Aside from the Angkor Wat Temple, what other historical sites do you know in Cambodia? It pays to know which places to check out to get to know the rich history of the country. You want your trip to be educational as much as it is fun, although a huge part of Cambodia’s history is rather brutally sad. Nevertheless, taking a historical tour in Cambodia is surely quite an experience. To maximize your Tiger Airways/Cebu Pacific/Malaysia Airlines flight to this historic country, here are some suggested stops in the different provinces of Cambodia.
Choeng Ek Killing Fields
From the name of this site, you’d easily figure out that it has a dark contribution to the country’s history. A former orchard, the fields served as the site for mass genocides carried out by the communist government of Pol Pot. You can see around 8,000 skulls displayed behind glass. These skulls belong to 8,000 out of the 17,000 people who were killed in the Fields.
Preah Vihear Temple
A UNESCO world heritage site, the Preah Vihear Temple is Cambodia and Thailand’s Scarborough Shoal. Like how the Philippines and China are battling for the Shoal, both Thailand and Cambodia are claiming the temple as their own. Although it is on Cambodian territory, it is easily accessible from Thailand, hence the contention. It is also set atop of a mountain, making it even more of a hassle to visit. This is why the younger Angkor Wat temple is more popular.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
A former high school building turned into prison by the Pol Pot led group called Khmer Rouge, which was turned into a museum after all the killings that occurred there. Like the Choeng Ek Killing Fields, the Touol Sleng Genocide Museum used to be a place where a lot of people met their end. While it is supposed to only be a prison, a lot of people didn’t have to be brought to the Killing Fields. Torture, starvation and other diseases would get them. In the museum, visitors can see the prison as it was before – torture tools and all.
Angkor Wat Temple
No trip to Cambodia is complete without visiting this famed temple. But did you know that its history is more than just being the site where Angelina Jolie shot the movie Tomb Raider? Built in 1125 and estimated to have been constructed for around 30 years, the Temple stands as the icon of the whole country, reflective of its main religion Hinduism and of the influential people who were passionate about their faith in it.