Small group & tailor-made Thailand tours 0845 130 48 49

In this section...


Currency converter

Change the prices displayed on
the site with the click of a mouse


Tour finder



Tuol Sleng, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Prisoner's cell, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Prison doors, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Map of skulls, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
Above: Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
  • Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
  • Prisoner's cell, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
  • Prison doors, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia
  • Map of skulls, Tuol Sleng prison, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is one of major attractions in Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, and a poignant reminder of the brutality of man.

The museum was once a High School and was converted into a Khmer Rouge prison in 1975. The prison was used for the holding, interrogation and extermination of more than 17,000 inmates in the 4 years that it was in operation.

The thousands of inmates were arrested and incarcerated for various reasons, which were mostly fictitious, but mainly for being part of (or related to someone from) the previous Lon Nol regime or who those didn't agree with the new Angkor regime.

The original classrooms were divided and adapted to make a variety of different cell types from small, solitary confinement cells to large torture chambers. Whichever the cell, the inmates were forced to sleep on bare floors or boards, shackled together and were forbidden to speak. As many as 1500 were held here at any one time and they were kept alive on four small spoonfuls of rice porridge and watery soup of leaves twice a day.

Skin diseases were rife and inmates often endured severe beatings as well as torture as punishment for disobedience. They were even made to eat and drink their own faeces and urine.

The rules listed outside the prison still remain today (bad grammar is due to the translation from Khmer):

  1. You must answer accordingly to my question. Don’t turn them away.
  2. Don’t try to hide the facts by making pretexts this and that, you are strictly prohibited to contest me.
  3. Don’t be a fool for you are a chap who dare to thwart the revolution.
  4. You must immediately answer my questions without wasting time to reflect.
  5. Don’t tell me either about your immoralities or the essence of the revolution.
  6. While getting lashes or electrification you must not cry at all.
  7. Do nothing, sit still and wait for my orders. If there is no order, keep quiet. When I ask you to do something, you must do it right away without protesting.
  8. Don’t make pretext about Kampuchea Krom in order to hide your secret or traitor.
  9. If you don’t follow all the above rules, you shall get many many lashes of electric wire.
  10. If you disobey any point of my regulations you shall get either ten lashes or five shocks of electric discharge.

Interrogation and forced confessions were initiated with torture. Methods of torture used included electric shocks, suffocation, pulling out of fingernails, branding, water boarding and even rape.

Extermination was induced by crude techniques such as being bludgeoned with blunt items such as machetes, iron rods and pick axes, any items that could avoid using expensive ammunition. Bodies were then buried in mass graves, many at the famous Choeung Ek extermination centre, 15 kilometres from Phnom Pehn.

Your experience at the museum will be a chilling one – though the captors were cruel they were well organised and documented inmates by photograph. The pictures cover the walls of some of the cells and create an imposing atmosphere as you wander the school halls past weapons of torture and the skulls of inmates.

Highlighted tours...

View more tours like these
Temple of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Cambodia Uncovered

Cambodia

From UK£0 per person

13days
Halong Bay near Hanoi, Vietnam

Vietnam & Cambodia...

Vietnam and Cambodia

From UK£0 per person

15days

News & features

Boat diving

Short guide about the pros and cons of boat diving.

Round the world flights

Short guide to finding the best round the world flight.

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Largest city in the north of Thailand and ideal base for jungle trekking, rafting and other adventure activities.

Chiang Rai, Thailand

Chiang Rai is an excellent base from which to explore the Golden Triangle - Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.

Boat diving

Short guide about the pros and cons of boat diving.

PADI diving courses

Detailed look at the various courses offered by PADI.

View more news & features


Customer feedback

"Thank you for organising such a fantastic tour. Very friendly and well organised. Nothing too much trouble for our guides."

Georgina Bruce (Thailand tailor-made)

Read more feedback


 

Signup to our newsletter

Our offers, straight to your inbox


  • Atol Logo
  • TTA Logo
  • TTA Logo

Thailand Uncovered, Head office: Leigh House, Varley Steet, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS28 6AN

Phone: +44 (0) 845 130 48 49 Fax: +44 (0) 845 130 48 84

Office Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat 09:30-12:30. Registered in the UK: 7560987

Copyright © 2017 Uncover the World TravelLtd.