Monday, December 22, 2008

Killing Fields

I have just been on the most depressing tour of my life. When Pol Pot was in power in the late 1970's he killed about 1.7 million people in Cambodia. During the Khmer Rouge regime they kept the population of the country to exactly 80,000, which they thought was the ideal number. They killed all professionals and educated people and believed by doing this they could start from 'year 0'. Today we visited the killing fields where thousands of men, women and children were taken bound and blind-folded to be beaten to death in trenches, rather than waste bullets. We then went to the school where these people were tortured and held. All their photos where taken on arrival, in order to document the process. It was such a sad place, made especially real when our tuk-tuk driver told us how his father was also killed here. It is amazing that the people here are so happy. Most people over the age of 30 have had direct experience of the events. It is very sad.

Anyway, I know this is really depressing, but as we are in the country we should know the recent history and it really does make me appreciate what we have. Tomorrow we leave Phnom Penh and go on the Siem Reap.

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