custom school group & youth adventure travel specialists

PAC HOPE for Cambodian Children Service Adventure 2018

PAC HOPE for Cambodian Children Service Adventure 2018

Trip Highlights

  • Complete a Community Service Project at HOPE for Cambodian Children
  • Explore the vibrant streets, museums & historical sites of Battambang and Siem Reap
  • Discover the World Heritage listed Angkor Wat temple complex in the company of expert guides
  • Attend a 'hands on' Cambodian Cooking Class and sample the results
  • Visit the harrowing genocide museums of the Pol Pot legacy in Phnom Penh
  • Learn about one of Australia's most important 'neighbours' and transfer that knowledge into your studies

Trip Summary

Continuing in the tradition of previous PAC Cambodia service adventures, we explore the world famous temples of Angkor, built when the Khmer civilisation was at its height a thousand years ago. We explore various temples including Angkor Wat, Ta Promh, Bayon and enjoying world famous sunsets over the temples as well as visiting the Tonle Sap floating villages. We discover the bustling colonial streets of Battambang where we spend time working alongside the dedicated staff of the HOPE for Cambodian Children charity, whilst also having the opportunity to get off the beaten path and discover local markets and temples. We then travel south by private coach to the capital, Phnom Penh where we visit the Royal Palace and learn about the harrowing Pol Pot regime. We meet with the staff and team from Skateistan, who use the skateboard as a way to empower disadvantaged youth before a chance to do some last minute shopping and boarding a flight from Phnom Penh to Sydney via Singapore. This itinerary has been custom designed in conjunction with PAC teachers to provide unique learning experiences as well as the opportunity to give back to communities in need.

Suitability

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.

Itinerary

After all the planning and preparation today is the day your service adventure finally begins and you depart Sydney bound for Cambodia. Your flights are with Singapore Airlines. The group will overnight in Singapore en-route to Siem Reap. Accommodation will be provided at the Ambassador Hotel within the terminal. No meals are provided.

Meals:  Nil

Sua s’dei! Welcome to Cambodia. Arriving into Siem Reap in the morning your group will be met at the airport by your local guide (English speaking) and driver and transferred to the hotel to check-in and freshen up. The guide will conduct a trip briefing in the hotel foyer before you head out for lunch at the Blossom Cafe and Training Centre. Blossom is a cake art gallery and not-for-profit organisation that empowers and skills Cambodian women while providing customers with a chic oasis in Siem Reap. Later this afternoon the group visits the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square. You'll enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces. From here, we travel to Bayon Temple - the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The trip to Pre Rup Temple will reward you with a spectacular sunset over the Angkor Archaeological Park and its surroundings. This is a magic time to see the temples silhouetted. A welcome dinner will be provided at The Nest Restaurant and Bar. Overnight in Siem Reap at the Somadevi Angkor Resort and Spa

Meals:  L,D

Following breakfast the group takes part in a cooking class to learn some of the secrets of Cambodian Cuisine. The Kompheim Village Cooking Class starts with a demonstration to introduce you to some local ingredients and techniques and you’ll also have the chance to prepare your own dishes. There’s plenty of incentive to pay attention because you will enjoy dining on the results of your efforts. After lunch the group visits Ta Prohm Temple, unlike most other Angkor temples, it has been left just it was when rediscovered: a photogenic and atmospheric maze of trees growing out of temple ruins amidst jungle surroundings, making it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors. Next you'll take a orientation tour of Angkor Wat for an extensive look at this amazing site. Angkor Wat is one of the great wonders of the world and you'll understand why when you realise it is not one temple, but an expanse covering several square miles, containing the remains of an early civilisation as well as many other temples. Angkor was an early Cambodian civilisation 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. The day comes to an end with sunset at Angkor Wat, where the Apsaras shine in the most beautiful light. In the evening, the group heads out on a guided tour of Siem Reap by ‘remork’ (similar to the Thai ‘tuk tuk’) to learn out about daily life, visit the small shops and learn more about the town and the people who live there. We enjoy dinner with an Apsara cultural show. After dinner, the group visits the Night Markets to browse or purchase gifts and souvenirs. Overnight in Siem Reap at the Somadevi Angkor Resort and Spa

