After my visit to the Angkor National Museum, I grabbed a tuk tuk out front and made my way to the Cambodia War Museum. The ride over took about 20 minutes. The driver asked me if I wanted to buy a ticket before going there, I smelled a scam so asked him to take me straight to the museum. I’m not sure if it was a scam, but thought it was the right choice after my experiences in Thailand.
After paying the entrance fee I headed inside. They offered a free guide service, but I opted to look around on my own. It was a mainly a field filled with rusted out hulks of tanks, artillery, and armored personnel carriers that had been salvaged from around the country after the wars. I didn’t see much point in getting a guide.
They also had a few small covered areas with small arms and ordinance on display.
In the back corner is an old Russian helicopter and MIG fighter jet. All the equipment had seen better days.
The Cambodia War Museum was an enjoyable excursion for a history buff such as myself. Between the Khmer Rouge genocide and the civil war, Cambodia has had a very hard recent past. Seeing all the armaments on display, up close and personal, and the Landmine Museum the previous day, it made me reflect on the savagery of war and what a hard life the Cambodians have had.
The country seems to be coming back, but it has a long way to go. The people have all been so nice to me on my visit, several thanking me for visiting their country. Although I’m not sure I’ll be making a trip back to Cambodia anytime soon, the people made me feel very welcome in their country. Which after having a couple decades of war and genocide, it’s a great sign.