History Lessons in Phnom Penh

Cambodia, Phnom Penh Guide (B): History Lessons in Phnom Penh

After reading First They Killed My Father, a book written by Loung Ung about her experience during the Khmer Rouge, I made a mental note to visit The Killing Fields and Toul Sleng if I ever get to Phnom Penh. Two years later, I drag my friends along for some history lessons.

Go: Choeung Ek is about 15 km from the city center. Travel time on a tuktuk will be 45 mins to an hour.

Fare: US$12 roundtrip for a group of 4 or less. We paid US$15 since we were adding extra load, i.e. my butt.

When to go: Any day between 8AM to 5PM. You can enter at 5PM and they'll wait for you until you're done.

Prepare your itinerary: I suggest renting an audio guide. Although the site can be explored in just 15 minutes, you will need at least an hour to listen to the entire audio guide. When they run out of audio guides, there are tour guides to assist you.

Prepare yourself: Choeung Ek is one of 300 mass graves scattered all over Cambodia. About 20,000 people were executed in this site. When the Toul Sleng prison (S21) could not accommodate anymore, the prisoners were brought to Choeung Ek to be executed. When the number of prisoners brought to the killing field daily grew and the executioners could not eliminate all in one day, they built a detention center where the prisoners were kept to be killed the next day. Chemicals were used to cover the stench of corpses and to kill the victims who were buried alive. There are still many bones, teeth fragments, clothes buried in the ground and these come to the surface over time (flood and rain). ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: History Lessons in Phnom Penh
Guide Location: Cambodia » Phnom Penh
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center   Toul Sleng Genocidal Museum  
Author: Mustachio Ventures
Read it on author's website: http://mustachioventures.blogspot.com/2012/09/history-lessons-in-phnom-penh.html