Don’t Step on Bone

On Sunday, I rented a motor scooter and traveled out to the Choeung Ek Killing Field (i.e., The Killing Fields) south of Phnom Penh.  From 1975 to 1979, approximately 20,000 Cambodians were bound, blindfolded and murdered in cold blood by the Khmer Rouge at this location using whatever was the cheapest method: a bamboo stick to the back of the head, a slit throat with a sugar palm branch or a shovel.  It was brutal, and this eerily peaceful and beautiful site belies its history.  Mass graves dot the landscape, and bones and clothing are still visible in the ground and come to the surface regularly, especially after a monsoon rain.

So, if you feel adventurous and don’t mind feeling shocked and humbled, I invite you now to take a tour through The Killing Fields.  And please, “don’t step on bone.”

The end of my visit to The Killing Fields was summed up so astutely by the voice of the audio guide:

“Remember our past as you look to your future.”


Update on 7/2/2017:  I just came across this interesting website: Cambodia Tribunal Monitor.  Those in charge during the Khmer Rouge reign were/are being brought to justice.  Very interesting!


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