ACTIVITY REVIEW: The Killing Fields at Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
The Killing Fields at Choeung Ek, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
A visit to the Killing Fields at Choueng Ek is considered a right of passage for any first-time visitor to Phnom Penh. To truly understand and appreciate everything you will experience in Cambodia, whether it be the kindness and compassion of the Khmer people or the delicious Khmer dishes you will eat, a visit here will introduce a new level of appreciation. The unfortunate history is evident and that’s ok because something this tragic should never be forgotten.
Do remember that a visit here is not for the faint of heart. Having visited former concentration camps in Europe, we were still unprepared for the honest recount of events from survivors that you will hear during your audio guide. Not to mention the visuals. You will see clothing, skulls and bone fragments from victims as well as depressions in the ground that are still home to victims. This is a brutally honest, no-holes barred tour that you will be glad you did.
How to get there
Hire a tuk tuk driver to take you there, wait for you to complete your tour and then return you to the city. You can approach just about any tuk tuk driver and they will know how to get to Choueng Ek, in fact they will likely offer to take you there before you even ask.
TIP: Tuk tuk’s drivers parked outside hotels and tourist attractions will try to charge more so wander away from the hotspots to hire your tuk tuk.
The Killing Fields at Choueng Ek are located south of Phnom Penh. The tuk tuk ride took approximately 40 minutes from the center of the city.
• $6 USD for entry to the site, which includes an audio guide and headset
• $15 USD for transport from Phnom Penh in the Tuk-Tuk. This is negotiable with the driver of course, but do not pay more that $20 unless you are feeling very generous
• There are shops onsite for purchase of snacks and water
• There is a donation box at the end of the tour, 100% optional
When to visit
The site is open daily from 8:00 AM – 5: 30 PM, however you may tour until 6:00 PM. Weather in and around Phnom Penh can be hot, so like any outdoor tour in a hot climate, go as early or late as possible, within operating hours of course. We listened to the entire audio guide, took our time and visited each of the stops on the tour and it took about 2.5 hours.
If you are unaware of the history of Cambodia and the infamous Khmer Rouge regime, we suggest you visit the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek as early in your trip as possible. We went midway through our stay and needless to say the second half of our visit was viewed through a different lens.
What to bring
• An open mind
We hope this review helps when planning your visit to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek.
If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to Contact Us.