custom school group & youth adventure travel specialists

Rainbow College Cambodia Service Learning Adventure

Rainbow College Cambodia Service Learning Adventure

Trip Highlights

  • Complete a meaningful Community Service Project at a small rural village outside of Siem Reap
  • Explore ancient temples, citadels and wats with expert guides
  • Experience Siem Reaps vibrant streets, museums & historical sites
  • Discover the World Heritage listed Angkor Wat temple complex and learn of its history
  • Sunrise over Angkor Wat
  • Learn all about The Tonle Sap and the families that call this floating village home
  • Gain insight into the recent terrible history of the Pol Pot era
  • Water blessing by a Monk
  • Immersion in traditional Khmer culture

Trip Summary

This Service Learning adventure to Cambodia, specifically tailor made for Rainbow College, will be an incredible experience and one you won't want to miss out on! After arriving in captivating Siem Reap, you will be awed by one of the great wonders of the world - Angkor Wat Temple Complex, with a full day of temple hopping, rustling up the Indiana Jones inside you! Witness the incredible colours and spectacular photographic opportunities of sunrise over Angkor Wat before getting acquainted with a small rural community, where you will commence your meaningful service project, assisting with either the building of much needed houses, or assisting construction, building and maintenance at a primary school in this small village. You will also visit magnificent Tonle Sap, aboard your private boat and interact with the local people living atop their floating villages. Explore the quiet, riverside colonial town of Phnom Penh where you will also learn about the very important yet confronting history of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Getting off the beaten path to discover rural villages, provide meaningful assistance at your community project, travel through floating villages and discover hidden temples, take part in trying amazing exotic street food, market shopping and Cambodian history - This itinerary has been designed to provide unique experiences to the participants and engage all involved with the local communities we travel through. This is a school excursion to get excited over!

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. Please ensure that you discuss with your excursion organiser all health related issues which may impact on your enjoyment of the tour.

Itinerary

After all the planning and preparation, today is the day your adventure finally begins, as you jet off for incredible Cambodia! Your flights are with Thai Airways from Melbourne and you will be flying via Bangkok enroute to Siem Reap. Flight details: TG 462 23SEP Melbourne - Bangkok 2330 0600+1

Meals:  Nil

Flight: TG2588 24SEP Bangkok - Siem Reap 0725 0820 Chom reab suor! Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia! On arrival this morning, you are greeted by your World Youth Adventures Tour Leader and private driver at the airport and transferred straight to your hotel. After getting settled into the hotel, with some time allocated to relax and freshen up, your tour leader will meet you in the hotel lobby where a Welcome Meeting and trip briefing will be held. After the trip briefing, lunch will be served at the hotel. This afternoon, we head out on a guided tuk tuk city tour to discover a little bit of Siem Reap and also enjoy walks through its beautiful pagodas and colourful markets. Late this afternoon, we will head to an ancient pagoda in the countryside of Siem Reap to receive water blessings from monks living at the pagoda. Water Blessings are a traditional Cambodian practice that dates back to ancient times and ensures us of a safe and fun journey! The blessings begin with the monks chanting harmoniously as they wish you good luck, safe travel, and a long life. It is accompanied by a light sprinkling of water. The second blessing is a longer ritual which involves vessels of blessed water being poured over your head while the monks chant. For this ritual, you will be provided with a sarong to change into so that your clothing remains dry. At the end of the blessing, your wrist is adorned with special red ties that signify the blessing performed. After an insightful afternoon, tonight we will head out for a special welcome dinner that includes an important cultural performance of an Apsara Dance show. After dinner, those who are interested can enjoy some shopping at the night markets where you can purchase gifts and souvenirs, or experience the famous local fish massage... Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  L,D

