S21 Genocide Museum | Even as I revisited the pictures, got teary-eyed again remembering what I learned during my visit here. I recommend this to anyone visiting Phnom Penh, let us all be keepers of memories like this. Let us not forget the evil that was done here, so we may always strive to never be neutral, to always pick a side, the RIGHT one.
For adults, you can get in $5 with no audio, $8 with the audio guide. I suggest you get one to truly learn about the four years of hell here (1975-1979). It is one of the best audio guides I’ve experienced during tours.
It’s a lot to take in. It’s heavy. But it is an important stop. It happened. This was just one of the 150ish (others say it was about 190+) centers of torture and execution centers established by the Khmer Rouge. What now stands for the memory of the victims was once just a secondary school. The horror that transpired within these walls is unimaginable, till you see it. The cells. The chains. The pictures. The skulls.
About 20,000 were brought here - about 1,000-1,500 at a given time - and on the day the Vietnamese army uncovered the city, only 14 prisoners were left. On the day the city was “saved,” they killed the 14 survivors. Yes from 20,000 to 14. To avoid gunshots (noise), the 14 were mostly bludgeoned to death. The pictures are in each room of Building A. And that is just one of the first few stops in this tour.
As the audio guide shares, let us not forget, let us be keepers of this memory, for the victims’ sake and ours.