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Vlog #25. I visit The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Killing Fields are a number of sites in Cambodia where collectively more than …


  1. Mark Clemente сказал:

    I want to thank you so many times for your videos. You're not afraid to show all sides of a country or talk about the controversial topics that so many people are afraid to talk about or show. As an anthropologist, this is one of the many things that I have studied. I study human skeletal remains from various contexts and anthropologists have worked extensively helping to uncover remains from the Khmer Rouge regime. In one of the classes I took on the Anthropology of Violence and Peace in my undergraduate days, we took a lot of time on this period and genocide. Pol Pot killed anyone that he thought was lesser of him or lesser than what an ideal person should be. He killed people who wore glasses because he thought that anyone who wore glasses was smarter than him and he felt that was a threat to his regime. He killed men and boys more commonly because of the same idea of the threat these people might have on him in the future. It wasn't until the 1990s when he was finally taken out of power. While the majority of the killings happened, as you said, during the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge regime continued until around 1997 when the rest of the world decided to step in and end the terror on the Cambodian people.

    The Killing Fields is an amazing memorial that shows how much was lost for the people of Cambodia. During times of travesty, we have to find ways to commemorate those who have lost their lives or have been impacted by the acts of violence and this is one of those commemorative memorials that anthropologists have helped to design. While I don't agree with the use of human skeletal remains as a memorial, it does help us to think back on the past and hopefully can help stop this from happening to this degree again.

    On a side note, one of the main theories on why Pol Pot came to power the way he did was the way in which the US government pulled out of Vietnam following the war. We didn't ensure that there was a stable government in the region at all. We left and let them deal with it themselves. This is something that we are sadly famous for. We go into a country and attack them and then leave the country or region in shambles. I'm hoping that this can stop and we will stop using war as a first tactic because it doesn't help any at all.

    Again, I want to thank you for all of your videos. I didn't start watching your videos until fairly recently when you were in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. but I'm going back and watching all of your videos from the beginning.

  2. Brenton Lett сказал:

    I grew up through the era of the Vietnam war. As a kid I became interested in South East Asia and have been travelling there since 1995. I remember when The Khmer Rouge had invaded Phnom Penn in 1974, it was the year I started work. I also knew of Angkor Wat as a kid and was fascinated by it, an ancient civilisation living in the jungle but much romanticised by boys books and comics in the 60s. I tried to go into Cambodia in 1995 as they had just started allowing tourists in but was talked out of it as the Khmer Rouge was still operating in the jungles of the north and it was considered dangerous at temples like Banteay Srei. The year before 2 Aussies and a British backpacker had been killed, they were ambushed outside Banteay Srei and had been executed. You couldn't safely travel freely through Cambodia then. I regretted not going so I went back in 1998 to Angkor and Phnom Penn. I visited both S21 and the killing fields. The Killing Fields weren't the tourist attraction its become now. When I went they'd just constructed the glass tower with the skulls. The rest of the place was tracks around large pits with signs saying they were mass graves, there was bones and clothing coming out of the ground.  There were kids begging. People asked me at the time why would you ever want to holiday in a place like that, but I felt it was important like you say, if we don't remember these things and tell others we risk the same thing happening again. The sad thing was the west just basically ignored it all as it was happening, American politicians had been politically beaten by the American public who wanted out of Vietnam, so there was no way the US was going to tell them we need to go back and stop Pol Pot. I remember when I was at the killing fields not knowing what I should feel, it was all hard for the brain to comprehend although I knew a lot about the Khmer Rouge thing. What I didn't expect was how actually being there would affect me. It wasn't until a week or so later I woke in the night from dreaming of all these skulls that endlessly kept coming towards me that I was able to start processing it all. Going there at that time changed me. I have great admiration for people of that part of the world and what they went through only to pick them selves up and start again. Of course they had no option. I remember talking with Cambodian people about it all, they had been kids at the time but remembered it all, now they were in their early thirties. A large amount of the older generation had been killed so everyone seemed under 30. They seemed to have glazed over eyes when they spoke of what they went through. The thing that got me was being told that I was wealthy and lucky. I told them I wasn't wealthy at all, to be told yes you are, you have a passport and can get out of here. Phnom Penn was a mess at the time and there was huge poverty.

  3. Phloss сказал:

    The way you handled this was perfect. Respectful and informative. Is still a little known thing that happened and videos like this educate in the right way. Cambodia is one of my favourite places on earth so i ended up here. Would love to see your take on Sihanoukville, the stark contrast between tourism and poverty really comes to a head there IMO. And not so far away, Kampot with the crazy French architecture and the mad bridge that was blown up then repaired with whatever they could find. Some real interesting stuff in Cambodia that is rarely reported on. Absolutely loving your content and just sharing some ideas that I at least would find very interesting. Keep doing what you're doing,. your content is ace.

  4. TheAdventurousVlogger сказал:

    Hi. I am currently in planning stage for my asia trip and will be spending time in Phnom Penh,I heard of this place,but to see it wow! Will be paying a visit as well,You made a great video from a horrible situation,You got a new subscriber here,look forward to following your adventures.Stay safe……John

  5. Karin B сказал:

    Thank you, thank you for doing this. The genocide happened when I was 7-11 years old, and by the time the world learned of it, I was 12, the US was in the Cold War with Russia and I was moving from protected childhood into knowledge that things like genocide happened. So many travelers and travel vloggers focus on the beauty and magic of Angkor Wat, but when I think of Cambodia, I remember the Killing Fields. It's super important for people to know & remember, so again, thank you for going, filming, and posting. Younger people need to know what happened so we can avoid a recurrence of such things in the future.

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