Today we visited the Killing Fields - Chueng Ek - and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum the former S21 office during the time of the Khmer Rouge (it had previously to that been a school). We had a tuk tuk with 2 people from Dundee from our guesthouse, who were very nice,
Our first stop was the killing fields, 15km out of the city. This is where the Khmer Rouge started executing people once S21 got too full. There is a huge memorial, full of skulls of the victims in the middle, it's very eerie. Nothing is left of the buildings that were there, but the mass graves, the largest containing 450 people all have shelters around them now. There are some areas where you can see fragments of bone through the soil and some clothing, it's horrible. There was a small museum and film there to which we looked at, giving information about the area. 15,000 people came from S21 to here. Often 300 would be executed in a day..
We then were taken to the prison, which just makes you feel horrible, the buildings are nasty and even though the sun was out it looked horrible. There were rooms for torture, with the items still inside, and cells 0.4 by 2m for victims, and detention rooms. Of all the thousands of people to pass through less than 12 survived, and this was because they could be of some use to the KR at the prison, painting or mending things. There were rooms full of mugshots if victims it was so sad to see so many and ones of children as well. There were photos of tortured people as well. Very sad. It's hard to imagine that people can be so evil and think to do these kind of terrors to their own people. The KR moved everyone out of the cities, got rid of money, closed schools, hospitals, banks etc and killed intellectuals, famous people and even foreigners, even members of their own party. Was quite a humbling experience to see.