On day 24 of our trip, we’ll be taking a guided tour of Tuol Sleng Museum (S-21 Prison) and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields), learning about Cambodia’s tragic history. After that, we’ll have the option to visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum, or the Central Market.
First on our list is Tuol Sleng Museum, once a high school turned into a prison by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror in the late 1970s. The museum serves as a reminder of the atrocities that the Cambodian people suffered during the Khmer Rouge regime. We’ll be able to see the cells where prisoners were kept, photographs of victims, and even instruments of torture. The museum is both chilling and emotional, but it is essential to visit if we want to learn about the country’s history.
Next, we’ll be taken to Choeung Ek, also known as the Killing Fields. It is the site where thousands of people were tortured and killed. The tour guide will provide a somber and sobering tour of the site, explaining the dark history and the brutal acts that occurred here. The site has a memorial stupa where the skulls and bones of those killed are kept, commemorating the thousands of lives lost at the hands of the Khmer Rouge. Visiting the Killing Fields is not just a visit to a tourist site, but a visit to a place of remembrance for the Cambodian people.
After the tours, we’ll have the option to visit other popular and hopefully happier, sites in the city. The Royal Palace is a beautiful and grandiose building that was once the residence of the King of Cambodia. We’ll be able to see intricate Khmer Empire architecture and exquisite gold and silver pieces. The National Museum is a must-visit for history and artifacts lovers. It houses the largest collection of Khmer art in the world, displaying everything from pottery to stone sculptures.
If we’re looking for a more local experience, the Central Market is the perfect place to get a taste of Cambodian food and culture. We can try traditional street food or shop for souvenirs and clothes.
Phnom Penh is a city that serves as a reminder of the dark history that Cambodia has experienced. The Tuol Sleng Museum and Choeung Ek are essential historical sites for any traveler visiting Cambodia. The Royal Palace, National Museum, and Central Market are not just tourist sites, but places to experience the vibrant culture and rich history of the city. A visit to Phnom Penh is not complete without taking the time to learn about Cambodia’s past and present.