Tag Archives: Tuol Sleng

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Another depressing-but-must-see in the city of Phnom Penh. We initially planned to visit the museum and the Killing Fields on the same day, but now I’m glad we got to split them up. 2 depressing spots in one day would have been too much.






The tour guide who brought us around (for USD6) shared about how her father, brother and sister were killed under the Pol Pot regime, because her father used to be a soldier under General Lon Nol. Her mother and her only managed to escape because they went to live in the refugee camp in Vietnam. Her mother is still reluctant to visit the S-21 Prison Museum, and when she herself started working as a tour guide she remembered crying everyday.

Today in Cambodia, it is not difficult to find anyone who has been affected by the regime. Numerous families have lost at least one member during the war – missing or dead. Hearing her say such words made me look at the Cambodian people differently. What are the similar yet unique stories behind each smile, gesture, and service? What do they tell themselves such that they can move on from their recent and gory history?

Like plants that can grow out of cracks in cement, will they be able to harness what they have left, and build themselves up again?

History of the Present

Day 2 of Phnom Pehn was largely overshadowed by our visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.


The events of History will never be changed, and what has happened will never be different.

But its consequences and effects live on, and what we make of it determines our future.

I hope I can sleep without thinking too much tonight.