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Wednesday
May312017

Saying Goodbye To Siem  Reap

This has been our finale week in Siem reap an there is plenty of mixed emotions, we have already said goodbye to two volunteers which spent two weeks with us teaching. When traveling making friends is easy but this is the down fall as you become close friends much quicker then you would at home. 

The group are looking forward to the next chapter of the trip however they have enjoyed settling in a small community where you make friends with the staff have your local noodle stall and a coffee lady that knows your order and starts to make your fresh coffee before you actually order. And it has been nice to not have to pack your bag every 3 days however to travel it is about seeing and experiencing new things which is what we certainly will be doing for the next two weeks. 

The volunteers have built a bond with the school children as you naturally would, the children are starting become sad that they will be losing their teaching as are the volunteers. Because smiling hearts school is a non profit school and rely heavily on volunteers it is unknown when they will have a new teacher. 

We have spent just over three weeks at the hostel so as a good bye we are having a curry night fill our stomachs ready for the six hour bus journey to Phonm penh. We arrived at 5.30am and went directly to out hostel via Tuk Tuk. We didn't want to waste a day napping so we booked a tour for the killing fields and S21 museum. These are two of Cambodia's most important historic sites on we learnt about the notorious Khmer Rouge, at the killing fields we are self guided with a informative audio which lasts 70 minutes. When the tour starts you feel peaceful as you waking around green grassed area but then you start to image the scenes of innocent victims being tortured, there was a table which showed parts of bone, teeth, clothes which were washed up by heavy rain this reminds you that this war only ended 40 years ago. We were prepared for a sad day but don't think any kind of preparation can prepare you. After the killing fields we visited the S21 prison which was a school before Khmer Rouge each classroom is bare with strange equipment which was used to torture their victims, no one left here alive and if the did it was to be moved to the killing fields where most if not all ended with the same fate. 

By Alex Foggoa - South East Asia Trail Leader

Find out more about the South East Asia Ethical Adventure Trail.

Check out what volunteers on the South East Asia Trail are up to right now

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