Trip Start Oct 04, 2010
20Trip End Dec 03, 2010
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Where I stayed
Sweet Home Guest House
After a nice shower we got up weary eyed to have a long wait for breakfast although was lush, pancake with fruit;yummy!!! We got a tuc tuc from outside our hostel who are alwasy keen to help you plan your day, normally to the furtherst away place. He offered his price of $15 to take us firstloy to the bus staion to sort out our onwards ticket to Siem Reap the following day but also take us to the kIlling fields, wait and then return back to the hostel. We thought this was a good deal, but think now he may have made a tidy profit. Oh well his tuc tuc needed a revamp as it was on the wonk the whole way there and he kept checking the tyres....maybe we are putting on weight instead of losing it....
Our stomachs full we left sorted our tickets very smoothly and went onto the killing fields about half an hour away through little villages, shops and swamp land to either side of us. I like this type of travel as you can see, hear and litterally smell all everything!!! Apart from the ddust it is a great way to travel!
Paying $2 each we entered the Killing Fields. I was slightly clued into what to expect from this genocide museum as i'd read the killing fields book and done a little background reading in the lonely planet, but it somehow doesn't prepare you for the atrocities that went on at the hand of the Khmer Rouge. Reading the information in part of the museum Pol Pot the instigator and leader of the communist party is now dead, died in his house under house arrest not so long ago. The other senior leaders went on trial for what they had been a part of and only one admitted that he was a part of what happened; apologising for allowing such things to happen....this man was actually the general in charge of the execution camp.
The crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 and 1978 about 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at a Security Prison were brought to this extermination camp where they were often bludgeoned to death blindfolded and most of the time naked at the edge of a deep hole to save bullets. The remains of 8985 people who had been bound and blindfolded were exhumed in 1980 from the mass graves. 43 of the 129 graves have been left untouched here, and you can see bits of clothing coming up from the ground. Babies were even killed during this time buy being held by their feet and battered against tree trunks
When walking around the grounds we saw lots of deep pits covered in grass now, some of which were fenced off and marked with a board saying how many bodies were found but the others still graves were there also. We went past cases that were full of different kinds of bones and the remains of clothes that are still coming to the surface to this day from the flooding. Some clothes were even coming up through the soil on the path that we were walking on.
The guards even played music from what they called the magical tree so that the prsioners that were held there did not hear of their fate. More than 8,000 skulls all arranged by sex and age are visible behind clear glass of the memorial. Seeing the amount of skulls was just a taste of what the Khmer Rouge had actually done and a testament so that the people will never forget its past.It is interesting to see such a past to a country but also terrible to think that something like this could happen.
After such a moving place we were ready for a little more light....so we decided to go to the Palace and the Silver Pagoda which were just down the road from our hostel. Michael was back at the hostel and decided to come to
the silevr pagodfa was slightly disappointing as the floor is covered with silver tiles which shine in the light, unfortunately this was covered in carpet and lots of artifacts of the royal family put inside for you to have a look at, only a small portion at the door was able to be seen.
We got into a tac tuc and went to Michaels choice of the day The City's Dump. This was where all of the rubbish went to but also most of the poorer families lived, plus a centre for gabbage children. It was pretty much as i expected it, but we saw other westerners there; it was a tourist attraction and some local men were making money from being our guide/protector around the dump!! After a short while there and taking various photos we headed back to our tuc tuc. Probably the most random attraction that i will go to on this trip, but quite interesting as well to see the different families and how they lived.
Back at the hostel at dusk we arranged our hostel for Siem Reap (getting pretty good at planning ahead now) and then went out to dinner at an amazing indian restaurant...it was so good!!
At the market (which was huge) there was so much to look at... i was in my element! Although we had only got 1 hour there we didn't really have that much time. I obviously bought some more little bracelets and a longer top to go to the temples in. We vleft from our hostel at 12.15 ish and got transported to our bigger bus for the 6 hour journey to Siem Reap.