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- Killing Fields -
Read also: Pol Pot's life, the Genocide and Pol Pot's Grave

mass graves
mass graves


The Killing Fields were a number of sites in Cambodia where large numbers of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Vietnam War.

In Cambodia, nine miles (14.5 kilometers) from Phnom Penh, the "killing fields" of Choeung Ek have become a tourist attraction, horrifying and fascinating. Choeung Ek is one of thousands of other such sites around the country where the Khmer Rouge practiced genocide during the late 1970s.

Choeung Ek is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa. The stupa has acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls. Some of the lower levels are opened during the day so that the skulls can be seen directly. Many have been shattered or smashed in.
A soccer-field-sized area surrounded by farmland, the killing fields contain mass graves, slightly sunken, for perhaps 20,000 Cambodians, many of whom were tortured before being killed. The bordering trees held nooses for hangings.
The place feels surreally serene, and I was more overwhelmed with curiosity than a sense of death and horror.

Killing tree.


With the commemorative stupa in front of us, we imagine that we are hearing the grievous voice of the victims who were beaten by Pol Pot men with canes, bamboo stumps or heads of hoes, and of the ones who were stabbed with knives or swords. Imagining the horrifying scenes and the panic. Stricken faces of the people who were dying of starvation, forced labour or torture without mercy upon their skinny bodies. They died without giving the last words to their kith and kin. How much pain those victims were in when they got beaten with canes, heads of hoes and stabbed with knives or swords before their last breath went out. How bitter they were when seeing their beloved children, wives, husbands, brothers or sisters were seized and tightly bound before being taken to the mass grave! While they were waiting for their turn to come and share the same tragic result.

Colecting skuls

It was a very sober but educational experience. At first, we were not exactly excited about going, and even when we were there it felt strange staring at piles of human skulls and peering into pits that were used to throw human.

However, in the end, we are glad that I had the experience because it helped me to better understand the culture and history of Cambodia.


Bones on the path
Human bones on the path



Read about the Pol Pot.


Read about the genocide of Pol Pot.


Read about the Pol Pot's grave.


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