Admission Fee: US$3
Operating Hours: 8 am - 5 pm
Tuol Sleng or S-21 was a school turned into prison while Khmer Rouge was in power. You may want to visit Tuol Sleng before visiting the Killing Field to get a better understanding of what happened during the time. Understand that Tuol Sleng is just one of many Khmer Rouge prisons and the 'Killing Field' in Phnom Penh is also one of the many more all over Cambodia.
Some people may not want to visit such a 'dark' place with violent past but personally, I think it is a good reminder for many of us who took peace in our home countries for granted. The tragedy in Tuol Sleng (and Cambodia) happened not too long ago and you can meet at least one of the survivors here in person.
|Cell for high officers|
|Rules in Tuol Sleng|
|One of the torture method|
The Khmer Rouge had excellent record keepers. They have photos of every prisoners so they can report to the 'secret' leader. Nobody knows who the leader was back then. Quite a confusing time.
In The Dark Tourist: Sightseeing in the World's Most Unlikely Holiday Destination, Dom Joly claimed that the photographer of the prisoners is still alive and he even met him in person! Coincidentally, his driver of the day lost a family member to the brutality of Khmer Rouge. I don't know how he didn't at least punch the photographer.
You'll see a lot of photographs of the prisoners in Tuol Sleng (while they were alive and dead) and according to my tour guide, they all died except for those on a small white board.
|Respect him. Still smiling despite facing a tough time.|
|Cell for normal people. Actual cell of one of the survivors.|
Many died while being tortured in Tuol Sleng. The rest perished in the Killing Field(s).
Alright. It's a very depressing place. Try to remember that this wasn't "a long time ago". It was in 1975. Malaya gained her independence and became Malaysia over 10 years earlier. If I can have my way, I'd want the bickering politicians to see this place and maybe get locked overnight in the cells.
We have so many good things to be thankful for but if we insist on fighting with each other over silly issues, it is not impossible that something similar might happen in our country.