Pol Pot Cremation Site
See the site where the Khmer Rouge leader diedMost travelers to Siem Reap are here to see the magnificent remnants of the Khmer Empire and don’t have Cambodia’s gruesome genocidal history high on their to-do lists. Those sorts of sites – the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, where hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were buried in mass graves, and Tuol Sleng prison, where some 17,000 were tortured and executed – are reserved for the capital, Phnom Penh. However, for the curious, the completists, and those interested in Cambodia's modern history, there are a couple of sights at Anlong Veng, not far from the Thai border.
Anlong Veng was the last stronghold of the ruthless Khmer Rouge, which ruled the country brutally from 1975-79. The communist regime was responsible for the deaths of millions of Cambodians by execution, torture, hard labor, malnutrition, and disease. The cremation site of former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot has been given the attention it deserves. None. After Pol Pot died while on the run, presumably of a heart attack, his body was hastily burned beneath a pile of rubbish. The site is covered by a rusty corrugated iron roof in a littered gully behind some decrepit buildings on the edge of Anlong Veng. On the main road a small hand-painted sign points in the direction of a gravelly track leading down to the site. Blink and you’d miss it.
The site takes all of a few minutes to visit and is not worth a second longer. It can be combined with a stop at Ta Mok's House if you’re heading to/from Preah Vihear.