CAMBODIA GIVEBACK TOUR

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Nurture your heart and soul in this breathtaking and rewarding tour. From Angkor Wat to the Mekong River Cambodia is a visual feast, navigate your way through rice fields, plains and small villages where you will help build vital water facilities for local families. Feast on some of Cambodia's iconic dishes and learn how to create them. Return feeling enlightened and enriched. 

Inclusions

  • 8 Nights in 3 Star Accommodation (see below)
  • Meals (see itinerary)
  • 3 different Philanthropy Experiences
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts & Guides
  • Entrance Fees (all attractions)
  • Return Airport Transfers 
  • Complimentary Pre-Trip Cancellation Insurance

ACCOMMODATION

  • Phnom Pehn: Ohana Hotel (Deluxe Room) ★★★
  • Battambang: Bambu Hotel (Superior Room) ★★★
  • Siem Reap: Tara Angkor Hotel (Superior Room) ★★★

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  • Tour Departure: 05 Sep'19
  • Maximum 2 people per booking. 

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights to Destination
  • Any Applicable Visas. (please click here for further information)
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance Not Included. 

Itinerary

Day 1 Phnom Penh Arrival
Pick up at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Meals included: None
Day 2 Phnom Penh
ANCIENT, ROYAL AND RECENT HISTORY OF PHNOM PENH

Home to about 1.5 million people, Phnom Penh, has been Cambodia’s capital since French colonisation of the country. Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. Spend a full day exploring this charming city which boasts a rich blend of Khmer and colonial architecture. In the morning, explore Wat Phnom and discover the legend of Lady Penh, the founder of the city, the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, two of the most striking buildings in the capital and considered as some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. Also visit the National Museum, designed in Khmer style by a French archaeologist and painter in 1917. The museum houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history.

Enjoy lunch at Friends Restaurant, a leading social enterprise and training restaurant serving up tasty, creative Khmer cuisine. In the afternoon, learn more about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years with visits to Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer Rouge era and now a genocide museum; and Cheung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, made famous by the movie “The Killing Fields”. While sombre reminders of the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime, these visits will also provide an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation. Return to your hotel.

NOTES: Suggested departure time: 08:00 Tour duration: 6-8 hours The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are open from 08:00 to 10:30 and 14:00 to 17:00 but are subject to closure at short notice in the event of official ceremonies. If the sites are closed, the guide will make changes to the itinerary on the day. Women should cover their shoulders and both men and women should cover their knees. A respectful and humble demeanour is requested when visiting the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields.

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 3 Phnom Penh – Battambang (Overland)
Depart from Phnom Penh and drive 3hrs to the port city of Kampong Chhnang, famous for its red pottery and floating villages. Continue another 4hrs to Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city. Situated on the banks of the Stung Sangke River, Battambang is home to scenic countryside and some of the grandest and best-preserved colonial architecture in Cambodia. Check in to Bambu Hotel, a wonderful property respectful of responsible and sustainable practices, with the rest of the afternoon free at leisure by the swimming pool or to explore the historic city center and its heritage buildings.

In the evening, visit the Phare Circus, an amazing blend of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society (subject to availability). Phare works mainly with disadvantaged young people and the Performing Arts School gives local children access to circus, theatre, dance, and music. The four year professional program provides a pathway to employment as a performer. After the performance, return to your hotel.

NOTES: Phare Circus performance subject to availability

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 4 Battambang
Morning drive 20km (12mi) to Phnom Banan and climb its 358 steps to reach the 12th century Prasat Banan Temple. Enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding plains dotted with sugar palm trees, rice fields and small villages. Return to town and stop for a wine tasting session at Phnom Banan Vineyard, the only vineyard in Cambodia. Continue with a walk through the cultural village of Wat Kor, with its old wooden houses from the early 20th century for insight into traditional Khmer life including how paper is made.

After lunch, visit La Maison de Coco, a non-governmental organization which teaches weaving skills to young, local students.

NOTES: Includes a climb of 358 steps to reach Phnom Banan. Please dress modestly when visiting wats and temples. Shoulders, chest and legs should be covered.

