PAILIN would be just another insignificant but pretty town in the mountains of Cambodia, had it not become the headquarters of the genocidal Khmer Rouge after their defeat in 1979. The town provide the perfect retreat, with access to Thai markets and buyers of timber and gems, and a launching pad for raids of Battambang and beyond.
Two of the principal architects of the holocaust, Noun Chea and Khieu Samphan, grew wealthy in their fiefdom, and when the foot soldiers faded away, “surrendered” to their ol’ pal, Hun Sen- who made them provincial officials.
There is a legal border crossing to Thailand 20km away, so if you are keen to avoid the shitshow of Poipet, this little backwater could be worth a try.