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> Getting Trigger Happy with the Cambodian Army, Extract from Marc Passion: Travel Extraordinaire (www.marcpassiontrave
marcpassion
post Jun 13 2009, 12:46 AM
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Cambodia is officially the third most corrupt country in the world (source: Transparency International) where money talks and bullS*$# walks. They also have stockpiles of aging weapons from the Pol Pot regime. Put the two together and itís possible to fire bazookas and an assortment of other weapons into the distance, courtesy of the Cambodian Army.

Passionís Passage
As the capital city, Phnom Penh is serviced with an international airport, regular slow and fast boats from Vietnam and Seam Reap, plus buses for those who are really strapped for cash. There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but Marc Passion normally stays in the reasonably priced Number 9 Guesthouse, Ph 93, Boeng Kak Area (US$8-10 per night).

Contacting the Cambodian Army
It canít be legal, can it? Who knows! But your friendly Tuk Tuk driver is the key to the whole experience. A quick word, a few dollars pushed in their hand and, before you know it, an expensive Lexus will be picking you up and driving you an hour out of Phnom Penh.

Trigger time
The weapons and ammunition are REAL, so safety is the first imperative and youíll be fully briefed and looked after by your friendly sergeant major. Once the formalities are over youíll be aiming into the distance, heart pounding, wondering what the kick-back is going to be like. ThenÖ Bang!

Was it worth it?
Itís a lot of effort and money for something that is over in an instant, but once youíve got the smell of gunpowder in the nostrils youíll be wishing you had taken out more money. Expect to spend at least $500USD on an assortment of weapons, but there really is no limit to how long you can stay out thereÖ if youíve got the cash.

Other activities in Phnom Penh
The sad truth is Phnom Penhís tourist industry is based on one of the worst genocides in history, orchestrated by Pol Pot in the 1980s. The Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Prison are the main sights to find out about what happened. Read ĎThe Pol Pot Remigeí by Ben Kiernan before going.

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wakingdream
post Jun 13 2009, 09:42 AM
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QUOTE
Put the two together and itís possible to fire bazookas and an assortment of other weapons into the distance, courtesy of the Cambodian Army.


There are alot of things we can do all over the world that are counter-productive to being a responsible global citizen, this one being a great example. I've met loads of people during my extensive SEA travels who have fired weapons in Cambodia. Some even claim to have had the opportunity-and taken it- to shoot animals. "Oh man, you can blow up a cow in Cambodia, cool!".

Um, not cool. I myself have never seen evidence of this but I know it does exist, the weapons anyway. All I can say about this is that the people who choose to do this are a very, very poor example of responsible tourists who think more about themselves than they do about others and the countries they are traveling in. In my opinion these people should just stay home. They offer nothing positive to the communities they have contact with, probably not even their own.

Thank-you for posting this and bring to light an important topic for nayone wishing to travel through Cambodia.


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~Susie

'Yesterday's the past and tomorrow's the future. Today is a gift - which is why they call it the present.'
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kathryn77
post Jun 13 2009, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE(wakingdream @ Jun 13 2009, 03:42 PM) *


Um, not cool. I myself have never seen evidence of this but I know it does exist, the weapons anyway. All I can say about this is that the people who choose to do this are a very, very poor example of responsible tourists who think more about themselves than they do about others and the countries they are traveling in. In my opinion these people should just stay home. They offer nothing positive to the communities they have contact with, probably not even their own.



Hear hear!!


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aopaq
post Jun 13 2009, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE(marcpassion @ Jun 13 2009, 01:46 AM) *

They also have stockpiles of aging weapons from the Pol Pot regime. Put the two together and itís possible to fire bazookas and an assortment of other weapons into the distance, courtesy of the Cambodian Army.



QUOTE(wakingdream @ Jun 13 2009, 10:42 AM) *

In my opinion these people should just stay home. They offer nothing positive to the communities they have contact with, probably not even their own.


Couldn't agree more, Susie!

And from a safety perspective, I would be a little worried about firing "aging weapons" that are probably not cared for and maintained the way they should be. Therefore, the possibility of a weapon exploding or something similar, causing injury to the user is probably much greater. But if this happened to one of these tourists, they would get little sympathy from me! no.gif
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