What if you had the chance to not only visit Cambodia and enjoy its touristic offer, but work as a volunteer with children in need? Our new 14 day Meaningful Tour gives you this unique opportunity! The first few days, you will be working at a shelter set up by local people, where you will be able to help educate these children, encouraging them to develop an enthusiasm for education and helping them develop their skills. You will provide children with essential attention, support, care and the vital education they need, like English, performing arts and sports, and help them develop enthusiasm for learning, and developing their skills. This gratifying experience will give you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the nation’s culture, and see first hand how Cambodia is moving forward. The second part of this tour you will be traveling through from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap.
Day 1: Welcome to Cambodia. We will be waiting for you at the airport and take you to your hotel where you will receive a welcome drink and some information about the fantastic trip you are about to embark on. We are very aware that traveling can be exhausting, so we will give you the opportunity to take it easy on this first day. Perhaps you would like to freshen up in your room, take a short nap, or have a cup of coffee reading the information, before your volunteering works and holiday begin. Enjoy the free evening walking around the city, having a bite in one of the many restaurants.
Day 2: After your breakfast, our coordinator will take you to visit some touching projects initiated by well known Mr. Kimlay and his teams. We will also do some sightseeing in the city. Later on, you will receive some orientation information about Cambodia, the projects you will be participating in, and the tour. At the end of the afternoon, your coordinator will take you to a pagoda where you will learn more about Buddhism. To top this visit off, you will be blessed by a real monk; a very unique experience.
Day 3: Today your exciting projects begin! After breakfast, a tuktuk will be ready to bring you from your hotel to the project sites. You will meet the coordinators and the children you will be working with the coming days.
Day 4: Full day at the project.
Day 5: Full day at the project.
Day 6: Full day at the project.
Day 7: Full day at the project.
Day 8: In the morning, a tuk-tuk will take you to the genocide museum S21 Tuol Sleng. This used to be a high school and was used as the notorious S21 prison of the Red Khmer-regime that lasted from 1975 until 1979. After this, it is only a short drive to the Royal Palace, the majestic Residence of the King of Cambodia. At this building complex, we can enjoy pure Khmer architecture. We continue our day tour by leaving the city for a visit to Choeung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields, where thousands of people were tortured and buried in mass graves.
Day 9: Your guide will pick you up from the hotel early to take you to the boat station. A relaxing day awaits you. Relax starts on the boat, while it navigates down the mighty Mekong River. You will reach to the small island of Koh Dach, which preserves the rich traditions of authentic Cambodian culture: village women weaving delicate silks by hand, while just down the orchard lane monks wearing brilliant saffron robes collect their morning alms. Local village life here exemplifies a beautiful simplicity; you will learn about Buddhist life, visit a Pagoda, enjoy the greenery and admire the beauty of the banks of the Mekong River. A lunch box and fruit are waiting for you as you climb back on board. Before 1.00 pm you will be back to your hotel. After checking out, you will have the afternoon free at leisure.
Day 10: In the morning, we will bring you from your hotel to the bus station. It takes around 5-6 hours before you arrive in Battambang. The afternoon is free time to explore the area.
Day 11: We will pick you up after breakfast. in the morning to take you on a tour that starts with a ride on the famous bamboo train. The bamboo train is a 2.5m x 4m raft-like device made from bamboo that local villagers use to transport their goods. This is a very unique and fun ride that you must experience while you´re in Battambang! After we have our lunch in small huts along the Stung Sangke River, we drive through small villages and between rice fields in our tuktuk, towards Phnom Sompov Mountain. The mountain is about 140 meters high and there are a total of 800 steps to reach the top. At the top you will see shrines and killing caves used during the Khmer Rouge period. There is a magnificent view over all of Battambang and you will enjoy the vast and beautiful scenery. We will end our journey before sunset by walking down the mountain steps and visiting the “bat army” – thousands of bats flying out of their caves in the mountain side at dusk.
Day 12: Today, we will leave Battambang and travel to Siem Reap. In the rainy season, we can choose to make a boat trip. Depending on the water level of the river, the trip will last between 5 and 8 hours. However, if we take the boat, we will have to get up early, because we should depart from the hotel at 6 a.m. Having to rise early is rewarded with a beautiful boat trip that allows you to intensely enjoy life on the riverbanks. We’ll see people bathing, children fetching water, and animals wading through this important source of life. If the water level is too low, unfortunately the boat trip is not possible and we will travel by taxi.
This drive will take approximately 3 hours. Naturally, the taxi is always available should you prefer not to travel by boat. If you choose to take the taxi, we can leave later in the morning. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, we will take you to your hotel, and pick you up again at 6:30 pm to take you to see the Smile of Angkor, the first grand epic show that revives the Angkor dynasty in all aspects. From foundation to prosperity, tale to folk customs, past to present, Smile of Angkor expresses the original culture with the highest technology. A delicious buffet dinner is included.
Day 13: After breakfast, your guide for today will take you to visit one of the largest and most beautiful temple complexes of the world, Angkor Wat. The world heritage temple originates from the 12th century and is an experience of mystique and beautiful sculptures. First, you will visit Angkor Wat itself and walk between one of the most important of the 110 temples. Before continuing, you can quench your thirst with a soda, or how about a fresh coconut? A short drive takes you to Angkor Thom, where we find the 12th century Bayon temple.
The 54 four-headed Buddha statues are one of the most impressive sights of the temple complex. Later today, you will visit the Ta Phrom temple. This is one of the few temples that have been kept in its original state. This temple is famous because part of the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie was shot here. The temple is partly overgrown with trees with gigantic roots, that have ‘nestled’ themselves on and in the stone blocks. After all the impressions and physical exertion, you can probably use a relaxing massage. You will be pampered by means of an aromatic Khmer massage for 90 minutes, making you feel as good as new afterwards.
Day 14: In the morning we will visit the Lolei, Preah Kô, and Bakong temples that constitute the Ruluos Group of monuments. It dates from the ninth century and it´s the earliest site of the 600-year Angkor period. Lolei is located in the center of the first large-scale Baray (artificial lake) constructed by a Khmer king. This is an island temple consisting of four brick towers on a double late rite platform. In the Khmer Art Skin-Carving shop perhaps you can help to support their handicraft, buying the products of the poor artisan groups. The artisans’ purpose is to teach children to learn about this handicraft. The sightseeing continues at Banteay Srei: a very popular site.
The special charm of this temple lies in its compact size, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of its decorative carving. Banteay Samré is another temple, with rose-colored sandstone walls that are decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, which are among the most accomplished that Angkor has to offer. We will take you for a drive through the Cambodian 'outback'. About 60 kilometers outside of Siem Reap lies the mysterious 12th century Boeng Melea temple which is heavily overrun by trees, vines and moss. Parts of the way to these ‘forgotten’ temples are red colored clay paths with green shrubs along both sides. This jungle like surrounding makes you enjoy your jeep tour even more. By 5 pm in the afternoon we are back to your hotel, so you will still have the whole evening to enjoy the city.
Day 15: Free leisure time in the morning. Depending on your flight time, we will pick you up from the hotel to take you to the airport. It is time to say goodbye. We hope to welcome you back to our beloved country. We hope you enjoyed your volunteer work and tour in Cambodia.
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