Cambodia’s memorials

We spent five nights in Phnom Penh, mostly because we were waiting for our visas for Thailand (four days was the absolute quickest we could get them due to the King’s birthday, and we needed visas because our next stop was two months in Thailand). We had originally planned only three nights there, but we made the most of our longer visit, sightseeing at a slower pace and relaxing. On our first day there we visited the Tuong Sleng genocide museum, a former high school where the Khmer Rouge held prisoners during their reign of terror in 1975-79.  What can you say about a visit to a place where so many people were tortured?  Learning about the genocide in Cambodia isn’t what we would call a fun activity but it felt important to us to understand this dark period of history.  For the same reason,  later that week we visited the Killing Fields, where prisoners were taken to be executed – another moving and incomprehensible site, reminiscent of our visit to a concentration camp in Germany.

 

Some of the people who were executed
Some of the people who were executed

 

The grounds of Tuong Sleng
The grounds of Tuong Sleng

 

Cells where prisoners were kept
Cells where prisoners were kept

 

The rules at Tuong Sleng
The rules at Tuong Sleng

 

Memorial at the Killing Fields
Memorial at the Killing Fields

 

Inside the memorial
Inside the memorial

 

One of the many mass grave sites
One of the many mass grave sites

 

We also spent time visiting less heartbreaking sights, like Wat Phnom, the temple that the city is named after, and the beautiful Royal Palace (pictured above) where we were some of the only visitors.  Phnom Penh is definitely worth a visit, but probably didn’t need as long as we spent (although it did give us time to discover a gorgeous little cupcake shop…so maybe the extra time was okay!)

 

Steps up to Wat Phnom
Steps up to Wat Phnom

 

Inside Wat Phnom
Inside Wat Phnom

 

Bamboo snake outside the temple
Bamboo snake outside the temple

 

Stunning architecture
Stunning architecture

 

At the palace
At the palace

 

At the Royal Palace
At the Royal Palace

 

Phnom Penh by night
Phnom Penh by night

 

Bubble tea with a carry bag
Bubble tea with a carry bag

 

Mmmm cupcakes!
Mmmm cupcakes!

 

Such sweet deliciousness!
Such sweet deliciousness!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    Really interesting architecture. And cupcakes make everything better!

    Like

  2. Shona says:

    ohhh…Bubble tea… and in a carry bag!!! I wholeheartedly approve!

    Like

  3. Mum Bunn says:

    Such contrasting experiences in Phnom Penh. Understanding such a dark time seems very difficult, but important to try.

    Like

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