The Cambodia landmine museum in Siem Reap is definitely recommended and left a very deep impression on me. In order to understand the story behind the landmine museum in Siem Reap, it’s important to know a little of the volatile history. Pol Pot’s reign (1975 – 1978) led to forced labor, malnourishment, bad medical care and executions. About 21% of the Cambodian population died (in total approximately 3 million people).
Landmines cause new victims every day in Cambodia, about 800 per every year.
History landmine museum Siem Reap
Pol Pot once called landmines the Perfect Soldiers, as there is no need to feed them, they will always do their job and are relatively cheap. Ever since Pol Pot’s reign there are 4 to 5 million landmines scattered across Cambodia. The government has located most of them. However, there is no money available to dismantle them all. Some money is brought in from abroad, but it’s a long stretch from dismantling all of the millions of landmines. Landmines cause new victims every day in Cambodia, about 800 per every year. An appalling situation which remains hidden to most tourists.
What is there to see in the landmine museum in Siem Reap?
The landmine museum distinctly shows the effects of landmines and provides general information about landmines as well. There is also a large collection of found and dismantled landmines, which make for an impressive sight. It’s a rather small museum, but the tours are often given by landmine victims. Or by volunteers working in the landmine museum. They tell intense stories and will make you go silent. The museum also has an orphanage which houses children who became orphan because their parents died as a result of a landmine accident.
The Cambodian landmine museum was founded by Aki Ra, who was a child-soldier in Pol Pot’s army, the Vietnamese army and the United Nations respectively. After the war he started to dismantle mines and he started to take care of children who were landmine victims. The founder still dismantles mines and can often be found in the museum himself.
How to get to the landmine museum in Siem Reap?
The landmine museum is 25 kilometers outside of Siem Reap. Siem Reap is known for the temples of Angkor Wat and spending a morning/ afternoon in this museum makes for an solemn change.
The easiest way to get there is to arrange a tuk tuk in Siem Reap. The entrance fee to the museum is three dollars.
It’s recommended to combine a visit to this museum with a grand Banteay Srei Temple.
Hotel Siem Reap
Hillocks Hotel and Spa is a great place to stay in Siem Reap. The staff and the general atmosphere at the hotel are very nice. It is a peaceful and clean place and you have free water all day long. The rooms are clean and the garden and swimmingpool are great.
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