Pailin And Around
Until 2010 the road out to the Thai border at Pailin was in a dreadful state and virtually impassable for much of the year. However now it can be reached in around an hour and a half and this is sure to make Pailin a more popular destination. Situated at the northern edge of the Cardamom Mountains Pailin Province was carved out of Battambang province to become a separate administrative division after the surrender of the Ieng Sary faction of the Khmer Rouge in 1996.
Until then the town was a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge remaining under their control long after they were defeated in 1979. In the early 1970's Pailin was a prosperous town stemming from the extensive gem deposits in the countryside and after the Khmer Rouge took control they used the gem deposits and the timber resources to fund their ongoing offensives. Although the area is still heavily mined the town is once again a peaceful place and open to tourists. There are a number of attractions in the area including stunning waterfalls, temples and forests. We can expect the area to become much more visitor friendly in the next few years but in the meantime the visitor can experience something of the "wild west" of Cambodia.