Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

4.6
#1 of 44 in Museums in Cambodia
A testament to the darkest side of human nature, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum protects the memory of the victims of the Khmer Rouge that were imprisoned and tortured in the classrooms of this former high school. From 1975 to 1979, the notorious regime detained over 17,000 prisoners here alone--including the former guards who fell from mercy of their superiors and several foreign citizens from the USA, Australia, and New Zealand. Nearly all prisoners who didn't die on spot from the consequences of brutal molestations were later executed in the killing fields. The exhibits include rusty beds, torturing tools, and numerous portraits of victims--sometimes photographed pre and post "treatment." Ask the guide to tell you some of their stories. Watch the documentary featuring interviews with former guards. Note that the displays--especially the photos of the bodies of prisoners who were killed as the Vietnamese liberating army was approaching the city--are extremely graphic and may not be appropriate for all visitors. See Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and all Phnom Penh has to offer by arranging your trip with our Phnom Penh online sightseeing planner .
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
11,078 reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Worth while seeing while in Phnom Penn. I feel so so so sorry for the families and friends effected by this. I would not bring children here, some pictures are really unsuitable. Go by tuk tuk not hop...  more »
  • The visit of the S21 was very informative and glimpse the cruel operations of the regime of the Khmer Rouge. Thanks to the audio guides with background information, as well as partial original statements from victims and perpetrators were clearly experienced the individual stations. At the end of our tour, we met two survivors of the prison, Mr. Chum Mey and Mr Bou Meng, who reported about your experiences. The entrance fee is currently $8 per person including audio guides in german. The audio guide is strongly recommended! An important contribution to the enlightenment and essential during a visit to Cambodia. Heavy and touching.
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  • Impressive description of the processes in the S 21, very good audio editing! For me a must-see, especially in these times of!! !
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Google
  • What I particularly liked about the museum is that it has a garden where you can enjoy some fresh air, sit and listen to some of the audio guide stops. The overall experience was that it felt organized and documented, there are a lot of pictures of people, can be a little overwhelming at times, but you don't have to study all the faces, you can move along. The audio guide advises when there are images that could be strong, but considering what the museum is you should be prepared. At the end I left knowing something more than when I entered. Don't miss the witnesses and the extra in the audio guide, I though they were interesting. 2 hours is about the right duration but consider some time more if you don't walk too fast.
  • A most see if you are in Phnom Penh. Although the content and imagery in the museum can be overwhelming it is very educational and a reminder to not let history repeat itself. You can easily spend 2 hours touring the grounds with the audio set they provide you at the door. I highly recommend using the headset with audio the museum provides as it will guide you through the museum and is very engaging and informative.
  • This place is a real gem and definitely a must-go for any visitor to Phnom Penh to understand the genocide that happened barely half a century ago. I would definitely recommend opting for the audio guide as it helps in understanding the various aspects of S21. On each building, feel free to roam and explore the higher floors although the audio guide doesn't cover it. If you are in a rush, you could definitely follow the "must-see" spots on the audio guide, otherwise I would recommend taking your time and exploring the museum, taking time to ponder and understand the various stories of survivors.
  • This site should be visited before the Killing Fields as it gives an insight to the torturing carried out before the victims were sent to the Killing Fields. The audio guide is very good with additional information for more in-depth understanding of what horrors took place here. Pol Pot was not an uneducated leader. He even studied in Paris. His radical plan for the country required that any dissentor and their family be eliminated after extracting the required confessions. When the prison was liberated your will find out how the staff killed the remaining victims in a way to not attract the attention of the liberating forces. You will also learn why other countries did not know about the atrocities carried out by the Pol Pot regime. This is not a happy place but is essential to understand what took place so that we can stop it happening in other parts of the world. Since Pol Pot there have been more examples of genocide. It will not be easy but this museum will demonstrate how a regime can hide its activities for many years
  • There are barrier free slopes for wheelchairs to go around. I’ve brought my kids there,6 and 9 years old. It’s a great chance for education if parents can explain the history for them. I’ve watched documentary with kids named First They Killed My Father, after visited the museum to help them understand. The documentary was filmed from a 5 years old little girl perspective, kids are easy to empathize.
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6 days in Ho Chi Minh City & Phnom Penh BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Thailand & Cambodia BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM THAILAND April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM THAILAND April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 9 days in Cambodia, Ho Chi Minh City & Bangkok BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 16 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM BELGIUM November, culture, romantic, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 13 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Phnom Penh & Siem Reap BY A USER FROM INDONESIA January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Bangkok & Cambodia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 40 days in Middle East & Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in Asia BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM PAKISTAN March, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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