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Eyes Lips Face (ELF) is an online shop selling cheap make up. I came across this site through other websites and I'm so glad I've found it! Their main range is all priced £1.50, including brushes. Their studio line is all £3.50, again including brushes. Their mineral range varies in price, however.
The American website is renowned online for really, really slow delivery, but everyone I know who has ordered anything from ELF has actually had their things delivered really quickly. The only problem I have with their delivery is the price: it's £2.95 which is quite a lot if you only want to order 2 things from their original £1.50 range. However, if you join their groups on facebook and their newsletter, you will find that they email/post discount codes quite a lot so my advice would be to wait until there is a free delivery code. You do get free delivery if you spend over £30 but in my opinion this is quite a lot when you consider how cheap all their stuff is.
The website is easy to navigate and the pictures are usually quite clear. However I do find it hard to see if a shade e.g. for concealer/powder is the right colour for my skin. This would be always be a problem with buying make up online though.
Obviously the way that they can afford to sell such cheap make up is due to saving money on promoting and packaging etc. This is quite clear sometimes on the cheaper range as you can see the glue used to stick the product to the packaging. I personally don't mind but I guess if you're a bit of a make-up snob you wouldn't want to pull their stuff out of your handbag. I find their brushes quite well made though when you compare them to the same price range brushes you'd find on the high street.
I love the eye brushes from the £1.50 range. They're so cheap and yet so soft and really do the job well! I have also bought two of the eye brightening shadows (with 4 colours) and they both last so long. The colours are really well pigmented and I love them! I wore some of the brown colours once to go shopping on holiday. I was so hot but the shadow didn't crease at all, whereas one of my MAC ones has when I wore it for less time and when I wasn't hot! I didn't use a primer for either. Obviously I didn't do that as a proper experiment but I was really impressed with them!
From the Studio Line I have bought the complexion brush and concealer. Both are such good quality. The complexion brush is as soft as everyone says it is, and really has convinced me that you don't need to buy MAC/Bobbi Brown/etc brushes to create a good look. I will definitely be investing more money in the Studio Line, and am particularly interested in the complexion perfection. The concealer is really creamy and comes with a brush on the other side that's really soft. The packaging is nice and sleek and I'm really impressed!
Overall I'd definitely recommend ELF to anyone, even if you're not on a budget as some of their stuff is just amazing for the price you pay!
I think there's been a lot of hype about the Brain Training game, what with all the adverts on TV a while ago, so when I was deciding to buy my Nintendo DS, I also chose to buy Dr Kawashima's Brain Training game too.
Once you have set up a profile for yourself, you can start brain training and it will save all your data under your profile. You are allowed to create up to 4 profiles, and any other friends or family wishing to have a go can go on the Quick Play option which doesn't involve inputting any personal information.
So- starting your training. By clicking through on the Daily Training option, then your name, then "Training", you can begin. The games that you are allowed to play to start with are Calculations x 20, Calculations x 100 and Reading Aloud. Once you have finished one of them, you have to place a stamp on the calendar- don't worry, this easy to use game will guide you through everything. By putting a stamp on the calendar the game knows how often you train. The stamp gets bigger if you do more than 3 training activities on one day. By playing often, you unlock more activities.
As well as Training, you can also find out your Brain Age. This involves doing 3 games and at the end it tells you your age. The faster you move or the more things you remember, the lower your age will be, with 20 years old being the optimum age.
A nice little addition I think is Sudoku. There are many games to play of varying difficulty, which is useful if you're bored and there's no paper around!
I love this game personally. I have found that I have really improved at basic calculations- having dropped maths after doing my GCSEs, I think my arithmetic was a bit rusty! It feels really satisfying getting a high score in something, especially when I beat my maths genius of a boyfriend! All my family have had so much fun playing on it and it gives us all something to laugh about.
The big question though is whether it actually makes a difference to your brain! Obviously, I have no clue, but I would have thought it does as some of the games/activities are quite challenging, like the Triangle Math one.
