Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 82 of 251 › view all entries
May 28th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
We didn’t get it at the time, but the design was a representation of the landmine warning signs that can be found all over this country. Estimates range from 3 million to 6 million live landmines and unexploded bombs in Cambodia. Children can and do lose limbs and their lives just by playing outside of their yard. It is obviously a serious issue that has garnered international attention, but to actually be here and see the effects up close somehow makes it more real to me. I didn't really get it before.
Today we learned a bit more about this huge problem at the The Cambodian Landmine Museum and Relief Center ($1 entrance fee) which is about 25 km outside of Siem Reap. This museum was founded by Aki Ra, a former Khmer Rouge soldier who now dismantles and deactivates land mines (some of which he himself may have planted!). His story is the kind of thing the media can really latch onto, so there were many newspaper articles about Aki Ra posted all about. I actually found the articles to be more informative than the museum signage, which was lacking. There were displays of landmines and bombs all around, and they had a garden set up with (deactivated) mines. Steve liked all this more than I did, and he took most of the photos I am posting. The center houses, educates, and feeds 12 children whose lives have been affected by landmines (i.
From there, we went to have lunch at a place our driver recommended. We should have known better. It was a wedding banquet hall, huge and empty. Our food was not very good, and it was expensive. Live and learn.
The driver (on a roll now) also recommended the War Museum. This sounded good, as I expected it to have scads of information on Cambodia’s turbulent history. Nope. It was just an outdoor graveyard for rusting war machines -- tanks, guns, launchers, etc. There was no info other than where these things were manufactured (mostly the former USSR).
In the evening, we found ourselves back at the Blue Pumpkin. This place has a nice, diverse menu (with vegetarian options clearly marked). And again they did not let us down…I had a black-sesame tofu salad and Steve had the spicy chicken wrap. Both were incredibly flavorful. Two thumbs up.
We didn’t even wander around town after dinner. We already knew there nothing much to do but drink. I’d say three days was definitely enough time here … we have already exhausted Siem Reap's entertainment options! Tomorrow we are off to Bangkok. (Now there’s a place with entertainment options!)
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!