The Killing Fields of Phnom Penh

The only concrete plans we had for the day were to head to the killing fields at some point. We decided to have a lazy morning- not getting breakfast until about 10:30. 

After breakfast we grabbed a tuk tuk to take us to the killing fields- about 30minutes away. For those that don’t know (probably most people since I never heard about this in school), in 1975 Pol Pot took over Cambodia and over the course of 4 years killed over 3 million people- out of the 8 million total people in Cambodia. He wanted to rid Cambodia of all western ideas. They cleared everyone out of cities and forced them into the country to do manual labor, giving them very small portions of food everyday. Anyone who was a teacher, lawyer, government official, or had basically any job that required intellect was killed. And usually when one person in the family was killed they also killed the rest so there would be no revenge. One of Pol Pot’s quotes was “it’s better to mistakenly kill an innocent then to mistakenly let the enemy live”. The Killing Fields were found after the genocide was over. It’s an area with about 120 mass graves. They didn’t like to shoot people because bullets are expensive so they used any farm tool that was around. They say after it rains here bones will still wash up to the surface so they go around about once every 6 months to pick up anything that has come to the surface. 

The tour of the killing fields was just a little audio device you listened to as you walked around to explain what you were looking it. It was pretty intense. Below are a few pictures of the area.

Mass grave

They built this structure to honor those that died here. Inside is over 9,000 skulls from all age ranges.

There was also a mini museum at the site that showed a few pictures of what the area had looked like when all the buildings were still up. 

Our tuk tuk driver waited for us while we were there and took us back to our hostel after we were done.

Back at the hostel Sam decided to go for a run even though it’s super humid here. I took a nap lol

We signed up for another dinner held by our hostel. This time it was a traditional Cambodian meal, which tasted basically the same as a traditional Thai or Lao meal, but still very good!

After dinner out hostel was having a punch party on the rooftop. We went and hung out with most of the people we met yesterday. It ended up being a pretty fun night!

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