Tuol sleng genocide museum (S21). Place of horror, torture and murder of thousands of Cambodians during Pol Pot’s regime 1975 to 1979. The other option was to visit The Killing Fields, just out of town, which we have all heard and read about. The prison was a school, pre Khmer Rouge and, rather shockingly, all the schools we cycle pass today are built in the same style. The classrooms were divided by brick or wood walls into tiny cells. Prisoners were removed for torture into a larger room, sometimes three times a day. Only a handful survived, amongst them a couple of artists who were tasked with painting a portrait of Pol Pot. If they didn’t do it well, they were to be killed. Encouragement. Today they have painted scenes of the emaciated prisoners, shackled together or suffering various forms of torture. Not for the squeamish but a reminder, as if we need one, of man’s inhumanity to man. Good quality audio guide. “Recommended”. So lucky not to be part of it.
We bumped into Jann, again, the Frenchman from the “scenic boat tour down the Mekong”. Had a very nice lunch together in the Russian market. Needed a few beers just to get over the previous few hours. All our touring on foot today as much quicker than trying to negotiate the roads by bicycle.
Valentines dinner in an authentic Cambodian restaurant. Il Forno, best Italian in Phnom Penh. Yea.