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Country: Cambodia
City: Phnom Penh
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Pailin Tourist Attractions

Pailin is a small municipality in the West of Cambodia very closed to the border of Thailand. The provincial capital is called Pailin City and is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated after their fall. Until the year of 2001 Pailin was part of the Battambang Province, but was then elevated to city status and thus became a province and autonomous zone of its own.

Pailin Introduction, Cambodia

Pailin is a small municipality in the West of Cambodia very closed to the border of Thailand. The provincial capital is called Pailin City and is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated after their fall. Until the year of 2001 Pailin was part of the Battambang Province, but was then elevated to city status and thus became a province and autonomous zone of its own. 

The city was during the 1980s and 1990s a major Khmer Rouge strongpoint and resource centre. Even after the death of their brutal leader Pol Pot in 1998, many Khmer Rouge leaders still remained there. Some of the leaders went into hiding in fear of punishment for their crimes, although other leaders or henchmen lived openly in the province. It is said that almost 70 percent of the area's older men were fighters for the Khmer Rouge, but unfortunately none of the regular fighters have yet been brought to justice. 

As of September 2007, Pailin's remaining Khmer Rouge leaders were ...

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Pailin Geography, Cambodia

Pailin City municipality is the second smallest so-called province in Cambodia with 803 square kilometres. It's located in the West of the country surrounded by Battambang province and bordering Thailand to the West. In the North, the small municipality consists of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations.

 Pailin City itself is located on the foothills of Chuor Phnom Kravanh, an extension of the Kardamom Mountains, which range until here. The South of the municipality is quite hilly and tops with the highest altitude of 1164m. The province also features some smaller rivers coming from the mountain range.

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Pailin Climate, Cambodia

The country has a tropical climate - warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travellers need not to fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.

Climate: Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However, those plans to travel extensively by road should be avoided the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable. The average temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius; the minimum temperature is about 16 degrees. December and January are the coolest months, whereas the hottest is April.

General information about the provincial climate:

- Cool season: November- March (22-28c) 

- Hot season: March- May (27c -34c) 

- Rainy season: May - October (24-32c, with humidity up to 90%.)

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Pailin Population, Cambodia

The current population in this municipality is about 35,234 people or 0.25% of the country's total population (14,363,519 person in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 19,059 male and 16,175 female. The population density is therefore 44 people per square kilometre.

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Pailin Economy, Cambodia

The surrounding area of Pailin City was rich in a variety of gemstones which were mined almost clean to support the Khmer Rouge. They also logged the area to create personal wealth with no regard for the effect on the environment. Nowadays all you can find is low-quality, cheap, hand-faceted gemstones at the market in Pailin downtown.

 After the exploitation of the natural resources available, the Khmer Rouge invested their money in the Casinos around Pailin. Pailin is located in the most heavily mined area in the world, so especially unaware travellers are cautioned to stay only on marked roads.

Citizens of Pailin will accept Baht, Riels and US dollars, though US dollars are preferred.

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How to get to Pailin, Cambodia

Minibus/Share Taxis: 

For getting from Phnom Penh to Pailin please have a look on the Battambang Province Page. Coming from Battambang is the only wise thing to do, except if you're coming from Thailand over the international border crossing. Pailin itself lies about 83km southwest of Battambang and is just 19km from the border with Thailand. The Major Road 57 from Battambang to Pailin has gone to pieces and makes it a pretty hard ride. The road can only be managed by smaller lighter cars such as minibuses, pick ups or share taxis due to its wimpy condition, but its still better than it was a couple of years ago, with many new bridges. The scenery along the road heading to Pailin is nice and there are a couple of interesting places on the way. One is Phnom Sampeu, a mountaintop temple, which has memorials set up with skulls and bones of Khmer Rouge victims. It's located 15 km from Battambang on the Pailin road. Security is not a problem. Never go off the street ...

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What to see in Pailin, Cambodia

Pailin is a province in western Cambodia at the northern edge of the Cardamom Mountains near the border of Thailand. This province is surrounded by Battambang Province, and was officially carved out of Battambang to become a separate administrative division after the surrender of the Ieng Sary faction of the Khmer Rouge in 1996. Pailin is known to much of the world for having long been a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge, remaining under their control long after they were defeated in 1979 and serving from 1994-1998 as the capital of the "Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia."

On 22 December 2008, King Norodom Sihamoni signed a Royal Decree that changed the municipalities of Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville into provinces, as well as adjusting several provincial borders.

History

Pailin was originally a small forest zone full of animal and several precious stones. Pailin is the transform word from the original Pan Len ,referred by a tale about around the 18th or 19th century, there were a group of hunters who chased ...

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Where to eat in Pailin, Cambodia

There are small soup and rice shops all along the main drag and next to the market. They offer decent, cheap food.

Welcome Restaurant: 

As the sign implies, this is a friendly place with an English menu and good food. They even have a Tiger Beer girl who is quick on the draw for those thirsty travellers.

Phkay Proek Restaurant: 

The restaurant is located almost on the end of the ridge street. The local Khmer and Thai food served here is reliably good. This restaurant is part of an extended family of restaurants that have taken the west by storm, with branches in Battambang, Sisophon and Poipet.

Hang Meas Hotel & Restaurant: 

Located just some steps upward the hill. Chinese, Thai, Khmer and a bit of Western food are served in this top spot of Pailin (English menu). The beer girls do double duty between the restaurant and nightclub.

Green Dragon Restaurant: 

Thatched ...

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Where to stay in Pailin, Cambodia

The change since early 1997 is dramatic. There was only one choice, a guesthouse run by a one-legged former rebel. It featured a wooden bed with no mattress, no mosquito net, no electricity and bathing facilities that you didn't want to use. There are a number of places now.

Hang Meas Hotel: (tel:012/787546) 

This guesthouse is located west from the town's centre in direction to the border crossing. It is probably one of the best ones in town. It is quite a new place in town and also by far the top digs. The rooms feature all the amenities (including satellite TV, h/w shower) and the hotel has twenty-four-hour power, a Pailin exclusives. US$ 11 gets you a nice room, with more tricked-out rooms going as high as US$50. Obviously, the owners are high on Pailin's prospects. The hotel also features a restaurant and nightclub.

Kim Young Heng Guesthouse: (tel: 016/939841) 

This guesthouse is located just some steps from the market uphill. They have some light ...

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Shopping in Pailin, Cambodia

As it is quite common in Cambodia even small cities, such as Pailin City have at least one marked. You may also find a market in Pailin City centre, which is very busy with local shops dealing the local daily consumer products, like fish, fruits, vegetables, meats and packed products mostly from Thailand. Most of the food and drink shops are surrounding the market. To take something special from this province along, buy some small gems from the gem shops, but be aware of fakes.

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