6 Biggest Battle Sites Around The World You Must Visit
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Discover the captivating battlefield stories of yesteryear at these destinations around the world
By Pamela Chow
Photo: Everett Historical / Shutterstock.com
The world is a beautiful place, but it’s not without its grim pasts.
We take a look at some of the most significant war sites around the world, and remember their stories, heroic battles and explore why you should visit them.
Today, Choeung Ek displays the skulls of more than 8,000 victims, with fragments of bone, teeth and fabric scattered throughout the mass graves. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Cambodia: Choeung Ek Killing Fields
Choeung Ek is a former longan orchard which became a sinister site during the reign of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-1979. Led by the infamous revolutionary Pol Pot, the communist regime carried out terrifying mass genocide here.
An estimated 17,000 civilians were killed and buried at Choeung Ek. In 1980, the remains of almost 9,000 people were exhumed from mass graves, and in 1988, a Buddhist Memorial Stupa was raised for the victims.
Today, the skulls of more than 8,000 victims are displayed behind glass panels, arranged by gender and age. Fragments of bone, teeth and fabric still litter the ground where the bodies used to lay.
Visitors can explore the site with an audio tour, which includes survivors’ stories — including a chilling account by Choeung Ek guard and executioner Him Huy about some of the techniques used in the killings.
Choeung Ek is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm daily, and visitors can enter with a small fee (about US$2). A memorial ceremony is held annually here on 9 May.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 155, June 24 - July 7, 2016, with the headline 'Live to die another day: Biggest battle sites around the world'.
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