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  1. #1
    Bubbly Sales Girl
    Ice Maiden's Avatar
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    The Killing Fields of Cambodia

    I have decided to share my photos of the infamous Killing Fields in Phnom Penh with you. Originally I wasn't going to share as this place isn't exactly the nicest area in the world but again like the Tuol Sleng Museum it is a place of history and great importance and it really has amazed me how the people of Cambodia have worked together in a huge effort after the damage was done to their homeland.

    I'm not sure how much the ticket prices were but they are very cheap and Cambodian tour guides are avaliable for this visit for a reasonable price, we chose to get one this time as you can learn more about the place from a local. Our tour guide had family members unfortunatley lost in during the time of Pol Pot and spoke at ease with us about this.

    Firstly he sat us all down and gave us a brief talk about what we were going to experience then he took us to the Buddist temple which held the many human skulls and clothes of the people that lost their lives.



    He explained to us that many of the skulls and clothes were found washed up in the river.





    Welcome to the jungle!

  2. #2
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    Then on we went to the graves.

    Each grave the tour guide spoke about in great detail for a few moments but I dont remember all of what he explained to us during that day, I was more shocked than anything. Our tour guide was very helpful and answered all of our questions, he also spoke excellent English.



    The more important graves were protected by a wooden hut and had large signs explaining them, not in great detail obviously but that was were are tour guide came in handy.



    This is the infamous "Killing Tree" in which executioners beat children against it which I heard about before I arrived, just terrible.

    The next grave explains it all on the sign really:




  3. #3
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    yeah a really horrible place.

    i visited and just the entire area is quiet - as nobody makes any noise aroudn here.

  4. #4
    Bubbly Sales Girl
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    The footpath on which we walked on to each grave was to my suprise still containing clothing and human bones, I would of thought the owners of the Killing Fields to place them inside the temple from harm really.



    There were many graves all the same detailing how many bodies were found in them and such, you can find more photos in my gallery of those but I wont bore you too much with showing each photo. Our tour guide also explained to us most of the victims were blindfolded then buried alive.



    When we were walking away from the graves our tour guide paused at a nearby tree and explained to us that because the Khmer Rouge didn't want to waste expensive bullets and ammo in order to kill victims they'd use the very blunt tree branches to cut off their heads, I cant even imagine what that would be like!


  5. #5
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    This was the next section of the Killing Fields with detailed maps and written details about the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. At this stage children would beg for money for their education which I couldn't help feeling sorry for. The tour guide told us the money we paid for our tickets most if it goes to them anyway.

  6. #6
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    I'm always amazed at how cruel some people can be. Incredible...

  7. #7
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    I visited the killing fields a few years back and it was quite chilling indeed. we saw teeth along the footpath. I recommend watching the movie by the same name "The Killing Fields". It is a great depiction of the atrocities that went on in Cambodia during that time. That movie is widely available on dvd in cambo but have not seen it around in Thailand. It was released in 1984. Great trip report Ice Maiden

  8. #8
    The Gent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udon
    I visited the killing fields a few years back and it was quite chilling indeed. we saw teeth along the footpath. I recommend watching the movie by the same name "The Killing Fields". It is a great depiction of the atrocities that went on in Cambodia during that time. That movie is widely available on dvd in cambo but have not seen it around in Thailand. It was released in 1984. Great trip report Ice Maiden
    Yeah, well, budhai, we all appreciate your first-hand account of the visit but not everyone is priviliged to visit 'Cambo' (sic) like you...

  9. #9
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    Thanks for posting, Ice. It reminds of the time I visited the camp at Auschwitz (actually, Oswiecim in Polish) in Poland when I was there on holiday. A very moving and disturbing place, and something I'll never forget.

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    Member Tippaporn's Avatar
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    When will people ever learn?

  11. #11
    The Gent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippaporn
    When will people ever learn?
    Never ... so long as there's bleeding-heart liberals about...

  12. #12
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    Who stopped the Khmer Rouge, a Communist Country or a Democratically elected country?

    Don't forget how the French did so well there as well.



    Last edited by Little Chuchok; 06-05-2006 at 08:13 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbaaa
    Thanks for posting, Ice. It reminds of the time I visited the camp at Auschwitz (actually, Oswiecim in Polish) in Poland when I was there on holiday. A very moving and disturbing place, and something I'll never forget.
    Thats a place I have always wanted to go,I have heard thet birds never sing and the grass doesn't grow,I guess once would be enough.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for sharing Ice. It looks like a rather somber place.

  15. #15
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    Dougal's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting the pics.

  16. #16
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippaporn
    When will people ever learn?
    Sadly, humankind really hasn't and probabley won't ever.

