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  1. #1
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Phnom Penh Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

    During my stay in Cambodia my family were keen to have a look at the infamous Genocide Museum at Phnom Penh which isn't for the faint hearted by a long shot. I found the place historically intresting but no doubt shocking.

    I cant not remember how much tickets were to visit but they were very cheap and you could take an optional Cambodian guide for a fair price, we didn't take a tour guide but later on we wished we did because these guys made the tour round the Museum a lot more detailed and defiantley worth the price they were offering.

    I'll start with building A:



    All the signs were written in English and Khmer.

    The first part of the building I entered was full of photos of the prisoners that had stayed in the prison. The photos were quite eerie in all honesty! Just looking at the aging walls made me really feel for these poor souls knowing that they'd been in the same building not so long ago. And that is the scariest thing about the place, it wasn't so long ago that these terrible happenings took place.



    After we'd seen all the photos in the first few rooms there were some display cabinets full of clothes the prisoners wore whilst staying inside the prison and a photo of how they were found before being put inside the cabinet.



    There were also some smaller rooms inside this part of the museum and all the rooms looked the same shape and size, two rooms had a torture bed with the shackles still attached.

    Welcome to the jungle!

  2. #2
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Advancing to the second level there was just one big long room full of photos and stories of certain prisoners written by their familes and friends which was quite touching I thought. A lot of effort had been put inside the museum but wear and tear is evidently bringing the place down with the amount of tourists looking in it daily.



    Towards the end of the room there was a desk and chair and a book which you could write in and share your opinion on the museum. I read just a few pages of the book full of tourists from all over the world shocked by the museum and thankful that the people of Cambodia had shared it with them so they could in turn learn about the past.

    I was going to write a message but I realised all three of the pens didn't work!



    The rest of the rooms down the corridor were similar to the ones downstairs but they were full of all sorts of text documents stored in the prison all in Khmer and they were scattered all over the floor and covered in thick dust, this is where the prison needs more finances to place these valuable documents inside cabinets.


  3. #3
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    The entrance to the next part of the museum wasnt as welcoming as the first, guarded by wire mesh.



    Inside this part there wasn't a lot to see really and all the rooms looked the same and this is where the guide would come in handy, I wasn't all that sure what these rooms had been used for.



    The final part of Tuol Sleng had a cabinet of human skulls and torture tools. At one stage there was the infamous map made out of skulls but it had to be taken down because of wear and tear. There was a large photo of this on the wall too.



    Cambodia being a mostly Buddhist community had a large place of worship (not sure if that is the right term to be used here) for the late prisoners.


  4. #4
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    Thank you for that post IM - I have been to KP a couple of times, but never had the time to visit the museum. One day...

    It never ceases to amaze me what humans are able to do to each other. A darker side to most of us that fortunately is normally kept in check by norms, culture, religion and/or laws....
    Last edited by Whiteshiva; 04-05-2006 at 08:48 AM.
    Any error in tact, fact or spelling is purely due to transmissional errors...

  5. #5
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Outside the museum when it was discovered laid the bodies of some unfortunate children which were given their own graves.



    I haven't mentioned everything about the museum, just missed a few bits off but there are some more photos in my gallery if you are intrested.

  6. #6
    Newbie Sukhoi's Avatar
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    I went there in 1996. I found it a very profound experience. After going there I decided not to go to the Killing Fields as I found it too depressing. This is a school building and that made the whole thing so much worse I felt.
    Last edited by Sukhoi; 04-05-2006 at 09:13 AM.

  7. #7
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    Nice thread IM, I love these travel threads with pics.
    You have inspired me to put up my holiday thread now, maybe tonight after I've cooked my chili.


    I went there in 1996. I found it a very profound experience. After going there I decided not to go to the Killing Fields as I found it too depressing. This is a school building and that made the whole thing so much worse I felt.
    Black writing on a dark blue background is an interesting choice.

  8. #8
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiteshiva
    Thank you for that post IM - I have been to KP a couple of times, but never had the time to visit the museum. One day...

    It never ceases to amaze me what humans are able to do to each other. A darker side to most of us that fortunately is normally kept in check by norms, culture, religion and/or laws....
    Thankyou.

    The museum was a very spooky place but the many tourists took away most of that feeling, at some stages I was alone in some of the rooms which did indeed send shivers up my spine!

    I wasn't sure if to add this actually because it isn't one of the best parts of Cambodia and certainly not the happiest. But this is history at the end of the day and for most of the members on this forum, this happened in your lifetime. I myself was interested in the historical content of the place.

  9. #9
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sukhoi
    I went there in 1996. I found it a very profound experience. After going there I decided not to go to the Killing Fields as I found it too depressing. This is a school building and that made the whole thing so much worse I felt.
    I understand your feelings there.

    I must be one brave girl then because I went to the Killing Fields the same day! I admit that after the day was over I felt awful about the whole place. That very night I had nightmares actually! It wasn't the best experience of my life but certainly an intresting one.

