1/7/06 - Took a flight this morning from Phnom Pehn in Cambodia to Siem Reap. Apologies, but to keep everything correct entries dated 29/6/06 and 30/6/06 should have been under this heading of Cambodia, oops! got carried away typing it all in! Never mind. Therefore Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields are in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. Reached guesthouse in Siem Reap around 11.45am called 'Golden Banana' - lots and lots of rain and muddy underfoot everywhere - yuk! Walked into town over the bridge and went for a foot massage given by a family who are blind. My masseuse was Liam and it was FAB! Nearly fell asleep a few times, but my little 'uh' sounds woke me up again! YIPPEE, I finally managed to update the website today at a local cafe - HURRAH! Relaxed for rest of afternoon, recovering from the shock of my website achievement, then Caitlin and I decided to go out for a little culture. We went to a free cello concert given by a Dr Beat Richner, he is a swiss doctor who has dedicated his working life as a Paediatrician here in Cambodia. He created the Kantha Bopha Foundation, he is a very dedicated and passionate man, who as well as playing us some Bach, also played us some of his own compositions too. He also spent alot of time showing us videos and informing us of how underfunded everything is here in Cambodia and how the Western world needs to change it's attitude towards medical funding and how we can all help with either donations, giving blood, or preferably both! Children have been dying here in their thousands, there is an epidemic of Denghe Fever and has been for a while, but no one seems interested. He told us about how a few years the BBC, CNN, etc. were all camped out here reporting on the SARS epidemic and so all tourists stopped coming, which really damaged the area. The facts are there were never any cases of SARS here, but they weren't interested in the real problem of Genghe Fever. I couldn't get my head round it, but he was saying how governments just report what they want and leave out what they please!! He had a very dry wit and had us in stitches a few times. He told us about the time he was voted 'Man of the Year' back in his home country of Switzerland and he went on a chat show. There are strict rules in Swiss TV and he was not allowed to mention the Foundation's bank account number for donations. To get around this he asked if he could perform a new song of his with his cello and they agreed. On Swiss TV if you speak in a foreign language they have to translate on the screen there and then word for word, therefore he sang his song in English and incorporated the bank account no. into the lyrics!! I found this hilarious and when I laughed it was very loud and everyone looked at me - sooooo funny!!!!! This foundation sounds superb and my head has been full of how possibly I could help in the future. Caitlin has taken details for her sister, who is studying nursing, incase she can arrange a work placement here next year, I think that would be fab!! Got back to the guesthouse around 9pm and I had a gorgeous fresh Banana Shake and Caitlin had Iced Lime Tea (which is gorge too!) Lovely evening, but my ankles and lower legs are covered in bites!!!! Aaaargh! why all of a sudden, I've been bite free for nearly 2 weeks, must be all the rainfall here? 2/7/06 - Got up at 4am this morning to go and watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. What a disappointment, it was too cloudy, no colour of sun in sight, one minute it was dark and the next it was light. This was still good though, as we had made our way through with our torches, so to all of a sudden see where you were sitting and what was around you was good. I had no energy what so ever, so whilst the others went to tour inside the Wat I sat outside in the cool morning air and took it all in. We then went to b'fast - yum yum. Then went on to another temple 'Bayou' and there were lots of elephants. Got back and went to sleep until about 3pm! Caitlin and I were very cultured again tonight and went to watch the Cambodian Royal Ballet Company doing traditional dance and dinner was included. It was a buffet in a very nice hotel and we made the most of it! yum yum! The women dancers were beautiful and the costumes very colourful and beautiful, they were so elegant and their long slender fingers bent right back, I don't know how they do it? - I was reminded of the scenes in 'The King and I' of 'Run Simon Run' and 'Poor Little Eva' - great night out! Went to Molly Malone's for a few Bailey's afterwards (yes, there is an Irish Pub here!) Our tuk tuk driver was called Mr Lucky, he was very nice and funny, he called us Fairy Caitlin and Fairy Emma! I have even more bites on my lower legs, soon I won't be able to see my normal skin at all - aaargh! 3/7/06 - Had a lovely lie in today, went into the town around 2pm. Had lunch at the Blue Pumpkin, which reminded me of a restaurant I'd been to in Amsterdam as you could sit on big white beds and just relax and eat lunch. I had a lovely tuna sandwich with the biggest coconut juice I've ever seen, the coconut was just massive, then I treated myself to a chocolate sundae, as it was apparently renowned for it's ice cream. It was loooovely! After chilling out on the bed I then went and spent awhile on the internet in a nice air conditioned cafe, bliss! Later we all went for dinner at Tracey's friends house, the food was just soooooo lovely and Tracey gave out certificates for everyone! I got the 'Pointer Sisters' award, as 'I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!', very funny!! We then gave Tracey a certificate for being such a fab tour leader!! It was quite sad, as I then really started to feel that everything was coming to an end. After dinner we played for quite a while with the children, there were quite alot of them and we danced, danced, danced and played games, it was just fab! I cracked up, as at one stage the 'Crazy Frog' song came on and the children all knew it and were racing around, it reminded me of Rebecca and brought a smile to my face. I sat down at one point as I was just soooo out of breath and watched everyone else. The boys were just great with the children, it was so lovely to watch. They listened to them, picked them up, threw them around, I could see that if and when they had children of their own in the future they would make great fathers. I was heartened and quite touched to see this. On the way back the tuk tuk's were getting stuck on the mud roads, as it had been raining and it was like sludge, our guy lost his shoe and we had to stop. he went back for his shoe and Ben tried to push the tuk tuk free. When we got back Zoe's back was covered in mosi bites and was in some discomfort. I gave her some antihistamine tablets to try and help, as the reaction was very bad. Some of the others went for a swim at a pool at a nearby hotel. 4/7/06 - 7.15am set off on what was going to be a very very very loooooong bus ride back to Bangkok! We went along the Poipet road, which is known as the dancing road because of how bumpy it is, I think it should be renamed 'Bone Shaker' road. It was an experience!! You were thrown up and down in your seat, the luggage stacked on the back row kept bouncing off, Rhini and I were sat at the back and kept getting hit with flying luggage. We ended up with bags in the aisles to be safer! Not long into the journey we hit a traffic jam, it transpired the bridge ahead had collapsed with a truck on it!!!! Therefore, we were stuck stationary for quite a while, not as long as we thought though before we were back on our way, thanks to our driver who weaved around alot of vehicles in front, hurrah!! We eventually arrived at border control at Poipet, Cambodia going into Thailand. We queued for quite a while, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, once through passport control we had to walk in separate male and female lines past some guards and Tracey told us to keep looking straight ahead, not to look at any of them, incase they decided to pick on someone to search. Thankfully we all got through unscathed! We then had 2 separate mini buses to take us the rest of the way to Bangkok, alot comfier and I slept most of the way. Finally got back to the Grande Ville Hotel in Bangkok at 6.30pm, quick rest and freshen up for our last dinner together at 7.30pm. Dinner was great, we all went on the karaoke afterwards, to end as we had started, all those 29 days ago! We sang Summer Nights, splitting boys from girls, naturally, then Leaving on a Jet Plane, then a final rendition of Eye of the Tiger! The boys carried on singing, they were great and then a Thai man got up and sang 'Love You Just The Way You Are' and he was fab, had a lovely voice! Jame and Dougie then got up and sang 'Wind Beneath My Wings' to Tracey, this choked me a bit, as it reminds me of my sister Tracey. After that we all piled in tuk tuk's down to Kho Saon Road, we had a few drinks in Gullivers and then tried to find where to go and see a 'Ping Pong' show!! Taxis took us all over the shop, but apparently we were too late and everything was shut! Some of us got split up when the 3 taxis didn't follow each other, so some of us went back to the hotel. It was very sad, as we were saying our farewells, as some were leaving very early in the morning. It was my Auntie Irene's birthday today, so I sent her a birthday text!