Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cambodia, Siem Reap: War Museum

The Cambodia War Museum claims to be the only war museum in Cambodia, and it may well be. Rather than a museum, it might best be described as a 'tank orchard", covering about five acres:

Cambodia was consumed by civil war and insurgency for the last three decades of the twentieth century as Khmer Rouge, royalist, Vietnamese, Thai and American forces struggled for power in various coalitions and combinations. The vehicles, armaments and materiel collected here reflect the international nature of the combatants.

One of the best features of the place is some of the exhibits have signage telling when and where it was originally produced, who used it in Cambodia and when it was retired or captured.

There is a life-size diorama of a minefield and minesweepers:

Around the perimeter are a number of sheds which contain some photos and interpretive data and a rather extensive (if poorly labeled) collection of weapons, ordnance and soldiers' gear.

Finally, the collection contains a MiG-19 fighter and Mil Mi-8 helicopter:

The museum is on the road to the airport, and took me fifteen minutes to get to by tuk-tuk. It costs a few dollars and a guide is included in the fee if you wish. Plan to spend an hour or more once you're there. Despite its rustic setting, this is far superior in my opinion to the "War Reparations Museum" in Saigon (HCMC).

No comments: