The Sad Truth Behind Phenom Pehn

After a few great days in Siem Reap we hopped on the ‘Giant Ibis’ bus and took the couple hour journey towards Phenom Pehn.

About halfway through the trip the bus stopped off so that we could grab some lunch, the food was cheap, which was great! Unfortunately Tim was feeling unwell so didn’t have anything to eat.

After we got back on the bus and continued to Phenom Pehn.


By the time we arrived it was getting late, so we found a hostel (Golden Boat II), which was really nice. Had swimming pool, pool table and cheap meals. We booked in for 3 nights and decided to book a Tuk Tuk to take us to two places tomorrow – Tuol Sleng Prison and The Killing Fields.


Tuol Sleng Prison was originally a school that was transformed into a prison during the days of Pol Pot. It was incredibly sad to walk around the prison, read about how the prisoners were murdered and how many of them were children! The photos of the prisoners/victims made it so much more sad and after 2 hours I went outside for air whilst Tim continued to explore for another half an hour.

tuol sleng


lower level

creepy tim


some of the victims


The Killing Fields was even more depressing than Tuol Sleng Prison. We were each given an audio tour and walked around the grounds listening to the history, survivors stories and reinactments of the noises the victims would have heard for there last minutes on earth.

The audio tour was very descriptive and educational, it was even more upsetting as you have to walk to certain sections of the fields before playing the next chapter of the tape. So you are standing and looking at whatever is being described, whether it is the tree that killed newborn babies, the heads of those decapitated or the pits where bodies were thrown. It was very interesting but at the same time very depressing.


womens pit

baby tree


We spent a good couple of hours here and then caught a Tuk Tuk back to our hostel, where we watched the movie about the killing fields and had dinner and a couple of beers.


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