Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh

#1 of 53 in Museums in Cambodia
Must see · History Museum · Museum
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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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
12,729 reviews
  • tragic but educational, this place deserves every Cambodian visiting as lots of young people seem to have forgotten their own history - -  more »
  • Cambodia History are here, if you want to know more should come here, outdoor security was very helpful alway guide you what to do upon arrival  more »
  • My experience here was very similar to my experience at the killing fields of Choeung Ek, in that I took my camera but, once inside, had no inclination to take photos. The museum, formerly the S-21...  more »
  • This place is really sad to visit yet eye-opening and informative at the same time. The English audio tour is easy to understand and it takes about three hours to finish the whole thing, if I'm not mistaken. Alternatively, you can listen to the highlighted audio clips only, which will take you an hour to finish. They have a dress code here as a matter of respect so please wear appropriate attire. Shoulders must be covered, wear long pants, no crop tops, and no skin-tight clothes.
  • It's definitely worth a visit and the audio guide is greatly recommended. I think I spend roughly two hours listening to most of the stuff and going on a leisurely pace. You could probably spend 1-2 hours more reading everything on the additional exhibitions and listening everything on the audio guide. Not sure if it's forced, but would recommend wearing long (knees covered) pants and to cover your shoulders.
  • One of my primary reasons for visiting the city was to visit here and it is one of the best guides to a site I have had. The audio guide is very informative and interesting. It is a harrowing site but worthwhile visiting. The guide is tastefully done and really gives you a sense of what occurred here. I would highly recommend visiting.
  • Remember to dress modestly to visit this place (and other respectful places such as temples): long pants/skirt that pass knee length, do not show shoulders, back or belly. Lily- our Cambodian tour organizer- thanked us for visiting here on our vacation, but I am the grateful one to be a witness of the painful history of Cambodia, and am grateful that they keep this site a museum so we can not forget what happened, and try our best to stop it from ever happening again. I don't remember weeping so much at any other museum, it is not a light-hearted come-and-chill stop, but it is a must. I highly recommend! Oh the English audio tour was wonderfully done!
  • Ok, so this place provided the most challenging but rewarding history lesson ever experienced. I will never forget this place and the history conveyed to me here. I'm utterly speechless, but I'll try to write a few sensible words. Please get the audio guide when you enter, without it you'll not be able to learn and appreciate this place to the fullest extent. Why would you visit a genocide museum? Rather ask yourself why would you not want to learn about the brutal past of the country you're visiting. I almost feel like one is obligated to pay this place a visit. With the audio guide you'll listen to stories of brutality, of hope, of helplessness and so on an so forth. One would think that these things would never happen after WW2, but boy we were wrong, so wrong. The place is exceptionally well curated, and you'll have plenty of time just walking around processing all the information and new knowledge of a ruthless regime.

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