Category: Phnom Penh


Killing Fields

At 1:30 we went to the killing fields. I wanted to throw up at one point. Our guide was Lucky. I found a bit hard to understand. Facts: Pol Pot = Political Potential, in power for 3 years, 8 months and 20 days then supported after because he was anticommunist. 1.75 million people were killed in killed fields and there are over 300 fields. 3.3 million died total because of starvation and overworking. His name is Lucky because he was born after Pol Pot said to remove the roots with the grass. People put money and bracelets there to help the souls move on as Cambodians are typically cremated and these were not. Some were killed via palm sticks as they wanted to conserve bullets. They played music so people didn’t hear others getting hit as they were in line (they were blindfolded). Baby’s heads were bashed on a tree while the mothers watched. Whenever a skull is found it is put into a glass case at the front. I’ve no idea how many there were.

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Next was the museum. No smiling allowed here (and a sign saying so). Some rooms were quite large but they were for people being presently interrogated and tortured. They were tied to the bed and had a box in the room to poop in. If the poop got outside the box they had to lick it up. There is a photo of a torturer and tortured smiling together. Most people believe in karma, so most torturers and murders are free, while Cambodians think they will get what’s coming to them. This makes Lucky uncomfortable to talk to anyone over 50, as if they are alive, they probably murdered someone. Next we saw the list of rules which was translated by one of 7 survivors. Basically no questions and speak when spoke to. There are 14 white coffins for people who were found dead after the regime collapsed. They had been left to rot in their cells. They used an old jungle gym (as the prison used to be a school) to string people up to wake them when they passed out from torture. Name tags evolved overtime to the last having date of execution on it. The guards were between 14-25. Some whole families were killed.

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We saw some vampire bats outside.

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The last part were could not take photos and had the small cells which I think were smaller than Buchenwald. Where the floor is black, there was blood. The last building had paintings made by survivors which made me ill again. Showed the torture, like pulling out finger nails, twisting off nipples, stretching…

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Got in at 6:30-7:00 and went to dinner at 7:30. Beds are hard and the showers are super slippery. Dinner of noodles which had a sticky sauce making me take a long time to eat and lime soda for 5.00USD. Walked to another bar and came back at midnight or so. Sit showed us fried spider and the egg with the duck inside.

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Woke at 8 to go to the palace to take pictures before my cooking class (never happened). Got into a fight with a tuk tuk driver who didn’t understand no. The palace is beautiful from the outside. No one was allowed in at the time because of the protests going on.

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10:30-1:00 we went to central market which was like a standard market but they sucked at haggling. I said 5 for glasses, they said okay. We walked past the protests going to and from the hotel to central market, where some police said ‘welcome to Cambodia’ while laughing.

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We then went to the Killing Fields.

Dinner at a rooftop bar. Drinks were expensive—i.e. more than 1USD—so I just had my water and tofu for 4USD. I kept getting attacked by little green jumping bugs, and was really excited for the next time of eating inside.