Ringed by hills near the border with Thailand, the sprawling and haphazard frontier town of PAILIN was once the gem-mining centre of Cambodia, although it’s now a downbeat sort of place with not a lot going for it. The town is mainly interesting for its role in the later history of the Khmer Rouge; however, unless you’ve a particular obsession with the subject the main reason for coming here is to cross the border into Thailand, around 20km away. Other local attractions include the hill of Phnom Yat and a couple of waterfalls in the surrounding countryside, although the poorness of the roads and the ever-present danger of land mines doesn’t really encourage you to explore.

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