Visiting the Choeng Ek Genocidal Center in Phnom Penh is heart - breaking but I have no regrets because this is part of Cambodia's history. This is one of the most well known killing fields all throughout the country which is about 300+ of this kind. I saw thousands of human skulls displayed along with old and torn dresses inside a walled glass. It is estimated that over millions of innocent people were accused of spying from CIA, interrogated and tortured in the most brutal way.
You're not gonna wish to live during the Khmer Regime led by Pol Pot, I tell you. Choeng Ek Genocidal Center is a testament that will show you the most barbarous, cruel crime committed by the Ultra Communist Khmer Rouge Regime during 1975-1979. About 20,000 people which is a mixture of locals and foreigners.
There are also claims that the total number of human skulls reached to 8,000+. That is why they built a stuppa in order to remember the spirits of the victims in this site and the other 3 millions around the country.
For $6 entrance fee including an audio tour, you will be guided by a voice of man narrating the most devastating story in Democratic Kampuchea, now called as Cambodia.
It starts with the introduction of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge march in Phnom Penh 17th of March, 1975. It also tells about Him Huy, a Khmer Rouge guard and executioner. Then it tells about the dark and gloomy detention where the victim were kept.
The one that really gave me so much goosebumps are the killing tools storage room. Since that time guns and bullets are expensive they used the simplest tools but please don't let me start talking about it, it is so gross you will just stop me from doing so.
When rains happen most of the time, small body fragments show up from under the soils like bones and teeth. If you happen to find one, please don't step on it. Just say a little prayer and let one of the caretakers know about it.
There are also survivor stories shared though this is just a small fraction from the ones who didn't survive. You will hear a story about the loss of an infant, witness to a killing, rape, escapes to America then returns for vengeance.
What would you feel about 166 victims found without head? How about the fact that the persons behind these were even allowed to represent Cambodia before the United Nations?
Now it's payback time. You will hear the voice of the former prison director Duch at Choeng Ek Genocidal Center confess. If you have a family who died here, will you forgive him?
This is a memorial site. You are requested to dress modestly, speak quietly and no smoking.
Address: Roluos Village, Sangkat Choeung Ek, Khan Dangkor, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel num: 855 23 305 371