03/27/2014 06:04 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cambodia Is Heartbreaking

The history is so riddled with invasion, genocide, killing and corruption that it's difficult to catch your breath. What can you say after visiting the prisons where thousands were brutally tortured or the Killing Fields where millions ended up? But just about the time you absorb the horror of the Khmer Rouge's three-year history, the tale moves on to a 10-year civil war followed by the last 20 years of corruption, much of it flowing to the "reconstructed" former killers who now occupy important government positions. We can congratulate the Cambodians for making us remember -- though the memories are appallingly recent.

This is a translated list of prison rules.


Below is a shocking sign in a prison telling tourists (Chinese according to our guide) not to laugh.

The prison guards were so young and uneducated they didn't know numbers so they pointed to the number of fingers to tell the torturer which prisoner was to be tortured that day.

At the Killing Fields you walked around the mass graves where bones and fragments of clothes still appear during flooding.2014-03-24-tumblr_inline_n1lpgb20kX1szvmof.jpg
These string bracelets are left as blessings.