Pailin is a tiny province on the Thailand border located due west of Battambang. Its provincial seat, Pailin City, is renowned as a significant place where many Khmer Rouge (KR) commanders originated from and retreated to after the fall of the KR in 1979 and a key KR stronghold and resource center throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Many Khmer Rouge commanders lived there even after Pol Pot's death in 1998. Some of the leaders fled into hiding for fear of being prosecuted for their crimes, while other leaders or henchmen lived freely across the region. It is estimated that about 70% of the area's older males were Khmer Rouge combatants, although none of the regular warriors have yet been brought to justice. Pailin was part of the Battambang Province until 2001, when it was raised to city status and so became a province. In 2007, Pailin's last KRcommanders, including Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, were collected and brought before an international tribunal. Nowadays, Poipet is becoming a boomtown, luring Cambodians from all across the country looking for a fortune or, at the very least, a higher pay than back home. Pailin, a big diamond-producing location as well as a notable forestry area, was a key money provider for the Khmer Rouge insurgents. While diamond production appears to have slowed, other economic prospects and the lifestyles have drawn prospectors to town. Up until the final surrender of the KR in 1996, the townspeople lived under the harsh regulations of the KR hierarchy, with minimal freedom of speech and the paranoid dictatorship controlling almost every aspect of life. At times, Pailin feels like just another Wild West town in Cambodia, and people appear to be everywhere in the hills, sifting through mud puddles and scraping at the ground, hoping to strike it lucky with the discovery of a good diamond. Nonetheless, certain aspects of life are better under control than in other parts of Cambodia. However, this appears to have drawn people rather than repelling them. Many have relocated to Pailin from Phnom Penh cited this as the primary reason for their decision. They appreciated the concept that criminals did not have the same level of impunity as they have in Phnom Penh. Pailin has become friendlier because of the inflow of inhabitants from other regions of the nation. Nowadays, the mixed bag of Pailin inhabitants appears pleased to see foreigners visiting for vacation and checking out the location, aware that their presence signifies that normalcy and income are on their way. Even the Vietnamese inhabitants appear to have been accepted, which is remarkable given the Khmer Rouge's overall hostility toward them. Pailin is well worth a look. The town is nestled in a beautiful valley with breathtaking sunsets over the mountains that separate Cambodia and Thailand. Wat Gohng-Kahng is well-known for housing the much-photographed iconic gate of Pailin town, which you see as you approach the highway from Battambang. This wat is now the center of holiday festivities in Pailin. It was the site of the official Pailin reintegration ceremony in 1996, when the KR Leng Sary group hammered out capitulation and semi-autonomy accords with the Cambodian government. Geography At 803sqm, Pailin City municipality is Cambodia's second-smallest so-called province. It's in the country's west, bordered by Battambang province and Thailand. The little municipality in the north consists of the typical Cambodian plain wet terrain, with rice farms and other agricultural estates. Pailin City is situated on the foothills of Chuor Phnom Kravanh, an extension of the Kardamom Mountains. The municipality's south is steep, with the greatest elevation being 1164m. The province also has other minor rivers that originate in the mountain range. Population The population of this municipality is around 35,000 people, or 0.25% of the total population of Cambodia (14,363,519 persons in Cambodia, according to provincial government figures from 2007), with 19,059 males and 16,175 females. As a result, the population density is 44/sqm. Climate Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid. Ample rain during the monsoon season enables production of a wide range of crops. Cambodia's year-round tropical climate makes it excellent for tourist development. Natural calamities like as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes are not a concern for visitors, and tropical storms have little direct impact on the country. Those planning long road trips should avoid the latter two months of the wet season, when certain country roads may be inaccessible. The average temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius, with a low of approximately 16 degrees. The coldest months are December and January, with April being the warmest. Economy The surrounding area of Pailin City was rich in jewels, which were nearly entirely mined to finance the Khmer Rouge. They also logged the region for personal gain, with little consideration for the environmental impact. In the downtown market these days, all you can get are low-quality, cheap, hand-faceted diamonds. Following the exploitation of the plentiful natural resources, the KR deposited their money in the casinos surrounding Pailin. Pailin is in the world's most extensively mined area, thus inexperienced visitors are advised to stick to indicated routes. Pailin residents take Baht, Riels, and US dollars, however US dollars are preferred.

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