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The faces, Angkor Wat Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights Reserved. Ankor Wat Angkor Wat at Dawn Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights Reserved. Ankor Wat
The Faces, Angkor Wat Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights reserved. Temple detail, Angkor Wat Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights Reserved.
Angkor Wat with Banyan Trees Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights reserved. Ankor Wat Angkor Wat Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights Reserved. Ankor Wat
Danger: Land Mines Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights reserved. Photograph of S21 victims of the Khmer Rouge. Mother and baby murdered, the Killing Fields, Kampuchia, genocide Cambodia. © Beren Patterson. All Rights reserved

Cambodia

I was apprehensive about going to Cambodia. Not because I was scared of being robbed at gun point, although that is common enough. I was worried that Cambodia was going to be a cultural wasteland.

Upon entering Cambodia I caught a pick-up truck from the Thai border and spent two days covered in dust bouncing along amongst villages and fields. Cambodians are some of the friendliest people I have ever had the pleasure of traveling amongst. While their past is certainly there, the people seem remarkably resilient. I found it very humbling.

Cambodia's Recent History

One the things that struck me when visiting S21 was the lack of information about individuals. There were just so many people and each must have had a story. I wanted to know if any had managed to escape, why they were there. All this faces looking at their captors' camera. Few looked scared, although they must have been terrified. Most look resigned. They must have been through so much.

There are some good resources on the internet to find out more information about the Khmer Rouge regime.

Thida Mam, who, at 15 had her father taken away and murdered while the rest of her family were made to work in the fields for 4 years. The horrors of her experience are absolutely terrifying. Her story is here.

Cambodia Genocide Program run by Yale University has a huge, searchable database on victims, information on the trials of various members of the Khmer Rouge and links to other sites.