A comprehensive itinerary that features Cambodia's best known attraction, Angkor Wat combined with the opportunity to assist two of the most marginalised families, in a community on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Under guidance from expert tradespeople KIS students will build two new homes, working on tasks such as sanding, load carrying, sweeping, or basic carpentry. The immediate and long term benefit that the families will derive from your work will be immediately evident.
With service work complete we spend time exploring the world famous temples of Angkor Wat, which are arguably the finest ruins in Asia, 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. Team work is called on as you support your friends as the entire group embarks on an exhilarating zip lining in the jungle. A hands on cooking demonstration starts with a walk through the market purchasing fresh ingredients before preparing a traditional Cambodian meal which you will enjoy for lunch. In addition to these activities you will enjoy visits to a stilt village, silkworm farms, the Cambodian War Museum as well as an Escape Room experience. Your group will also meet senior Buddhist monks who will explain various aspects of the many complex cultures which will contribute greatly towards your understanding of this small yet very proud nation.
The safety and well being of the KIS Students is our primary focus. The complete service includes modern air conditioned vehicles, expert local English speaking guides and support crew, and nights spent in comfortable hotels where the tasty local food will be sure to satisfy.
Our service learning adventures can be undertaken by anyone with a reasonable level of health and fitness. For the community project part of your trip you will not require a certain level of strength or physical ability, just an enthusiastic and positive attitude. A project manager will direct and distribute the workloads among participants on a daily basis. There is no pressure to exert yourself physically beyond your limits during the project but you should be prepared to give 6-7 hours of physical labour each day.
After many months of preparing and planning, your Cambodian adventure is about to begin! 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 ensure safety and flexibility. You will take dinner and enjoy an early evening to recover from the flight.
Accommodation: Ree Hotel
This morning after breakfast the group will convert cash to the local currency or withdraw money before, you’ll have a chance to learn some of the secrets of Cambodian cuisine at a cooking school. There will be a demonstration to introduce you to local ingredients and techniques before you start cooking and best of all you’ll get to sample the dishes you prepare at lunch.
We visit a Silk Farm to learn about how they produce Khmer silk by traditional methods. On the way back into Siem Reap we stop at the National War Museum. This unique museum is the only War Museum in Cambodia and offers visitors an insightful view of the perils that Cambodia faced during the last 3 decades of the 20th century. We take 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, and we view the War Memorial Monument 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.
In the evening we enjoy a welcome dinner at Marum Restaurant (Tree Alliance Training Restaurants for employment). After dinner, we enjoy some shopping at the night market where you could purchase some gifts or souvenirs.
Accommodation: Ree Hotel
This morning we take an orientation tour of Angkor Wat, giving us our first taste of this amazing site. Angkor Wat is one of the great wonders of the world and 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 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. 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 center, which rises to three levels, with galleries containing bas reliefs depicting daily life and historical Khmer battles won and lost.
Lunch will be served in a nearby restaurant called the Khmer Wooden House.
We then shift our attention and focus from the ancient temples of Angkor to the challenge of the high zip line ropes at the world class facility called ‘Flight of The Gibbon Angkor’. Nestled into the rain forest, not far from the majestic temples of Angkor and under careful guidance and support from highly trained staff you will soar on zip lines, traverse suspended sky bridges, abseil from towering trees, and be amazed by the majesty and magic of the rain forest. The Flight of the Gibbon zip line course has been expertly built in a remote and beautiful rain forest location. This is a truly exciting and rewarding experience.
Tonight, we enjoy dinner at Palate Angkor Restaurant
Accommodation: Ree Hotel
This morning you can choose to rise early for the optional excursion to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat (well worth the effort) or you can opt to sleep in. Following breakfast at the hotel, the real purpose of this trip will commence when we drive to the community where we'll be building a house. 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. You will rotate through tasks throughout the day. Wear old clothing and suitable shoes and bring some sturdy work gloves from home.
- Measuring, chiselling, 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.
This afternoon, you will be transferred to Kompong Kleang floating village which is a settlement of over 20,000 people where houses tower up to ten meters above the water. Here you take a glimpse the countryside, culture and traditional family lifestyle. From here, followed by a tour of Wat Damnak. Home to the Centre of Khmer Studies, Wat Damnak is an independent institution promoting a greater understanding of Khmer culture. Here, Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony for you, wishing your health and a safe journey – a very special experience!
This evening we enjoy a buffet dinner at our hotel.
Accommodation: Ree Hotel
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 follow the same schedule as yesterday whereby students swap activities so that all are given an opportunity to work on the service project and also visit the nearby school. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
By mid afternoon the sun is strong and so we return to the hotel where there is a chance to take a break and cool down in the swimming pool.
Later this afternoon, we visit Ta Prohm temple (by local Tuk Tuks with 3-4 people in each Tuk Tuk), that was built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm, one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Next, head to the outskirts of town to Street 60. Busy every night, this street has the feel of a night market. Stop watching and observe the daily life of Cambodian people there.
Tonight, enjoy a buffet dinner/set menu dinner at local restaurant plus Apsara performance show.
Accommodation: Ree Hotel
After breakfast you will return to the project site and put the finishing touches on the project. The impact your hard work will make cannot be underestimated. In addition the friendships which will have formed it will also foster closer relationships between your two countries and schools. We bid farewell to our new found friends and wishing and return to town for lunch at local restaurant and continue to the hotel where there is time to take a break and perhaps cool down in the swimming pool. Next we participate in 'Escape The Room', in small teams you search for clues to solve the mystery, before enjoying evening farewell dinner at The Pizza Company. We transfer to the airport for our flight to South Korea (departing Siem Reap at 12:05am on Friday 23 March and arriving into Incheon at 7:05am on Friday 23 March)
Per Person, Twin Share