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Tour and See the World! Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

This post is a bit morbid because it's on a serious topic, so take note and take care!

I also visited the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to learn about the destruction caused by Pol Pot's regime when they ruled Cambodia with an iron fist. Tuol Sleng was also known as S21 prison, and was a concentration camp in which Pol Pot, the communist dictator of Cambodia, interrogated his political opponents and bludgeoned many of them to death in the killing fields near the concentration camp. It is a tourist attraction today, with various exhibits on the instruments of torture and interrogation. Yes, I told you it would be a morbid topic - but one that is integral to Cambodia's history. 

In many ways, it could be said that Cambodia with its natural resources and rich lands, teeming with people and bounty, is backward today partly because of the destruction caused by Pol Pot's despotic leadership. However, I think that it's important to learn the history of a country and musuems are a great way of doing so. Take note that Tuol Sleng, the S21 concentration camp, is not for the faint of heart - as it is a really gruesome and horrific place to visit, but very, very educational. Many Western visitors (I counted many French people there! After all, formerly the French controlled Indochina (Indochine)) visit Tuol Sleng to learn about this part of Cambodia's past. 

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodia

The Stupa, a Buddhist structure, at the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I learnt how to use captions, so there they are - hope these captions work! Anyways, I also visited the Killing Fields, located near Tuol Sleng genocide museum, and it was a very interesting journey. The stupa you see in the picture contains skulls that are piled high up to the ceiling. There were many victims and ... it was quite scary to visit. The tour guide mentioned that Pol Pot killed 3 million people during his reign of terror, and these are the remains that the Cambodians and the international community could find. There were many others, whose skulls weren't found, and whose remains are lost forever. A very sobering and morbid place to visit indeed - but definitely worth a visit to learn about Cambodia's dark past. I must say that I did a lot of reflecting during the visit! 

There will be happier and more positive posts to come on nicer, happier, and livelier places to visit - coming soon! Thanks for reading and learning about Cambodia's past here on my travel blog. 

Tour and See the World!

Tour and See the World! Prey Angkungh in Prey Veng, Cambodia

I visited Prey Angkungh in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, on an overseas outreach programme, to lead a team of 27 to build toilets and well facilities in the small, remote, and very poor Cambodian village which lacked basic facilities. In a way it made me reflect on how lucky I am to be in Singapore, and in a developed country where we take many basic necessities for granted, like running water and electricity. [On a slightly different note, as I've not blogged for a long time here on Tour and See the World, I now see that Blogger has a different format and that I can't place the text underneath the pictures, so I'll have a chunk of text describing my experiences, and then the pictures below then. Sorry about that - I'm a Luddite, whoops!] 

The village is very pretty and Cambodia in general is a very beautiful and interesting country. To get to Prey Angkungh, we had to fly from Singapore to Phnom Penh, and then take a long two hour bus ride, cross a river on a ferry, and then take another one hour bus ride to Prey Veng, the eponymously named capital of the province. It was an interesting journey, but let me show you some nice pictures from my travels in Prey Angkungh - in the village we stayed, so you can see Prey Angkungh through my eyes! :)

The last picture is of a village kid, which I call Loki, standing in the middle of the Cambodian rice fields of Prey Veng. I really love that kid as he's so cute and funny - and his innocence and happy expression made me feel comfortable, just like I was home! More pictures to come from my travels in Cambodia, showing Phnom Penh and other areas! Stay here with me on Tour and See the World!

Tour and see the world!