Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 16 of 22 › view all entries
The other side of Phnom Penh luckily lies in the past. It'd the time that the lovely child Saloth Sar had become "Brother no. 1", or Pol Pot. He was the leader of the Khmer Rouge, the party that between 1975 and 1979 ruled the country with a deadly effect. Millions of Cambodians became victims of the regime. Horrible.
We visited two memorial sites that visualized the unbelievable cruel years of the Khmer Rouge. First, we went to Toul Sleng, a small complex which looks like a school, but was turned into a infamous prison where torture was daily routine. The buildings are kept as a genocide museum. Especially the picture gallery of all those Cambodian victims makes you very quiet. Most of the prisoners ended in one of the many killing fields.
We went to the Choeung Ek genocidal center, a unique place reflecting the most barbarious crime of the Khmer Rouge. Here, about 20,000 people (including foreigners) were executed and burried in one of the 129 mass graves. In order to remember the spirits of victims at the site as well as over 3 million victims throughout the country, a Memorial Charnel was built in the center.
Although not the happiest moments to spend your travels, you should miss a visit of Toul Sleng and one of the killing fields.