Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trip to Phnom Penh - Part 2

On the second day we got up early, had a good breakfast and made a beeline for the tut-tuts parked just outside the hotel. After fighting off the advances of the riders, we singled out the one who spoke the best English. We asked to rent it for the whole day. After the customary haggling, we settled at ‘suenty dollah’.

First stop: The killing fields at Cheung Ek. The place was frozen in time since the late seventies. The atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge are preserved and labeled for visitors and served as a reminder. Depressions in the field are where mass graves are located. Gruesome skulls are exhibited in the solitary memorial in the center of the field. Incidents of what happened are narrated on hand-written boards. The atmosphere is so sullen and solemn…. We stayed there for a couple of hours to soak in the history, even though it was a bit much to stomach.

Next stop: The Genocide Museum. This is almost a sequel to the killing fields. A bit more graphic, with photos, torture instruments, paintings. I’m sure the blood stains in the three school blocks are not completely washed off. We stayed there for another couple of hours and took almost all the photos of the victims and crazy torture implements.

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