Saturday, April 8, 2023

Phnom Pen

From Kratie it was a mere 250km to the capital. We stopped on the way in Kampong Cham for lunch and a picture of their bamboo bridge. Back in the day it was supposed to be strong enough to be used by trucks, now it’s just a tourist attraction and open to pedestrians only. Once the monsoon starts it gets washed away and needs rebuilding the following year.

In Phnom Pen itself we did a walking tour, visiting the market and some street art before going out 😉 

Our guide explaining something 😀


Monkey King?


We ended up in the sky bar of our hotel, in our classy pajamas obviously 😎

On a quite darker and sadder note were our visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the killing field at Choeung Ek Genocidal Center. At Tuol Sleng or S-21 as it was know in its days, between 12000 to 20000 people were tortured for fake concessions before being carted off to the killing fields. As the Khmer Rouge documented their grizzly work there are thousand of pictures of the prisoners which were held here for benign and often random reasons. 

From school to prison to museum

Torture rack 

Some of the many prisoners 

After running out of space to get rid of the bodies they started to bring them out of the city by night and bury them in mass graves. To avoid notice they got clubbed to death with all kind of instruments. All over the country there are over 300 such killing fields where the rainy season washes out bones and teeth to this day. Over a million (some say up to two million or a quarter of the population) have been killed in the four years of Khmer Rouge reign. At Choeung Ek the skulls and bigger bones were collected and housed in big stupa as a reminder of these cruel deaths.

Over 5000 skulls are housed here