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast at the hotel, you will head out to Chong Kneas “floating village”. We board the boat and cruise through this floating settlement, seeing a floating school, farms, houses and many more curiosities. Greeted by the waves of the friendly locals, here you can glimpse Cambodia’s lakeside culture and traditional family lifestyle. After lunch, we then commence the 3hr drive to Battambang and travel through the beautiful Cambodian countryside and rural villages. We have some time to relax before dinner time. Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel. Distances and journey times: Siem Reap to Battambang 174 km / 3 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Today the group commences service work in conjunction with HOPE For Cambodian Children (HFCC), a charitable foundation that cares for abandoned children and assists those from the poorest areas of the community. You will be met by the staff and be given a tour of the centre. Prepare for lots of noise, singing and above all appreciation for the work about to get underway. In the afternoon, you will travel to a few of the villages around Battambang, where they will learn how the locals produce rice paper, “grolan” (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Cambodian treats. You will experience a short ride on the famous Bamboo Train, an original means of transportation on the old train tracks leading to Phnom Penh - a true rollercoaster ride without loops! (Note: the train tracks from Battambang to Phnom Penh are currently being rebuilt. The long term future of the Bamboo Train cannot be guaranteed. Should the service stop, we will arrange alternative sightseeing). Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, the group return to the service project to complete more tasks. Following lunch you will visit Phnom Sambov Mountain, a place steeped in legend, you will visit Wat Sampeou at the peak, and a group of caves used as “killing caves” by the Khmer Rouge. Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast, we return to the service project for the morning. The group returns to the hotel to freshen up before taking a walking tour of the main market, Psar Nath where you can try the local coffee. The walk continues along the Sangker River, a quiet body of water, which winds its way through the Battambang Province and connects the Cardamom Mountains with the Tonle Sap Lake and feeds the paddy fields with water. The Battambang province is known for producing Cambodia’s best rice. Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Visit a nearby village with the staff from HOPE to see how they work with the community to relocate orphans back with their relatives. This evening the group enjoys the very special Phare Ponleu Selpak, a school of music, visual and performing arts. Phare Ponleu Selpak uses the arts to provide education, support and entertainment to the poor communities. This project is an example of how humanitarian aid work can turn into a display of zest for life, genuine warmth and creativity, against all odds. Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast, the group returns to complete the service project at Hope for Cambodian Children. There will be a farewell ceremony and an opportunity to take numerous group photos and exchange some gifts before saying farewell one last time. Overnight in Battambang at the Stung Sangke Hotel.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we travel to Phnom Penh by private coach affording the group with the opportunity to stop and walk around local villages. Before taking the drive to Phnom Penh, we shop in Battambang for goods that we will deliver to a poor family in need en-route to Phnom Penh. The drive to Phnom Penh will be slower than usual as currently the road is being improved. Upon arriving in Phnom Penh, we will participate in a discussion on Buddhism at a local pagoda and hear an introduction to the different concepts of Buddhism. The group explores the temple grounds to understand more about monastery design and the meaning of the various pagodas or statues. The Monks will happy to answer all of your questions. Upon arrival at the hotel, enjoy some time to rest and relax. Dinner will be arranged at The Pizza Company. Overnight in Phnom Penh at the Cardamom Hotel. Distances and journey times: Battambang to Phnom Penh (293 km): 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

Following breakfast, the group will take a two hour cyclo tour to see the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh. The cyclo is a traditional Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city. The cyclo tour takes you to the Royal Palace, which dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. Continue to visit the National Museum, built in traditional Khmer style. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artefacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony. The next stop is Wat Phnom temple, the founding place of the city on a small hilltop. Lunch will be served at the Banana Tree Restaurant. This afternoon, you'll gain insight into Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the remarkable Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in the former school that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as its main detention and torture centre named ‘S-21’. You'll visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a grim, but important visit that will allow you to dig below the surface and understand Cambodia better. After learning about some of Cambodia’s tragic past it is time to put a smile back on your face and experience modern Khmer life. End the day with a delicious welcome Khmer dinner at Bopha Phnom Penh Restaurant, the kitchen serves tasty Khmer (and Western) cuisine on the terrace of a breezy terrace restaurant with sweeping river views. Apsara dancing is performed nightly between 7-9pm. After the dinner you can either be dropped back at your hotel or at the night market on the riverfront. Overnight in Phnom Penh at the Cardamom Hotel. Note: To see the Royal palace and silver pagoda in Phnom Penh, visitors are required to wear appropriate clothes. Guests wearing short pans (above knee level) and sleeveless tops are not permitted.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we visit a fun and empowering organization called Skateistan. Skateistan Cambodia uses innovative, youth-led program that builds confidence, trust and social capital among children. They use “the hook” of skateboarding to connect kids with education. They provide opportunities for education, leadership, and creative thinking that helps break the cycle of poverty and exclusion. The remainder of the day can be spent purchasing some last minute souvenirs from markets and further exploring Phnom Penh. Lunch will be taken at Romdeng Restaurant, which is a social restaurant providing work place training and support for the vulnerable and disadvantaged. The restaurant is supported by Friends-International, a social enterprise organisation saving lives and building futures for the most marginalised children and youth. Group transfer to the airport for your flight back to Sydney via Singapore.

Meals:  B,L,D

Upon arriving in Sydney all services conclude.

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return Singapore Airlines economy class flights from Sydney to Siem Reap then Phnom Penh to Sydney via Singapore in both directions, including all taxes.
  • 10 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners, 1 soft drink/bottle of water p/person p/meal. Snacks and fruit during the project days.
  • Private air-conditioned coaches used for all airport transfers and group transport. 2 x 25 seater coaches for travel to and from the project in Battambang
  • Comfortable hotel accommodation throughout with air conditioning.
  • Expert English speaking tour leader who will carry a group medical kit.
  • Sightseeing and all entry fees as listed in the itinerary. (Including all museum and temple visits, Tonle Sap boat cruise, cooking class, Royal Palace, S21 & Killing Field)
  • Pre Departure Information kit and pre departure briefing (27 July 2017) to help you plan and prepare.

What's Not Included

  • Items of a personal nature ie phone calls, laundry and email
  • Entry visa fees
  • Tipping for crew and guides (approx. US$30), this is not compulsory but is customary in this part of the world
  • Group donation of AUD$400 to purchase goods to be delivered to community en-route to Phnom Penh
  • Project donations to HOPE for Cambodian Children charity
  • Travel Insurance. If you book your insurance, please provide WYA with your policy number. Or you can contact WYA to book Suresave Basics Policy @ $120 per person. Email: enquiries@worldyouthadventures.com
  • Meals x 1 (1 x breakfast whilst in Singapore and 1 x dinner). Allow USD$10-15 per meal.

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:13 Days
Countries:Cambodia
Starting Point:Sydney. From 25 Participants
Activities:Service Learning Project
Adventure Touring
Grade:Adventure Touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4626