Fountain Gate Secondary College Cambodia Service Journey

Fountain Gate Secondary College Cambodia Service Journey

Trip Highlights

  • Join the "Keeper for a day" program at the Free The Bears sanctuary Phnom Tamao
  • Spend time in leafy Phnom Penh
  • Participate in Community Project building infrastructure for communities in need
  • Cycle around the majestic temples of Angkor
  • Visit the world renowned PHARE circus
  • Try your hand at bartering for goods at the local markets
  • Gain an insight into the language and culture of the Khmer

Trip Summary

A complete itinerary highlighting Cambodia's best known attractions of Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh along with the satisfaction of giving something back by way of a service social justice program with Volunteer Build Cambodia. This will provide lasting and long term benefits to the local community. Our adventure begins in the developing town of Phnom Penh. Once considered the most beautiful city in the Orient Phnom Penh is going through rapid change, we experience some of the cultural and historical highlights. We join one of the best wildlife facilities in South East Asia as we join the Free the Bears "keeper for a day" program. We drive North to Siem Reap stopping at Skuon village famous for its local delicacies before we continue to the bustling town of Siem Reap, the gateway to the temples of Angkor Wat. Here we explore the surrounds by bike and foot. We explore the main temples by cycling along the back roads along shady tree lined streets, away from the main crowds. We then embark on a very important part of our journey, a Community Project helping build infrastructure for remote villages in need. For 5 days we work together with the local community to improve the facilities and help participate in the education program by day and then enjoy activities in the afternoon. This is a wonderful opportunity to hands on provide lasting help to the local community. We also pay a visit to Internationally acclaimed PHARE circus which is transforming the lives of Cambodian youth. This is an engaging learning experience to get excited over!

Itinerary

After so many months thinking, preparing, and planning for your Cambodian journey, the day has finally arrived! Please make your way to Melbourne Airport to check in for your overnight flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a full trip briefing with your local guide and or an introduction to the Khmer language and culture. After freshening up we head out to explore some of the city's prime attractions. We start by exploring the famous Royal Palace, built in 1866 under the French protectorate and King Norodom. The adjoining Silver Pagoda, built in 1962, is famous for its lavish decorations, silver paved floor and several Buddha statues made from precious metals & stones. Our exploration continues by scaling the steps up the small hill to see Wat Phnom Temple, the birthplace of Phnom Penh. Tonight w head out for a welcome dinner in a local restauraunt. Overnight in Phnom Penh 3* hotel

Meals:  D

After breakfast at our hotel we will head out for a very special day. We will drive to Phnom Tamao to the Free the Bears wildlife sanctuary to join their "keeper for a day program". This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get behind the scenes at one of the best wildlife centers in South East Asia as they join the Free the Bears education program. Late this afternoon we will return to Phnom Penh and enjoy a farewell dinner at Friends restaurant. Friends is a charity restaurant that offers street kids the chance to learn hospitality and receive an education. If the manager is present we will get him to come over and discuss the restaurant and its philosophy. Overnight in Phnom Penh 3* hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we leave Phnom Penh for Siem Reap. A short distance outside of Phnom Penh we will stop in the town of Skuon to see their most famous specialty being sold: deep-fried tarantula! A stop off on the Hamish and Andy gap year Asia program, this town is home to the favorite snack of many Cambodians. Many local buses stop here at the market to buy a bag of the “ch’ngain” (tasty) eight-legged creatures. The spiders are caught in the soft ground of the surrounding countryside and dug out of their burrows. We continue to Siem Reap. On arrival we will check into our hotel before heading on a orientation walk around this vibrant village town. We have the opportunity to stop at the local markets and try our hand at bartering for clothes, electronics and crafts. Tonight we will have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight 3* Siem Reap Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

