One of the most emotional places I have ever been in, the Tol Sleung Genocide Prison was the prison sight of some of the worst tortures under the Khmer Rouge Regime. Led by Comrade Duch, an estimated 17,000 people were tortured and executed in many of these wooden holding cells.
In the city of Batambang, the capital of one of the most heavily mined regions of Cambodia, a statue commemorates those who were lost during both the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese occupation in a strange way. Based around an ancient Khmer statue seen on many of the temples, this statue was built using parts of guns, bullets and casings.
Built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman, Ankor Wat was not just a state temple, but also the capital of the mighty Khmer empire. In its heyday, over a million people lived in and around the temples. Today, Ankor Wat is the symbol of Cambodia and remains to this day a striking example of ancient architecture and beauty.
Throughout the 1970s, nearly 1.4 to 2.2 million people died at the hands of the communist Khmer Rouge regime. The regime, based on trying to rewind the clock back to year zero, targeted hundreds of thousands of people and forced children against their parents.
One of the most gripping and emotional movies, The Killing Fields, is still one of the best depictions of life under the Khmer Rouge. Still to this day, travelers pay their respects at the Tol Sleung genocide prison and the killing fields themselves.