Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

4.6
#1 of 33 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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Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Reviews
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4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Great audio tour, excellent command of English which was really helpful in relating the stories from Cambodia’s recent history. Do this before the killing fields.  more »
  • We arrived at 9am and left at 12pm. It was quite busy however everyone was very respectful and moved slowly and silently through the various buildings. It is a harrowing experience. If you have the au...  more »
  • This is one of the hardest places to visit, but it is vital that people go here to try and understand what happened in Cambodia from 1975-1979, and how the country is still rebuilding itself. After th...  more »
Google
  • Must go. It let you know about the sad history of Cambodia in the 70s. The photos inside could be saddening. Please rent the audio guide during the visit. It has many different languages. It tells you a lot about the stories behind the photos, locations and paintings. The whole museum could take 3 hours to finish. Please spare time. There is a nice coffee shop right opposite to the entrance. You can take a break after the visit. Its too sad for me to post any photo here.
  • Travelling with a 9 and 10 year old we decided not to get the audio tour. The kids would have got restless. We had watched several documentaries before coming. It was good to see in person what we saw on TV. It gets hot, bring water. If you are travelling with kids, in the first building look at one room on the ground floor. Go to the top floor quickly to see a classroom. Then move on to the second building. Quickly look at the prisons in building 3.
  • Great audio guide. Highly recommended. It took me 3 and half hours to do the tour listening to all the records and exploring all the rooms and buildings. I guess this could be the maximum time required. I was going really slow reading all the information and looking at all the pictures. It's definitely a must.
  • Definitely a must-see place when visiting Phnom Penh. The audio guide is really good and really help understand the whole context. I spent 4+ hours there to absorb the stories. So far, this is the best museum experience I have ever had. This is a great effort to weave the darkest period of Cambodian history into a memorial monument for the humanity to learn from.
  • A must for anyone traveling to Cambodia. Awful reminder of the depraved acts we're capable of as humans.. The museum itself is surprisingly peaceful and surrounded in a lot of calm and beauty. It's well laid out, the audio guide (highly recommended) is easy to follow and informative. There are plenty of stories that are well told and painful to hear. This is not an easy place to visit but it is important as a place for remembering those who have suffered

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Where to stay in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh offers an impressive selection of accommodations, from budget-friendly guesthouses and economy hotels, to four- and five-star establishments charging steep prices for a blend of traditional hospitality and modern luxury. For most visitors on a limited budget, private guesthouses remain the best option, providing clean and comfortable rooms near the city's major attractions. Many cater specifically to foreign backpackers, featuring rooftop bars and offering nightly entertainment and organized activities.
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