As for disadvantages, there are a few. I think that once you've played on it for a few weeks, it starts to lose its novelty. You know which ones you're good at and tend to stick to them as they're easier! Well at least that's what I do! I do enjoy unlocking new activities though, it's quite exciting.
My other problem with Brain Training is that the voice recognition isn't great. It has trouble understanding me when I say "blue" and I find the Voice Calculations game impossible as it just puts "seven" down even if I've said "three" for example. It doesn't seem logical to me so I always avoid doing something that involves the voice recognition.
Overall I think it's great for all members of the family, however any maths haters out there should probably avoid. Most activities involve numbers/counting in some way and if you hate maths this might not be the one for you!
This Scrabble game for the DS is a great game for people of all ages. It is the portable version of the board game and can keep you entertained for hours.
On this game, you can create up to two profiles. When you click through onto a profile, these options come up: Quick Game, Other Games, Career, Multiplayer and Options. Everything is really easy to navigate so don't worry if you are planning on buying this game for someone not used to playing on the DS.
Quick Game is exactly what it says on the label. If you just want to play a standard game of Scrabble, this is what you want to go on. You can work your way up in difficulty with the different players available. This is more fun than just playing against the computer at one difficulty and gives you a sense of achievement when you get to play against someone else by unlocking them. You can also play a multi-player game on here by selecting which players you want to play against.
On Other Games, you can pick between three word games to play. These are really fun and you have to unlock them by playing the game before a certain number of times or getting a certain score. This again makes you feel really good when you get a good score or when you unlock another game. I enjoyed playing all of the games. For me the final game is the most fun as I find anagrams difficult and the first two games are based on Anagrams. The last one is more like a remixed version of Boggle where you have to put letters together and make a word before the time runs out.
My favourite part of the Scrabble game overall is the Career option. On this you progress through three levels; Regional, National and World Scrabble tournaments. The levels get more and more difficult and you really do find yourself shouting at Angelina or Emily for putting down a Z on a triple letter! I've finally got to the World Tournament part but these games are timed and it's practically impossible to beat anyone on this round. Seriously, I have a lot of respect for your Scrabble abilities if you can beat anyone there! One more thing is that you can unlock different colour boards which makes a change from the standard blue one.
I haven't tried the multiplayer function as you have to have a friend that has a DS too and I don't! Unfortunately you can't do a multiplayer game with people in real life with only one DS. This is definitely something the Scrabble people need to improve on, as I'd love to play against my sister or boyfriend.
For any youngsters playing this game, I'd really recommend using the Junior function. You can put down a lot of random swear words which I didn't even know were in the dictionary so be careful with that!
Overall, although Scrabble does have some flaws, the 2007 version really isn't very expensive at around £8 on Amazon so if you enjoy the board game, try it out on the DS.
After coming back from six weeks travelling, my boyfriend and I decided to have a posh night away from home to celebrate. We chose Malmaison because as far as I know it has a great reputation, and we'd always passed by it in Manchester wishing we were staying there! So we finally got to fulfil our little dream of staying there when we went to Leeds for the night.
Malmaison Leeds is really easy to find. It is about a five minute walk from the train station (no need to get a taxi or anything!). I have a really bad sense of direction and I managed to find it pretty easily so no problems there! It took a little while to check in, but the staff member who served us was really chatty. I did get a feeling that she couldn't care less why why were here or what we were doing in Leeds when she asked, but hey.
No one showed us to our room and I have to admit we did get a bit lost (probably down to me) but we got there eventually, and after getting confused about how the door unlocks, we put our bags down and did a bit of exploration of the room.
The bed sadly wasn't as soft/bouncy as we expected. Both of us, like children, sat down on it and were a bit disappointed, but I suppose that's a small detail. The duvet was nice (I like expensive duvets... must have been rich in a past life) and it felt so luxurious sleeping in it!
There was a desk next to the table which is where the ethernet cable is for access to the internet. This is really useful if you have a laptop as you don't have to worry about getting passwords etc for WIFi. I suppose it's not very practicaly if you like to use your laptop on the bed, as I don't think it streches that far, but for the one night we were there it was perfect. On the desk there is also a menu for the restaurant downstairs and room service and we were so shocked as we both couldn't believe the prices! Nevertheless we checked the menus out wishing we could afford it... Everything sounded delicious!
