This service adventure provides you with an opportunity to learn about the struggles which thousands of Cambodians are faced with whilst lending your support and service to the Stellar Children's Trust (SCT). The SCT provide support to poverty-stricken families in Andong, a displaced community about an hour from Phnom Penh. The community has little-to-no access to clean water, sanitation, education or medical care. You will witness how the SCT supports practical projects which provide long-term, sustainable solutions in education, family support and income generation.
We begin our time in Cambodia by exploring the capital, Phnom Penh where we visit the Royal Palace and learn about the harrowing Pol Pot regime.
We then turn our attention to the community of Andong and the work of the SCT where we will work alongside the community on various programs. Exact details are still in discussion. With a select group of residents and staff from Andong we spend two days exploring the sites of Phnom Penh and spending time with them.
We then venture North to the once sleepy village town of Siem Reap where we will explore one of the wonders of the world, the temples of Angkor at handle bar level! You may even want to try one of the local delicacies on-route!
Throughout our time in Cambodia we will be looking to appreciate the human realities and challenges faced as they manifest in developing nations. This is a learning experience to get excited over which will provide long term sustainable assistance to a marginalised community and to a grassroots charity undertaking extraordinary work in challenging situations.
Although there is no commitment to extended physical activity on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect and enhance your travel experience. We believe the fitter you are the more you will be able to take part in each day’s adventures.
After so many months thinking, preparing, and planning for your Cambodian adventure the departure day has finally arrived! Your flight to Phnom Penh aboard Singapore Airlines departs from Perth Airport at 01:10am with a short stopover in Singapore. You arrive in Cambodia at 8:35am. Sua s’dei! Welcome to Cambodia! You are greeted by our guide and driver at Phnom Penh International airport for your transfer to the hotel. Balance of your day is free at leisure with the guide where there is a chance to exchange some cash and explore the town of Phnom Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Today, we have a full day’s sightseeing in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The city is regarded by many as the most beautiful of all the French-built cities in Indochina. Its location is also important as it sits where the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers converge. At one time it was a bustling commercial hub during the French occupation and today has re-established itself as the political and financial centre of the country. Its rich historical past can be traced to the Khmer and French influence evident in the ornate Khmer-style temples and the grand colonial buildings. On today’s tour we visit the most important sites in the city.
First, we embark on a discovery of the capital onboard a Cyclo. We will ride along the riverside to explore daily life heading to Wat Phnom, a 15th century stupa. Next, we will visit the Royal Palace and the impressive Silver Pagoda. The Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha is named after the statue housed there, was created by King Norodom in 1892. The floor is comprised of more than 5,000 silver blocks weighing a total of 6 tones. The National Museum, built in the Khmer style in the 1920’s has an extensive collection of Khmer art. The highlight of the collection is a 6th century bronze figure of the Hindu god Vishnu.
Next stop after lunch is the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide Crimes. A former school, the building was converted to a prison during the Khmer Rouge reign and today stands as a memorial to the millions who lost their lives during the darkest period of Cambodia’s history. We then drive south-west of Phnom Penh to visit the emotional Killing Fields of Cheung Ek, made famous by the film of the same name. More than 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in mass graves here making this place a chilling reminder of the brutalities of the genocide Khmer Rouge regime. The visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Choeung Ek is a very powerful and confronting experience where many conflicting emotions maybe experienced. There will be time after the visit to reflect and discuss these and to try to make some sense of one of humankind’s most brutal historic periods. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
After breakfast we will drive to the project site and enjoy service work at Andong. Exact details of the work are yet to be confirmed. In the late afternoon, we return back to the hotel where you can enjoy sometime at leisure before you dinner at local restaurant - not included. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
For two days you will head out on urban adventures and fun activities with the students and staff from SCT. You will have access to a vehicle, driver and your guide to explore within the city limits of Phnom Penh. Lunch will be a packed lunch or at a local restaurant - depending on your chosen plan!
Today we board our private vehicle for the 5 hour bus ride to Siem Reap. We pass through beautiful countryside and small villages as we make our way North. We will stop on route and you may try your hand at eating the local delicacies, crickets and fried tarantula's. We continue to Siem Reap and check into our hotel. We then join the local method of transport as we jump in cyclo's and have an orientation of this lovely village town.
Overnight Siem Reap
Today is a special day as we make our way out to the magnificent temples of Angkor! We will rise early to witness Angkor Wat at sunrise before returning to the hotel for breakfast. We return to the temples after breakfast and meet up with our cycling team and support vehicle. The temples of Angkor are a wonderful place to cycle along the tree lined back streets in between temples. The roads are flat and it saves us jumping in and out of our coach all day. The largest and most impressive of all the temples in Angkor is Angor Wat. Angkor Wat was built between 1112 and 1152 by King Suryavarman II and dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. It is the best preserved of all the temples. Its layout and its scale are simply breathtaking: the wall surrounding the enclosure measures 1,000 by 800 meters in length and the moat, said to represent the oceans of the world is 200 meters wide. We will have lunch near the complex and continue our exploration including Ta Prohm. Angkor is full of magical highlights, and possibly one of the most enjoyable is Ta Prohm temple where the Tomb Raider movies were set and filmed. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most memorable of the Angkor temples. Photo opportunities abound around every corner. We will have time to explore and relax and take our surroundings in before heading back to Siem Reap
Overnight Siem Reap Hotel
Today after breakfast we can head out to explore Siem Reap including visiting the local markets for some last minute shopping before we transfer you to the airport for your flight to Perth via Singapore. Upon arrival in Perth all services conclude.
Congratulations on completing a service learning journey through Cambodia and assisting the Stellar Children's Trust and the community of Andong. The lessons learned and friendships made will last a lifetime.
Per Person, Twin Share