Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Killing Fields & S21 Genocide Museum

We paid $30 for 2 tuk tuks to drive us to the Killing Fields and the S21 Genocide Museum. We were charged $5 each entrance fee but that included a fantastic audio tape, that we all agreed was very informative and useful.

When you walk around here it is hard to even imagine the horror of what happened. The sun was shining, birds were tweeting and the whole area, especially around the lake seemed so peaceful.

No one spoke during the tour, instead we listened intently to the devastating 
account of the few survivors and a narrator explaining the torture and humiliation that thousands of innocent people experienced under the ruling of Pol Pot.

Below i have posted photos of the signs explaining what happened at the Killing Fields

 This is where hundreds of people were buried in shallow graves

 To this day you could still see teeth embedded in the ground here

 No words

Some of the victims clothing

After visiting the Killing Fields we went to the S21 Genocide Museum where the prisoners were held before being murdered at the Killing Fields. We were charged $2 entrance fee and were just in time to watch a documentary that is aired at 10am and 3pm daily. 

The hour long film was really interesting and had interviews from families that had lost loved ones during Pol Pots reign. There was also an interview with a survivor of the S21 and a prison guard, who openly talked about his job role at the prison and how he was responsible for killing 5 people.

 S21 used to be used as a school until it was turned into a prison

 Prisoners were crammed into these rooms and shackled at their ankles

 Just a few of the many victims

Some of the cells that victims were held in

 Victims were tortured here into confessing to crimes that they did not commit

Victims were tortured here by being hung upside down and dunked into the pots filled with water. This would make the victim feel as though they were drowning and so they would be forced to admit to crimes they never committed. 

Once the day drew to an end we all felt quite subdued and a little emotional. It really hits home what actually happened here and it's scary to think that all this occurred only 36yrs ago and without the knowledge of the rest of the world.
I found the day to be very educational, as during my time at school we had not been taught about any of the history surrounding Pol Pots reign and even before i had visited i had very little knowledge.


  1. Hi! I love this travel blog! I used to live in Cambodia from when I was 13-16 and when I was living there, they didn't open up the 2nd level and they still had the map of skulls displayed. I absolutely LOVE Cambodia. I hope you're having a great time! Have you gone to Russian Market yet?

    And did you visit Cu Chi tunnels when you were in Vietnam?? x

  2. Haha. Just read your last post, you did go to Russian Market.

  3. Hey thanks for the lovely comment :) I loved visiting Cambodia, i had such a great time and how awesome that you actually lived there!
    I didn't see the Cu Chi tunnels in Vietnam but i did visit the Vinh Moc Tunnels which were really interesting to see, def worth going to.