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The sight of 8,000 human skulls in a glass shrine stuns visitors into silence. Outside, where cattle usually graze, human bones sometimes come unearthed after heavy rains. Nine miles (14.5 kilometers) from Phnom Penh, the "killing fields" of Choeung Ek have become a tourist attraction, horrifying and fascinating. Choeung Ek is one of thousands of other such sites around the country where the Khmer Rouge practiced genocide during the late 1970s.
"There are two things you must see in Cambodia," says Scott Harrison, a traveler from Australia. "Obviously one is Angkor Wat. But the other is the killing fields outside Phnom Penh."
Departure: City Hotel
Return point: City Hotel
Schedule details: 8:00 – 11:00 / 14:00 – 17:00
After meeting our tour guide, we will learn about the dark side of Cambodia – Its more recent turbulent and harrowing history. Initially you visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S21), ironically a former school, located in a quiet Phnom Penh suburb, this was the infamous Khmer Rouge prison / torture centre. Once you have gained an initial insight of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime you will be driven 15km from Phnom Penh to visit the 'Killing Fields'. This is where Toul Sleng prisoners were forcibly marched and then executed; it is now a memorial site located in a beautiful tranquil setting.
We will stop at Russian Market is the most popular market among tourists and expats and probably the best place to pick up souvenirs. It does not look like much from the outside but when you get in you will find everything from beautifully hand carved statues, colorful lanterns and handmade silk scarves to fake bags, printed T-shirts and DVDs.