Haileybury connecting communities SHINE Cambodia service journey

Haileybury connecting communities SHINE Cambodia service journey

Trip Highlights

  • Participate in a social justice connecting communities program at SHINE Cambodia
  • Explore one of the great wonders of the world, Angkor Wat
  • Walk the tree lined streets of Phnom Penh
  • Join the Free the Bears "keeper for a day" program
  • Experience the spectacular NGO Phare circus
  • Receive private Monks blessing at Wat Botum
  • Dining at charity restaurant Friends

Trip Summary

A fun, educational, adventurous and exciting exploration of Cambodia tailor made for the students at Haileybury. Our adventure begins in the rapidly developing town of Phnom Penh. Once considered the most beautiful city in the Orient, Phnom Penh is going through accelerated change of the like it has not seen before. Here we explore experience some of the cultural and historical highlights. We explore the same way the locals do, by cyclo, as we discover the local markets and main places of interest. We then travel to one of the best wildlife facilities in South East Asia as we join the Free the Bears "keeper for a day" program. We board our private vehicle and head South West to the coastal town of Sihanoukville. Here we spend 3 full days volunteering at the SHINE center, a highlight and main focus of our journey. We return to Phnom Penh and drive to the rural town of Skuon village, famous for its local delicacies including fried tarantula, 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 spend 1 night in a small Cambodian village at a traditional old teak building, waking to the sounds of birds in the trees and people heading out to tend the field, a real highlight of your adventure. This is a wonderful opportunity to hands on provide lasting help to the local community whilst learning about the Cambodian people and culture.

Itinerary

After months of planning and preparation the wait is finally over! Please make your way to the airport for your day flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival in Phnom Penh you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel. After check in we will have a full group pre-trip briefing and a language lesson on how to use common phrases in Khmer before heading out to explore the cultural and historical highlights of the city, the way locals do, by cyclo! We learn about the recent history of Cambodia as well as the rapid expansion and development currently occurring in the city and the affect this is having from an environmental and social context. We then head out for our first taste of Cambodian cuisine at a local restaurant. Overnight Ohana Hotel Phnom Penh **Activities today depend on flight arrival time

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 centres in South East Asia as they join the Free the Bears education program. The facility, set up by Perth lady Mary Hutton, now houses over 100 Sun Bears over a 7 hectare area, rescued from poachers. We will help with the bear enrichment program. Late this afternoon we will return to Phnom Penh and enjoy a low key dinner. Overnight Ohana Hotel Phnom Penh

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a very sobering day as we visit Cambodia's bloody past. Whilst this is a very confronting visit it is important if we are to understand the countries recent history and how the people are looking positively towards the future. We visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, or the Museum of Genocide. Originally this building was a high school, until it became the Khmer Rouge’s main torture and interrogation centre. During this period it was known as ‘S-21’. We then stop for de-briefing and lunch at the local restaurant before proceeding to the Killing Fields, a stretch of countryside where over 10,000 people were executed. The remains of some of the people are stored in a memorial to remind people of the atrocities the Khmer Rouge inflicted on other Khmers. We will then head back into town and visit the Natinal Museum, housing the worlds foremost collection of ancient Khmer artifacts. Late this evening we have time to reflect on the day and debrief. Tonight we have dinner at the Friends restaurant, a training restaurant for disadvantaged youth. The restaurant provides education and job training to street children. The visit helps support the training of these kids by being their guest. Depending on availability we hope to have the manager of the restaurant and some of the workers speak with our group about their experience. Overnight Ohana Hotel Phnom Penh

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast, we board our private vehicle and travel down to the coastal town of Sihanoukville. After checking into our hotel we will travel to the district of OTRE to visit the site of our community social justice project, SHINE Cambodia. We will be greeted by the local SHINE team and students and to run through our program for the coming three days. Later this afternoon we return to Sihanoukville where the students have some down time for the afternoon where they can enjoy the facilities of the hotel or shop at the local markets. Tonight we will enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants on the beach. Overnight Holiday Villa Nataya Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

Over the next 3 days we will visit the SHINE Cambodia centre for our social justice program. Shine Cambodia is a non-for-profit charity, based in Otres, providing children and their families with an educational support centre offering school education, family support, social care, and health and wellbeing programs. The impact of the Khmer Rouge regime, endemic corruption and limited human resources has resulted in the dispossession and dislocation of the Cambodian people from land and family. This has caused the erosion of educational and social infrastructures, especially in the impoverished countryside, which has adversely affected the social and emotional wellbeing of families. Cambodia is also one of the most natural disaster-prone countries in Asia. In rural Cambodia, a large number of families simply cannot afford to send their children to school and they are often left to roam the streets, sent to work on the land, collecting plastic from the beach and rubbish sites, or at home helping to raise their siblings. Shine Cambodia provides free education, from ages 5 to 16, and social support to the community, ensuring that when the children leave school they have career options to give their families a better life. An opportunity many of us take for granted Each child that grows up to succeed will become living proof that the future can be different to the past. Each night we return to our hotel in Sihanoukville. Overnight Holiday Villa Nataya Hote