    Atrocities have happened since:

    Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, etc.,

  17. #17
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    Thanks for sharing your pics icey. I enjoyed this book very much written by a war correspondant who's character is also in the movie The Killing Fields. Very well written, honest account of the awful atrocisties commited in what was once one of the most beautiful places on earth.
    River of Time
    by Jon Swain



    Editorial Reviews
    British journalist Swain will be familiar to many as one of the Western newsmen who worked so tirelessly to save their Cambodian colleague Dith Pran from the Khmer Rouge in the early days of the Communist victory in Cambodia. Presently a reporter for the Sunday Times, Swain spent five years in Cambodia and South Vietnam as a war correspondent. Those years were a time of American retreat, Khmer Rouge and North Vietnamese victory, and seemingly unendurable suffering for the civilians of both countries caught in between the several armies. Written as a journalist's memoir, this is not a well-researched, definitive historical account of the Communist victory but an emotional, impressionistic view of the tragic experiences of people like Dith Pran who find themselves forced to deal with events far beyond their ability to control them. Already published in England, Swain's sympathetic portrayal of the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam is suitable for comprehensive Vietnam War collections.?John R. Vallely, Siena Coll. Lib., Loudonville, N.Y.
    Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    From Kirkus Reviews
    A British foreign correspondent's often stirring chronicle of his life and times covering the war in Indochina during the years 197075. Swain, an award-winning Sunday Times of London reporter, looks back at the most memorable moments of his life: his assignments in Phnom Penh and Saigon during the last five years of the American war in Indochina. He does so with a no-frills memoir that also contains, among other things, his trips back to Cambodia and Vietnam in the 1980s, and his three-month kidnapping by revolutionaries in Ethiopia in the late 1970s. The heart of the book, though, is Swain's white-hot recreation of the fall of Phnom Penh to the Khmer Rouge. Acting on ``an irresistible impulse,'' Swain scrambled aboard the last flight into Phnom Penh from Bangkok on April 12, 1975. Along with several other journalists, he witnessed the first weeks of the infamous Killing Fields, the holocaust waged by the Khmer Rouge against the Cambodian people. Swain's account of the insane forced evacuation of the entire population of refugee-swelled Phnom Penh is not for the faint of heart. He sets out in often gruesome detail what he calls ``the greatest caravan of human misery'' he saw ``in five years of war.'' Swain includes an account of his personal brush with death, after he and the American journalist Sidney Schanberg and the latter's Cambodian assistant, Dith Pran, were detained by guerillas and threatened with execution. Swain's version of that incident, and of Dith Pran's subsequent surrender to the Khmer Rouge, jibes with what Schanberg wrote in ``The Death and Life of Dith Pran'' (on which the movie The Killing Fields was based). Swain, Schanberg, and Pran lived through their Cambodian nightmare. But Swain also tells the stories of many others who perished along with hundreds of thousands of their fellow Cambodians. An accomplished memoir that will be remembered for its evocation of the horrors of the Cambodian Killing Fields. -- Copyright ©1997
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/042...lance&n=283155

  18. #18
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    I couldn't face going there

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash
    Thats a place I have always wanted to go,I have heard thet birds never sing and the grass doesn't grow,I guess once would be enough.
    Not quite true, the grass does indeed grow and this is one reason why its so short.



    Although I didnt hear birds there, you dont tend to hear a lot of them in Cambo anyway.

    I dont know why but it didnt affect me anything like Tuol Sleng did. I think it is that Tuol Sleng its more personal with the prisoners photographs.

    The autobiography of Haing S Ngor - who plays Dith Pran - is a scary and moving book as well.
    You dont pay them to stay for the night, you pay them to leave in the morning

  20. #20
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    It is indeed a very sad place. I was there in the mid-90's (between coups) and it was all a bit disorganized and falling apart. It looks like they're doing a better job of preserving and presenting it.

    One memory: at the bones monument I put some money in the donation box. As I walked away I saw the guide reach down, pull it back out and slip it in his pocket....

    Aside: I believe that the French Embassy scenes in the movie were filmed at the old Railway Hotel in Hua Hin. Anyone know for sure?

  21. #21
    I am in Jail
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    It was indeed Buadhai. The country side scenes in the film were shot in Sam Roi Yot and Phuket.

    If you look closely at Choeung Ek you occasionally find a bit of rag or bone sticking out of the ground. I once found a piece of jawbone there just sticking out of the ground. Grim but a necessary reminder of how shitty we can be to each other.

    If you travel out and about in Cambodia you will find similar places all over the country and also hear many a grim tale.

  22. #22
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    There were many pieces of bone and teeth as well as torn pieces of clothing throughout when I visited in October. The place is not a fun place to visit, but should be required along with S-21.

    The pagoda and its contents enhance the impact of the grounds

    Prevention or termination of atrocities such as this are the things for which countries have a military.

    God rest their souls.
    I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble. Augustus Caesar

  23. #23
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    I was surprised at the peaceful beauty at the killing fields,such a stark contrast to the horrors that took place there.

  24. #24
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    The place certainly evoked a strange mix of emotions; I remember weeping at the Killing Tree for those that died there. I also remember a surreal sense of elation on leaving the place and then witnessing the resilience of the people in their attempts to build a better place in the aftermath of the atrocity.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Professorfart View Post
    It was indeed Buadhai. The country side scenes in the film were shot in Sam Roi Yot and Phuket.

    If you look closely at Choeung Ek you occasionally find a bit of rag or bone sticking out of the ground. I once found a piece of jawbone there just sticking out of the ground. Grim but a necessary reminder of how shitty we can be to each other.

    If you travel out and about in Cambodia you will find similar places all over the country and also hear many a grim tale.
    Apparently Choeung Ek is the largest, but defining a killing field as a place where more than 100 people were systematically murdered, there are some 4000 killing fields in Cambodia.

    And to think, the butchers were afforded the luxury of a chair at the UN.

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