhong, a 30-year-old user of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, said traveling on the expressway took him only two hours from Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk.

"In comparison to ordinary roads, traveling on the expressway is time-efficient and safe, as well as lowers fuel expenses," he told Xinhua on Sunday while driving his five family members to visit Preah Sihanouk province.

Veyhong said he also likes traveling on the expressway for the beautiful scenery along the route.

Kong Sengkim, a 52-year-old user of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, said the expressway is broad and comfortable for driving.

"This is the first time I drive my car on the expressway and I feel pretty safe," he told Xinhua. "The road and its surrounding scenery are very beautiful."

Invested by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the 2-billion-U.S.-dollar Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway was officially opened to traffic in November 2022.

With two lanes for traffic in each direction plus an emergency lane on each side, vehicles will be able to reach their destinations within two hours through the expressway instead of five hours.

"The expressway has played a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of travel and logistic system in Cambodia," Heang Sotheayuth, a spokesperson for Cambodia's Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told Xinhua.

The expressway was the fruit of close cooperation between Cambodia and China under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Sotheayuth said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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