BootsnAll Travel Network

S-21 and the Killing Fields

Reading about both places helped me get an idea of what to expect but to be there and see it was heartbreaking. Thank goodness I met two other travelers at my guesthouse to go with because it would of probably been hard for me if I was alone. It was a depressing and sad experience and I was speechless the whole time. Even the tuk tuk ride home – was absolute silence. I didn’t snap any photos – it just didn’t feel right. Out of respect, I wouldn’t. I thought it was going to be easy to write about it but I really don’t know where to start… I figured I’d give a short description of both places.

Tuol Sleng Museum  – Former high school, taken over by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 in which they turned it into a prison of torture (S-21). Between 1975-78 hundred of thousands of people were held there. At this museum, actual pictures of the victims are displayed – some very very very graphic. (The pics will give you an idea of what type of suffering the Cambodian people endured).

Killing Fields of Choeung Ek – Biggest genocide in Cambodia history. The hundred of thousands that were held at S-21 (men, women, children) were taken to Choeung Ek to be killed. (In addition, hundred of thousands more across the country died of famine). Today, half the remains of the people were exhumed and half were left untouched. A memorial stupa was built for those who died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. (Walking through the fields was quite depressing for me and to hear the children playing in background from the school nearby was making it even harder…..


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