Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Killing Fields

Moving on to another important site in Cambodian history is the Killing fields. As the name implies, it is a place where people were literally put to death. Like the usual movie scenes, after being interrogated and tortured in the S21 camp, what do you think must be done. Yes, KILL THEM.

I then hopped into my tuktuk and my driver already knew where to take me. S21 is I think more than 7 kilometers away from killing fields (my distance computation based  on the distance of our house from the province to the national highway..hehe). it’s quiet far, like we travelled for more than 30minutes going to the site.

Upon entering the gates, this towering glass building will welcome you. What a nice view huh? Just when I thought it’s one picture perfect – it houses something pala

Before I proceeded to that tower, I went to another museum, and more photos and stories about the horrific Cambodian history of Polpot regime surprised me. There’s a film showing for free, too bad wasn’t able to watch it.

Killing Fields Museum

typical Khmer attire

According to history, truck load of prisoners from S21 were brought here in Killing Fields during midnight, or just before dawn. Others were dead already when they reach their final destination. While for some who survived the torture have to suffer a lot more pain in dying.

It was said that some loud speakers were being hung on the trees so as to cover the screaming of the prisoners being killed.

At the back of that towering glass building lies all the graves of the tragic past. Holes at pits open wide, with signages not to walk through them.

Much as I wanted to feel the very fresh air in the area, such traces of mass grave want to make me feel sick.

For my finale, I went to that temple I saw in the entrance. No slippers allowed, so bearing the heat of sun, I left my flip flops and entered and jaaaraaan…

So, just when I thought, it’s a feel-good site… These were some of the skulls recovered from the unearthed mass grave. Whew!

Okay, so maybe this were the reasons why some travelers I read about, don't want to recommend this trip in Phnom Penh. Because this is not really a relaxing site for tourist. I mean, I walked out those exits with a heavy heart, contemplating about how these people were tortured, suffered and died. But it’s quite an experience. Not everyone knows what really happened during this war in Cambodia, and by visiting this museum, you’ll have at least a glimpse of it.
It’s almost four in the afternoon and my stomach was crying for food. I forgot to take my lunch before visiting these two dreadful sites, you think I can still eat? Haha.. Hell, yes.

I hopped back into my tuk tuk service and asked the driver to head on. I was checking my cell phone and saw 8 unread messages. Five from my mom, and three from my boyfriend. I remember, I wasn’t able to text them upon my arrival to Cambodia… I can’t text them back because I’m still using my Vietnamese sim card. So I asked my driver to alight to a mobile phone store so I can buy a new sim card.

Along the way, I saw my all-time favorite chicken food chain – KFC. So I hurriedly stopped my driver and  paid him our tour fee of 10usd and said goodbye.

What’s for late lunch –

KFC 1pc chicken meal for 3usd plus wifi
the untouchables again...

After texting Mama, and Jeriel, I also informed my hotel though text about my arrival in Siem Reap so they can fetch me at the bus terminal.

I killed my time inside the food chain, enjoying free wifi. I wanted to check the Independence Hall of the city, it’s like our Malacaniang Palace, but it’s out of my way going back to the bus terminal.

Past 5pm, I went out of KFC and asked directions back to the terminal. They say, it’s always best to asked the local for directions. A must-try for a solo backpacker wannabe. Yes, as long as you can understand each other, ey? I approached one by-stander and showed him my ticket where the address of the bus terminal was written. Based on his facial expressions, I think he doesn’t know the area exactly, so he called the number of the bus terminal and verified it. Sweet. Once, verified, he referred me to another tuk tuk driver and asked to bring me to the terminal. Driver was charging for 3usd, I bargained just for 2usd and he agreed. Good.

Just like Saigon, Phnom Penh has this love for motorbikes.

I still have 30 minutes to kill before our bus departs for Siem Reap. My back was again complaining about my heavy bag so, I asked the bus terminal clerk if I can leave my bag in their counter, and she said yes. Great.

So I left the terminal, walked around the block, when I noticed just across it was like a tiangge. Some stores were being installed, food stalls everywhere… I think they’re preparing for a night market. So I checked some food, na pwede ko baunin. Assumming I will arrive SR by midnight, so there’ll be no chance for me to have at least a decent dinner.

Much as I wanted to try some exotic local delicacies, I can’t. I don’t want to upset my stomach. I still have to travel six more hours, mahirap na. So I just settled for a breaded shrimp.
While inside the tiangge, can’t help but notice them.

Don’t know if they have to bring the mat themselves or if it’s available only when you’re dining in. I have no much time, even if I want to try that, I opted for a take out.
I also tried sugar cane juice. I must admit, this is my first time drinking pure sugar cane. Just find it amazing how the extract the juice from it. No need for sugar of course. Sweet.

bus to Siem Reap

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