The view from our room was meant to be a nice one, overlooking the river. However, seeing as the river was dark and murky, it wasn't the nicest view, and the weather wasn't great either so we made use of the cool switch which closes the curtains!
The bathroom was super shiny and clean, just how we expected it to be. However what annoyed us both was the little signs and notes everywhere nagging us. There was one on the bath telling us to keep an eye on the bath while it was running. Is that not obvious? Granted, the taps really did shoot out water quicker than usual, but there wasn't much else there to distract us like there would be in a normal house. There were other notes around the room too but I can't remember what they said, it was just irritating to keep pulling them off everything. Anyway, I digress. The shower was another disappointment. My boyfriend is really tall, and he had to crouch under the shower to fit under it (quite an amusing sight!). I was standing under it for ages getting burnt because I couldn't find the right temperature. They left us notes about everything else except for how to make the shower work! However a nice touch was that we could heat up the towel rack.
As you would expect from an expensive hotel, the snacks and drinks in the room were also expensive. We didn't touch them as there is a newsagents a minute's walk from the hotel if we needed anything. The cupboard also had things that we didn't need such as a hair dryer and ironing board (from what I remember). These I would imagine would be useful for people who would normally pack a hair dryer as it would save a lot of room in your luggage.
We didn't dine in the restaurant downstairs sadly, but it did look really nice and I'm sure the food there is of a good quality. There is also a bar there serving expensive cocktails but we opted to go to Las Iguanas (a short walk away) instead.
The location of the hotel is perfect. It is so easy to walk to the centre to go shopping, or to the train station.
Another thing I haven't already mentioned is that they have a small gym. You just need your key card to unlock the door. There were weights and treadmills from what I remember, but seeing as I don't like exercising normall, I wasn't going to do it on my holiday!
Overall, we both enjoyed our stay at Malmaison but there were a few niggly things that might stop us going there again if there is a better option available.
I start Arabic from scratch at university in September and decided to spend some time this summer learning the Arabic alphabet. I bought this book from Amazon and it has really helped me get to grips with the script.
The first chapter in this book introduces readers to the Arabic language and script. It is useful to give a general overview of what it is all about, and is it also really interesting.
"Master Arabic Script" has a chapter for each letter or group of similar letters in the Arabic alphabet. What I love about the book is that it teaches you both the nashk (printed) and ruq'a (handwritten) styles of writing. This is really important if you are learning Arabic as there is a slight difference between the two.
Each letter's chapter has a part where you can practice writing the letter, and there is a black dot on the letter showing where you should begin. It also shows every form of each letter (initial, final, medial and isolated) in both printed and handwritten forms.
Throughout the book there are "master calligrapher tips" which explain to the reader different ways that people write certain letters, or how to join letters. There are also "extra" pages which teach you extra things about the script, for example "hamza", or how to show vowels in letters.
The penultimate section of the book concentrates on how to join certain difficult letters. As Arabic letters have different forms when in different parts of a word, this is important. It offers plenty of room to practice with example words. I found that this section really helped me build my confidence.
The final section of the book is of activities for further practice. They include practice joining letters, matching handwritten and printed words, reading names and activities using the Arabic number system.
At the back of the book their is a really useful summary table of the alphabet in all its forms, and I use this part a lot if I am trying to read something and can't remember a letter, or can't remember how to join a letter.
Overall I loved this book. I'd really recommend it for anyone trying to learn Arabic, as it is a good all-rounder.
It is currently priced at £9.99 on Amazon but is available cheaper from other sellers offering used books
Some interesting facts about Arabic for those who didn't know:
*The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters
*It is a Semitic language related to Aramaic and Hebrew
*Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is only used in printed literature, e.g. newspapers and in the media. Classical Arabic is used in the Qur'an. The Arabic spoken in real life is dialects, and the most spoken dialect is Egyptian Arabic, which is spoken by around 76 million people.
