Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Holiday Travel Guide
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

This former prison outside Phnom Penh brings to light the brutality of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge and honors the 17,000 people who lost their lives here. 

Walk through Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum for a sobering reminder of the horrors that humanity is capable of committing. Although a visit here will leave you decidedly depressed, it is an important monument to the lives lost during the barbaric Khmer Rouge regime.

To appreciate the site, review Cambodia’s 20th-century history. In 1975, the forces of the socialist dictator Pol Pot occupied Tuol Svay Prey High School. They turned it into Security Prison 21, known as S-21, the most fearsome detention center in the country. Between 1975 and 1978, the Khmer Rouge tortured and killed over 17,000 people here. Bodies of these innocent men, women and children lie in the nearby Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Field).

Today S-21 is a museum where these horrors are exposed and the lives lost are memorialized. The Khmer Rouge kept meticulous records of their brutality. Most prisoners were photographed, often before and after they were tortured. The museum displays these haunting photos, more horrifying for the knowledge that nearly all of these prisoners were later killed. At the height of its atrocities, Khmer Rouge in S-21 killed about 100 victims per day.

When Vietnamese forces liberated Phnom Penh in 1979, only seven S-21 prisoners remained alive. All of them had bartered their lives so the Khmer Rouge could take advantage of their skills, such as painting and photography.

Hire a guide to walk you through the exhibits and share the stories of the prisoners photographed. Slide presentations take place several times throughout the week. If possible, catch the morning or afternoon screening of Bophana. This documentary tells the true story of a local woman who falls in love with a local Khmer Rouge leader. The two are forced to pay for their crimes by imprisonment at S-21. This powerful film allows visitors to further understand the horrors that took place at the prison.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is open daily. Expect to pay a small admission fee, with a tour guide costing an additional fee.

Top 10 Hotels Near Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Relax Hotel
Relax Hotel
3.5 out of 5
No. 81, Oknha Nou Kan (St. 105), Boeng kengkang III, Chamkamon, Phnom Penh
The price is RM125 per night from 2 Oct to 2 Oct
Located in Chamkar Mon, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Independence Monument and Tuol Tom Pong Market. Silver Pagoda is 1.8 ...
4/5Very Good! (118 reviews)
great for first timers
"Great service. Great staff. Great advice. Would recommend and would stay again. Good starting point if you’ve never been to Cambodia before. Drive was patient and kind concerning our flight delay!"

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2020

Relax Hotel
Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
4 out of 5
No. 2-6, Street 41, Sangkat Tonle Bassa, Chamkar Morn, Phnom Penh
The price is RM275 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Located in Chamkar Mon, this hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from AEON Mall and within 3 miles (5 km) of NagaWorld Casino and National Museum of Cambodia. Olympic Stadium ...
4/5Very Good! (35 reviews)
"The property is new but don't expect so much for breakfast as there's very limited options for food. I prefer to go eating outside. Room is new and fitness is top notched; The streets in front of the hotel is not in very good condition but quite far from malls or walking street."

Reviewed on 11 May 2019

Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
Baitong Hotel & Resort
Baitong Hotel & Resort
4 out of 5
#210 Street 282, BKK1, Phnom Penh
The price is RM240 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Located in Chamkar Mon, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Wat Lang Ka, Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Riverside ...
4.4/5Excellent! (65 reviews)
"Beautiful, relaxing roof terrace baR with tasty food. Lovely staff"

Reviewed on 16 Jan 2021

Baitong Hotel & Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum


Top Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Hotel Deals

Relax Hotel
Relax Hotel
3.5 out of 5
No. 81, Oknha Nou Kan (St. 105), Boeng kengkang III, Chamkamon, Phnom Penh
The price is RM125 per night from 2 Oct to 2 Oct
Relax Hotel
Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
4 out of 5
No. 2-6, Street 41, Sangkat Tonle Bassa, Chamkar Morn, Phnom Penh
The price is RM275 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Somerset Norodom Phnom Penh
Baitong Hotel & Resort
Baitong Hotel & Resort
4 out of 5
#210 Street 282, BKK1, Phnom Penh
The price is RM240 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Baitong Hotel & Resort
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
5 out of 5
26 Old August Site, Sothearos Boulevard, Phnom Penh
The price is RM769 per night from 15 Oct to 15 Oct
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra
Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh
Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh
4 out of 5
No. 115, St. 214 Corner St. 63, Sangkat BeoungReang, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
The price is RM397 per night from 23 Oct to 23 Oct
Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh
Kimseng Thai Hotel
Kimseng Thai Hotel
3 out of 5
St. 62 Sangkhat, Toursonkea Khan Rers Seykeo, Phnom Penh
Kimseng Thai Hotel
The Flora Boutique Hotel
The Flora Boutique Hotel
3 out of 5
Biz 19, Street 320, Beung Keng Kang II, Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh
The Flora Boutique Hotel
SOHO Residence
SOHO Residence
4 out of 5
#425, st.310, Boeung Keng Kang II, Tuol Sleng area, Phnom Penh, Chamkarmorn
The price is RM142 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
SOHO Residence
Patio Hotel & Urban Resort
Patio Hotel & Urban Resort
4 out of 5
No. 134Z, St. 51, Sangkat BKKI, Khan Chamkamorn, Phnom Penh
The price is RM165 per night from 1 Oct to 1 Oct
Patio Hotel & Urban Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.