Sunday, May 26, 2013

Backpacking holiday @ Phnom Penh, Cambodia | Part II

Long overdue post!

Continued from the first post: Backpacking Cambodia

Our next destination is Choeung Ek Killing Fields.

We took tuk-tuk from our Hotel to there which is about 17km south of Phnom Penh, at least 30 minutes drive.

Dusty ride & we didn't have any mask on. Oops. And along the way...

We finally arrived!

This is one of my long anticipated MUST-DO for Cambodia trip. I heard it from Hubby that there's a tree inside which they use it as weapon to kill the babies. So, I want to see it myself. Mum been there too on a Company trip but she chose not to enter because of negative energy. Since my kids days, I'm more interested with supernatural stuff. No, I don't want to see those. I just want to know the history.

Enough said.

This is a well-known Killing Fields in Cambodia. Many people killed and burried here during Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979). Even until today, after heavy downpour, there is still rags clothes surfaced from the mass graves. This is also part of the reason why you don't see old aged people around because they executed almost everyone. 

Admission fee is USD3 per pax include audio device (your tour guide) for the memorial site. Audio device come with selection of many international language too.

The Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre Entrance

Our maps & tickets.

Group pic before we take on the routes of history.

The Memorial Stupa

This place become a Memorial site with a Buddhist Stupa. Thousand of skulls & bones of victims filled up the tall glass.

The skulls section. Show most of the cracked skulls.

The skulls

The tower of Skulls

Just imagine they filled up the whole tall Stupa.

It's heartbreaking to see all this remaining of the victims. May they rest in Peace.

We then move on with the Audio device for get more in dept history of the Killing Fields during Pol Pot regime.

Audio device set with map.

Informative audio set which brings the history of the whole place. They also include some of the victim story. And at every stop, there is an information board and Audio list number that you should tune to.

The truck stop where they transport all the victims here.

Information board.

This is the 1st stop. Tune in the audio & follow the routes.

This is the Mass grave. As you walk along, you will see fragments of bones and clothes on your feet. They advice to give respect to the victims and stay on the path. Most importantly, don't pick up anything from the ground.

The paddy fields

As you walk along the path. To the left is the lake. To the right is the paddy fields. The lake is one of the grave which some are burried underwater.

This is also a Mass grave with victims without heads are burried.

The Killing Tree.

 This is the famous Killing Tree which I mentioned earlier. In those days, soldiers grabbed the babies and smashed their heads against it and tossed them into the pit. Its disturbingly sad.

The pit graves.

The Magic Tree

It is named the "Magic" Tree because the loudspeakers hung in the branches which broadcast the revolutionary songs across Choeung Ek. The music was to drawn out the screams of people being killed. This is also known as the last song victims ever heard.

Though not much to be seen here, with the helpful audio and stories told, I think its worth visiting Cambodia. Chilling history for us to know more about the Khmer. 

And everytime I looked back at there photos, it always give me sudden chill.


Vincent Quek said...

Again, wonderful piece, Sylvia. Like I said in one of my recent posts, it's impossible to talk about Cambodia without making some reference to the Khmer Rouge's brutal rule. Really tragic. Hope to see more posts from you, my friend.

s y l v i a said...

Haha, thanks again! Sure will but I have to wait after mid June after my piano exam :)

Vincent Quek said...

I eagerly await.