Cambodia has a long and storied history and a vibrant culture, but it also carries the scars of a horrible past. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is a memorial to the victims of the Khmer Rouge government and a resource for learning more about this tragic time in Cambodia’s past. An important reminder of the value of peace and stability, this museum is one of the few in Cambodia to offer an immersive experience to learning about the nation’s past.
The museum is located in the middle of Phnom Penh in the former S-21 jail, which has been preserved in its original state and provides visitors with a authentic and realistic experience. Those who were considered “political enemies” of the Khmer Rouge dictatorship were detained, interrogated, tortured, and ultimately exterminated in S-21, the main hub of a large prison system throughout Cambodia. Upon the liberation of Phnom Penh, just 12 former inmates, including four children, survived the opening of S-21. This is a very small number considering the magnitude of the crimes committed there.
Despite the bleak subject matter, many of our clients have found this to be a highlight and an emotionally touching event as part of their tailor-made travel experiences. The journey will be enhanced by hearing the perspectives of a former journalist who was present throughout this turbulent period in Cambodia’s history. As you move from room to room, you’ll be able to sense the weight of history and understand the torment endured by individuals incarcerated there.
Some visitors may find this sight overwhelming, while others may appreciate the opportunity to learn about Cambodia’s past and the era of the Khmer Rouge in a manner that books just can’t. Because of its significance as a symbol of the Cambodian people’s fortitude and perseverance, it is included in the country’s official list of cultural treasures. Experience a somber reminder of the past and acquire an appreciation for what the Cambodian people have undergone, as well as how far they’ve come since then by participating in this must-have activity during your holiday in Cambodia.