A complete itinerary highlighting Cambodia's best known attractions of Angkor Wat along with the satisfaction of giving something back by way of a Service Project assisting families in need. Under the guidance of trained hired help you will work on tasks such as sanding, load carrying, sweeping, and basic carpentry. The improvements you make to the families will provide lasting and long term benefits to them and the greater community. With the Service work completed we spend time learning and exploring the world famous temples of Angkor Wat, which are arguably the finest ruins in Asia. Here we see the highlights of the region including Banteay Srei, The Bayon, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, which was made famous when scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Tomb Raider were filmed there. When you have finished walking through the ruins get ready to fly among them on an exhilarating and challenging zip lining and high ropes course! In addition to these activities you will also have a hands on cooking demonstration which begins with a walk through the morning market purchasing fresh ingredients before preparing a traditional Cambodian lunch, learn the skills of the traditional Khmer Potter's Wheel at The Angkor Pottery Centre, visit the Cambodian War Museum and meet with senior Buddhist monks. These experiences will all add to your learning of the cultural and historical complexities of the country and contribute greatly towards your understanding of this small yet very proud nation. This is a Service Learning experience to get excited over!
The International School of Koje Cambodia Service trip is rated adventure touring level. 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. Remember the fitter you are the more enjoyable your experience will be.
After so many months thinking, preparing, and planning for your Cambodian adventure to begin the day has finally arrived! On arrival in Siem Reap you will be met at the airport by your English speaking guide and transferred to our centrally located hotel aboard a modern coach equipped with seat belts. For the duration of the visit the group will be allocated an English speaking guide and a private vehicle which will provide all your transportation. This will make it easier and more convenient to manage the various activities, programs and site visits you will be experiencing across the six days. Due to your flights late arrival into Siem Reap we encourage you to have an early night as tomorrow is a fascinating day exploring Siem Reap and the surrounding villages. Welcome to Cambodia!
Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel 4* - Deluxe Twin Room
This morning after breakfast you will have an opportunity to go and change or withdraw money before we take an orientation tour of Angkor Wat, giving us our first taste of the amazing site. First, we will reach Angkor Wat - one of the great wonders of the world where you will soon realize it is not one temple, but an expanse covering several square miles, containing the remains of an early civilization as well as many different temples. Angkor was an early Cambodian civilization that flourished and prospered from about 800 to 1400 AD. The majority of the temples were built between the 6th and 13th Centuries. Many of the temples are in excellent condition, however a large amount, are in poor repair and in need of extensive restoration. The surrounding forest has grown into and destroyed several of these magnificent works of art. We will visit a local pagoda within Angkor Wat and participate in a course on Buddhism to understand more on the life of Buddha, history of Buddhism and the different styles of Buddhism in Southeast Asia.
From here, we will then drive to the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom to admire the extensive temple complex of soaring towers, elaborate carved murals, colonnades and courtyards that ushered in the classic age of Khmer art architecture. We also visit the Bayon temple located in the centre, which rises on three levels, with galleries containing bas reliefs depicting daily life and historical Khmer battles won and lost.
Lunch will be served at Khmer Wooden House, near Sras Srong.
We then shift our attention and focus from the ancient temples of Angkor to the challenge and team work needed to conquer the high ropes and zipline course of the world class, Flight of The Gibbon Angkor. Nestled into the rainforest, not far from the majestic temples of Angkor and under careful guidance and support from highly trained staff you will soar on ziplines, traverse suspended sky bridges, abseil from towering trees, and be amazed by the majesty and magic of the rainforest. Flight of the Gibbon have expertly built there famous zipline courses in the most remote and beautiful rainforest locations across Asia. This will be a rewarding experience for all those who try and conquer their fears!
A special welcome dinner will be enjoyed where you can celebrate the adventrue and joy of travel and service!
Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel 4* - Deluxe Twin Room
The people from the village will be very receptive to your visit and the improvements that you are making which will bring long term benefits. Upon arrival a thorough briefing will take place as will a safety talk and you will be introduced to the trained builders and laborers who will be assisting you. You will then be divided into sub groups to work on different components of the project and you should wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty, wear suitable shoes and bring some sturdy work gloves from home.
