03 July 2017

The Killing Fields

Visiting the Killing Fields in Choeung Ek is a very somber experience. More than 8,000 people were bludgeoned to death here, their bodies left to fall into mass graves dug by the prisoners themselves.

The Khmer Rouge regime didn't want to waste any precious ammunition on their murderous deeds, instead they beat victims with the butts of their rifles or other blunt objects until they fell into the pits. Many victims didn't die right away, but languished until they finally succumbed.

Skeletal remains from the mass graves have been removed from the pits and laid to rest either in Stupas or other sacred sites. However, bone fragments still sometimes surface, therefore, visitors are reminded not to walk on the pits, but use the wooden walkways.

The term Killing Fields was coined by Cambodian photojournalist, Dith Pran. Such fields could be found all over Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's reign, but this one in Choeung Ek just outside Phnom Penh is the largest. Photos taken in December 2016.


  1. It was incredibly moving to visit.

  2. I can't even imagine how somber this place must be.

  3. It just makes you shake your head at how evil human beings can be.

  4. Incredible the horrors that must have happened there.

  5. I hate to repeat others' comments but it truly is heartbreaking. That level of cruelty is overwhelming.


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