After your breakfast, you will undertake a full day tour of magnificent Angkor Wat Temple Complex - 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 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, yet this does make for a truly fascinating sight! Angkor Wat, easily the most famous and best-preserved of all temples within the Angkor complex, is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. From here, depart to Angkor Thom, surrounded by an 8m high wall. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Continue to Bayon Temple in the exact centre of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur, its exterior gallery walls featuring extensive, superb bas-reliefs, particularly the East and South Galleries. Lunch will be served at Khmer Wooden House Restaurant. Later on today, visit the Ta Prohm Temple, unlike most other Angkor temples, this has been left just as 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. We then head off to our final temple of the day, Pre Rup. You will climb to the top of Pre Rup Temple and be rewarded with a spectacular sunset over the Angkor Archaeological Park and its surrounding rice fields. After a full day of temple hopping and after freshening up at the hotel, dinner tonight is at Marum, a training restaurant for young adults, working with street children and other marginalized young people since 2005. Marum gives disadvantaged youths and orphans vocational training in hospitality or cooking, teaching them the life skills and giving them the experience they need to support the transition from institution to the real world. Featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine, Marum is named after the Moringa, or 'Tree of life' - very appropriate, as you will be enjoying a fantastic dining experience that helps build a new life for the students in training there! Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

After your breakfast, today you will enjoy an incredible experience learning about life in a typical village, enjoying a warm welcome from the locals, meet local communities and find out about village customs and cultures. Transfer from your hotel to Kompheim Village, 25 minutes out of Siem Reap. On arrival, take an Ox cart ride through the village and even learn how to drive! Meet the host family who take care of all visitors for the day and take part in whatever seasonal activity is happening at that time, including rice planting, weaving thatch roofs, planting or harvesting vegetable crops etc. Each tour will be different and the activity will depend on the time of the year, the family and the needs of the local village. Before leaving, you will have the opportunity to plant a fruit tree for the local family. Meet another family to learn and take part in preparing a delicious Khmer lunch from fresh ingredients, which will then be enjoyed with the family. After lunch, take a walk through the rest of the village, taking the opportunity to interact with the locals (and try practicing some Khmer!). From here, depart to the Silk Farm and learn the different stages of the complex process of producing handmade silk, including the growing of the mulberry trees, silk worm breeding, and training in the ancient craft of silk dyeing and weaving. We then transfer back to the hotel where there is free time to take a break and perhaps cool down in the swimming pool, before heading out tonight for our included dinner at Bopha Taprom Restaurant. Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning there is an early wake up call for those wanting to have an unforgettable experience. We get up whilst still dark to catch one of the worlds most photographed sunrises, the beautiful silhouette of Angkor Wat against a blood red sky. This is a magical time to see the temples silhouetted, with the intricate details slowly emerging and is worth the 4am wake up! (Your guide will have checked the conditions prior to alert the hotel to proceed with wake up calls to those who were interested). We then return to the hotel for breakfast before heading to a rural village to commence our service learning/community project. A briefing about project activities will take place before being divided into small teams to begin the much needed and valuable work. Please note, exact project details to be advised. Late afternoon, transfer back to your hotel for a refreshment before travelling to dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the rural village to continue your service learning/community project. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred back to your hotel for a refreshment and quick swim in the hotel pool, before heading to dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the rural village to continue your service learning/community project. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred back to your hotel for a refreshment and quick swim in the hotel pool, before heading to dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at your hotel, you will be transferred to the rural village to continue your service learning/community project. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred back to your hotel for a refreshment and quick swim in the hotel pool, before heading to dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

Your last day at your community project is a busy and exciting one, so we suggest a big breakfast to keep energy levels high! We will return to the project site and put the finishing touches on completing the chosen project. The difference which this work will make cannot be underestimated. In addition, the friendships which will have formed will foster closer relationships between your two countries and schools. After lunch, we say farewell to the community principal, take numerous group photos, and exchange some gifts before saying goodbye to your new found friends and wishing them well. Return to the hotel where there is free time to take a break, relax and perhaps cool down in the swimming pool. Tonight, you will try Cambodian BBQ for your dinner and afterwards, those who are interested can enjoy some shopping at the night markets Accommodation: Sokha Roth Hotel – Deluxe City View

