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Photographer's Note

The Angkor-era temple complex Pasat Phra Vihar sits atop a mountain just on the Camboidan side of the border with Thailand. Only accessible from Thailand the temple has been looted of all significant artifacts, but remains a truly remarkable structure. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Khmer Rouge occuppied the temple, using its strategic location to shoot artillery shells into the surrounding plains. At the time of visiting the temple in 2000, land mines still surrounded the temple. Working artillery pieces were also visible, as were the remains of a UN helicopter which had landed in one of the mine fields and exploded. In a peace deal with the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian government gave most of the tourist jobs at the temple to demobilised Khmer Rouge soldiers. The temple is thus a staggering insight into Cambodian history--not some relic from an ancient past, but a monument imbued with the conflicts and terrible trauma of Cambodia's very recent past.

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