Cambodia: History learnt in Phnom Penh


DSC_0763-1 Arriving in Phnom Penh after quite a long bus ride from HCMC, I settled in the are of Toul Tom Poung. Maybe it was not the best idea to stay around that area since it was quite expensive and hard to find food. However, it was a long walk just to find an affordable hostel to stay from where I was dropped off. I was not that much interested in seeing all the temples, somehow. Having my Lonely Planet book on hands, I realised that I actually had read through Phnom Penh so many times and one of the most appealing thing I wanted to visit was the Killing field. I have never been interested in history, but it really made me want to come to pay my respect and understand better the country.

It was a 40 minute scooter ride from the hostel I stayed. You could choose to go with a tuk-tuk but I think it’s more convenient if you can share the scooter cost with someone (it’s for sure cheaper).

Arrvied at the Killing field, I didn’t know what to think about it. I was facing the monument filled with bones. I was stunned. With a recorder in hand, I followed each point. Every point is a story being told, and it is definitely not a nice story. I always took a moment to just imagine what it had happened. In the back of my head, I heard the scream, the crying… It was tragic. It was hard to face all the craves knowing that many people had left their lives there. Then I was standing in front of a big tree and did not expect a terrible story behind it. I listened to the recorder and found tears in my eyes. Pain would be the word I could describe. Babies and children were killed and it was hard to believe how they were murdered. My heart stopped. This whole Khmer Rouge was dreadful. If you have read about it, you know the story. However, being there and witnessing it are more traumatic. I left the place in silence and wished people who had been murdered during that time now stay in peace.

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2 thoughts on “Cambodia: History learnt in Phnom Penh

  1. Hi Angela,
    It is a thought provoking, emotional and sensitive travel log and reminds me of man’s inhumanity to man as being timeless and apparently without bounds. It seems to me that we constantly find new ways to be inhumane – the turmoil in the middle east as well as in Sudan are just two geographic areas where we find examples of barbaric behaviour today. And most of that barbaric behaviour is and has been committed in the name of nationalism or religion. From my naïve perspective only education and integration, the sharing of wealth nationally and internationally so that there is greater equality between people and nations has the power to save us from ourselves.
    I did not mean this response to be a sermon but your writings moved me to the point of becoming a tad philosophical, reminding me of the turbulent world that we live in.
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Holger,

      I appreciate very much your words. And sorry for having missed your last comment. I’m always happy to hear from other people commenting how I write and it actually makes me feel good knowing that I got empathy from people through my articles. This story is not easy to tell but it needs to be told to let people aware of the world’s situation.
      Thank you so much for following my blog. And I really hope to see you one day in Australia. In the meanwhile, I’d be very much happy to read your comments. They mean a lot to me.

      Best,
      Angela

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