    I took photos of the Killing Fields too but I'm not sure if to put those up or not!

  10. #10
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    Please do! Very good thread, BTW

  11. #11
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    I have just looked at both threads IM,its chilling to look at.as
    i am reading the book S 21 at the moment.
    It is a detailed account of what happened,in this museum/school.
    The killing fields is good dvd to watch,as it is a true story.
    I have also read,first they killed my father,and stay alive my son.
    They are very emotional and heart breaking books to read.

    Im a bit lost for words now....

  12. #12
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    I'm reading S-21 at the moment also, how are you finding it?

    It is truely shocking what happened no doubt about it.

  13. #13
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    I was dragged along to see a dreadful new Thai movie the other day which must have been based on one of these grisly Cambodian death camps. One of the most insensitive films I've ever seen - a bunch of Big Brother-type contestants are sent to this camp and filmed being scared to death by the ghosts of the inmates and guards who died there. AVOID like the plague.

    Can you imagine a European film director pitching a movie about a game-show set inside Belsen in which a dopey bunch of teenagers are murdered by the ghosts of Jews and Gypsies?
    The sleep of reason brings forth monsters.

  14. #14
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    sounds awfull benbaa...like WHY WHY WHY make a film like that?.

    Ice im finding S21 very hard going its wierd i have just got to the photos in the middle pages ,then you put up your photos.

    Its disturbing to think any of that really happened. have you read the other books i mentioned?

  15. #15
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    I went there a few years ago Ice, your pics brought back the nasty feelings that place generates (all in the mind, I am sure, but strong nonetheless). It is just an empty building but the stains, beds with shackles etc give you a sort of "being there" feeling.

    The killing fields are not really that, but have been made as a sort of place to go to try to understand what happened. The building with all the skulls and bones is a bit weird. I have seen similar in ossuaries, but those monks there died peacefully.
    I have reported your post

  16. #16
    Member BillyZ's Avatar
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    I've been to TS a few times and also the Killing Fields just outside of PP. The skulls and bones at the Killing Fields (one of many killing fields) are pretty grim.

    But I found TS to be much more moving, especially if you get a guide. Because all of the guides there have lost family. Plus, there's just a lot more to see at TS than at the killing fields.

    If you go to TS again, there is a Thai restaurant on the same soi or the next one over. They there before 1975, so were their crocodiles...I've often wondered how many people have been thrown into those pits.

    Not to be insensitive, but you can get live chickens from the market for a $ a piece and toss them into the pit while you eat your kao pad moo. Not that I would ever do that myself, again....

  17. #17
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Quote Originally Posted by changmai
    sounds awfull benbaa...like WHY WHY WHY make a film like that?.

    Ice im finding S21 very hard going its wierd i have just got to the photos in the middle pages ,then you put up your photos.

    Its disturbing to think any of that really happened. have you read the other books i mentioned?
    That film sounds real nasty!

    I cant get into S-21 for some reason but I keep trying! I haven't read any of the other books but I have The Killing Fields film to watch that I brought in Cambodia. I still haven't watched it yet but I will, tonight even.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat
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    Did you watch the flim IM?

    How the hell did you post those pics?
    Iv'e got some i want to post,its taken me 6 hours to get them into my gallery,but when i try to post them on a new thread,i get one on ,then go back to my gallery and i lose the one iv'e put on.
    any help would be appreciated as im getting ,really frustrated

  19. #19
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    No I didn't! But I'll make sure I do soon.

    Just post them in this thread if you like babe.

    Right I'll tell you the easy way to post photos in threads! Once you have put your photos in your gallery just right click on it like so and then click the copy image location option:



    Then afterwards when you come to posting it you see the buttons at the top of the reply box? Click the one that looks like a postcard:



    After that a small box will appear and just right click again and then paste.



    Hope that made it clear mate! Made photos and everything because you rock!

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat
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    You are a gem..,a pearl and a ruby... ok i'm on my way to try it ..big green thing coming your way.

  21. #21
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    ^ Could also open another window on your gallery. Had the same problem couple of weeks ago - now no problem. .

  22. #22
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    Ice i havent got "copy image location".

    Thanks for the advice both of you,i wont give up trying,but its taking me hours..

  23. #23
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    You have hunny, just right click on the photo.

    Just had a look at your gallery and you have no photos of Tuol Sleng just some of your garden.



    Like that.
    Last edited by Ice Maiden; 09-05-2006 at 03:37 AM.

  24. #24
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    The way I do it is as follows:-
    Open TD - go to file and open new window.
    On this window open gallery - my gallery
    Select picture (click on it first if you want it enlarged) right click and copy
    Click on other window where you have started your thread or reply.
    Right click and paste. You should have your picture then repeat actions for more photos.

    Hope this makes it a bit clearer. .

  25. #25
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    Sorry Ice Maiden - posting the same time as you. .

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