Phnom Penh

The Royal Palace

My trip through Indochina continued in Cambodia. I visited the capital Phnom Penh in a gloomy day and I suddenly understood it was completely different from Vietnam. While I was strolling around the streets, I saw the same decay and dirtiness but not the same vitality. It’s explicative the contrast between the Royal Palace, where the king lives and the floating villages along the river. I also visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which was used as a security prison by the Khmer Rouge communist regime from its rise to power in 1975 to its fall in 1979. Looking the cells and the torture tools, seeing the faces of people killed and meeting Bou Meng, one of the few people survived, took my smile away.

Just few days ago I heard that one of the others survivors, Vann Nath, died at the age of 65. He was a painter and his talent as an artist helped him to survive because he was told to create artworks of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot. Only in 2002 he decided to realize paintings illustrating scenes of torture that now are hanging on the walls of Tuol Sleng Museum.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

pic by martina

Bou Meng, a survivor from the prison

on the Mekong river

pic by simone

pic by martina


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