A somber trip to the Killing Fields – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A graveyard where thousands of people – men, women, and children – died a brutal death and lay forgotten, just one of many carcasses in a hole in the ground.

Choeung Ek is one of the multiple sites in Cambodia where collectively more than a million people were killed and buried by the Communist Khmer Rouge regime, during its rule of the country from 1975 to 1979, immediately after the end of the Cambodian Civil War. 

These are the Killing Fields. And they are brutally horrifying to walk through. Yet we did, to honour those who lost their lives there and remind ourselves we shall never let it happen again.

Mass grave, the Killing Fields.

We also visited Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (Security Prison 21), the site of the most barbaric Khmer Rouge jail there was.

Venturing to these two locations, and learning about some of Cambodia’s darkest history, was a heartbreaking, bubble-bursting experience, but also one that inspired me to find out more stories from around the world.

To consciously open my eyes to the truth of the world and explore it, understand it, analyse it, and learn something from it.

This is the glory of travel.

Put simply, travel opens your eyes to both the beauty and the horror of the world.

It reminds us of history that should never be repeated, and at the same time can show us incredible triumphs that hopefully inspire others.

So travel, learn, and live.

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