On the thirteenth day in Cambodia I started my day with the breakfast at the OneStop hostel and joined three other tourists in the hostel to visit the Tuol Sleng genocide museum in Phnom Penh. Tuktuk ride from the hostel to the museum was about 15 minutes. I was able to see the crowded Phnom Penh city during the day time.
I paid the admission fee and I got the audio tour for free by showing the student ID card. Then I started the tour. First I learned that Tuol Sleng was originally a school and then it was converted into a torture facility. As I walked through the hallway I realized some Sri Lankan schools are also designed that way so it was not a surprise for me. I walked into every single room. There was a metal bed and shackles were attached to the bed so that you can control the person even when they are sleeping. There was also a small box by all the beds. From the audio tour I learnt that it is for human waste. In one of the room I saw a quote saying how Cambodian people were forced into marriages by Khmer rouge.
There were different set of buildings in Tuol Sleng. The second building had barbed wire all over it. It was protected with barbed wire so that no prisoner could escape the torture. In that same building there were cells that are smaller than one fourth of a regular room in which two or three people were imprisoned. Then I came to the building where they kept the pictures of all the victims of genocide. There were small babies, young men and women, lawyers, doctors, dancers even some foreign nationals. It was heartbreaking to see what Cambodians went through in that short period of time.
After seeing several buildings in Tuol Sleng I came outside and there was a memorial Stupa built for all the innocent victims of the Khmer Rouge. Outside there were also a few survivors of Cambodian genocide signing books for visitors. After seeing Tuol Sleng we planned to go to Cheoung Ek killing fields site where thousands of innocent Cambodians were murdered ruthlessly. (To be continued …)