Aki Ra’s Landmines Museum isn’t exactly easy to find. It’s tucked somewhere behind the Angkor Wat Temple, off a beaten track, past a ramshackle village that’s better known to locals as Siem Reap’s low-end red light district, and down some truly bumpy roads. Yet, busloads of tourists arrive everyday. Eager volunteers show up regularly to teach English to the dozens of young landmine victims living here. And numerous guidebooks list it as a must-see attraction.

Yup, for those who visit, the museum leaves a deep impression – the irrepressible kids, the horrifying piles of bombs and mines and grenades, the photographs of Aki Ra out in the minefields.

But this attraction will soon be no more. This message appeared in our inboxes today:

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT

Aki Ra has informed Akira Mine Action Centre founder Roy Warren Clark and its executive director Ty Khan that he has made a decision that he has now retired as a deminer/trainer.

He says that he will soon move his Cambodia Landmine Museum on the river near Angkor Wat to a new facility near Banteay Srei temple where he and his wife Hourt will start a new quieter life, he says, raising their two young sons Amatak and Mine (and the many landmine accident survivor children who will continue to live with them) without the constant dangers involved with his work to make Cambodia safe from landmines although he says that he will continue with other humanitarian projects. With a smile, he said he might even do a little farming.

After many years of extreme pressure from many sources, Aki Ra deserves a massive thank you for the very significant work he has accomplished.

Should you wish to contact Aki Ra directly to offer him your best wishes and congratulations on his retirement from demining, please send an email to [email protected]

We’re still trying to decide what to make of this news. After so many years of hard work, Aki Ra deserves the quiet life.

It’s just that… Siem Reap just won’t be the same without the Landmines Museum.