April 25, 2014

Cambodia : Phnom Penh (part 2)

Continuation from here...
 
After breakfast, we went out and looked for a tuk-tuk driver. Our main plan for that day was to visit the Choeung Ek killing field and the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Phnom Penh fell under the control of the Khmer Rouge, the communist guerrilla group led by Pol Pot, in 1975. The brutal regime fell some 35 years ago, and these sites hold some of the horrific remnants of it.

We hired a tuk-tuk for USD 18 to bring us to both sites and around the city till evening.

We first went to Choeung Ek, located about 17 km south of Phnom Penh. While driving towards the killing field, suddenly our tuk-tuk driver stopped at one of the shops. I thought he wanted to buy something for himself. Instead, he came back with face masks for us! He asked us to wear it as the roads ahead were gonna be very dusty. How thoughtful!
 

About 30 minutes later, we arrived at the killing field.
 
 
The killing fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge, and Choeung Ek is one of them. It was said the regime executed over a million people during their reign, between 1975 and 1979.
 
Today, Choeung Ek is a Buddhist memorial site, built around the mass graves of the victims.
 
This Buddhist stupa is filled with some of the victims' skulls.
 
 
 
We were given audio guide device at the entrance ticket counter and from there, we walked around from one stop to another following the audio guide. Details of what went on at specific places were played on the audio guide.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Choeung Ek killing field
Opens daily from 8 am ~ 5 pm 
 Entrance fee is USD 6 (includes the audio guide)
 
tuk-tuk drivers waiting for their passengers
 
We went back to the city after that. Next on the agenda was the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
 
 
The museum is a former high school which was turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). Around 20,000 people were held here before being taken to the killing fields of Choeung Ek.
 
 
 
 
 
The school rooms were divided into crude cells.
 
 
 
 
Among the torturing methods...
 

 

 
Out of an estimated 20,000 people imprisoned here, there were only twelve known survivors.
 
 
He is one of them.
 
 
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
Opens daily from 8 am ~ 5 pm 
 Entrance fee is USD 3
 
I wouldn't say the visit to both Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng was enjoyable but I guess it should be visited while in Phnom Penh for us to understand what happened to the country.
 

5 comments:

Time Traveller said...

i been there.. and the museum really scary.. especially when i visited late in the afternoon.. and it really sad the read all the story there..

Dede Ruslan said...

so scary :(

syieda said...

The tuk tuk driver was so baik hati siap belikan mask. Lucky u!

Ain Rawihah said...

Our tuk-tuk drive also did the same thing..sangat terharu bila dia belikan mask untuk kami..jlnnya memang berdebu teruk..

rara said...

@Time Traveller: Sangat scary.. late afternoon tu sure rasa meremang je kan?

@Dede Ruslan: Indeed! :(

@Syieda: Alhamdulillah.. kalau tak memang tak bernafas la lalu jalan berdebu teruk macam tu.

@Ain Rawihah: Kan? Syukur sangat driver belikan mask tu.