The Angkor Heritage Park is a wonderful area to explore at handle bar level. It is relatively flat and has many back roads away from the main tourist traffic we can cycle along. A full support vehicle travels with us with spare bikes whilst also providing the opportunity for people not comfortable with cycling to travel with the group. After breakfast we meet with our local guide for a safety briefing and then size up for our bikes. We then head out to explore. First stop is the 12-13th century jungle temple of Ta Prohm (a setting of one of the Tomb Raider films with Angelina Jolie). 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 and a wonderful place for photos. We continue to cycle through jungle paths toward the ruined city of Angkor Thom: the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. We have lunch at a local restaurant in the park before we continue on to Bayon Temple, sitting in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its fifty-four towers with enigmatic faces representing the fifty-four provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. We finish the day with a cycle to the iconic Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed to symbolize Mount Meru, the home of the gods. After the Angkor explorations, return to the hotel and relax for the evening before heading out for dinner. Overnight in Siem Reap. Cycling distance: approx. 30km (support vehicle will travel with the group to cater for any non cyclists) Note: Appropriate attire when visiting Angkor temples is long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover shoulders. Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within the temple grounds. Visitors can and are frequently turned away from temples when wearing revealing clothing.

Meals:  B,L,D

The next 5 days is a special time for us as we join the local volunteer building Cambodia team. This is a real opportunity for us to hands on give something back to a remote community in need and to bring long term benefits to the centre. Our work here will be a mixture of labour and construction duties building houses, toilets and wells for the surrounding villages. Volunteer building is a small, Cambodian-run non-government organisation that facilitates building sturdy, wooden houses for Khmer people living without safe and secure shelter. The organisation is fully funded by volunteer fees. At the project site the students will be divided into sub groups to work on different components of the project. We will take the time to take a walk through the surrounding community whilst here gaining a better understanding of the people and their way of life. You should wear clothing you don't mind getting dirty. In addition the friendships which will form and foster closer relationships between your two countries and schools. We usually work until lunch and then enjoy a variety of activities in the afternoon. The project is set up alongside our Travel, Give, Grow concept offering unique experiences to help foster respect for the natural world as well as the diverse peoples and cultures that live in it. This style of travel helps develop confidence, resilience, tolerance, problem solving abilities, team work, fitness and key life skills. The project is set up alongside our Travel, Give, Grow concept offering unique experiences to help foster respect for the natural world as well as the diverse peoples and cultures that live in it. This style of travel helps develop confidence, resilience, tolerance, problem solving abilities, team work, fitness and key life skills. We will return to our hotel late in the afternoon to refresh before heading out to dinner at a local restaurant. On the first night we will visit the famous PHARE circus. The circus is an International quality program designed to take in street kids and train them to be performers. The circus travels around the world and appears on some of the biggest stages. It is a fantastic experience we know you will love. Overnight 3* Siem Reap Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we complete our project and join in a house blessing and hand over the structure to the local community. This is a wonderful celebration of all the hard work and planning over the last 6 months! We return to Siem Reap for a visit to the local outdoor market where you can barter for clothing, electronics and last minute gifts for loved ones before we transfer to the airport for our flight back to Australia.

Meals:  B,L

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • International and internal flights ex Melbourne
  • Teachers traveling from Fountain Gate Secondary College
  • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners.
  • Comfortable hotel accommodation throughout on a twin-share basis
  • Private air-conditioned vehicles used for all airport transfers and group transport
  • Expert English speaking tour leaders in Cambodia who will carry a group medical kit
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in the itinerary
  • Tickets to PHARE Circus
  • All Cambodian Government tax and service charges
  • Gloves for project days
  • Free the Bears "keeper for a day program"

What's Not Included

  • Mineral water beyond that supplied
  • Items of a personal nature ie phone calls laundry and email
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance - compulsory
  • Tips - USD$40.00 approx (not compulsory)
  • Project materials and labour force estimate USD$2900 to be fund raised in total by the group

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:10 Days
Countries:Cambodia
Activities:5 day Community Project
Keeper for a day program at Free The Bears sanctuary
Explore Angkor Wat at handle bar level
Adventure Touring
Grade:Introductory  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5131