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we have some leisure time to enjoy a relaxing breakfast before we check out and board out vehicle for the 3 hour drive to Phnom Penh. On arrival we will check into our hotel before heading out to continuing to explore this fascinating city. Overnight Ohana Hotel Phnom Penh

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we leave Phnom Penh for the drive to Kampong Thom. 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 favourite 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. You may wish to try some of the delicacies yourself. We continue our drive to Kampong Thom town located on the banks of the Stung Saen River. This afternoon we have the chance to explore this interesting town with Khmer and French history. Overnight Sambor Village Resort Hotel

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we continue our journey North to Siem Reap, the charming gateway city to the temples of Angkor! On arrival we will check into our hotel before heading to the Angkor National Museum. This interactive museum showcases artifacts from the Golden era of the Khmer empire. We will then have an orientation tour of Siem reap before heading out to dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner we can visit the night markets where the students can try their hand at bartering for the many good on offer. Overnight Sokha Roth Hotel in deluxe city view rooms

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is a special day as we make our way out to the magnificent temples of Angkor and explore at handle bar level! You will have a full briefing with your guide as well as being sized up for your bike. Cycling is a wonderful way to explore the temple complex as it is relatively flat and we can travel along small shaded streets and avoid the queues as we enter the temples. The largest and most impressive of all the temples in Angkor is Angkor 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 explore Ta Prohm, known as the temple filmed for the movie Tomb Raider which is still overgrown by jungle, trees and vines. We will have lunch near the complex and continue our exploration until we return to our hotel later that afternoon. Tonight we will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Sokha Roth Hotel in deluxe city view rooms Cycling approx 20km **Appropriate attire must be work when visiting the temples of Angkor. Long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover the shoulders must be worn. Skirts, shorts above the knee, tank tops or other revealing clothing are not allowed to be worn within the temple grounds. Visitors are frequently turned away from the temples when wearing revealing clothing.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we head out to the Tonle Sap River, the lifeblood of Cambodia's North and learn how the locals interact on a daily basis with the river. We will embark on a boat trip on South East Asia's largest freshwater Lake and visit the stilt village of Kampong Kleang. We continue to Boeng Malea where we get to explore this temple, straight out of a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The temple remains overgrown by the jungle and un-restored as it was when rediscovered. We then head to the nearby Bong Thom village stay. Our accommodation is in a traditional Khmer village where our group will sleep in a large open air dormitory. The home stay is surrounded by orchards of exotic fruit trees that we can try. The home stay also offers free English lessons to children from the surrounding villages, each day and we will be able to join in and help with the lessons. Tonight, enjoy dinner with traditional music at the entrance. Today is a real highlight of our experience in Cambodia. Overnight in Bong Thom traditional hall

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we rise to the sound of birds in the trees and people making their way to the fields for the days work. It is incredibly interesting watching the village come to life in the morning. After breakfast we board our vehicle and head to the nearby sacred Kulen Mountain. We walk through seemingly endless rice fields and spectacular rural scenery. This is a great opportunity to see how people in the rural areas of Cambodia go about their lives on a daily basis. Rising up from the flat countryside is the enormous Kulen Mountain, and it slowly begins to dominate the view as the trail approaches. Kulen Mountain (Phnom Kulen) is an impressive sandstone plateau in this otherwise flat area. The mountain is considered the birthplace of the Khmer empire and a sacred place for the Khmer. At the top of Phnom Kulen, we can find the 1000 of LINGAS carved under the river. Our walk takes us to the popular local hangout: the Kulen falls. Many Cambodians gather here on the weekends and national holidays to escape the heat and enjoy some time beneath the trees. We have the chance to swim here in this beautiful setting. Here we are met by our vehicles and transfer back to Siem Reap and check into our hotel. After dinner we head to the famous Phare Cambodian circus. Despite being known around town as the Cambodian circus, it is anything but a traditional big top. A nonprofit school for the arts, Phare is a demonstration of the graduate students’ acrobatic abilities. Exceptionally talented players act out everything from Cambodian folklore to the very real history of the Khmer Rouge; a must see for anyone visiting Siem Reap. Overnight Sokha Roth Hotel in deluxe city view rooms

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning is time for a trip debrief, reflection and time at leisure for any last minute shopping and to get ready for our departure after lunch. We will be met at the hotel after lunch for our transfer to the airport for check in to our flight back to Melbourne.

Meals:  B

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • 12 nights comfortable hotels, 1 night village stay,
  • return economy class flights from Melbourne on Thai Airways including all international taxes
  • airport transfers throughout
  • private air conditioned vehicle transfers
  • daily allocated drinking water and snacks
  • sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary
  • expert bilingual guide
  • medical kit
  • Free the Bears "keeper for a day" program
  • Haileybury teachers traveling with the group
  • Phare NGO circus entry
  • Support vehicle for cycling days
  • visa fees: Cambodia

What's Not Included

  • tips and gratuities
  • expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, souvenirs and laundry
  • Any project materials or donation to SHINE Cambodia
  • additional drinking water can be purchased at supermarket

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:15 Days
Countries:Cambodia
Starting Point:Melbourne
Finishing Point:Melbourne
Activities:Community Project
Cycling
Grade:Introductory to Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG5329