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5 Battambang – Siem Reap
Depart Battambang on a 2.5hr drive to Siem Reap, gateway to famed Angkor Wat. Stop en route in Puok District to visit the National Silk Centre for a fascinating look into silk creation and the growing and harvesting of mulberries.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap, check in hotel and refresh

DINNER WITH APSARA DANCE PERFORMANCE (Angkor Village Apsara Theatre) Traditional Apsara dancing has a long history in Cambodia, dating back to the 7th century according to some stone temple carvings. In Hindu mythology, Apsaras were beautiful female creatures who descended from heaven to entertain gods and kings with their dancing. This traditional dance is meaningful in many ways as it constitutes a link between the different religions prominent in Cambodia, including Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Also notice symbolic and elegant finger gestures and the ornate silk costumes inspired by the wall carvings of the Angkor temples. Tonight, spend an evening at Angkor Village Apsara Theatre, the only air-conditioned theatre in town, as dancers, singers and musicians bring ancient Khmer culture to life while you enjoy the best of Cambodian cuisine.

NOTES: Availability: Evening Suggested departure time: 19:30 Tour duration: 2-3 hours Performance daily from 19:30 in high season and only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 19:30 in low season.

Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6 Siem Reap- Temples at leisure
Transfer by private vehicle to Ta Prohm, this beautiful temple, built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, is one of Angkor’s jewels and is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. One of the largest temple sites in Angkor it took almost 80,000 people to maintain the temple. Drive a short distance to Ta Keo, which would have been one of the finest temples in Angkor had it been completed. Continue to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 square kilometres and the royal Capital from 1181. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. The centre piece is Bayon temple crowned with 216 giant, smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, which houses almost perfectly preserved carvings.

Return to your hotel to relax and have lunch (on your own). After a leisurely break your exploration continues as you enter the rear gate of Angkor Wat (early 12th century).Surrounded by a 190 metre wide moat 1.5 kilometres by 1.3 kilometres it is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. The temple, which took 30 years to construct & used the labours of 300,000 workers was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its' central tower symbolizing Mt Meru which, Hindus believe, is at the centre of the Universe. Later, return to your hotel late afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast
Day 7 Siem Reap - Water Filter Donation
Running water in Siem Reap is scarce and locals often have to trek to neighbouring villages in an effort to locate potable water. Engage in a hands-on activity and help to build a water filter together with local workers which will allow rain or lake water to be treated to a standard that it is drinkable. In the afternoon, enjoy lunch with a member of staff who will tell you more about the surrounding villages and the problems which are encountered by the local communities. After lunch you will take a water filter personally to a village. Together with a local staff member you will install the filter at a local home where the family will be briefed on how to use and maintain the filter. Stroll through the village and learn how the people have adapted to the missing of the basic amenities of electricity and running water. Return to Siem Reap knowing that you have made an impact on the lives of one Cambodian family.

NOTES: · Suggested departure time: 08:00 · Duration: 6 – 8 hours

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch
Day 8 Siem Reap - Cookery & Philanthropy
All across Asia, food is at the very heart of every single person’s day. As the average Cambodian makes $3 per day, the means and ways of eating fresh healthy & seasonal food are at the forefront of every meal time.

Today you will be part of a culinary experience, creating some of Cambodia’s most fashionable & iconic dishes, while engaging with the day to day lives of its people. Starting out from the private farm, with your Chef, you will view the range of different vegetables, available in the season growing fresh & organically. Your Chef will explain to you the key ways in which they filtrate water, tend to their crops and create the perfect harvest! A small journey onwards, will take you to a very local and completely tourist free village, where you will be the highlight of the villagers day! Walking with the chef to explore local traditions, weave past market traders & view the range of produce, selecting key ingredients to use in your class. Furthermore, the experience will engage with the locals in need, through a generous donation. Together with your chef, you will select a basket of harvest & dried goods for you to present to the Head Villager, as a kind offering in their day to day lives; giving back in the purest & simplest way! Taking tea, or sugar cane juice in the Village in a simple cafe, you will get a real feel of the true lives of the Khmer.

Returning back to the farm, your Chef will then lead you through the remarkable ingredients used to make your 3 course lunch. Preparing at your own station, while he talks you through the methods used to create each dish.

Have fun with learning about the new vegetables, creating the sauces & tasting as you go, the experience can be as advanced, or as Chef led as you wish! Afterwards you will eat your lunch, at the Farm House and enjoy the fruits of your labor in a truly philanthropic, engaging experience in Cambodia.

Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 9 Siem Reap Departure
Free time to enjoy the shopping around the city and then transfer to the airport to take your departure flight home.

Meals included: Breakfast