Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Aki Ra's Landmine Museum

Landmine Museum, Cambodia © spiraltri3e
Landmine Museum, Cambodia © spiraltri3e

The Aki Ra Museum, often simply called the Cambodian Landmine Museum, provides a jarring counterpoint to the ancient Khmer glories on display at Angkor Wat by showcasing the more recent horrors of Cambodia's political and social upheavals. This museum, founded by Aki Ra, a former Khmer Rouge child soldier, provides a clear and compelling account of this troubled time, and the appalling legacy of landmines and unexploded ordinance that are still a blight on the lives of Cambodian people today. Despite ongoing efforts to find and defuse these sleeping weapons, it is estimated that about five million still remain. Aki Ra himself deactivated over 50,000 of them, many on his own initiative. The museum contains hundreds of these landmines, and many other weapons, and provides a useful service by teaching visitors and locals how to recognise these devices and what to do should they encounter them. The museum exists primarily to tell Aki Ra's fascinating story, and to gain exposure for the Cambodian struggle with landmines, but it is also home to a number of children supported by the museum, who are all victims either of landmines, disease or simply poverty.

Address: Located four miles (6km) south of Banteay Srey Temple, within the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park

Website: www.cambodialandminemuseum.org