Cambodia’s Choeung Ek: Once Brutal, Now Quiet
Behind the trees, unseen children shout and shriek in delight.
There’s an occasional thud of a football being kicked.
Birds twitter and trill.
In the distance, some ancient form of farm machinery drones.
There is no other sound.
As the shadows lengthen and the light dims, I sit and strain to hear something, to feel something, something from the past.
The Killing Fields, Choeung Ek, 15 kilometres from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, is a quiet place now.
Quiet but very very sad.
Nearly 9,000 bodies have been uncovered at Choeung Ek, from an estimated 1 million killed at the former orchard and Chinese graveyard during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s.
6 years ago