Cambodia considers banning Vietnamese TikToker for defaming Angkor Wat

By Tu Nguyen    November 17, 2023 | 11:00 pm PT
Cambodia considers banning Vietnamese TikToker for defaming Angkor Wat
Tourists line up to tour the ruins at Angkor Wat in Cambodia on March 9, 2023. Photo by Yusuke Harada via Reuters
Vietnamese TikToker Hua Quoc Anh could be banned from entering Cambodia for 10 years for defaming the temples of Angkor Wat, which many Cambodians hold as sacred.

Deputy State Secretary of the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism Prak Chandar told VnExpress that a video Anh made at the Angkor Wat temple complex "had a negative impact on the image of Cambodian tourism."

Cambodian authorities are considering a penalty against him, possibly an entry ban for five to 10 years, Prak said.

While visiting Cambodia last month, Anh, a resident of Ho Chi Minh City, posted a video on his TikTok account, which has 700,000 followers, that featured a girl wearing traditional Thai costume walking around the temple.

The TikToker also incorporated images of the Thai flag and king, accompanied by the sound "Hello Thailand," into the video, sparking a wave of criticism from both Vietnamese and Cambodian netizens.

On Nov. 12, the Angkor Wat World Heritage Conservation Authority (Apsara) announced that the video had seriously affected Cambodia's culture and heritage. Cambodian authorities asked the social network TikTok to block it the content, according to Aspara.

The video was then removed from TikTok platform.

According to Hanoi-based lawyer Do Minh Hien, the TikToker’s actions were carried out in Cambodian territory, so they are not subject to Vietnamese law.

Therefore, the TikToker can only be punished under Cambodian law.

Angkor Wat is considered the heart and pride of the Cambodian people. The temple complex attracts millions of visitors every year from all over the world, and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1992.

Some Thai people controversially claimed Angkor Wat as property of Thailand, not Cambodia. The issue is a longstanding dispute between the two nations, despite the fact that the rest of the international community has always recognized Angkor as the sole territory of the Cambodian people, far from the Thai border.

go to top