|Phnom Penh, Cambodia||Sightseeing Tours|
The tragedy that befell Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge is over but the scars will never really heal as this emotional half-day tour of the Choeung Ek killing fields and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh reveals. This haunting exploration of the country’s traumatic past is a sobering reminder of the astonishing levels of cruelty humans have unleashed on each other.
Situated in the countryside outside the capital, Choeung Ek is today a tranquil, green field. But for four years in the late Seventies, it was the where daily truckloads of prisoners were brought to be clubbed or stabbed to death before being buried in mass graves with thousands of other men, women and children. Holes and ditches reveal where remains were exhumed. A Buddhist Stupa packed with 5,000 human skulls serves as a permanent reminder of the unspeakable crimes that took place here.
Continue to the notorious former S-21 prison, where prisoners were interrogated and tortured. Now called the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, it had been a school before the Khmer Rouge came to power. Classrooms were divided into cells with crude brick walls and beds used to bind prisoners during torture. Much has been left in the state it was when the Khmer Rouge abandoned it in January 1979. The prison authorities kept extensive records, leaving thousands of photos of their victims. Paintings of the torture at the prison by Vann Nath, one of the few survivors of Toul Sleng, are also on display. Meeting/pick-up point:
Hotels in central Phnom Penh. Duration:
Three hours. Start/opening time:
9am and 2pm. Languages: