Ba Chuc Temple – An Giang

Ba Chuc Temple, close to the Cambodian border, just inside Vietnam, is known as the Bone Pagoda. The pagoda stands as a grisly reminder of the horrors perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 and 1978 Khmer Rouge guerrillas regularly crossed the border into Vietnam and slaughtered civilians.

Between 12 April and 30 April 1978, the Khmer Rouge killed 3157 people at Ba Chuc. Only two people are known to have survived. Many of the victims were tortured to death.

Two other notable pagodas at Ba Chuc are Chua Tam Buu and Chua Phi Lai. The Bone Pagoda has a common tomb housing the skulls and bones of over 1100 victims. This resembles Cambodia’s Choeung Ek killing fields, where thousands of skulls of Khmer Rouge victims are on display. Near the skull collection is a temple that displays gruesome photos taken shortly after the massacre. The display is both fascinating and horrifying and you will need a strong stomach in order to visit.

To reach Ba Chuc follow the road that runs along the canal from Chau Doc to Ha Tien. Turn off this main road onto Hwy 3T and follow it for 4km.

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