Killing caves of Phnom Sampeau
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The killing caves of Phnom Sampeau are caves in Phnom Sampeau, a hill 7 miles (11 km) southwest of Battambang in Cambodia. Major atrocities occurred there during the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Many victims were bludgeoned to death and then tossed into holes which served as the skylights to the caves. Men and women were placed in separate caves and clothes in another. Today there is a large glass memorial in the cave next to the skulls and bones and a golden reclining Buddha. It is reached via a staircase. A memorial, assembled from cyclone fencing and chicken wire, contains human bones at the base of the stairway.
The killing caves are located on the Mountain of Phnom Sampeau, about mid-way up the mountain along a 250-metre (820 ft) well-made diversion road. The mountain is of karstic limestone and has a group of temples located on it.
The caves, which are approached through a series of steps flanked by green vegetation, have a golden, reclining Buddha image. Skulls and bones are kept in a glass-covered cabin next to the Buddha statue. These were the people who were butchered by the Khmer Rouge Regime; the bodies of those who were butchered were thrown through a natural chute from above, a skylight opening.
At the base point from where the steps lead to the cave, there is an old memorial, a chicken-wire enclosure which also houses skulls and bones of those killed by the Khmer Rouge. Another feature seen is an incomplete Buddha carving, a 30-foot (9.1 m) image, carved partly into the rock face of the hill, with only the head of the Buddha exposed. Lack of funds was the reason for its incompleteness.
- DK Travel Guides (1 June 2011). DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Cambodia & Laos. Dorling Kindersley Limited. p. 91. ISBN 978-1-4053-4985-7.
- Ray, Nick; Bloom, Greg; Robinson, Daniel (1 July 2010). Cambodia 7. Lonely Planet. pp. 256–. ISBN 978-1-74179-457-1. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Lonely Planet Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Northern Thailand. Lonely Planet. 2012. pp. 324–. ISBN 978-1-74220-700-1. Retrieved 3 January 2013.