*Vowels are generally not written in Arabic. There is only one vowel in the alphabet: "aleef" (A)
*It is the official language of 25 countries. 280 million people speak Arabic as their first language.
I've been using Gmail for many years now. What first caught my eye about it as that you could only get one by invite. I managed to get an invite and haven't looked back since! The invite system has since changed, but I still have memories of people asking on the internet for invites to Gmail!
The thing that I love about Gmail is that I never have to delete my messages. If I don't want to read one, I just ignore it. I know this isn't a particularly good method, but I doubt I'll ever run out of storage, and if I accidentally miss reading an important email I can always search for it.
Are there some emails that you receive that you want to keep in a safe place? Gmail has the solution- put a star by them. All these starred emails are put into a folder but can also be seen from the normal inbox. I tend to star emails when I buy something online, as they are easily accessible should I need to contact a company or check any details later on.
Another thing I absolutely love about Gmail is that it saves a draft of an email as you are typing it automatically. This means that if, for example, you are writing a long, important email and suddenly your internet freezes, the email will be in your drafts folder. I sometimes used to use this to transfer documents from my computer at home to the computers at school as it saved me having to put it as an attachment, I could just copy and paste the essay and save it.
I hardly ever get spam in my inbox; I can't say that Gmail are better than other free email providers at keeping spam out of the main inbox, but I've never had a problem with it with them. If you do, however, find that some a spammy email, you can just press the "SPAM" button above the email and it will get rid of it for you.
For me, what separates Gmail from other free email providers is that if you are having a conversation with someone through emails, it shows on your screen like that. This way it is easy to keep track of what someone said before you, and if reading back through emails.
Yet another great thing about Gmail is that there is a real-time chat function. This is a quick and easy way to keep in touch with other friends using Gmail. It also allows you to put on your webcam which I haven't tried, but it saves downloading Skype or MSN if you are on another computer.
Last but not least, instead of having to search through an address book for an email, just start typing the name of the person who you are emailing (if you have emailed them before) and it automatically comes up with their email address. This makes sending emails to friends and family so quick and easy.
Following the many adverts Tesco Mobile have around about how good their network is, I researched it a bit and decided to change networks.
What I love about Tesco Mobile is that you get rewarded for topping up. I top up £15, and get £30 back in free, bonus credit. This expires after a month, but I usually use it up before then. This still leaves me with £15 to spend the next month, so my top up tends to last around 6 weeks.
Tesco Mobile's tariff is quite good too. 20p a minute to call, and 10p texts. I think this is pretty standard. However what sets them apart from their PAYG competition is that you can halve the price of calls and texts to 5 numbers. You can change these online and over the phone. This means that to 5 numbers you can call for 10p/min and text for 5p. This makes it a lot cheaper than any other networks out there, and I find that 5 numbers is just enough to have my mum, sister, boyfriend and friends in there.
Yet another advantage is that you get 30 clubcard points per £10 spent on top-up. If you use your points on meals, this means that you get £1.20 to spend in a restaurant per £10 topped up! I think this is great value, and it has really boosted my points (I'm collecting them for my boyfriend's birthday).
However, I have had a problem with Tesco Mobile. When trying to add my top 5 numbers, the automated phone call reassured me all my numbers had been saved. But when my balance was decreasing more rapidly than usual, I decided to check it out online. It turned out that only 1 number had saved, and the person's number who I was in touch with the most was not saved. This really annoyed me, but it was sorted out quite quickly by Tesco customer services through an email. They gave me back £8 in credit on my phone.
Another small annoyance is that Tesco Mobile haven't got a proper website like other networks do. Every time I want to log in a PIN gets sent to my phone. I don't understand why I can't just have login details to access my account.
Overall though, I would recommend Tesco Mobile to anybody who doesn't spend enough to warrant a contract, but spends too much to have a normal pay as you go phone.
I have had my Tesco Clubcard for a couple of years now, and always use it when going shopping there, even if it's just for one or two points- every little counts, right?
Applying for a Clubcard is easy. You can either do it over the phone, or by filling in an application form in store. You usually get a temporary card so you don't lose out on any points you earn before you get your permanent card and key fob.
