The Khmer Rouge in 1975 and the Vietnamese occupation in 1979 have contributed to Siem Reap's tumultuous, war-torn past. Siem Reap did not begin to stabilize and become safe enough for tourists to visit until the 1990s.
Unfortunately, millions of land mines and unexploded objects were left behind by decades of conflict. The many legless beggars in town are a living testament to how dangerous these artifacts still are in the present day.
The Cambodia Land Mine Museum was founded by a former child soldier whose parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge and is staffed by victims and orphans of mines. Although sobering, the Land Mine Museum is a real piece of Cambodia away from the tourism glam.