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Old 22nd August 2011, 23:37   #16
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

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Originally Posted by sachinj12 View Post
Brilliant teasers, now for some solid writing and pictures please!

Those skull images have a eerie feeling to it. Almost as if they have a tale to tell. Post your experience esp when you did that 'dark tourism' part.
Hi Sachin..

I never thought someone will be interested in this section (dark tourism). So, on popular demand I'm placing here few more of my experience in the genocide museum & killing fields here.

Such a narration is bit difficult for me without quoting a bit of history - I take the liberty to delve into it briefly.

With the fall of royal sovereign government, Pol pot led communist party was gaining power and eventually displaced the government which was in power post royal ruler.

"Khmer Rouge" - the followers of Pol Pot communist party were called Khmer rouge

Wikipedia defines genocide as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group"

The mission for khmer rouge was to establish self reliant cambodia through social engieering.

When we walked towards the genocide museum, I was bit not sure about it by looking at its appearance. It was an unassuming simple 3 storey building - nothing like a museum frequented by tourists. If you were expecting some grand lobby, air conditioned halls / corridors, neatly framed pictures, perfectly lit displays etc - sorry this not something like that. The museum, "S21" is actually a school campus turned into a prison - later into museum.

Few of the inmates' hall still have the black (rather green) boards originally used for taking classes. The class rooms are parted into to multiple cells of 3ft X 7 ft size approx. It is heart-gripping to walk past the shadows & lights of the cells. To realise that these cramped cells were once filled with innocent victims there are galleries filled with photographs & stories.

Many prisoners opted to commit suicide rather than going through the tortures. So the open corridors of first and second floors were barb wired to prevent inmates from jumping off & committing suicide.

Take a look at the security regulation laid down
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Old 23rd August 2011, 01:12   #17
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Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

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Take a look at the security regulation laid down
Shocking!! The work of a psychopath!

This thread is promising to become a good education about humanity (or the lack of it).

--Ragul
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Old 23rd August 2011, 05:10   #18
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Originally Posted by vigneshnr View Post

Many prisoners opted to commit suicide rather than going through the tortures. So the open corridors of first and second floors were barb wired to prevent inmates from jumping off & committing suicide.

Take a look at the security regulation laid down
Depressing and sad. Shows the dark side of humanity. Henry Kissinger once quoted 'Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac'. These dectators can go to any length to protect their power.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 07:35   #19
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Where: Genocide Museum


As a respect to the victims who suffered, I'm not posting any of their pictures here. Actually, I've refrained from taking pictures when I was there (unlike a nippon tourist who freaks out taking photos of everything around).

The galleries are filled with photos / pictures depicting the various types of punishments - lashes, electrocution, dipping the victims face down into filthy (really filthy) water and the list doesn't seem to end.

Between one gallery to another we literally had to take breaks; sitting somewhere to calm down & just to relieve ourselves from the impact of sorrow. Inside the galleries, your moments are extended when you see through the eyes filled with pain & no hope - the victims include young children, women, scholars, doctors, budding artists as well.

The word "hopeless" got a refined sense in my mind.

Everyone visiting the galleries are silence stuck looking at the punishments severed on the innocent people.

Even many khmer rouge men where killed on the pretext of not finding enough controversial people to target. This is the height of it.
How can someone kill his followers ? Yes - It has happened in this country.

There are various such records which are dark & strange. Very strange.
Hard to believe that all these have happened just few decades back.

Few impressions from my walk through inside the museum for your eyes.

1. Corridors barb wired to prevent suicides in the camp
2. Brick walled cells in first floor
3. Wooden cells in second floor
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Last edited by vigneshnr : 23rd August 2011 at 07:39.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 08:40   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Shocking!! The work of a psychopath!

This thread is promising to become a good education about humanity (or the lack of it).

--Ragul
Thanks Ragul. I'm humbled.

Point no. 6 in the security regulation keeps me going back to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by C300 View Post
Depressing and sad. Shows the dark side of humanity. Henry Kissinger once quoted 'Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac'. These dectators can go to any length to protect their power.
You are right, C300.
After your post I wikied - Genocides in history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The list is long enough and I think this world has had enough.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 09:38   #21
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I digress, but while we are on the topic, Kissinger is a genocidal mass murderer too. He got away because he is American. The Trial of Henry Kissinger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

i was not comfortable seeing the "words of wisdom" quoted by Mr. Kissinger. Hence felt the need to present both sides of the coin.

People only Remember Pol Pot and forget the deeds of people from so called "civilized" societies.

--Ragul
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Old 23rd August 2011, 10:16   #22
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Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

I am really lookinf forward to the temple visit part, as its been one of my life long dreams to visit Ankor Vat....

Unluckily, we as a continent have a lot of such history behind us. India has its share as well. But even more painful is the fact that the African Continent continues that tradition even today. I guess its a matter of evolution.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 11:13   #23
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Before the thread gets gloomy let me move on to the sunny side of Cambodia - the current days & the rich ancient heritage of the past.

