As stated before in my post on my top 5 places to visit in South East Asia Phnom Penh was an extremely memorable location for because of the emotional experiences it had to offer. As somebody who has travelled through South East Asia I strongly suggest anyone planning to travel in this area in the future visits here. Here is why.
- The Killing Fields are part of an important part of Cambodia’s recent history, The Civil War. The killing fields are an extremely emotional experience where people and babies were tortured in many different ways. One of the most famous ways of torture here was The Killing Tree, which was used to torture babies. They were thrown in the air, and their heads bashed against the tree before been thrown into a whole in the ground. The Killing fields now offers an opportunity for people to walk around the fields, amongst the hundreds of holes in the ground, and the millions of bones scattered around. There is also a memorial here filled with skulls and bones from bottom to top where people pay their respects.
2. s21 Prison Phnom Penh is – as it says – a prison in an old school where they kept their innocent victims. Here they kept people chained up in small spaces and starved them to death. They had torture rooms here where they tortured people until they admitted to crime they did not commit. The people who died here were said to have died of natural causes but the hundreds of pictures of them show otherwise, and speak for them selves.
3. Finally there is the emotional experience of the city Phnom Penh its self. Here I saw homeless people with limbs missing picking up rubbish to recycle, in return for an extremely small amount of money. After eating a meal, my heart broke when children came up to me and asked to eat my left overs. And I saw a young girl around the age of four be slapped around the face by her father for wetting her self.
This all sounds very doom and gloom but it is important to understand Cambodia’s history as it was only about 30 years ago and still affects them today. I also think it would teach anyone a valuable life lesson, as it should put into perspective how good a lot of us have it. I thought, before visiting these places, that this was not going to interest me but I am so thankful to the people who suggested we go there as it is an experience I will never forget.