- Measuring, chiseling, sawing wooden posts
- Preparing stairs
- Measuring and cutting wall panels
- Measuring and cutting wall supports
Due to strict safety precautions 20 people is the maximum number of students on each site. The rest of the group will take a tour around the village and then visit a school nearby. At the school, you will have opportunity to learn a traditional Cambodian game and play it with the children. The groups will rotate through the building tasks and also visiting the nearby school.
A packed lunch will be supplied by a local restaurant and enjoyed at the project site. It is important that you remain hydrated and regular breaks will be taken to keep energy levels high.
When the heat of the afternoon begins to take its toll we will visit the National War Museum. This unique museum is the only War Museum in Cambodia and offers visitors a unique and insightful view of the perils that Cambodia faced during the last 3 decades of the 20th century. It provides an opportunity to learn more about what actually occurred during Cambodia’s ‘war years’.
Returning to the hotel we have a short stop at nearby Wat Thmey or Killing Field, which contains a unique glass-walled stupa containing the bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge which is dedicated to all those who sacrificed their lives in the civil war. Some of the displays and information can be confronting and there will be time to reflect and discuss one of recent history’s darkest chapters.
We will return to the hotel for refreshment and a swim. After a relaxing break, we head out on a short guided tuk tuk city tour to find out about daily life and learn more about the town and the people who live there. Tonight, enjoy dinner with a cultural performance of Apsara Dance show at Por Cuisine before a trip to the famous Night Markets.
Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel 4* - Deluxe Twin Room
This morning there is an optional early start, yet it is worth the effort. Your guide will have checked conditions to see if it is possible and if so wake those who had agreed to get up and view one of the worlds most photographed sunrises, the beautiful silhouette of Angkor Wat against a blood red sky. We then return to the hotel for breakfast before heading to the project site where service project continues.
Accommodation: Kingfisher Hotel 3* - Deluxe Twin Roomweather
Today is a full day at the project site. We will take regular breaks so as to monitor hydration and energy levels.
A full morning at the project site, the works today include:
- Watch blessing ceremony
- Raise house frames
- Attach beam supports
- Move floorboards up and start nailing them down
- Start on internal wall
- Start making door
We’re going to have the same schedule as yesterday and the students will swap activities so all are given an opportunity to work on the service project and also visit the nearby school.
Packed lunch will be arranged for you at the project site.
In the evening we depart and learn some of the secrets of Cambodian cuisine at a hands on cooking school - we suggest you listen as the dishes you prepare will be your dinner! Each class commences with a visit to a local family where you will learn about the herbs and vegetables grown at most Khmer households and also about traditional food customs, superstitions and beliefs. Following this we enter the classroom to commence cooking under the supervision of a professional chef and help you create several dishes which you can then reproduce at home. The lesson is completely hands on where each participant will have their own cooking station and equipment. From here, we return to your hotel and relax.
Accommodation: Kingfisher Hotel 3* - Deluxe Twin Room
After breakfast you will return to the project site and put the finishing touches on the house building project.
Work will include:
- Start nailing on wall panels
- Make window
- Attach door and window
- Attach stairs
- Make/attach external windows
- Finishing touches to house
The difference this work will make cannot be underestimated. In addition the friendships which will have formed, this will foster closer relationships between your two countries.
Today, we all enjoy a special farewell lunch with all staff and the builders together. This will be a special and enjoyable meal which will forge new friendships and remove barriers.
There will be a handover ceremony and taking of numerous group photos, unveiling a plaque and exchanging some gifts before saying farewell one last time.
Later in the afternoon, we return to the hotel for a refreshing swim before having dinner at Palate Angkor Restaurant and a final look around the night markets.
At the required time we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home to Busan.
Upon arrival at the airport all services conclude yet the memories, lessons and friendships made will last a lifetime. Congratulations on completing a challenging service and curriculum adventure!
Per Person, Twin Share