There are many ways to collect points. The obvious one is by shopping in Tesco and having your card scanned. However, you can also get points by reusing plastic bags when you go shopping there (1 point per bag), by recycling your mobile phone, by topping up on Tesco Mobile, and by buying any Tesco insurance. You earn 1 point per pound spent in Tesco.
Every 3 months you will get a letter from Tesco. This will include a voucher if you have earned over 150 points, and some other vouchers with small discounts or extra points on things that you usually buy. I have found that these are really accurate, and I always get vouchers for things that are useful!
You can spend your Clubcard points in several ways. If you would prefer to spend them on your grocery shopping, you just get the face value of the voucher you have received. You can double your voucher and spend it in certain departments of Tesco, e.g. clothes. Or you can quadruple the value of your voucher by spending it in certain restaurants, or changing them into air miles.
In my opinion, the Tesco Clubcard is well worth having. However, I would be wary of being loyal to Tesco. They are not always the cheapest, and it's not always worth shopping there just for the points.
My time in Vietnam was running out and there was one more place I wanted to visit: Nha Trang. From what the internet and my Lonely Planet were telling me, it seemed like a pretty fun coastal town with plenty of things to do.
As the bus journey from Ho Chi Minh City takes around 10 hours, I decided to take the sleeper bus overnight. This was a pretty good decision, as I know it would have been hard to hack such a long journey sitting upright! The beds weren't exactly comfortable though- maybe if you're a tiny Asian, but not if you're an overweight Westerner struggling to keep everything from dangling off the side like I was! I recommend asking fellow travellers for advice on which company to travel with, and also shopping around, as often different travel agents book people onto the same bus for varying prices!
I arrived in Nha Trang in the early hours of the morning, after surviving the night thanks to my MP3 player and an eye mask. My first impressions were good; it looked beautiful.
After trying my hardest to avoid the touts and hotel owners the bus driver dropped us off in front of, I managed to find a nice place to stay- Nice Hotel, which really was quite nice. My friend and I shared a decent sized room with an en-suite and two double beds for $7.
So, what is there to do in Nha Trang? The obvious attraction here is the beach. Unfortunately when I was there, the sea tended to be quite wavey (for want of a better word!) and it wasn't particularly tempting so I stuck to reading a book on the beach, relaxing. Lots of people will come up to you and try to sell you stuff- if you don't want it, be polite but firm! If they think they might crack you, and make you buy something, they'll probably keep on and on trying to sell you their food!
If you fancy a day being cultural, take a trip to the Lam Son Pagoda (Giant Seated Buddha). It is visible from the city down below sometimes, which is pretty cool. Beware of people asking you to donate money to the school, which is what they asked me, I'm pretty sure it was as scam as the LP says that they do the same thing but ask for donations for the monks. Either way, don't be forced into parting with your money if you don't want to.
One thing I enjoyed was the Long Thahn photo gallery. If you love black and white photography, this really is the place to visit. He is a really famous photographer in Viet Nam, and takes pictures of the daily life in his country. You can also buy these photos if you wish. The only thing I had a problem with is the fact that Asia is so colourful; I felt making the photos black and white wasn't the best thing to do for every picture.
Nha Trang is famous for diving, and it tends to cost around $50 for 2 dives for someone like me who had never done it before. There are tons of diving centres around, so shop around, see which people you click with more and feel the safest with. There are a few little islands around the coast of Nha Trang, and this is where they take you diving. The water is super clear, and there are so many beautiful and interesting fish to be seen. I definitely recommend it; the highlight for me was seeing a rainbow coloured fish with neon green lips!
The last thing I did in Nha Trang was visit the Po Ngar Cham Towers. My friend and I actually took a cyclo there, I felt pretty bad for the driver but we paid him well! I wouldn't really recommend this for anyone not interested in seeing even more pagodas. I really wasn't interested, I found it quite repetitive and was done in about 15 minutes. My friend enjoyed it a lot more than I did though.
