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  1. #1
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    A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau

    Being the end of the Haj, we all get a few days off so I took the opportunity to go and see friends in Pnomh Penh.

    For a change, we decided to go and visit the Killing Caves at Pnomh Sampeau in Battambang.

    It's a bit of a trek (there is no airport) with the drive taking about 7-8 hours each way including a few coffee stops and a break for lunch.

    I took a few pics so here goes.

  2. #2
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    Battambang itself is a sleepy little town with some nice bars and restaurants centred on a couple of streets. I don't know how late they open, we weren't on the piss so were home by midnight.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190814_195656.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Pnomh Sampeau itself is a smallish mountain with a network of caves and crevices. I think there are three different levels to visit, with a temple halfway up. Some photos of the buildings.





    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_154957.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_163752.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_162954.jpg  

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_164014.jpg  

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    Then you get up to the top level where the entrance to the caves is. There are locals everywhere who pester you incessantly to offer "guide services", even if you say no (and even if you're with Cambodians). They follow you around like fucking puppy dogs chirping in with inane comments even if you aren't interested.



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155547.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_164038.jpg  

  6. #6
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    The caves were the primary execution site for the Khmer Rouge. With only one way up, it would have been easy to keep out nosey neighbours.

    There are two main holes at the top of the caves, a large one and a small one. Adults were beaten to death and thrown into the larger one. Babies and children were thrown into a separate hole a few yards away.

    It still makes me sick to repeat that.

    You can enter the larger cave via a staircase, and inside is a small memorial alone the lines of the one at Choeung Ek.

    I'll post all the pictures in one go:












    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155836.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155820.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155636.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_160049.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155914.jpg  

    A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_160401.jpg  

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    There is this one painting near the entrance.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_161332.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Decent.
    Well done, Harry.


  9. #9
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    After seeing those cases, we walked around the temple and down a set of stairs which takes you into a huge hollow in the mountain. I don't have photos of that because I was sweating like a rapist so kept my phone in my pocket.

    I came back from Cambo 5kg lighter and I reckon I lost most of it climbing around this mountain!

    At dusk we moved to the base of the mountain where there is a cave renowned for the bats that nest there. The locals have set it up with chairs and bars so you can sit and have a beer and some local food while you are waiting. There is even a nicely constructed bar at one end with a viewing platform so that's where we went.

    It's hard to describe, but if you've seen videos of starlings swarming, it's like that. The bats just suddenly start leaving the cave as the light disappears, and stream off into the distance in a massive line which circles from side to side.

    It is quite a sight and my paltry photograph does not do it justice. We sat there for 45 minutes and they just kept on coming. As we left they were still streaming out. There are millions of them, quite literally, apparently.



    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_173918.jpg   A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_180951.jpg  

  10. #10
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    A quick thread and sorry about the pic quality, I just took the phone and it's not brilliant in low light.

    I rented a Highlander and driver for the trip there and back for about $130 iirc (we stayed for two nights). Because he was sat around doing nothing the middle day, I gave him another $50 to drive us around for the day, and comped his food and drink (about $5 local food).

    It was an interesting adventure and we took in some other sights around the place but it really was fucking hot and I didn't take photos everywhere.

    It's a fascinating place but I probably wouldn't recommend it on its own. I was with friends so it passed the time, but I think if you didn't have company you'd probably want to make it one of several stops on a longer, more leisurely tour.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    There are two main holes at the top of the caves, a large one and a small one. Adults were beaten to death and thrown into the larger one. Babies and children were thrown into a separate hole a few yards away.

    It still makes me sick to repeat that.
    Good god. That's horrifying.

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    Someone else's video of the bats for illustrative purposes.


  13. #13
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    And here's another nice video of Battambang with drone footage.



    I should add that if you're in Siem Reap it's only a 3-4 hour drive.

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    Anybody has an idea where is the best post to chill smoking weed in the nature in Cambodia ? Thanks.

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    Ask a journalist...

  16. #16
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    Good thread and photos, Harry. Chilling that such a beautiful natural cave was used like that.. The utter barbarity of the very recent KR genocide was almost tangible (bad feeling about the place) when I went to TS21 and the Killing Fields in the early 90's. No intention to revisit, tbh.

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