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Guest Name: Mr. Clive Drew
Country: United Kingdom
City: London
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Travel Date: 21/09/22
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Book Choice: Wat Langka Phnom Penh

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.


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 the wild animals farther and farther until they reached the present-day Pailin where, then, was of jungles of high trees and some fields by the canal which was called small river such as Tong small river. The hunters saw otters that were swimming and they ran away when they saw people. Then, the hunters went to see the place where the otters played together. They saw small bright rocks and everybody took a rock to show their friends and their relatives in their home land. Arriving in the home land, there were residents (it was said they were Kula people in Chanthaburi Province Siam) knew that the rocks were valuable so they took and broke the rocks to polish into gems with good purity. That was why they went to buy gems from the hunters. The hunters knew that it was way of earning a living, they often tried to go to take the rocks from the old place. At that time, Pailin began to faced as the business place.

The frequent going and coming from that place made them call Phee Leng (Khmer:?????) due to the playing of the otters that they saw at the first time. But the residents in Siam pronounced Phee as Phai(Khmer:??) and Leng as Len???? (Khmer:???)? or Lin with their Siamese sound as Pea Lean (Khmer:?????). During the control of France of that area, it was written in Latin with the sound and morphology of the words as Phailin. Later the word was shortened as Pailin by omitting " H "??aim of a difficult pronunciation.

In the late 1970s, Pailin was a prosperous town stemming from the extensive gem deposits in the surrounding countryside. Because of its resources, it was one of the first cities invaded by the Khmer Rouge when they began their major offensive against the national government. The city offered no resistance and the Khmer Rouge soldiers were greeted as liberators as they marched into town. At this point, the deposed king had allied himself with the KR and most residents believed that the KR were fighting to restore him to power. It was not long, though, before most residents were rounded up for a forced march to the countryside to work in rice paddies. Those believed to have connections to the government were killed. The KR used proceeds from mining in the Pailin area to fund their offensive and later their government once they gained national power. When the invading Vietnamese Army threw them from power, they retreated to Pailin, where many former KR leaders remain today.

Some leaders went into hiding in fear of punishment for their crimes, although other leaders lived openly in the province. It is said that 70% of the area's older men were fighters for the Khmer Rouge,[who?] but none of the regular fighters have yet been brought to justice.[citation needed] As of September 2007, Pailin's remaining Khmer Rouge leaders were being rounded up to face justice by an international tribunal, including Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea.[4]

In the recent years, Pailin suddenly meet the decline of Economy and Business. However, a new wave of tourism began found depend on its ancient temple, natural forest, animals and especially the precious stones.

Tourism Attractions

Wat Phnom Yat:built by Shan migrants from Myanmar in 1922,is a holy place for worship in the heart of Pailin with includes an old pagoda, similar to the Kola pagoda. With loads of folk tales and legends in the area, the wat is the centre of popular devotion, for residents of Pailin and visitors alike upon many ancient structures on Phnom Yat, including big and small stupas and Asroms or hermitages, places for meditation. The building up of the place is originally coming up with a folktales about At that time, there were a husband and a wife who had the same names, Yart. They worked as gem miners in Pailin area. When they grew old they went to take meditation on a mountain which is now called Phnom Yart. The Pailinners who often went to sell gems in Siam bought some hand guns and rifles in order to protect their property and residence. When they were bored, they took guns and went to hunt animals in the wood for pleasure. Such a pleasure hunting made all spirits living in the forest surprised. One day the most powerful spirit transformed himself to meet grandfather Yart and grandmother Yart so as to send verbal message to ask the grandparents to tell the hunters not to fire at animals all over the woods which caused all spirits to be frightened, lose their children and grandchildren. " So, stop firing, we will help you with finding precious stone, " the spirit said, " in order to become rich and prosperous." " But if you become the rich, build a pagoda at this mountain site and then play music with peacock dance every holyday, " said the spirit.The spirit disappeared soon after telling, Grandpa Yart and grandma Yart took the message and went to inform all residents. The residents obeyed the spirit's advice.[5]

Wat Rattanak Sopoan:At the foot of Phnom Yat is another pagoda, Wat Rattanak Sopoan. On the walls of the enclosure surrounding the pagoda is a bas-relief depicting the Hindu saga of the churning of the Ocean of Milk.[6]

Phnom Kiev Waterfall (Blue Mountain):Local at Sangkat Steung Kach, Khan Saha Krau in 20-Kilometer distance from the Pailin town, set on the nearest border of Thailand among some parts are already been through to the thai area.The rainforest and highly source of natural with an extremely popular tropical zone in Pailin,Faced the famous history during Khmer Rouge, Phnom Kiev Waterfall was a place for Khmer rouge killer to be hide and escape beyond 1979 and now collaborates with foreign tourist for becoming their adventure area. It provided several different kinds of birds and animal which lived beneath the forest and the waterfall. No any Tiger and dangerous animal to be found. However,snakes are common as some small cobra and a large python revealed to be stayed in.[7] This natural resort is a specific tourism place after Wat Phnom Yat.

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