On Wednesday we visited the Killing Fields. (In fact there were many killing fields across Cambodia but this was one of the largest.) It was a personal journey as we each had a map and headphones with an audio commentary. It was on a large rural block of land, with a huge monument in the middle (stupa) to honour the dead.
It was hard to believe how many people were killed so brutally. Two of the Khmer Rouge mottos that justified their actions were 'Better to mistakenly kill an innocent than mistakenly not kill an enemy’ and 'Better to pull grass out by the roots' -which is why all members of an 'enemy' family were killed.
It has only been since 2011 that guards and members of the Khmer Rouge have been brought to court. So it has been about 35 years since the actual genocide. A long time to wait for justice.
We then visited the Tuol Sleng prison which was originally a high school. It was used to torture victims to extract 'confessions' before they were sent to the killing field. There were photos of all the people who were sent there and there were many men, women and even children.
After such an intense morning, a relaxing afternoon was spent at the Russian Markets. Bartering was lots of fun and prices of purchases were compared at the end of the trip. A popular buy were very light cotton pants, most of which had elephant prints on them. Even the boys got in on the action and bought 'genuine' Ralph Lauren shirts to match.