Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539

    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
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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.

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

  3. #3
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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.

    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
    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  

  4. #4
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_164014-jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_164014-jpg  

  5. #5
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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.

    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
    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
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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:

    A trip to the Killing Caves of Pnomh Sampeau-img_20190815_155636-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_155836-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
    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  

  7. #7
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    There is this one painting near the entrance.

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

  8. #8
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    สุโขทัย
    Posts
    7,619
    Decent.
    Well done, Harry.


  9. #9
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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.

    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
    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
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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
    Thailand Expat
    happynz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 08:55 PM
    Location
    on the corner of dusty and dustier
    Posts
    9,635
    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.
    Pues, aquí estamos.

    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

  12. #12
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    Someone else's video of the bats for illustrative purposes.


  13. #13
    Member
    harrybarracuda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    Today @ 12:25 AM
    Posts
    64,539
    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.

  14. #14
    Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Last Online
    27-10-2019 @ 08:52 PM
    Posts
    151
    Anybody has an idea where is the best post to chill smoking weed in the nature in Cambodia ? Thanks.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Last Online
    17-12-2019 @ 04:38 AM
    Posts
    36,450
    Ask a journalist...

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
    kmart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 10:01 PM
    Location
    Rayong.
    Posts
    11,265
    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.

  17. #17
    Newbie

    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Last Online
    08-10-2019 @ 08:39 PM
    Posts
    24
    visited Battambang and those caves in the early 2000s. Stayed in an old UN hotel in the centre of the city. Moto guides would wait outside, one took me to the caves. In those days, bits of bone and and pieces of people's clothes littered the floor of the cave.

  18. #18
    Thailand Expat

    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 01:32 PM
    Location
    nakhon ratchasima
    Posts
    1,304
    what about a 10day trip along the killing roads of thailand.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    10,031
    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    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.

    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
    Is it true that bats always turn left when leaving their cave?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    10,031
    btw good thread, I knew there were hundreds of killing fields not just those in and around PP but never heard of these caves, will be sure to go there on my next visit.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
    Scottish Gary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    10-02-2020 @ 05:28 PM
    Location
    Flying in and flying out
    Posts
    1,346
    Good photos Harry...When i first visited cambo in 1996 Battambang was a no go area as it was still a khmer Rouge stronghold. I remember the KR murdered some backpackers there in the late 90s .

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
    naptownmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 07:25 PM
    Posts
    1,092
    Thanks for the pics.

    It's hard to imagine people being beaten to death and thrown down a hole by the thousands.

    Humans are quite special.

  23. #23
    Pedantic bastard
    nidhogg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    15,354
    Quote Originally Posted by Scottish Gary View Post
    Good photos Harry...When i first visited cambo in 1996 Battambang was a no go area as it was still a khmer Rouge stronghold. I remember the KR murdered some backpackers there in the late 90s .
    I first visited in the early 90s - 94 or 95 (sorry I cannot remember, but Cambodia had really just opened up and a lot of the de-mining was completed, you still had to stick to the path in places like ankor wat. There were soldiers still posted at some of the outlying temples. I went back to ankor a number of years ago - changed a lot - loads of handrails etc that weer not on when I first went. A whole lot more touristy feel now.

    We visited Tuol Sleng. In those days you just wandered round - some rooms were barred off, but that was about it. About 10 mins in that place was enough for me. Went back to the car to wait for my friends. The place felt palpably evil. No desire whatsoever to go back there.

    Still, apart from that, Cambodia then was crazy fun (for comparatively well off tourists looking for fun).

  24. #24
    Thailand Expat
    Scottish Gary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Last Online
    10-02-2020 @ 05:28 PM
    Location
    Flying in and flying out
    Posts
    1,346
    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    I first visited in the early 90s - 94 or 95 (sorry I cannot remember, but Cambodia had really just opened up and a lot of the de-mining was completed, you still had to stick to the path in places like ankor wat. There were soldiers still posted at some of the outlying temples. I went back to ankor a number of years ago - changed a lot - loads of handrails etc that weer not on when I first went. A whole lot more touristy feel now.

    We visited Tuol Sleng. In those days you just wandered round - some rooms were barred off, but that was about it. About 10 mins in that place was enough for me. Went back to the car to wait for my friends. The place felt palpably evil. No desire whatsoever to go back there.

    Still, apart from that, Cambodia then was crazy fun (for comparatively well off tourists looking for fun).
    Its was like the wild west in the 90s but certainly more exciting than it is now. I was just out the Navy and went across to try and get an English teaching job. I didnt get the job but partied like an rock star until my money ran out 3 months later. A lot of good memories but some of the western freaks hanging around Phmon Penh at that time would make your skin crawl

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •