This post will be about yesterday's activities and later on this evening you'll get an update over today's activities.
"It's a holiday in Cambodia" sang the American punk band Dead Kennedys in the early 80s, a song which got another layer after I visited the Choeung Ek genocidal center and Tuol Sleng genocide museum, better known as S-21. The Khmer Rouge ruled over Cambodia between 1975-1979 and was responsible for the Cambodian genocide where about 2 million people lost their lives because of political executions, starvation and forced labor. The aim of the leaders of the Khmer Rouge was to create a purely agrarian-based Communist society.
I've been to genocide museums before but both of these sites had more of an eerie feeling over them and more graphic than the ones I've visited earlier. Choeung Ek genocidal center is quite a peaceful place today situated about 16km from the city center of Phnom Penh. The site is one of the best known "Killing Fields" where people were systematically executed and buried in mass graves.
Quite a humble gesture to leave wristbands to honor the victims at the fields.
The official costume that the people had to wear during the Khmer Rouge.
After this I went to Tuol Sleng which functioned as a school up until 1975 when it was turned into a security prison and interrogation center. All prisoners had to have their picture taken, pictures which are now exhibited to remind the world of the cruelties of mankind. It's very eerie walking along the hallways and having hundreds of faces staring back at you.
Later on in the evening after I had rested for a while I went out for a stroll through the city and ran into a random encounter, once again. Out of nowhere I found the "Suomi Bar Guesthouse" which is run by Timo since four years back. There were also two other Finns there and after we had watched the news and talked for a while we went to a bar where they arranged the weekly lotto, the main price was around 3000 dollars but needless to say none of us won it. After this they recommended that I would try "Katy Peri's Pizzas" which is a street vendor with an actual wood fire oven on a small kart. All pizzas were around 3 dollars, were quite big and tasted heavenly. Went back to the hostel after the meal.
Today I'm gonna do some sightseeing by foot.