Two Decades On, Cambodia’s Revolutionary Capital Embraces Capitalism and Karaoke

As senior Khmer Rouge leaders are convicted of genocide, survivors of the regime’s last stand seek to put the past behind them.

Anlong Veng District -From the Pouy Ta Mok lookout high in the Dangrek Mountains, visitors can see for miles — a sweeping panorama of farms, forests, and bushfires.

What the sylvan vista doesn’t reveal are the attractions that lure a trickle of tourists to this remote district on Cambodia’s northern border: the grave of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, the home of his military commander – ‘The Butcher’ Ta Mok – and countless other tangible reminders of the regime that oversaw the deaths of at least 1.7 million people between 1975 and 1979.

Not that the locals need reminding. In the district capital, the past and present coexist in an anxious truce between the vanquished dream of a communist utopia and the harsh capitalism of a border town.

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