Main street, Pailin, 2008

Best known as the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge, Pailin today has found peace, if not yet prosperity. While most of the landmines have been pulled from the ground, so too have the gemstones that once fueled the growth of the region.

So Pailin waits: for investments, for better roads to the outside, for the tourism industry already sweeping across the rest of the country. It may no longer be the Wild West, but neither has it fully joined 21st century Cambodia. Exactly the sort of place, in other words, where a photographer might go to seek out a few small bits of the Southeast Asia of a generation or two ago.

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