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Published: February 8th 2010
Had breakfast at our Guesthouse before setting off with a nice guy (who called himself Mr Bo) who was our Tuk Tuk driver for the day. He took us to the S21 Museum which was originally a high school but was turned in to a prision when the Khmer Rouge regime began in 1975. The Khmer Rouge, (a communist party led by Pol Pot), had won the civil war in 1975 and over the next 4 years they forced people living in the city to move to the countryside to work in horrific conditions. They wanted to eliminate suspected capatalists, so set up the prison to torture and execute people, especially if they were well educated or had links to foreign governments.
We watched a film detailing what had happened during the 4 years and it showed interviews of a few people who survived. We then walked the grounds, saw the cells, and looked at a cabinet of some of the weapons used for torture. It very upsetting looking at photos of thousands of victims which included children, women and the elderly. There was a wooden frame they used to hang people from and to dip them in pots of filthy
water and fertiliser. Our eyes welled with tears on numerous occasions reading the real life stories and seeing pictures of the scenes inside the prison. It has been estimated about 20,000 people had suffered here.
Mr Bo took us to the Killing Fields where thousands of people were taken in trucks to be executed and dumped in mass graves. We saw a glass cabinet filled with skulls they'd found. It was a really subdued journey home.
Paid $6 to use the pool at Phnom Penh Hotel which is a massive hotel complex with a number of A La Carte Restaurants, beauty salons and shops. Went out for dinner that evening at a place not far from home, and fed some of my chicken enchilada's to a really tiny kitten. El attempted to upload photos on to Facebook which took her two hours... only to say "Upload Failed". She returned to the room with a family size bag of crisps and a bounty for us to cheer herself up.
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