Cambodia: War Museum Siem Reap

The War Museum in Siem Reap is the only war museum in Cambodia.

I feel there is always an element of dark tourism in visiting a war museum.

I’ve visited war museums in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, Hiroshima in Japan, and Daegu in South Korea.

As a conscientious traveller, if the opportunity presents itself to visit a museum of war and that has been part of the history of the country I’m exploring, then I’m interested in knowing more about the human aspect of that war.

I feel it adds to my understanding of the culture and my appreciation of the people.

While visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia, for exploring Angkor Wat and the Angkor Archaeological Park, I also managed to take a half day to explore the Floating Villages on Tonle Sap Lake and a couple of hours to visit the War Museum of Cambodia.

The war museum is set in an outdoor area and there’s lots of old military hardware to look at dating back to the WW2 and to the Cambodian Civil War.

A tank on display at War Museum of Cambodia Siem Reap
A tank on display at War Museum of Cambodia Siem Reap

It’s interesting, but also disturbing, to know all the artillery and weapons on display are authentic and battle worn.

There are lots of old vehicles and tanks too (Russian T54 and T55) and a MIG Fighter Plane.

There are lots on vehicles and tanks at the War Museum Siem Reap
There are lots of old vehicles and tanks at the war museum

There are also hand guns and field guns and assault rifles and hand grenades and landmines.

The photographs on display are all rare and original which I found interesting but harrowing.

At the War Museum Siem Reap all the artillery and weapons on display are authentic
Weapons and artillery on display at the War Museum
All the artillery and weapons on display are authentic

The information provided on landmines is intended to educate visitors on how these terrible weapons were used and how landmines are still a very big and dangerous problem in Cambodia today.

Many of these still undetected live mines are known to be buried in the rural northwest of Cambodia, in an area known as K5, near to the Thai border.

Danger of landmines sign and samples of landmines at the war museum
Old landmines in a pile
The information provided on landmines is intended to educate visitors

The HALO Trust says: “Over 65,000 casualties have been recorded since 1979, resulting with 18,800 people being killed and nearly 45,000 people injured. The threat to the people of Cambodia—from landmines and other dangerous debris left after the war—is extremely high.”


The Cambodian Civil War began in 1967 when the Khmer Rouge gained popularity and support from some Cambodians.

In 1970, a civil coup deposed King Norordom Sihanouk.

The war ended with the victory of the Khmer Rouge in 1975.

Former Khmer Rouge banknote dated 1975


We took a tuktuk taxi to visit the war museum and I would say yes – it’s worth a visit.

It’s worth seeing because it’s the only war museum in a country that has witnessed one of the most brutal conflicts in recent history.

And, perhaps because at my age, I can clearly remember the terrible news on our TV screens coming out of Cambodia in the 1960’s and 70’s.

The weapons and artillery in this museum are preserved as a reminder lest we forget the two million Cambodians who died in this horrific conflict.

It’s also worth knowing all the guides at the museum are war veterans.

There is a small entry fee and the museum has a Facebook Page

What do you think of war museums?


The War Museum is easy to reach on National Route 6 between Siem Reap Town and the International Airport.


The best time to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia, is generally during the cool and dry season from November to February when the weather is cooler.

Daytime temps during this time usually hover around 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F).

Cool and Dry Season (November to February): This is the peak tourist season due to the favourable weather conditions. It’s also a great time for photography as the skies are clear and the light is good for capturing the ancient ruins.

Hot Season (March to May): Temperatures can soar up to 40°C (104°F) during these months. While this is still a popular time to visit, the heat can be quite intense, especially midday. If you visit during this time, plan early morning and late afternoon tours to avoid the hottest parts of the day.

Wet Season (June to October): This is the monsoon season when rainfall is frequent, especially in the afternoons. The advantage of visiting during this period is that the landscape is lush and green, and the tourist crowds are thinner.

Have you ever been to Cambodia?

Is Cambodia on your travel wish list?

What do you think of war museums?

Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

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