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast this morning head to the local wharf to board your private boat to see the floating villages of Tonle Sap. The Tonle Sap, the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia, is home to a very different lifestyle, which can be perfectly observed from your comfortable boat. During the rainy season it can swell from 3000sq km to 7500sq km and is one of the world’s richest sources of freshwater fish. The cruise visits floating villages complete with schools, restaurants and even a hospital. Greeted by waves of the friendly locals, here you can glimpse Cambodia’s countryside culture and traditional family lifestyle. (Note: During MAR - SEP the water level may be too low for a visit by boat. However the village is still fascinating and can be visited by car) From here, you will drive overland to Phnom Penh (6-7 hours), watching the beautiful rural landscapes whizz past you. We will make stops along the way including a lunch stop at a traditional restaurant and have the opportunity to interact with small villages and local families. Today can be a long day, so make sure you have your book ready and iPod and camera charged! Phnom Penh, once considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, still retains its colonial charm, despite its recent turbulent history. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way. Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, check-in at your hotel and then enjoy your dinner at Phkar Romyool Café & Restaurant. Accommodation: River Home Hotel – Superior Room

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning is a very important but also confronting part of our journey as we visit the Toul Sleng Museum of Genocide Crimes and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Both sites will provide an insight into the recent Cambodia history and in particular the Pol Pot era. After your lunch, you will board a cyclo (Traditional Cambodian bicycle powered rickshaw) for a 2hour city tour and experience the streets and historical buildings of Phnom Penh! We’ll visit the famous Royal Palace which was built in 1866 under the French protectorate and King Norodom and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts. After the museum, we will scale up the steps of a small hill to see Wat Phnom Temple, the birth place of Phnom Penh. Finally, we will enjoy a short walk along the riverside to witness our final Cambodian sunset. Tonight is your last night in Cambodia and witnessing the sunset on what has been an incredible, life changing and enriching trip is fitting. Enjoy a farewell dinner at Bopha Phnom Penh Restaurant and share stories with your fellow peers and teachers about lessons learnt, memories made and bonds created. Note: To see the Royal palace and Silver pagoda in Phnom Penh, visitors are required to wear appropriated cloths. Guests wearing short pans (above knee level) and sleeveless tops are not permitted. Accommodation: River Home Hotel - Superior Room

Meals:  B,L,D

Say "Choum reap lear" as you wave farewell to Cambodia. After breakfast, today you have a day at leisure to head to the markets to buy any last minute souvenirs and gifts and do any last minute sightseeing. Your tour leader will be around today to assist with any activities and make sure you are all back to the hotel on time to get your transfer to the airport. Your flight tonight departs at 8:45pm and you will be transferred to Phnom Penh airport in plenty of time for your flight back to Melbourne. Flight: TG 585 04OCT Phnom Penh - Bangkok 2045 2150

Meals:  B

Flight: TG 465 05OCT Bangkok - Melbourne 0015 1305

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Return economy class flights with Thai Airways from Melbourne
  • 10 nights, 3* comfortable twin share hotel accommodation with air conditioning
  • 10 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 10 dinners. 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day. Snacks, fruit and soft drink during the project days
  • Private air-conditioned coaches used for all airport transfers and group transport
  • Expert English speaking tour leader who will carry a group medical kit
  • All sightseeing and all entry fees as listed in the itinerary
  • Pre Departure Information kit and pre departure briefing (details TBA) to help you plan and prepare.
  • Group Photos
  • Two teachers from Rainbow College to travel with the students

What's Not Included

  • Community Project Expenses + donations (if any). Please note that the budget for the building materials and tools required to complete the community project is NOT included in the quote. As there is always work to be done at a variety of projects, the actual work that needs to be completed can change, therefore, different amounts are required. We will keep you informed of the detailed community project requirements and detailed description nearer to the dates. Please see "Community Project" and "Fundraising" section of these trip notes for further information.
  • Additional meals beyond what is listed in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature ie phone calls, laundry and email
  • Cambodia visa fee
  • Tipping for crew and guides (approx US$30). This is not compulsory yet is customary in this part of the world
  • Travel insurance
  • Group T-Shirt (with school name + trip name) - please request
  • Mineral water or drinks beyond that supplied
  • Early check in or late check out
  • Optional excursions and activities (all included sightseeing is listed in the day to day itinerary)
  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation

Upcoming Travel Dates

 

AT A GLANCE

Duration:13 Days
Starting Point:Melbourne. From 10 Participants
Finishing Point:Melbourne
Grade:Adventure Touring  Click for more information
Trip Code:SOG4088