Saturday and the young ones are off to the lake and I've done that already but I'm ready for a bit of time on my own to browse the market so
Late breakfast on the roof and then a tuk tuk into town. Enjoyed just browsing around the boutiques as well as the markets. There are so many quite new art and craft shops with connections to NGOs includes scented products Senteurs d'Ankor, ( flavours and fragrances) carved painted. The silk industry had been started up again and the whole town has the feel of somewhere buzzing with ideas. Was just thinking that I could so with a sit down and something to eat when I bumped into the 5 volunteers on their way back from the lake. They were on their way to the Artisans d'Ankor where they demonstrate ancient crafts like laquer work , silk painting, stone and woodcarving . The centre has a lovely showroom with high quality silk goods and excellent AC ..... Demonstrations of all the crafts and a free shuttle out of town to the silk farm. Took about 20 minutes to get there right out on the countryside. A new enterprise but using very traditional methods women spinning and weaving such beautiful silk goods in the heat and the dust with just ramshackle wooden machines. Waiting for the coach back we ate a snack in the cafe - its the blue pumpkin again it's a chain all over Siem Reap and prices for the tourists. As we got back it really felt heavy and sure enough at about 6 we had the most violent tropical storm with loud cracks of thunder and spectacular lightning. Watched it from the front balcony and on the roof. Roads swamped and running. Evening plan was to go to a cello concert given in the auditorium of the modern children's hospital and though it was still raining a bit it was still hot! These concerts are fund raisers by a remarkable Swiss doctor who had spent his life saving the lives of Cambodian children. It was a mix of quite moving music and his rantings about the lack of government help in running the children's hospitals and his obvious pride at what has been and is being achieved. Was only too ready to give a donation at the end. He asked for money from those who were older , blood from the youngest and both money and blood for the members of the audience between the two.ended the evening with eating in a Mexican restaurant. Cocktails at 1.5 dollars. Nothing costs much and there is an almost mind blowing number of really nice places to eat.