This is another horrific place. There are number of killing Fields in Cambodia. The Phnom Penh killing Fields is one of the biggest.these are the sites where collectively more than 1 million people were killed brutally and burried by the Khmer Rouge regime during 1975-1979. The audio tour is a must.
The Killing Fields will make you cry
Through my lens, let's take a walk through these fields and see what really happened.
Killing Fields were the multiple sites in Cambodia where people were executed by Khmer Rouge. One such site is Killing Fields of Choeung Ek near Phnom Penh. The original sheds/building on the site have been destroyed. Today it is pretty much a large open field with a memorial. Entrance fee is USD 6 including an audio guide. Different sections are well sign posted and the audio guide provides chilling account of the techniques used by KR to execute men, women and children. These sites used to be surrounded by farms, and utmost care was taken to maintain secrecy of what was going on at the Killing Fields. Blind-folded prisoners where brought here in truck loads, with no idea of what was to happen. At night, a loud speaker would play patriotic songs loudly so that screams of those executed could not be heard. KR believed in bludgeoning them with iron rods, axes, rocks rather than wasting a bullet.It is estimated that one in four Cambodians (2-2.5 million) died during Khmer Rouge. Those from other ethnicity, religion, intellectuals, artists, those seen as anti-establishment and their entire families were systematically executed. Almost every household suffered a loss. My own guide in Siem Reap lost his father and two brothers during KR.I exited the Killing Fields around 12 noon, and since there was still time for lunch, decided to make a short trip to Central Market. This is the most popular tourist market in Phnom Penh . It is a covered market in city centre with a wide assortment of clothes, footwear, jewelry, paintings, food items, electronics and souvenirs. The stuff didn't much seem much different from that in Vietnam. After spending just an hour there I headed back to my hotel.Another popular market in Phnom Penh is the Russian Market. I decided to skip it as advised by the Swiss traveller. As per him it has the same stuff as Central Market, slightly cheaper but theres too much haggling, poorer quality and overall not so good shopping experience. Some travel guides do recommend this market, so if you have time and inclination you may want to take a look.After lunch, I visited the two Wats - Wat Phnom and Wat Ounalom. I skipped going inside National Museum - apparently most of the artifacts relate to the Angkor Empire and since I was going to visit Siem Reap I was advised not to go inside. Evening was spent strolling around Sisowath Quoy and later sat in a pub watching the crowds go by.I felt Phnom Penh is worth visiting only for Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields. Both give you an understanding of the brutal history of Khmer Rouge. Considering the large scale genocide and that too so recent, it is amazing that the world knows so less about it.Day 13: Travel to Siem Reap
These were not what I expected, but were still a deeply moving experience. Most of the fields are a park (and former Chinese cemetery) where the bones have been moved into the memorial in the center. That said you still see fragments of bones, teeth and clothing in certain areas after heavy rain.