Started the day by having a heavy breakfast at the Mamak Corner at St 114 (Sangkat Phsar Thmei), very near to Central Market. Pagi-pagi dah exercise by walking down to the restaurant all the way from our guest house. We had nasi lemak hoping that it will last till afternoon.
Right after that, we walked around Phsar Thmei (Central Market) area talking, explaining and bargaining on the Tuk Tuk service. As mentioned, it will be more easier communicating way back in Siem Reap compared in Phnom Penh even though it’s the capital city of Cambodia. Maybe, peoples in Siem Reap are prone to tourist and well verse in English. They always thought that both of us are Khmer’s and local. Skin colour sama dah kot. We managed to secure a Tuk Tuk from an old guy with the price of USD 12 from Phsar Thmei – Choeung Ek Killing Field – Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – National Museum – Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda – Phsar Thmei. We couldn’t confirmed whether this is a normal rate charged by them but as far as we’re concern, this is the cheapest price that we could get while walking from one end to another end of the road by asking around. Couldn’t bargain more.
As mentioned, our 1st destination was the Choeung Ek Killing Field. It’s situated 17km away to the southern of Phnom Penh. These are one of the killing fields here which is safe and it’s open to public. The entrance fees are USD 5. We were suprised where as mentioned in the internet that ticket price is only USD 2. The personnel explained that the price increased for the past 3 months since they are now offering the audio tour with 12 languages to choose from. I choose English meanwhile hubby go for Bahasa Melayu. It was such a good audio tour with full of information.
Please choose your language for the audio tour.
You can see signages (with numbering) which it’s match with your audio tour. Not to forget, it comes with a real story on confession by the victims itself (original audio recorded), the chief of killing field Duch and Khmer local music that has been put on play during the killing session. As for me, it was such a powerful experience. My tears drop once I hear to the first plot of the audio tour. While writing this, i still feel sad and the 1st phrase on the audio tour (once you press the PLAY button) keep playing in my mind was “Here, you’ll learn and experience what Cambodia people did to their own peoples”. I cried! I do think that during Pol Pot life, he did not learn and discover this phrase of ” It’s easy to forgive, but it ain’t easy to forget”. He killed almost 1.7million of Cambodians and mass graves containing 8k+ bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime.
It used to be a cemetery praying area here. But Khmer Rouge converted it to a place to store the chemical substance.
These are the palm tree used to torture the victims by putting is through their mouth and throat. We couldn’t imagined further.
One of the area at the Killing Field. Here, you can sit by the bench and hear to the original track on the confession by the Khmer Rouge and what the victims had experienced.
The left underground rags of victims clothes could be seen after raining. You could actually see bones and teeth fragment if you go closely.
The praying charms and bracelet at one of the mass graves.
Killing tree specially for children. Mengucap panjang kat sini.
We then proceeded to the museum. Spent almost an hour where there’s a video show there. They even had the full attire wore by the Khmer Rouge and others. You basically could get all the information of the Khmer Rouge Regime here.
Duch, the only top leader from the Khmer Rouge who are still alive. He was formally charged war crime and crimes against humanity. He was the main person (top leader) behind the notorious Tuol Sleng Prison.
After such a powerful experience, we then traveled back to city center area to continue with the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. At 1st, we couldn’t imagine what we’re gonna experience later. I show hubby on the basic facts of the place. We’re very much understood that this is the place where the prisoners been stationed, interrogated and tortured before been send to the killing fields. It is also known as the S-21 Prison.
Empty bench, just as the building.
One of the room at the prison.
The corridor. If you’re such an observer, you could spot blood stains on the floor everywhere. For real!
We spotted scratches (maybe by nails of the victims) on the wall. Fuhh! Goosebumps.
Pole used by the students to conduct exercise. Did we mentioned that the building was previously a school. During the regime, this pole are used to dip prisoner heads till they get unconscious.
One of the last 5 victims who are still alive. He even showed us his cell.
The exhibition hall.
The overall view of the entrance.
No more such an emotionally visit. Gonna headed to National Museum. Basically, we didn’t entered the museum. Just to appreciate the building exterior (the structure and architecture concept). But we did spotted a few subject there, monk and row of Tuk Tuk just in front of the National Museum. Just for your information, the entrance ticket is USD 3. If we’re not mistaken, there’s an art street just in front of the museum. Buddha statues, painting and other art crafts can be easily seen here.
Available Tuk Tuk.
Last destination with the Tuk Tuk that we rent was The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda (King’s Place). Unfortunately, as mentioned by local, the King’s Palace is currently close maybe for some renovation works.This place still serve as a resident to the highly respected Royal Family and His Majesty the King Norodom Sihakmony. Betul-betul takder rezeki nampaknya. Just not our luck. We spent a few minutes camwhoring in front of the palace.
To end the journey, the Tuk Tuk driver sent us directly to Phsar Thmei. Since we are there, we quickly make a plan to get our late lunch at Cafe Malaysia very near to Phsar Thmei. Luckily, they still served their buffet lunch. Alhamdulillah.
Gonna continue with the visit to the market at Phnom Penh on our 2nd and 3rd day here!
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma