A Killing Cave in Cambodia
I recently visited the city of Battambang in Cambodia.
I had few expectations about it, but it turned out to be a very pleasant, friendly place.
It is apparently Cambodia’s second city – although I suspect Siem Reap might have something to say about that these days.
One morning we took a trip through the surrounding countryside, unaware of what awaited us.
I have been to the Killing Fields and the S21 prison in Phnom Penh many times, but never to Battambang, so to discover a Khmer Rouge killing cave existed in a mountain nearby was something of a surprise.
That’s down to my ignorance of the country-wide atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge, as well as the lack of publicity the Killing Cave has had in the mainstream travel media.
In fact, I just checked on Wikipedia’s entry for Battambang and the cave isn’t even mentioned.
We took a truck up to the top of the mountain and were shown the hole dropping down into the cave below, where, we were told, tens of thousands of prisoners were killed by throwing them off the mountain, having first been tortured in a small pagoda which still exists today.
It was a pretty grim, thought-provoking place, and, as ever in Cambodia, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the sheer horror of the Khmer Rouge and the terror in death of their victims, although death might have come as a welcome release to many who had been tortured for prolonged periods by then.
We left the Killing Cave with mixed emotions – horror, sadness and impotent anger.
How anyone, let alone the USA, UK, China and Thailand could back these evil shitbags after the Vietnamese had done the world a favour and routed them is an eternal stain on all of them.
I passed my photos to the guys at Crazyasia.net who produced an absolutely stunning, poignant video of it, put to actual Khmer Rouge music, which you can see here: