Samrong Market ផ្សារសំរោង
Samraong' means in Khmer as much as 'dense jungle', and relates insofar to the country's past. No jungle left here. The word is here of a spot in the northwestern landscapes of Cambodia, namely the capital of Oddar Meanchey Province. It lies some 40km southwest of the borderpoint to Thailand at O'Smach.
The place is very remote since it is practically meaningless and had until very recently no paved road access. In rainy season it was therefore an adventurous journey to reach (or leave) it. Meanwhile it's connected with Sisophon and Thailand by NH68. The place is flat like a pancake; at the southern horizon one still recognizes the silhouette of the Dangrek Mountains.
There is a roundabout with a Buddha memorial in the middle, from where a road to Siem Reap splits up. To the west the large Beong Snor Pond appears and along it's shores lies much of the place, particularly a longer row of temples and these newly-built, pompous administration buildings who are typical for contemporary Cambodia. It seems that the town get's a new, planned center here and there is much space around in all directions for it's expansion. A vaster roadnet in a chessboard pattern is already laid out. Now it's waiting for the building boom. Certainly real-estate speculation is boiling up already, and surely the best pieces are already all in the hand of CPP party functionaries. The die is cast, and now Samraong can grow fat and ugly, as any other larger Cambodian place is.
More south is the market place, the busy, real and probably also historical center of Samraong. The most important roads in town are paved and there is already too much traffic on them.
Since Samraong and surroundings were part of the final theatre of the Cambodian civil war until the late 1990s, there is one of the poisonous heritages of the Khmer Rouge left in the grounds: landmines. Although clearing happened in the past, it's unclear where are still landmines in the town's surrounding remain.