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A Visit to the Killing Caves & Bat Cave in Battambang

Battambang was not spared from the onslaught of the Khmer Rouge during Polpot's reign. There are pockets of execution grounds located in the outskirts of the town. Our driver suggested we visit the sites during our stay in Battambang. Just hearing about the sites was a sobering experience, which prepared me for the Killing Fields and S21 in Phnom Penh.

An Eerie Experience Inside the Killing Caves

Just before our visit to the killing caves, our crew of French and Filipinos stopped by a temple just above the sites. It was like any other Buddhist temple in Cambodia. Despite being near the killing caves, there was a aura of calm emanating from the people. I can't believe that execution sites are actual tourist destinations. But I believe they serve a purpose and a reminder of darker days that must not be allowed to happen again.

It was dark. I could barely see anything inside the cave. Flashing a torch or using the camera's flash didn't show much, I wasn't keen on seeing anything either. Hearing about the dead and their remains inside the cave was a sobering experience. There is an entrance fee of $3 to enter the killing caves.

Aside from the gloomy atmosphere of the killing caves, there was an excellent overlooking view of the province at the mountain's peak. Our group was stranded at the temple near the caves because of the torrential rain. Note to self: expect the unexpected every time you travel.

To the Bat Cave!

There was a bat cave at the foot of the mountain where the killing caves were located. It was quite amusing to see droves of bats coming out of the cave to feast on insects. We had a nice chat with one of the locals just before walking to the bat cave. He was fluent in English and French. He also loved how laid back Battambang was compared to the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh.

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