Are you ready to spend an afternoon being bummed out about Genocide?
Visiting the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh, Cambodia will definitely do that to you.
The Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields are 2 sites from the Cambodian genocide that took place between 1975 – 1979.
Both sites are very informative and interesting.
They’re also a good way to understand some history of Cambodia.
But they’re definitely gonna suck the joy out of you.
My tip of advice is to see both sites on the same day and then afterwards go find a puppy to play with.
I was surprised by how many backpackers I met in Cambodia that had no idea about the genocide.
Dark tourism is something I’m kind of into, so I already knew what to expect from these sites.
But what I didn’t know were the costs or the time it would take.
So I documented both while visiting these sites by tuk tuk.
Mad Monkey Hostel to S21.
I waved down a tuk tuk out front of Mad Monkey at 9:32 am.
S21 admission costs $5 and the Audio Guide is an additional $3.
The audio guide really helps bring the museum to life.
Without it your visit would kind of be pointless.
Not to mention, over rather quickly.
Although the museum is small there’s a lot of information given.
One room might have up to 6 different listening spots to stop at.
The info from this audio guide is also helpful for when you’re visiting the Killing Fields.
S21 to The Killing Fields.
At 11:55 am I finished at S21 and my tuk tuk driver and I were off to the Killing Fields.
The Choeung Ek Killing Fields are 15 km away and it takes about 40 minutes to get to.
From S21 the price was $8.50.
At 12:35 pm we arrived at the Killing Fields.
Admission with Audio Guide costs $3.
From a distance this site doesn’t look too bad.
There’s a nice looking stupa near the entrance and green grassy fields all around.
But once you listen to your headset you realize some horrendous shit happened here.
That nice looking stupa is full of human skulls.
And the green grassy fields are mass graves.
When you’re walking around don’t be surprised if you find small bones in the dirt.
Some pieces of bones still rise to the surface after really strong rainstorms.
The Killing Fields to Mad Monkey.
I finished the fields at 1:45 pm.
And for $9 I was back to Mad Monkey before 2:30 pm.
If you plan to visit both of these sites on the same day I recommend the S21 Museum first.
It gives more explanation to how and why everything happened.
The stories and details are also more in-depth.
Time and Cost.
I don’t bargain too much but I know I could’ve gotten the round trip ride for $15 instead of $19.10.
But my driver waited in the heat at each site and I was seeing some horrible history of his people.
So I figured the least I could do was avoid haggling over a couple of bucks.
Might be sad but they’re worth seeing.
If these sites weren’t heartbreaking enough you can watch “First They Killed My Father” on Netflix.
It’s the true story(based on the book) about a girl’s life during the Cambodian genocide.
It’s quite possibly one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen.
Have you ever been to Cambodia?
Was visiting the Killing Fields and Genocide Museum on your list of things to do?
Let me know in the comments below.
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