Since international borders began closing in March, the millions of tourists who usually visit Siem Reap have vanished. Visitors to the region's main attraction, the Angkor Wat Temples, were down 98.8 percent in July compared to the same month last year, the state-owned Angkor Enterprise recently stated.
At the town's central marketplace, closed metal shutters line the dim alleys of the once buzzing Old Market. The marketplace has been desolate since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Cambodia, four months ago. Today, only a handful of stalls remain open in hope of a rogue customer strolling by.
Many other stall owners have already closed and returned to their home village, where they have a lower cost of living from that in the city, hopeful they can find farm work. This follows a directive from the Cambodian government who are focusing on small-scale farming to manage the large number of laid-off workers from the garment, tourism, construction, and transportation industries.