There's a great night life in this town. Plenty of backpackers/foreigners around having a great time. I personally enjoyed Guava, but Why Not? is popular too, especially for its buckets of "cocktails" for 800,000 dong! They include 2 and a half bottles of spirits from what I recall, so definitely one for sharing!
Overall I really enjoyed my stay at Nha Trang. I loved being in a smaller city compared to Saigon, the accommodation was also cheaper than the capital (no surprises there) and it was nice to be able to walk everywhere.
Miss Selfridge is a high street clothes shop for women. It is owned by the Arcadia Group, as are many other stores like Dorothy Perkins and Topshop. As well as selling clothes, Miss Selfridge all sell a large range of jewellery and shoes, as well as accessories such as handbags and sunglasses.
Personally I find that their prices are way too much for the quality of clothes that they are selling. I was bought a dress from Miss Selfridge which had holes in it and after wearing it once a button fell off it while I was getting ready to go out. I actually really liked this dress, but it was clearly bad quality and cost around £40 originally.
Luckily I have never had a problem with returns and exchanges, and admitted that I had worn the dress. They allowed me to exchange it for something else.
Miss Selfridges have a website and you can order clothes from there if want to. I find it easy to navigate, and it is possible to zoom in on photos so that you get a really good idea of what the clothing looks like. Also offers are often shown on the front page which is quite useful. However I have never ordered something from their website so cannot comment on delivery times.
Miss Selfridge offer a store card, as many other high street shops. I have no experience of this card, but at 29.9% APR variable I would avoid it if possible. Perks of the card include a 10% discount on your first Miss Selfridge purchase, and a birthday discount voucher. As a student I get 10% off anyway, so I have no use for the card.
Overall, I enjoy shopping at Miss Selfridge. However I prefer buying things in the sale, as I know that what I buy will probably not be great quality. Their price tags sometimes shock me but I can't resist going in as their clothes are attractive and fashionable.
This foundation was my first "proper" foundation that I ever bought. I had previously used Maybelline Matte Mousse but wanted a better quality foundation when it ran out.
I quite like the bottle the foundation comes with. It comes with a pump dispenser which means that you don't get lots of bacteria in it and as a result everything stays quite clean. It is easy to apply using fingertips, sponge or brush.
The foundation is meant to last 16 hours (or so it says on the bottle!). I really don't believe this. I usually only wear it in the night but can tell that it has started to fade away after spending the night clubbing, so I don't think it would last very well if you wore it to the office and then went for drinks afterwards.
Another issue I have with it is that I'm sure it makes me look a bit orange! I have quite pale skin and I don't think the colour is quite right for my skin, but I really can't tell if that's just me. From what I can tell though, there's a difference between the colour of my face and my neck, which I'm sure isn't right.
On the other hand though, it is SPF 15, which is always a plus as it is important to keep yourself protected from the effects of the sun. It is also hypo-allergenic.
Overall I think I'd shop around before buying this foundation again, due to the slight problem with the colour not exactly matching my skin. However it does the job, and my skin certainly looks better with this on it!
Air Asia are an internet based airline serving destinations all over South East Asia. They often have offers on their flights and their tickets are generally very fairly priced. I used them to fly from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Bangkok.
I booked my ticket on their website. It is very easy to navigate and when booking you are given the option to add a meal on for the trip, or have heavier luggage, which is what I did as after 6 weeks travelling I knew I would have over 15 kilos of luggage with me!
I didn't have any problems checking in. Staff were friendly and efficient.
On the plane, I would have liked a bit more room. I was sat next to one of those arm-rest hoggers, so was a bit squidged up against the window, but as the flight was only around 30mins-1hr it wasn't too bad!
Food-wise I actually paid for "Nasi Lemak" when I was booking my flight. I wasn't particularly impressed, as it didn't include a drink, it wasn't particularly filling, and it just wasn't anything special. I guess it was just typical aeroplane food, but seeing as I had paid a bit extra I would have liked them to make slightly more effort with it!
There wasn't any entertainment on my flight, so I can't comment on it, but as I said, my flight was extremely short so it didn't matter. There was a magazine available to read though.
