Choeung Ek Killing Fields - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

Choeung Ek Killing Fields

Choeung Ek Killing fields the site of a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the Khmer Rouge - killed between 1975 and 1979 - about 17 km south of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is the best-known of the sites known as The Killing Fields, where the Khmer Rouge regime executed over one million people between 1975 and 1979.

Mass graves containing 8,895 bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former political prisoners who were kept by the Khmer Rouge in their Tuol Sleng detention center.

Today, Choeung Ek is a memorial, marked by a Buddhist stupa. The stupa has acrylic glass sides and is filled with more than 5,000 human skulls. Some of the lower levels are opened during the day so that the skulls can be seen directly. Many have been shattered or smashed in.

Tourists are encouraged by the Cambodian government to visit Choeung Ek. Apart from the stupa, there are pits from which the bodies were exhumed. Human bones still litter the site.

Notes:

Address: Southwest of Phnom Penh
Location: 17 km far from Phnom Penh Center.
Entrance fee: $3.00/person.
Open time: 7.30am-5.30pm.

Trip Advisory:

If you are an emotional person, Killing fields is not recommended to visit.
Children under 6 years are not recommended.

Highlights:
Admission to the Killing Fields includes an excellent audio tour, available in several languages, which includes stories by those who survived the Khmer Rouge, plus a chilling account by Choeung Ek guard and executioner Him Huy about some of the techniques they used to kill innocent prisoners and defenceless women and children. There is a museum here with some interesting information on the Khmer Rouge leadership and the ongoing trial. A memorial ceremony is held annually at Choeung Ek on 9 May.