After being ousted from power in 1979, the Khmer Rouge found a natural bolthole in remote Pailin, waging a disruptive guerrilla war against the government in Phnom Penh, supporting their campaigns by tapping into the area’s rich natural resources including gemstones and untouched forests – it’s said that gem-mining alone earned them a monthly revenue of $10 million. They held out until August 1996 when, in a move that marked the beginning of the end for the Khmer Rouge, Ieng Sary, the local commander, struck a deal with the Cambodian government, gaining immunity from prosecution for himself and taking three thousand defectors over to the government side – although the Khmer Rouge managed to maintain a foothold in the remote Dangkrek Escarpment on the border with Thailand right up until the death of Pol Pot in 1998. The war was vicious and the border area is still the most heavily mined region in the country – under no circumstances wander from clearly defined tracks.

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The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

11 gorgeous pictures of Cambodia

This beguiling country in Southeast Asia has captured the hearts and imaginations of travellers from all over the world. Travel photographer Fiona Campbell is …

11 Jan 2016 • Fiona Campbell insert_drive_file Article
How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

How to see Angkor Wat without the crowds

The sky is lightening. Squint and you can just about make out a change in the colour of it, a shift from inky-black to blue-black. As the sun rises further it c…

03 Jun 2015 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
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