Anlong Veng

Ta Mok's eerie lake looms on the edge of Anlong Veng

Anlong Veng is a district and small town in the Oddar Meanchey Province of northwest Cambodia. Its sole claim to notability is its connection to the later days of the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot, Ta Mok, Son Sen, and Khiev Samphan, the leaders of the organisation, all had homes here. The district also holds the graves of Pol Pot and Ta Mok, as well as the remnants of the structure where Pol Pot was convicted of crimes against the Cambodian people. What might otherwise be an overly morbid itinerary is redeemed by the stunning mountain scenery. There is a border crossing with Thailand's Si Saket Province 13 km north of Anlong Veng town.

Understand

Anlong Veng is at a crossroads, literally and perhaps metaphorically. Once its inaccessibility made it attractive to Khmer Rouge fugitives, it is now at the hub of four glorious asphalt highways which blaze trails through the undeveloped hinterland of North-western Cambodia. Hwy 67 runs north to Choam and the border with Chong Sa-Ngam in Thailand bringing an influx of traders. It continues south to Siem Reap and its temples. The more recently completed east-west highway connects the town with its provincial capital, Samraong, in the west and the disputed Preah Vihear temples in the east.

The town is centred on a roundabout near the market. This is where the road to Preah Vihear meets Hwy 67. The town spreads north towards the man-made lake (see below) and the junction of the road to Samraong.

Get in

By bus

Next to the roundabout are the offices of G.S.T and Angkor Paramount Transport which both run buses to and from Siem Reap (2 hr, USD4, twice daily), and Sra Em (2 hr, once daily) for Preah Vihear.

By taxi

Share-taxis and pick-up trucks connect with Siem Reap (2 hr), Samraong (1 hr), Tbeng Meanchey (2 hr) and others. The four main roads to Anlong Veng are now all sealed.

On the Thai side, the international border crossing is at the border of Surin Province and Si Saket Province and is accessible from either. The nearest town is Khu Khan in Si Saket Province. From Surin train station to the border takes about 1.5 hr. On the Cambodian side, moto-taxis and pick-up trucks are available in the tiny bazaar.

Get around

The town itself is easy enough to cover on foot. Moto-taxis are eager to take the town's few visitors to the sites listed below for USD7-15. If haggling isn't your strong point and you're not desperate to see every last heap that has a connection with the Khmer Rouge, better prices can be had by taking on a motorbike driver for one-way journeys only. A motorbike to or from the border area should only be USD3-4. The sights in town can be reached on foot. Plenty of drivers hang about at the border, so don't fear being stranded.

See

The below sights are either within the town or about 14 km up in the hills near the Choam border point.

In Anlong Veng

In the hills

Between the two

Do

An interesting few hours can be spent touring all the above sites, with plenty of vista stops and little encounters with surprisingly friendly local people. Moto-taxi drivers can arrange an itinerary.

Over Pol Pot's dead body will there be a casino in Anlong Veng. And so there is: in Choam, opposite brother number one's final resting place (give or take relic looters) is a casino resort. The casino is up and running, the adjoining resort is still under construction.

Buy

The market has the requisite cheap clothing, rambutans, and motorcycle parts. There are a few pharmacies.

There is an ATM at the ACLeda Bank, east of the central roundabout. Note, however, that this is only Visa-friendly, not MasterCard.

Eat

Khmer rice plates can be bought in various places. Just look for the lidded silver cook pots, have a peek inside them and point at your favourite.

Drink

Places selling soft drinks and coconut water often have beer in their coolers as well.

Sleep

There are a few guesthouses in town, in addition to the place near Ta Mok's mountain house. Ask the moto-taxi drivers for advice.

In town

In the hills

Connect

There is Internet cafe. It is about 50 m north of the roundabout at the market. USD0.75/ hr.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.