Killing Fields

Trip Start Dec 26, 2010
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Trip End Feb 03, 2011


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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another late start at 10am for a beef noodle soup breakfast across the street from Lucky Ro. Not before the tuktuk drivers had a go at me, and one of them won my ride to Choeung Ek Killing Fields site, some 20 km away from the city. Passing long roads lined with light industrial shops and "massage" palours, the dirt roads leading to Choeung Ek site were often choked in dust clouds as we trailed behind fast moving trucks. At times like these, my recently bought tamar (khmer scarve) from Siem Reap was a blessing. It served its dual functions of face protector from dust and also to use for wiping off sweat.
 
Choeung Ek Killing Fields itself was not an attraction as such. A mass burial ground where murdered Cambodians were mercilessly bludgeoned and thrown into unmarked graves, by the thousands. A memorial tower housed most of the skulls uncovered from these mass graves - evidence of grotesquely serious crimes against humanity by The Khmer Rouge. Til this day, only one Khmer Rouge leader was ever convicted of these atrocities and was sentenced to only 30 years imprisonment by a UN court. Pol Pot died without ever being trialled and brought to justice. Three other Khmer Rouge leaders are currently detained for trials. All pleaded innocent, as usual. The exhibition and video presentation of the Khmer Rouge crimes are not to be missed, if you visit Choeung Ek. 
 
My return to the city was a slow fascinating ride capturing the daily happenings of the urban Cambodian lifestyle from the outskirts to the city. Like - a two seater motor scooter can fit five passengers - four adults on the seat and a toddler holding precariously on the scooter head. And if they could juggle six bound live chickens with one hand and their shopping with the other, they would.
 
Finally made it to the Royal Palace at 3pm. The exhorbitant US$6.25 adult entry ticket was definitely a rip off. I sure was not impressed especially after having been to Siem Reap's ancient ruins. Most of the palace premises were out of bounds anyway. As you may have already guessed, the night was spent bar hopping again.
 
Back at my room, I caught sight of a quick little mouse up the pipe and disappeared into a tiny hole in the false ceiling when I opened the toilet door. It could not be Little Ro, maybe his wife or possibly his kid. So..thats where Little Ro came from originally...   
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