Phnom Penh | Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Museum & Temples

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh -1

We arrived into Phnom Penh by high speed boat from Chau Doc.  It was a miserable journey I think mostly due to tiredness after our long, but awesome, day in the Mekong with Mr Vu and his family.

Eden listening to the audio guide, bracelets left as a mark of respect

Eden listening to the audio guide, bracelets left as a mark of respect

As usual, our first port of call was to find our hotel, check-in and eat and then of course have early nights; which were very much welcomed by all of us.

walking around Choeung Ek Killing Fields

walking around Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The next morning we rang Mr Seven, our tuktuk driver who took us to our hotel the previous day and left us with his phone number.  Mr Seven was a great driver and extremely nice guy; if anyone is looking for a tuktuk driver I still have Mr Seven’s number if you would like it!

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh 10

Mr Seven took us the Choeung Ek Killing Fields where he waited while we toured the grounds listening to the audio guide.



Prior to heading to Cambodia Matt & I talked about whether this was something we wanted to do with the girls and in the end we decided it was important, however we were unsure of whether or not we would allow Eden listen to the audio guide.

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh 9

When we purchased our tickets and they were handing out the guides Eden really wanted to get one also; we took her aside and explained that what she was going to hear would probably be very sad and at times horrendous.

walking the streets of Phnom Penh

walking the streets of Phnom Penh

In the end we allowed her to listen to the guide, one of us would listen ahead and if we felt that it was something we really didn’t want her to hear we would skip that part on her guide.  Between each chapter we would stop and ask her if she had any questions; she had 3 questions that entire day…

Tuol Sleng Museum

Tuol Sleng Museum

  1.  What is a burial?
  2. What does Angkor mean?
  3. Was Pol Pot nice? – this last question she asked many many times.

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh 2

What we were hearing on the audio guide was heartbreaking but also what we were seeing.  35 years since these particular mass graves were excavated and bones, teeth and clothing are still resurfacing; it is incredibly sad.

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Mr Seven then drove us to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which was once a high school until Pol Pot turned it into a Security Prison (S-21).  By this point the girls were tired and Matt & I were pretty drained by all that we had seen & heard that morning.

caught in the rain

caught in the rain

We stopped at Friends the restaurant for lunch and a delicious chili margarita which I first heard about from Kassie when she visited last year

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Mr Seven had left as at this point since we were within walking distance to Wat Ounalum which was next on our list as well as our hotel.

Wat Ounalom

Wat Phnom

As we started walking the streets the Cambodia rainy season started!  We got absolutely drenched but it felt great; even Eden enjoyed it!

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh 8

That evening, after our naps, we headed to check out one last temple; Wat Phnom and as we rode the tuktuk back to the hotel we got to witness a gorgeous sunset.

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh -6

My only big regret about our time in Phnom Penh is our lack of street art sightings as i know there are some great pieces/areas floating about the city.

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh -5

Our time in Phnom Penh was short but we were ready to move on….to Battambang!

Fun Flying Four Phnom Penh -7

Linking up to Wanderlust Wednesday 


8 responses to “Phnom Penh | Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng Museum & Temples

  1. I totally agree with you about the killing fields and really admire you for letting Eden learn about it. I really loved Phnom Penh so I’m a little bummed your time was so short, but totally understand!

    • we had 2 nights there but after arriving there from Chau Doc we were all pretty beat so didn’t do much that first day…I had thought we would have done stuff that day giving us more time the next day but that didn’t happen. I wasn’t in love with the city, but we weren’t really there long enough to fall in love with it. Maybe next time! I think when you become a parent you want to wrap your kids up in cottonwool and shelter them from seeing anything sad/harmful etc but there are certain things we feel are important for our kids to see, so we filter some things and others we just hold their hands & do our best to explain which in this case was incredibly hard because Eden just couldn’t comprehend why someone would do such things, in the end I had to tell her that as an adult I too couldn’t understand it :/

  2. Hannah, Have you and Matt watched the movie The Killing Fields? It is a sad but very captivating movie based on a true story
    . I highly recommend it.

  3. “Was Pol Pot nice?”… How did you answer that?? Reading this makes me feel I am a little too protective over my own kids. I am not sure I am ready to expose my kids to such history and realities. I stick to my themed parks and aquariums for now.

    • I understand your decision to stick with the theme parks & aquariums. Matt & I are pretty open with our kids about things and there are certain things I feel is important for them to learn about but we will protect them from some of the really graphic pictures/stories.

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