We are leaving Siem Reap and Angkor Wat — and will take a bus to Phnom Penh.
The country side is filled with homes and farms.
The “feel” of this country is very different from that of Japan — I insert a video from our metro-train ride to the Asoka Airport in Japan.
Japan and Cambodia are very different — but all countries harbor darkness within their histories. We will be visiting the Cambodia Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.
I buy a bag of bugs — cost: about a dollar.
I eat them on the bus. The bugs were fried with delicious seasonings — probably pepper and turmeric.
Karen eats lunch and I inspect the hot sauce — we are sharing a plate of chicken/vegetables/rice because the bugs were surprisingly tasty and filling for me. It is hot in Cambodia.
Our hotel in Phnom Penh has a beautiful swimming pool.
We are at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as the Cambodian Genocide Museum). It was a high school that the Khmer Rouge turned into a torture, interrogation, and execution center in 1975. It was known as Security Prison 21 (S-21), one of over 150 execution centers.
The authorities at the prison kept careful records — photographing each inmate upon arrival.
Of the 14,000 prisoners, there were only seven survivors.
After Vietnamese troops captured Phnom Penh in 1979, two Vietnamese journalists discovered S-21, photographed scenes of execution and torture, and interviewed the survivors.
This guy was a Khmer Rouge soldier, probably innocent of crimes. He has no idea that he will be tortured, forced to confess to espionage, and executed.
S-21 was merely one place associated with the Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979. When it ended in 1979, about a million Cambodians, one quarter of the population, had died.
My blog pertains to travel, meditation, mysticism, and backpacking. People who come to Phnom Penh typically visit S-21 and Choeung Ek, known as “the Killing Fields.” These visits can affect your meditation — you must acknowlegage the human capacity for evil.
My next blog continues portraying our visit to S-21.