Today we went to the killing fields in Phnom Penh. I thought that it was where there was a battle perhaps if I had read the tour information rather than just looking at the pictures we would have realised this wasn't the case. Turned out in the morning we were taking a trip to Toung Sleng Prison known as S21. We weren’t to keen to go to a prison, but its where they lock criminals up right? Not this prison. Basically the prison was made from a high school in 1975 as part of the Poi pet regieme Poi Pet was the prime minister who was communist and he thought that if he got rid of all the intelligent people and their children then nobody would be able to over throw him from being the prime minister. So he trained young teenagers and brain washed them into being really cruel guards who worked in the prisons. He then took people like lawyers, nurses, doctors and teachers to the prisons but promised them that they were going to a new village for a better job
. At the prison there was a set of rules that the victims who were being accused as Spys had to obey. Basically they had to admit that they were a spy, or from the CIA etc even though they weren’t and then they would torture them for no reason by pulling out their finger nails and locking them to a bed in a really small cell. If the prisoners made noise or moved they would beat them or hit them with electric wire it was awful. The rooms balconies were covered in barbed wire so they couldn’t jump and kill themselves. Some of the rooms still, had blood on the celing and there were hundreds of pictures of all the victims and even babies. When they were really starved and weak they would then take them to the killing fields where they would kill them by hitting them on the head and the children they would hit against a tree. When they killed the people they played really loud music from a speaker attached to a tree so the people in the villages around would think that they were having a party and would be jealous that they weren’t invited. We felt really sick it was disgusting. After the Prison we then went to Cheong Ek where the massive graves were. There was a big memorial there full of skulls of all the people. There were even still clothes from the people on the ground and some bones poking up through the soil. Poi Pet died in 1998 in the jungle but four of the other people who assisted him were trialled in a special court and were convicted in 2007 for unbelievably only 35 years one of the men, Duch was the head of the prison and he was the only person who showed some remorse for all the people that were killed
. However the teenage guards who were brainwashed some died but the rest just went back to their villages. After this rather disturbing morning we then went to the Grand palace which was beautiful lots of gold and red similar to Thailand. There was also an emerald Budda in the temple and a gold statue of Budda encrusted with lots of diamonds. After this we went on a cycling tour round the city which was great. It was like a chair with a bike attached we sat in the chair and the Cambodian man cycled the bike round the city for us was really fun we got some photos of a temple, monuments and the national museum. We then stopped at a stand that sold tarantulas, snakes and beetles was gross! After the tour we then went to have some drinks and watch the sunset but was quite cloudy. Whilst we were there Adam ate one of the tarantulas yuck I almost threw up was so gross. We then just had dinner where the restaurant supported children who had been on the street and then went back to the hotel as we have to be up at 7.00 tomorrow to go to Shiankoville in the south of Cambodia yay, beach and BBQ time!
Sabina and Chris xx