Cambodia’s capital and largest city is bustling Phnom Penh. Situated along the banks of the Mekong River, this city serves as the nation’s hub of political and cultural activity. Throughout the years, Phnom Penh has also gained a reputation for tourism, as it is home to many Cambodian cultural and historical landmarks and other intriguing attractions.
One of the most revered and famous landmarks of Cambodia, located approximately 17km away from Phnon Penh, are the Killing Fields and Cheoung Ek Memorial. Serving in memory of the thousands of people who lost their lives during the dark era of the Khmer Rouge led by the Pol Pot regime, this memorial stands as a symbol against tyranny.
The Killing Fields were originally a Chinese cemetery, which was later transformed into an execution ground by the Khmer Rouge. The site is claimed to have hundreds of mass graves, where over 1.3 million innocent men, women and children were executed. The Choeung Ek Memorial is located on a particular field which was the site where over 17,000 people were killed and buried. The memorial is a 17 story monument; symbolic of the 17th of April 1975 (the day the Khmer Rouge over-ran Cambodia), and contains over 5000 identified human skulls and other remains. One can also witness the infamous Killing Tree, where young children were killed, along with other horrifying landmarks of mass graves.
The Memorial and Killing Fields serve as a grim reminder of one of the darkest chapters of Cambodian history, and as a symbol of respect for those who were executed. Visitors are requested to remove their footwear as a symbol of respect for the tragedy that thousands of people faced in this location. Every tourist of Cambodia should look to visit this memorial, and be reminded of the horror that man is capable of, and stand firmly against any such act of violence and inhumanity.
A luxury Phnom Penh hotel with a rich heritage of over 80 years in excellent service and warm hospitality is Raffles Hotel Le Royal. Centrally located in Phnom Penh, this hotel offers accommodation in a range of tranquil and stylish suites. This hotel in Phnom Penh also features a host of fine-dining restaurants, the Raffles Spa, and a variety of luxury amenities and facilities.