Day 2

Where: Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

After a heavy-hearted day 1, we planned for the city round up for day 2.

Royal Palace was first in the list.

We started our day early so that we avoid the tourist rush and mid day heat. This is a sprawling campus on the river front area of the city. This palace is currently the residence of the king - Norodom Sihanouk.
As I've mentioned river front, let me elaborate on the city orientation.
Phnom Penh has
a. the city area where the regular life happens - you can find the markets & locals there
b. the river front area where the tourists throng for restaurants and night life.

Against the popular myth, we found the cambodian city safe. We were strolling in the streets till late night almost every day. But I suggest to stay away from lonely lanes and deserted sections in the dark - why invite trouble?

This is the first time I'm visiting a palace in SE Asia. The architectural style is similar to those in Thailand etc. Few sections are closed for tourists to enter as the royal family resides inside.

Majority of the roofs are made of wood and decorated with motifs in gold. The landscaping adds to the elegant structures.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:46   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mav2000 View Post
I am really lookinf forward to the temple visit part, as its been one of my life long dreams to visit Ankor Vat....
Hi Mav2000,

Definitely the "Kingdom of Wonder" part is coming up once I reach Siem Reap (in the travelogue) follow till I reach there.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 12:49   #25
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Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Will surely follow this thread...infact I am off to Thailand this weekend, and if I had known Cambodia or Ankor Wat was this close, I would probably have made the trip...damn, I should google more often..
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Old 23rd August 2011, 13:14   #26
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Default Re: Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

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Will surely follow this thread...infact I am off to Thailand this weekend, and if I had known Cambodia or Ankor Wat was this close, I would probably have made the trip...damn, I should google more often..
Hey that's cool. If you got 2 days to spare you can actually go around & soak in angkor temples. May be I can help you with a crisp itinerary

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Old 23rd August 2011, 14:03   #27
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Default Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

'Oriental' Palace Gate

There is this elaborately decorated palace gate facing the river front. You'll never miss it while you are passing by.

But, the actual entry for visitors to the palace is through a regular guarded iron gate.
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Old 23rd August 2011, 15:24   #28
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Day 2
Where : Silver Pagoda - Temple of Buddha


The English diction of cambodians is unique and interesting. I would say it has some kind of rhythm - first syllable stretched and second syllable is shortened. 'Buddha' is pronounced like ' Buuudaa" - that too in a swift accent.
Also, the pronunciations are different to note - Price is pronounced as "Pry", similarly Rice is "Rye". It took a while for us to understand their accent. But it was fun to interact & learn.

After seeing the royal palace, we walked towards the temple adjoining.
There is a Buddhist temple inside the Royal Palace premises - The Silver Pagoda. The temple exterior is similar to the palace. But the setting in which the temple is placed is very serene.
The temple houses a calm looking standing buddha in preaching stance - all gold with gems studded. Even there are diamonds in the palms. But the 'smile' of buddha is so captivaing that you seldom notice the rich jewellery adorning the Buddha. Behind this statue, there is an emerald buddha in sitting posture on a tower. This is one of the beautiful statues of buddha one would come across.
Photographs were not allowed so no visual treats to present.
We sat there for while for prayers. As we were early to the shrine not many tourists were there & the ambience was absorbable. I suggest that if you are planning a visit to the temple be as early as possible to avoid the bus loads of (chaotic) tourists.

Adjoining the shrine, there is a tiny hill (may be 12ft high) with loads of greeny covering it. We climbed the rocky stairs to reach the top. No effort required as there would be hardly 15 steps. Whao.. this place was absolutely soothing to the eyes. Dense greenery surrounding you and a small temple in the middle. The perimeter of the top has different buddha statues in various postures - meditating, sleeping, preaching. Most of them with a warm smile. It had such an calming effect. We actually dropped the idea of leaving the place for long.
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Old 24th August 2011, 00:38   #29
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Apparently there are places near the killing fields that have mines still unearthed. Try and read a book called johnny gone down. Talks about the killing fields briefly.
Vignesh, very well written.
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Old 24th August 2011, 06:29   #30
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Arrow Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !

Lookin' Around - Phnom Penh

Airport

A very basic looking airport - compact. The 'visa on arrival' counter was pretty quick in processing - the desk had some 8 - 10 officials clearing like a assembly line. Once you step out you'll be surrounded by taxiwalas and tuk tuk drivers.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-phnom-penh-8.jpg

The city road

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-phnom-penh-19.jpg

Our cautious snacking on day 1 - Garlic bread & banana shake. Pretty nice.

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Shot at a restaurant where we had lunch - in most places the furnitures are of bamboos.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_0708.jpg

Mandir. Be it a home or place of business such installations are kept for worship right in front of the building.

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_0960.jpg

Rains can't stop them

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Business on wheels - a common sight

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Orange Rider

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-dsc_0990.jpg



Most of the times this is our view point - From the seat of our Tuk Tuk

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-phnom-penh-31.jpg


On the river front area

Kingdom of Wonder - Cambodia; Enthralling Hidden Charms !-p1170142.jpg
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