Travel 236: Clearing the land for the future: The Story of Aki Ra and the Cambodia Landmines Museum

My stay in Cambodia will never be complete if I will not be able to see the Cambodian Landmines Museum near Banteay Srei and it happened when coming back from my quick visit at the Wat in Banteay Srei that I decided to drop by at the famous Cambodian Landmines Museum which is a hallmark of an effort of one man, a former Khmer child soldier by the name of Aki Ra.

I met Aki Ra at the Cambodian Landmines Museum albeit very quickly, shake his hands and just see him off towards a hectic day ahead for him and his team. We exchange pleasantries. Noting his hectic day, we forgo the photo ops but I absorbed the seriousness of his work for the people of Cambodia.

Awarded by the CNN as the Hero of the Year, Aki Ra battles to clear Cambodia of landmines brought about by the civil wars. His story is one that captures the attention of the world when he started off as a Khmer child soldier after his parents were murdered by Khmer rebels. He was trained as a child soldier and according to him, at that time; he never understood which right or wrong in his actions and that of his comrades. He showed to the world responsibility and accountability by clearing the mines he helped bury many years ago. In his efforts, he was able to remove 50,000 mines.

Upon seeing the museum, I felt honoured to have been able to see his efforts firsthand and personally. I entered the premises and seen so many kinds of mines as well as weapons. Many like these weapons have killed and ripped off lives of innocent children and women, farmers and schoolchildren. Cambodia then is totally different from what it is today when Aki Ra has shown them how his efforts at clearing the land for the future reaps them security and peace.

I am rather impressed of how the museum was well taken care of. An entrance fee of US $3.00 is sought to help finance children’s education and the upkeep of the museum. My short visit gave me the chance to also thank the American President of the Landmines Relief Fund, Dr. Bill Morse for his genuine support to these causes.

Aki Ra and the Cambodia Landmines Museum exemplify the modern Cambodia, one that secures the future with optimism and drive.

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Categories: Banteay Srei, Cambodia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

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42 thoughts on “Travel 236: Clearing the land for the future: The Story of Aki Ra and the Cambodia Landmines Museum

  1. Read the news about Aki Ra being awarded as CNN of the Year for his efforts at clearing Cambodia of landmines. But your detailed post had given justice to the noble efforts of Aki Ra and had shoot my interest up to visit the museum myself. Thanks for sharing this Doc.

    • thank you po Sir Ed. Sure po, come to Cambodia and visit the museum for it is where I learned what I have discovered about it and about Aki Ra.

      Salamat po sir for your comment

  2. you are lucky to personally meet Aki Ra.he deserves to be recoginsed. NICE POST

    • Tess, sobrang humbling ung experience ko and parang na-star struck ako pati pagpakuha ng photo di ko na naisip haha. I gave him his space when he needed it the most since he has full and busy day ahead.

  3. paying $3 is an easy way to help children’s education. so it is really worth it to visit the museum if you are in cambodia or if you are planning to go there.

    • it is more than $3 bro. I had learned more about Cambodia now more than ever because I came to embrace them as I came to visit them. thanks for your comments

  4. a very commendable endeavor of Aki Ra.

  5. ahehe..same as my brother in law’s name but he’s Japanese.(spelled one word) anyway, you got a very memorable experience of meeting Aki Ra in person. Galing! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Aki Ra’s initiative is really commendable. You are very lucky to have met the man personally Doc. I hope there would be more Efren “Kuya Ef” Peñaflorida and Aki Ra’s in the generation to come. Everybody else can make a difference in this world. No matter how small.

    http://travel-on-a-shoe-string.blogspot.com/

  7. thanks for sharing additional knowledge!

  8. The experience is indeed worth bragging.

  9. nice take on Cambodia’s history 0_o

  10. Its a fact the Heroes exist and live on..
    Long has it been a norm that you become known as a hero when your dead.
    This is a very commendable effort, one that will ring throughout the history of Cambodia.

    • Exactly! It is now that our declared heroes walk in our midst. We are proud of them and I am far more better as a person when I met him and personally came across the causes he fought hard for

  11. Thanks for sharing this experience. Natutuwa akong ganito nababasa ko. This is really an unforgettable experience. you met him pa. 🙂

    -Diana Javinal

  12. he really had a good heart to help remove all bombs in cambodia, if not for him cambodia is not a place to wander

    • yes he does and he painstakingly removed landmines, all 50,000 of them and counting with unorthodox methodologies. The museum is a great reminder of the folly of the Khmer Rouge.

  13. Thanks for sharing this inspirational journey…you are so lucky to meet Aki Ra in a memorable experience. i feel lucky to read and know great person, you sir. 🙂

  14. Aki Ra is so cool and a hero indeed! Thanks for sharing. I wouldn’t know about him until your entry.

  15. dami q na nalaman in following ur cambodia trip doc:) if im not mistaken nafeature na dti to sa nat geo

  16. Such a brave brave man Aki Ra. Thank you for sharing this to us.

  17. You’re talking of “land mines” Aren’t they very dangerous? They’re explosives. They could explode once they are touched. But the way I understand it, they’re already undetonated. Cambodians do honor their heroes in war and even have them in a museum for respect and honor.

    • Not only Cambodians honor them but the world including the CNN for giving Aki Ra the distinct honor of being the Hero of the Year. I am most proud to have met him and seen this museum for myself po Sir.

      Salamat po sir for your comment!

  18. this is a photo blog – a gallery with a story – you must be inspired by seeing Aki Ra…

  19. Ang galing naman na na-meet mo sya. Ang hirap ng buhay nila dun. Talagang maraming area pa sa Cambodia ang hindi pa natatanggalan ng land mines. Ang laking pinsala sa kanila.

    • He was a former child soldier of the Khmer Rouge and he is kind and generous enough that he help de-mine Cambodia. His laudable efforts is that earn him my respects and that of the world too.

  20. Me and my friend were just talking to each other that we like to come to Cambodia. I so love the place. You’re lucky and you met Aki Ra. Hehe. Galing!

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