Landmines and butterflies

There are dozens of ancient (12th-13th century) sites round Siem Reap, many (including Angkor Wat) inside the city itself, but others are miles away. All fall under the same entrance ticket. We will buy the 3-day pass but, not knowing the 3 days don't have to be consecutive, we decided to spend the first day doing non-temple stuff.

First stop today was the landmine museum. We got a tuk-tuk for the day because it's a fair way out of town. It was started by an ex-child soldier who defected from the Khmer Rouge to the Vietnamese army and eventually started using his skills to find and defuse landmines all over Cambodia, as well as set up a charity to look after mutilated and orphaned children. I didn't know that normally you have anti-tank mines (designed to blow up with something much heavier than a person, and with a lot of force) and anti-personnel mines (sprinkled around the anti-tank mines so the soldiers can't clear those up, and are actually designed to maim rather than kill as an injured soldier is more expensive than a dead one). We used the opportunity to explain a bit more about war and it's consequences to Lucas.

We had lunch at a curious place. It is a Japanese-run charity that acts as an informal school for the local children. They turn up when they can and spend the day learning English, Japanese, dancing, painting, and origami. Not quite sure how it's funded but part of the money comes from an attached restaurant. Lucas and Aisha became informal pupils while we finished lunch.

After that a lighter note: one of the biggest butterfly farms in Asia. We saw everything in their life cycle: mating, eggs, caterpillars, cocoons, and lots and lots of butterflies.

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