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Pailin ប៉ៃលិន


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Pailin (Cambodia)
Location of Pailin, Cambodia
Coordinates: 12°51′02″N 102°36′34″E / 12.85056, 102.60944
Country Flag of Cambodia Cambodia
- Type Provincial City
- Land 803 km² (310 sq mi)
Population (1998)
- Total 22,906 (provincial)
- Density 28.5/km² (73.8/sq mi)
Area code(s) KH-24

Pailin is a city (krong) in the west of Cambodia near the border of Thailand. Pailin is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated to after their fall.

[edit] History

Pailin was a major Khmer Rouge strongpoint and resource center. Even after the death of Pol Pot in 1998, many Khmer Rouge leaders remained.

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 percent of the area's older men were fighters for the Khmer Rouge, but none of the regular fighters have yet been brought to justice. 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[1].

[edit] Economy

The surrounding area 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 their environment. Now all you can find is low-quality, cheap, hand-faceted gemstones at the market in downtown Pailin.[citation needed]

Unlike most of Cambodia, Pailin is composed primarily of uplands where little rice is grown. This makes it very difficult for farmers to rely on subsistence production. Crop failures trigger collection of food and gems from the forests, increasing the number of land-mine accidents. Many farmers produce non-traditional crops for the markets, including sesame, mung and soya. In 2003-04 it produced 17,204 tons of maize, the second-highest production in the country.[2]

Toiling to market in the rainy season, Ocha Krong, Pailin.
Toiling to market in the rainy season, Ocha Krong, Pailin.

After the depletion of the natural resources available, the Khmer Rouge put their money into the Casinos around Pailin.[citation needed]

Pailin is located in the most heavily mined area in the world. Travelers are cautioned to stay on marked roads. There is a demining operation in the city, which brings in some of the few foreigners that the locals encounter.[citation needed]

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

Until 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 province is divided into two districts

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