Perhaps nowhere in the world can make tourists both heartbreaking, sympathetic and scared as Choeung Ek Killing Fields in Phnom Penh. It is the witness of the atrocities in the 20th century. Choeung Ek Killing Fields gives visitors the most real and painful glimpse about the horrifying things that took place in Cambodia in Pol Pot period.

The memorial stupa of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The memorial stupa of the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

From the capital Phnom Penh approximately 15 km and takes about 30 minutes driving, Choeung Ek Killing Fields is one of the historic destinations which attract tourists most in Cambodia. This is the place where Pol Pot used to massacre collectively Cambodians. Later, the site was renamed The Killing Fields. The genocidal Khmer Rouge of Pol Pot killed tens of thousands of their own people with the most cruel and inhumane way. According to historical documents, in this field Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge soldiers killed 1.7 million Cambodians under the Genocide Program.

Buddha tree in Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Buddha tree in Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Anyone going into the Killing Fields feels suffocated when seeing directly the mass graves, some are anonymous but many have titles like “the grave of 100 infants and mothers”, ” the grave of the 450 dead bodies”, “the grave of the 166 headless people”, “the grave of 87 armless and legless people”…

Be allowed freely to visit, but when walking through the bone areas or the mass graves, almost none of tourists dares to go faster because under their foot there are opencast human bones, look very chilling. After heavy rainfalls, white bones emerge the ground.

A small altar in Choeung Ek Killing Fields

A small altar in Choeung Ek Killing Fields

In the middle of The Killing Field, there is a memorial where about 8,000 skulls are contained. Some of them have left the marks of the brutal torture because if you look carefully, you will see the crevices, grooves running along the skulls. This is the evidence of the blows with an ax, knife and stick on the victim’s head. This is the cruel method of killing that Pol Pot applied just to save ammunition, did not want to spend too much on massacring people. For children, they kill kids with an extremely brutal and inhumane: beating kids into the trunk to death.

Besides, the instruments that Khmer Rouge used to torture the innocent people as ax, knife, stick… also have stored in this memorial.

After visiting the Killing Fields, many tourists even did not hold the tears and had a choked feeling.