Killing fields (Choeung Ek)

As the title suggests, this is a pretty grim place. It literally is a field that was used to kill people.

Being one of the main tourist attractions in Cambodia, we felt that we should go along.

Before going to Cambodia, a few other backpackers had suggested going by yourself instead of by an organised tour. As there is no proper public transport, you have to hire a tuk tuk driver who takes you there, waits for the you and brings you back.

We failed to agree a price with the first few drivers but eventually got a guy would pick us up at our accommodation.

Upon entering, you are given an audio guide. The area actually looks quite nice & peaceful but that feeling quickly disappears when you start listening to the guide.


You are show various horrific places and told of various things that happened in the killing fields.

There is one tree which had loud speakers on it. The speakers played music and this done to drown out the screams of people who were beaten to death or beaten and buried alive.

Most of this was done at night time and while the victims were blindfolded. You might have noticed that I mentoned people being beaten to death, that was because it cost less to do that than it did to buy bullets.

Whole families (babies included) were murdered as the Khmer Rouge didn’t want to run the risk of a family member taking revenge for what happened to a relative.

As you walk round the site with your audio guide, you are shown various ditches, most of which were mass graves. Some tree roots have old rags wrapped round them, this is clothes that the victims were buried in. Over time, flooding has caused clothes and bone fragments to surface.

I could go on but I think anyone reading will get the point that this is a thoroughly horrendous place – yet I would recommend it anyone to visit.

Due to the number of victims, the names and personal information are not available so a stupa has been built as a memorial to the victims. It’s several levels high (9 or 13 I think) and filled with skulls & bones of the victims.


Categories: Cambodia - Phnom Penh | Leave a comment

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