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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Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
10,586 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Visited Tuol Sleng and in what was a confronting day having been to the Killing Fields earlier this was another reminder of the atrocities of the time and something we all should understand as part of...  more »
  • Auschwitz, tiger cages in Vietnam and now this can the brutal atrocities get any worse. Visited this as part of a quad biking package which I also recommend through Camboquad. It's one of these places...  more »
  • If possible do not take the audio guide and contract a guide, you pay them at the end what you consider. You should ask for them once you buy the ticket because there are not so many. If not avaible t...  more »
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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14 days in Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 21 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA December, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Southeast Asia BY A USER FROM THAILAND January, culture, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 30 days in Cambodia SEE PLAN November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Phnom Penh BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA October, popular sights PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 59 days in Asia BY A USER FROM BRAZIL March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Vietnam, Phnom Penh & Siem Reap BY A USER FROM FRANCE January, culture, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Vietnam & Cambodia BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, culture, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 35 days in Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 17 days in Asia BY A USER FROM CANADA July, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Fast-paced 25 days in Thailand & Cambodia BY A USER FROM BRAZIL December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM INDIA November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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