Pailin is a small municipality in the West of Cambodia very closed to the border of Thailand. The provincial capital is called Pailin City and is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated after their fall. Until the year of 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 city was during the 1980s and 1990s a major Khmer Rouge strongpoint and resource centre.
Even after the death of their brutal leader Pol Pot in 1998, many Khmer Rouge leaders still remained there. Some of the leaders went into hiding in fear of punishment for their crimes, although other leaders or henchmen lived openly in the province. It is said that almost 70 percent of the area’s older men were fighters for the Khmer Rouge, but unfortunately 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. So after years of the governmental dump contemplation regarding the crime of the Khmer Rouge, its time for lasting enlightenment of what has happen. Sandwiched between the Tonle Sap and Thailand, Pailin was a major gem mining and logging area, under Khme Roughe control untill 1997. After its intergration, Pailin became a municipality and other business have developed. It is Cambodia’s smallest province at just 1000km though over 20,000 people live there. Attractions include: