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As you look at the plain high school building, you would feel quite perplexed over your destination. The ordinary high school building now known as Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum reveals nothing remains silent about harrowing stories that echo inside its walls. To witness the brutality of mankind you would have to step inside the gates of the building that stores the awful tales of the dark history of Cambodia.
Learn about the gruesome past of Cambodia at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
The entire museum is filled with the photographs of the 20,000 prisoners that were brought to the building. Like Nazi, Khmer Rouge also kept detailed records of its prisoners. They were photographed before and after the torture. As you walk room by room, you will find the black and white photographs showing innocent faces of men, women and children some silent, some defiant. The museum also contains the photographs taken by the Vietnamese photographers who unrevealed the gruesome tale of the building after Vietnamese army took over Cambodia.
The documentary on Khmer Rouge Killing is screened all through the day in the museum. The documentary features Chum Mey and Vann Nath, the two survivors of the genocide, confronting their interrogators, guards, the doctor and photographer at the prison. It shares the horrific truth of the prison and the torture that the prisoners underwent. You can even talk to the two survivors who are often found in the courtyard of the building sharing their tales.
A room at the museum contains all the torture implements used by Khmer Rouge in getting the confessions from the prisoners. The room also has graphic representations depicting how the implements were used. The illustrations are drawn by Bou Meng, a survivor of the genocide.
How to Get Tickets?
Visitors belonging to Cambodia are allowed free admission while those from outside need to buy tickets. The tickets can be purchased at the entrance of the museum and online as well. Audio guide facility is also available that can be hired along while purchasing the ticket.
How To Get Around?
The museum is filled with scary and torturous stories of the prisoners. The records put up tell a lot about the happenings inside the building. If you wish to get a better insight of the prisoners and the tortures they underwent you can book for a guided tour. Otherwise, audio guide can also be rented to get deeper understanding of the horrific events.
What Should I Wear?
Visitors at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum are expected to dress appropriately. Hence, with due respect to the memorial site and as per Cambodian culture you need to dress conventionally covering your legs and shoulders. Shorts and sleeveless tops are a complete no. Trousers and long skirts with long sleeved shirts and tops are apt for the place.
Best Time to Visit
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is open every day from 8 in the morning to 5 in the evening. The visit to the place is must to learn about the atrocities that humankind once faced and prevent any such deeds in future.
Will I Need a Guide?
You can hire audio guide at the museum to get a better understanding of the site. However, if you wish to get greater insights into the prisonersí stories and get a better understanding of the events, then opt for a guided tour. The professionals will provide you with chilling details of the horrific four years that the building witnessed.
How To Get There?
Phnom Penh International Airport is served by numerous international flights that bring in a lot of visitors to Cambodia. One can also reach the city via waterways or taking a bus ride. Getting around the city is quite easy as there are number of transportation options available. Hence, reaching Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is quite easy. Tuk-Tuk offers easy access to most of the attractions of the city and it also serves to be the best means to reach the museum. Enjoy cheap and easy transportation to museum via Tuk-Tuk. Otherwise, you can also book for the shuttle bus service facility available in the city that provides transportation to and from the museum.
Visitors are expected to maintain solemnity of the place. One should not behave or dress up in any manner which is inappropriate as per the nature of the place. Also, those eligible for free entry or reduced ticket prices must bring original ID proof for verification purposes. Please note that eating, smoking or drinking alcohol inside the museum premises is not permitted.