For the day we hired a taxi bike for the ...

Trip Start Oct 25, 2001
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, November 6, 2001

For the day we hired a taxi bike for the day, and travelled to the killing field's of Choeung Ek. This is where between 1975 and 1978 17,000 men women and children (including 9 westerners) were innocently held at the S-21 prison, thenwere transported to Choeun Ek extermination camp, tortured then killed. Most were often bludgeoned to death to avoid wasting bullets. In 1980 the remains of 8985 were exhumed from the mass graves. 43 of the 129 communual grave pits have been left untouched.
Today there is a memorial stupta in which over 8,000 skulls of the dead are arranged by age, and sex. The level of skulls stretch almost to the ceiling of the stupta, and on the bottom shelf is a bundle of dirty clothes that were found in some of the grave pits.
It was an incredable sight to see. To think that each skullwas once a human that got severley beaten, then killed in cold blood.
Some of trees around the pits have pieces of human bones, and teeth scattered around.

After visiting such a sombre place, we decided to visit the nearby shooting range near to the international airport. Well they call it a shooting range, but it was basically a wooden shack in the middle of a field with a selection of deadly weapons to choose from.
The list they had was fairly vaired. the most expensive firing weapon on the list was a B-40 rocket propelled grenade launcher, costing $200. For that you also get a choice of aiming the rocket at a car, goat, or a cow!!!
I chose to have a go at the Colt 45 handgun, containing 7 bullets, and the AK-47 rifle with a 30 bullet magazine. There was also a M-60 mounted machine gun on the list, but my budged was stretched to choose both.
No membership fees, and no licence required to use these deadly machines.Only in Cambodia!
My crash course in how to use the guns was "hold here, look though here, and press the trigger"!! After shooting all the rounds onto a distant target we relaxed by a table, trying to take in that I had just fired a round of bullets from a AK-47.
After another look at the menu list I chose to have a go at throwing a hand grenade into a nearby water pit. Again inthe films iv'e watched in the past, i knew roughly how to use one, but the man who put the live grenade in my had just said "pull pin out SLOWLY, then throw grenade into the middle of the pit".
It suddenly hit me that i had a live grenade in my hand, and couldn't help but think what if it went off in my hand?. As I started to pull the pin, the man kept repeating "slowly, slowly", eventually what seened like hours i had the pin out, and wasted no time in tossing it into the water to watch it explode.
It's ironic to think that as i travel over Cambodia, iam cautious to avoid straying into the countryside onto hidden land mines, and here iam paying to have a explosive placed in my right hand!

What a day.
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