Overall my experience of Air Asia was positive, and I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for a quicker way to travel around SE Asia!
Ah.. Sweet Phnom Penh! I knew the second I arrived here that I would love it. I arrived from Battambang by bus, and took a tuk tuk straight to Okay Guesthouse. I never expected the capital city of such a poor country to be so green and interesting.
When you first arrive in Phnom Penh, you'll be harassed by moto/tuk tuk drivers. At first it might annoy you, but you have to understand that they live in an extremely poor, corrupt country. Many of the drivers actually come from outside the capital in search of a good income to send back to their families. They will always offer a price that's probably a third to a double of what you should really be paying. Don't worry too much about being ripped off, it really only will be be a dollar or so- how long does it take for you to earn $1 over here?! Tuk tuks are always more expensive than motos, although I presume they're a bit safer.
If you're thinking about going to Phnom Penh in the future, I do not recommend going to the lakeside. Apart from the fact that the government is draining the lake, the area attracts the wrong type of backpackers- the rooms are horrible and dirty, and only about $1 cheaper than other places around town. I recommend Okay guesthouse and Top Banana guesthouse. Both are in nicer areas, clean, and with friendly staff.
I have to admit, there really aren't many tourist attractions here. The main ones are remnants of the Khmer Rouge regime. I would suggest reading "Survival in the Killing Fields" and/or "First they Killed my Father" if you are thinking of visiting Cambodia.
One of the main "attractions" is S-21. S-21 was originally a school, but during the KR regime got turned into a prison. In fact, many of the prisoners there were their own people, as the leaders of the regime were very untrusting. Prisoners were tortured here. You probably won't have heard of anything like what they did to people there. On the walls their are pictures of dead people laying in pools of blood, and downstairs there are hundreds of photos of prisoners. Some are even children. Another place to visit is the Killing Fields. I didn't go here, as I didn't feel it was particularly necessary. It is one of many fields were people were taken to be killed. Often they were suffocated or hit over the head with weapons so that the Khmer Rouge didn't waste precious bullets. Tuk tuk/moto drivers usually ask if you want to visit the Killing Fields as it's a bit far out and it will make them a few extra dollars! Make sure if you go that you pick a decent driver, preferably suggested by your hotel/guesthouse as I heard of a girl getting attacked when she was alone with her driver.
A less morbid sight to see is Wat Phnom, a place to bond with monkeys and the only elephant in Phnom Penh! There's a temple on the top of the hill, and there are plenty of begging children. If you have to give them something, try to give them food or water. From my experience they take the bottles so that they can sell them! Maybe even bring them toys?
A sight I wouldn't particularly recommend is the Royal Palace. I thought it was quite expensive for what it was, and by this time in my trip I was thoroughly temple/pagoda'd out! I didn't spend long there. However if you think it's your thing, go ahead! The pagodas are pretty, just a tad repetitive.
What I loved about Phnom Penh was the markets! The Russian Market is quite overwhelming if you're not used to Asian markets. Do haggle, so many tourists go there that they up their prices! Don't go over the top though, a couple of dollars is nothing to us but days and days worth of food for them. The Olympic Market is a cheap place to get lunch, go for a walk around (yes, it's dirty, get used to it!). I ate here tons of times and never got sick off it so use your common sense and you'll be fine! I recommend an omelette looking thing.. it's yellow and filled with delicious noodles/beansprouts and other things :) Also try the white roll things, they taste a little like brioche but they're filled with pork. If you ever see someone with a stall that's got lots of fruit, and a blender, you've probably found somewhere to get a shake! They shouldn't cost too much- probably around 2 or 3,000 riel (under a dollar). Why don't you try fruits you've never had before? Jackfruit, durian, mangosteen...?
While in Cambodia, you are going to see lots of poverty. If you are thinking about volunteering, make sure the organization is legitimate. Try to sympathise with them instead of getting annoyed, their government doesn't help them like ours does.
I stayed in Phnom Penh for a week. It is a city that can be rushed, but I liked to take my time to appreciate things. See further than a city/country ruined by the KR regime. Get into the culture. Do a cookery class, go shopping, go to some provinces and meet real Cambodian people not just moto drivers and the receptionist at your guesthouse!
