Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rambler of Cambodia: Phnom Penh-The Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Russian Market, Central Market, Al-Serkal Masjid (Day 2nd)

Plz note actual date went to Cambodia was on 12-16 February, 2015 (5D 4N).

As for today, we went to Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (The Killing Fields) located in Choeung Ek Commune Khan Dangkor, Phnom Penh. We went through remote pathway due to the main road was congested and the constructions were in progress.

The Killing Fields is a site that victims were killed cruelly and buried in improper mass grave by Khmer Rouge Regime lead by Pol Pot in 1975-1979.

Victims were detained and tortured at S-21 (now Tuol Sleng Museum) and later blindfolded and transported here to be killed and buried in the mass grave. In some cases, victims were executed by poisonous smokes and sharpened bamboo sticks due to save the ammunition.

The childrens and infants were executed by smashing their head against the Chankiri tree.

Intellectuals and educated people were executed as well; due to the Khmer Rouge Regime saw them as a threat that may defeat them.

It was somber ambiance: bones and scraps of clothing still to be found scattered on the ground. As picture above (right) the white was the bones.

A small museum displayed pictures and a documentary video was available at the corner of this site.

On d way to the next destination, we managed to see some of the Khmer architecture and art carving at the roadside.

Later, we had our lunch at Asmak 81 located at 20B, Street 154, Sangkat Phsar Thmey, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It is halal restaurant served Khmer, Malay and Thai meals (Phone no:+855 81 559 569).

Next we dropped by at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, juz about 10 minutes from the restaurant. The museum is a former school building which was used as Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from 1975 to 1979 (4 years).

Victims were regularly beaten and tortured with electric shocks, abused by hot metal and poisonous creature, cut with knives, suffocated with plastic bag and much more.

Picture taken from phnompenhpost
One of the seven known survivors was Chum Mey, who survived due to his expertise in machine repairing for Khmer Rouge.

As per informed, opposite of the museum (No 28, Street 330), there is small shop called CHA (Cambodian Handicraft Association) retailing inexpensive handmade goods that are made by women disabled from polio and land mines. By buying those products, we’ll help them to raise their source of income.

We continued journey to Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tom Poung); market area with many small outlets. Amongst the items sold here were exclusive wooden and jade carved sculptures, silk shawls, clothing made from finest cotton and silk, jeans and many more. We bought textiles (kain pasang) to make baju kurung, and after bargained, the price was USD10. Shawl stated price was USD6, after haggling we only paid USD4 per piece (including Cambodian silk shawl). Some of them can speak Malay a bit, even not so fluent, however still understandable.

Next we hang around Regie Du Marche Central (normally known as Central Market or Phsar Thom Thmey). It is a building with a yellow dome, and wide-ranging products offered for bargain. At first the vendors said it cost USD5 and USD4 per tshirt. Auspiciously, we managed to buy tshirts with variety designs and many sizes as lowest as USD2 after we haggled! The skills of bargaining are vital as retailer stated the higher prices especially for foreigners. Plz note to bargain nicely.

We passed by a National Museum of Cambodia. Admission costs are USD5 for foreign visitors, 500 riels for Cambodians, children and school groups are free entrance.

We dropped by Al-Serkal Masjid which is located at Boeung Kak, Daun Penh district. We noticed there were many stalls vended halal meals nearby the masjid area. We can’t go inside the masjid cuz it was still in construction phase when we visited the masjid. There was a tent provided nearby the masjid for temporary place to perform solah. As info from sokhasands, the masjid was officially launched on March 27th, 2015. Based on source, Al-Serkal Masjid is the main masjid in Phnom Penh and it is a gift from middle east country after the fall of Khmer Rouge.

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