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Siem Reap War Museum

Listed under Military Museums in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

  • Photo of Siem Reap War Museum
  • Photo of Siem Reap War Museum
  • Photo of Siem Reap War Museum
Photo of Siem Reap War Museum
Photo by flickr user krismartis
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The bloodshed that has marred Cambodia’s recent history may not seem like something you’d want to spend an afternoon learning about, especially not in between visiting some of the world’s most amazing ancient religious temples, but this story is just a much a part of Khmer history as that of Angkor Wat. And it’s inescapable as you tour this country. Especially if you get one of the museum guides to take you around and they’re missing a limb and have shrapnel shards still showing blue though their skin as some travellers have reported.

The Siem Reap War Museum is a collection of the vehicles and artillery used in the war. From Chinese and Russian tanks and helicopters donated by Vietnam, which hunker, rusting outside in the field to the small arms – which you’re allowed to handle! – to exhibitions showing how explosives and other weapons were made with what people had on hand. At the same time that China was supporting the Khmer Rouge, the US were supporting the Republican Army, and they dumped their Korean and WW11 weapons on Cambodia – this collection comes from both sides of the conflict.

One of the most poignant parts of the collection must be the landmines which are still doing damage today. They’re designed to maim rather than kill, because if a soldier loses a leg it takes another two soldiers to carry him off the battlefield and then ties up the resources of the army with medical care. What an awful thought. But the photos of all the people, not just soldiers but children, who’ve lost limbs are worse.

An awful experience, but like the Holocaust Museum in Hiroshima, one that aims to educate for a better world in the future.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

We recently visited the museam while in Siem Reap and felt it to be the best decision we made while we were there. We were guided by Saou who was very open and honest in relating the horros and difficulties he had experienced and his wishes for it not to happen again to anyone for any reason. What is done here is very important and is a very important part of the history of this nation at the volunteers here do not want to have repeated nor forgotten. Please visit this important and educational museum and talk to and help the people there - you will not forget it.

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