Oddar Meanchey

Oddar Meanchey is one of the smallest provinces of Cambodia located in the far Northwest bordering with Thailand. Its name means Victory Province and the provincial capital is called Samraong. This area was formerly known as Phanomsok, a province of Thailand, which was ceded to French Indochina in 1906, and now remains a part of Cambodia. This province is also a recent creation that was carved out of Siem Reap Province, which the government did not control for much of the 1980s and 1990s.

The countryside is covered by the Dangrek Mountains (or escarpment, as they are sometimes called), which was an optimal shelter for the Khmer Rouge to hide. It is a very remote province that has been a notorious place, because this is where he nastiest of the nasty Khmer Rouge made their last stand. The diabolical Pol Pot and his seemingly bloodthirsty henchmen, Nuon Chea, Ta Mok, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan holed up here for the last years of the Khmer Rouge's existence (another of the henchmen, Ieng Sary, already worked out a surrender and defection deal with the government in 1996).

The international border is 14.5 km from the circle in Anlong Veng (Anlong Veng-Choam-Choam- Srawngam and O Smach-Chong Jom). There are plenty of tanks and tank shells to look at along the way and also a strange site in the form of a boulder that had Khmer Rouge soldiers carved out of the sides of it- they have all been decapitated since government forces took control of Anlong Veng. Anyway, it's an interesting little ride to a low-lying part of the Dangkrek Mountains. The road is in fairly good shape with the exception of the climb up a rocky hillside near the border.

Tourist Attractions - Oddar Meanchey
 > Champei Waterfall > O' Smach   > Tamok House  

Tamok house in Anlong Veng district, along Road 68, about 100 kilometers east of Oddar Meanchey provincial town, is a house once owned by former Khmer Rouge Commander Ta Mok. From 1979 until late 1997, this area was organized and controlled by the Khmer Rouge armies. Some remaining statues describe the way the rebels lived and how they arranged their troops during their bloody struggle against the government.

In additional, in the forest is a pile of tires which is believed to be the funeral pyre and burial site of Pol Pot, the leader of Khmer Rouge. Many tourists go to Anlong Veng to see and photograph the sites and activitues associated with the former regime, and the government has discussed turning this area into a historical site to attract even more tourists.


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