Phnom Penh - Day 2

Phnom Penh Travel Blog

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15 levels high, each level covered by skulls found in mass graves at the Killing Fields

Now this is about as heavy a day of sight-seeing as I think I'm ever likely to do.  The evening before I had booked in a day tour that would go to both the Killing Fields and S-21 concentration camp in the morning, then various palaces/museums/etc in the arvo. Suffice to say whatever was seen in the arvo just slipped by since once you've spent the morning looking at the war atrocities of Pol Pot, you're not thinking about a whole lot more.

The killing fields is quite surreal, and as you drive out there you can't help but think back to the thousands of people who had to walk that stretch of road 30 years ago knowing what was ahead of them.  They have a 15 storey monument at the entrance to the fields, each storey with a layer of skulls from people exhumed form the mass graves.

One of the levels of skulls, on some you can see indentations indicating that bullets didn't kill them
  There's still about 50 mass graves unopened but the government stopped opening them because of the heartache it was causing people. Our guide described the ways that people of all ages were killed in order to save bullets (even the sharp edge of their national tree the sugar palm was used) and it's just mind-numbing.

So as if that wasn't enough we then went to Tuol Slong museum (better known as S-21 concentration camp) where people were held and tortured before going to the Killing Fields.  The most stupid thing is that they were asked questions all day to try to uncover a hidden plot which didn't exist.  Again some of the methods of torture used were just ghastly to say the least.  When you first get there and see all these boards of photographs, taken of the prisoners on their arrival, staring out from the cells and your heart sinks even lower

The rest of the tour kicked on and as I mentioned, was pretty much a blur.  I was happy to grab some drinks at the end of that with some Irish girls that I'd been crossing over with down the east coast.  I highly recommend everyone to have a beer from the roof bar of the FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club) when in Phnom Penh.  It costs a bit more, but just have the one to appreciate the view then head somewhere cheaper.

 

 

 

 

 

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15 levels high, each level covered…
15 levels high, each level covere…
One of the levels of skulls, on so…
One of the levels of skulls, on s…
The sign says it all really....
The sign says it all really....
Some of the mass graves now filled…
Some of the mass graves now fille…
Tuol Slong museum (a.k.a S-21 conc…
Tuol Slong museum (a.k.a S-21 con…
Sends a chill down the spine seein…
Sends a chill down the spine seei…
Phnom Penh
photo by: terminalfunk