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Khmer Rouge Legacy in Battambang

August 8, 2013 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: , ,

During one of our day tours around Battambang we take a ride on the bamboo train, visit seldom seen temples and learn how the locals live. We also visit the Killing Caves of Phnom Sompov and gain a deeper insight into Cambodia’s dark days under Pol Pot.

Guided by a knowledgeable guide, we visit Ta Mok’s house. Also known as Uncle Mok or Brother Number 5, he was responsible for thousands of deaths while leading the national army in the years of the Khmer Rouge. The house, an uninspiring grey structure with a bunker in the basement, lies at a peaceful lake. Now almost entirely stripped, this is the place where Ta Mok and his consorts gathered, approved death sentences, and had their beers.

We continue our road trip and pass a bamboo train. It is used by locals as a handy means of transport. Clients can ride this unique contraption themselves. The road leads us further through many small villages where we stop to indulge in various activities like making korlan bamboo sticky rice, fish paste, rice and banana paper. We also visit a crocodile farm and enjoy lunch at a restaurant along the scenic river.

Our guide explains us about the white flags hanging outside houses on certain occasions, the variety of fruit grown, and why people wear bright colors for parties.

Around sunset, we reach Wat Ek Phnom, the temple on top of Phnom Sompov – a stunning and seldom-visited temple, and the site of the infamous Killing Caves. Here there is also a memorial. The view over the Cambodian countryside is impressive and becomes even more stunning when at the end of the day countless bats exit from a nearby cave.

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