We were all dreading this day!!
The day started better than the previous, i.e we weren't thrown out of our guest house, and we got breakfast without an other incident other than the owners of Oh my Buddha laughing at us for having come back for yet another meal.
However our reasoning for dreading this day, is the main reason people come to Phnom Penh. We were to see the Killing Fields and S21, if this means nothing to you, then I shall explain. In the mid to late 70's Kampuchea (Cambodia) was run by the extremeist Socialist leader Pol Pot, who having taken power of the country through revolution against a government lead by Lol Nol, which was allowing the Americans (Nixons America) to bomb the rural area of Cambodia in which they thought the Viet Cong from Vietnam were hiding, decided that he would take Communism to a new level. We are talking Nazi levels, we wanted the entire population to be at the same level, and that level should be uneducated, preferably of rural background, and other specifics. He killed Thousands of people in the 'Killing Fields' having tortured them at prisons such as 'S21' which was the biggest in the country.
We were all in a good mood on the way to the killing fields, a fair way outside of town, but that would soon change when we got there. The first thing inside the gates is a pagoda filled with a glass case of 8 or so levels high filled with skulls!!! We took photos, but allwondered why, in the end realising that it was to show other the horrors that happened here!! There were numerous mass graves, labelled with what was found within them, such as headless women, or toddlers. This is the type of place to bring anyone down to earth, or if your me to fester hate, I feel the same when ever I see things of this sort. However this sight pushed me further I felt sick and very nearly fainted, someting I've only done once in my life, when I was given a blow to the head by someones tooth!!!
S21 was a former high school converted in to a concentration camp/prison the old class room were turned into prisons some with one bed in the centre with shackles and torture instruments, others were seperated into about 8 seperate cells with brick or wood, I'm told the wood ones were the most haunting, however by the time it came to look at them I couldn't take anymore. This was mainly bought around by the three or four rooms filled with the mug shots of the prisons that went through this prison. Photos and biogrophies were made of every prisoner. These biographies could be completely false to create a reason for imprisonment. There were also gallows at the high school, they had previously been where the school boys had exercised!!!
Truely descussed with man kind we returned to lake side with very few words.
That night I spoke to my dad and sister for the first time since leaving have found the wonders of Skype (internet telephone). We also ate dinner at the Flying Elephant restaurant/bar, which although not this night, but another would become very important in how the next three weeks of our trip would plan out!!!