One word of warning though: there are lots of guns around in Cambodia. Be careful at night; avoid being alone. It can get really quiet and it's not like Bangkok! During the day keep an eye and a hand on your handbag. People driving motorbikes are notorious for grabbing them and a French girl died after being dragged into the middle of the road because she didn't let go of her bag.
I often fly with EasyJet as my dad lives in Greece and they are often the cheapest.
Booking with EasyJet is easy enough. Their website is simple to navigate and you can view it in plenty of different languages. They don't have many destinations outside of Europe, but their destinations within Europe are plentiful.
ARRIVING AT AIRPORT
I usually fly from Gatwick to Athens, which is a bit of a pain to get to seeing as I've been living in Manchester for the past 6 months! The airport is fine though, plenty of check in desks and staff are always quite friendly. I've learnt from experience that they'll wait for you if your luggage is overweight and you have to unpack some things out of it!
If you have speedy boarding, or you're with children under a certain age, you can board the plane first. I never bother with speedy boarding, instead I'm usually in boarding group A as I check in quite early. I find that it usually gets quite crazy with people rushing to get to the front of the queue. As you probably know, EasyJet don't issue seat numbers, and this freaks a lot of people out- I'm not really sure why (unless you're flying as a family)! You're still going to get on the plane and you're still going to have a seat.
There's no in-flight entertainment- there's not really much need for it though, most flights are super short. Even getting to Greece only takes about 3 1/2 hours. In-flight refreshments are ridiculously expensive, but I wouldn't really expect them to be anything else... It's not like you can go anywhere else for a drink is it?! I do think it's too much, a small bottle of water costs around £1.50. Just make sure you've eaten/drunk before you get on board and you'll be fine! They have some duty free items like perfume/make up/alcohol/cigarettes also if you want some retail therapy.
Overall, I think that EasyJet are a pretty good no-frills airline. They haven't gone as far as RyanAir with their charges, and I hope they never do!
I bought this phone in December 2007 after my Sony Ericsson had started dying! I haven't had a problem with it in the year and a half that I've had it, and would definitely recommend it or its upgrades to anyone.
The battery life is good. If I'm not using it much it lasts for a good couple of days, and I've never had issues with it running out when it shouldn't be.
The keys are perfect- it's so easy to get used to them, I can text without looking at my screen, and they're not hard to press down so your fingers don't get tired!
I love how it slides open. If you're mid-way through texting and you close it, it saves the text, and if you're talking you can just slide it back down to hang up. I think the size of the mobile is perfect. The screen is relatively big, and you can easily change the brightness of it.
The camera isn't amazing but it takes better pictures in the dark than a lot of other phones, as it has flash. It's really easy to change the quality/size of pictures, and I think the picture quality is absolutely fine for a phone. If I want to take decent pictures I'll use my camera! It takes pretty good videos also.
Music-wise, you can upload MP3s onto the phone. These can be played through the phone's headphones if you have them. The sound quality in my opinion is really good, and it goes relatively loud for a phone. You can also set these MP3s as ring tones, and if you want you can put different ring tones for different people in your address book. You can also listen to the radio if you haven't lost your headphones like I have! I'm pretty sure you can record the radio too.
I have to admit, the games on this phone really aren't that great. Most, if not all, are trial versions, which is annoying. However I don't really play them much so it's not much of an issue for me. Of course you can buy the games if you really like them and want the full version.
Other features include a calendar which you can use to write on important dates. This Samsung has all the usual features you would expect a phone to have- calculator, alarm, timer, stop watch and bluetooth. It also has a voice recorder and a world clock which tells you what time it is in other countries.
Overall, I love my phone! It's lasted really well, despite me dropping it several times and putting my wet hands on it too often! Later models include parts of the phone being touch-sensitive, but even that seems a bit behind when you compare it to the iPhone and other similar phones! However if you're just looking for a normal, average phone, this is for you- it's not going to blow you away with its features, but it'll last you well!