Published: February 27th 2006November 10th 2005
Whilst having breakfast discussing the best way to get to the Land Mine Museum
, a tuktuk driver called up to us on the balcony saying he could take us there, all four of us could fit in & that the total cost of the trip would be US$1. Checking the Lonely Planets rates for tuktuk rides in Siem Reap we figured this was about right & set off for the museum. On route we found out the tuktuk driver was called Mr Happy & he pointed out all the new grand hotels that were popping up all over to
satisfy the needs of the ever increasing number of tourists flocking to the area, not that any of the expensive hotels looked like they had anyone in them, but at over US$300 a night when our room was US$4 who would ever stay there?
The Land Mine Museum
was down an unsealed road which contained lots of waterfilled potholes. Rather than navigate around them Mr Happy ploughed straight through them, laughing as we were smacking our heads on the roof. When we reached the museum we found a few small tin buildings & some small fields. The first building contained various mine
related posters along with a few types of defused mines. The second building contained thousands of mines, shells & other weapons used to maim & kill. Along with each type of explosive is displayed a data sheet explaining origin & correct procedure for setting up the mines. While we were reading about the mines a young lad came in & started taking out some of the mines & demonstrating exactly how they can be set up for maximum destruction. We then went outside where mines had been setup in a field to demonstrate just how well camouflaged they can be, it was here we discovered that our guide had lost his leg at the age of eight & he told us his story of how the community at the museum has greatly improved his life.
The trip back into town stopped off at a hugely overpriced tourist shop so that while we pretend to shop Mr Happy could get free gas for his tuktuk. On returning to Siem Reap we paid Mr Happy the agreed dollar to which he decided should be four dollars as he went over bumpy ground. He then became Mr Grumpy & we paid him two.
The afternoon was filled with a boat trip on Tonle Sap lake including scoffing shrimp in salt & lime with beer on a floating aquarium/crocodile farm.
Drink of the Day: Anchor Beer