We hired a motorbike this morning and took a trip out to Choeung Ek to visit the killing fields. It’s 15km from central Phnom Penh and is well sign posted according to the trusty Lonely Planet.
Naturally, it didn’t quite work out like that…
To start with, we, well, technically I, missed a signpost and went left instead of going straight on, which took us on about an hour’s circular trip back to where we started, which was fun! The roads are orange dirt roads, so after bouncing down them at roaring speed I was suitably covered in orange dust!
Then Kelly had to be at the American embassy at 2pm, so we decided we didn’t have time. We went to the American embassy, Cambodian immigration, a payphone, and finally headed back in the afternoon.
Having already been to the museum, the actual fields was just that, a field with some holes. Knowing the story already and having seen the pictures and the movie, I didn’t feel seeing the field in the flesh was any different to the having seen the pictures.
However, as promised, some photos…
The monument is huge, to try and reflect the scale of the atrocity. On the shelves within it are over 8’000 human skulls, sorted by sex and age. Although somehow it wasn’t as striking a sight as I thought it would be. It does give you a very real sense of the scale of the genocide that went on though.
Overall, my memory of the day is the adventure getting there!