Anlong Veng (khmer: អន្លង់វែង) is a small town in northwestern Cambodia. Only a few tourists visit it each day and to be honest that is quite understandable. There is not that much to do in this region. But historically Anlong Veng, and especially the surroundings are very interesting.
This is the place where the former leader of Cambodia, Pol Pot (1925-1998) could hide unhindered for about 20 years after the fall of his regime. And if you know that this man was responsible for the death of 1 to 2 million people then that sounds pretty strange. You can visit his hiding place as well as his grave. The latter will cost you 2 dollars by the way. If you want to know more about the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge, read on…
What would you like to know about Anlong Veng in Cambodia?
- History – Pol Pot survives in the jungle
- Sightseeing – what to do in Anlong Veng?
- Accommodation – Where to stay?
- Transportation – How to get there?
History – Pol Pot survives in the jungle
Pol Pot was leader of Cambodia from 1975 to 1979. Under his strict rule, an estimated 1 to 2 million people died. He fled in 1979 when neighboring Vietnam invaded Cambodia. The reason was that Cambodia had tried to take Vietnamese villages. The Cambodian army was overrun within 2 weeks. And Pol Pot? He fled, but to where?
Pol Pot left for the jungle near Anlong Veng in the northwest of the country. This place was strategically chosen. If the Cambodian army nearly found him, he could always flee to Thailand. This is how the army was close in 1998, but just before they found his hideout, Pol Pot died at the age of 83. He would never be convicted of his misdeeds.
Sightseeing – What to see and do in Anlong Veng?
There are several ways to visit the sites of the Khmer Rouge. First, you can do so by taking a day trip from Siem Reap. But you can also go to Anlong Veng yourself and arrange for a guide at the traffic circle to take you there. This costs between 15 and 20 dollars. I do not recommend renting a motorcycle. The road to his hideout or that of his companions is pretty bad. On the back of a motorcycle I was sweating a lot.
You only go to Anlong Veng for the places that have to do with Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. And there are a number of those:
- The grave of Pol Pot
- The hideout of Pol Pot
- Ta-Mok’s House (in Anlong Veng)
- Ta-Mok’s vacation home
- Statue of the Khmer Rouge
Ta-Mok was a military chief nicknamed “The Butcher. He is held responsible for the many mass killings of Cambodians in the east of the country. In the vicinity of Anlong Veng you can still find many places that remind you of the Khmer Rouge. Read more about it in the article Grave of Pol Pot | Visit his final resting place.
Accommodation – Where to stay in Anlong Veng?
Anlong has a number of accommodations that are generally not found on booking sites. I myself stayed overnight at Bod Oudom Guesthouse and paid $8 USD for it. The owner speaks good English and you can contact them via facebook for room availability. But I assure you… there is always a room available.
Next destination in Cambodia?
At the traffic circle you can arrange transportation for your next destination. There you will find several cabs or bus companies that can take you to Siem Reap (for Angkor Wat) or to Sra Aem for the Preah Vihear Temple.
Do you have any great tips, ideas or comments about Anlong Veng in Cambodia? Feel free to leave a comment below.