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CAMBODIA

HELP TO CONSERVE AND RENOVATE BUDDHIST TEMPLES IN CAMBODIA

You'll help to restore and conserve the Buddhist Temples of Banteay Chmar in their natural state. These temples are widely regarded as some of the most important archaeological complexities of the Angkor period. You'll work with, and receive training from, a local team to assist the preservation with the objective of encouraging tourism in order to boost the local economy and bring much-needed funding into the villages.

Your programme will start with an introduction week where you’ll visit cultural sites in Siem Reap and learn about language and rich culture of Cambodia. It’s a great way to get to the town and everything required to make your stay more comfortable.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

Price: £725 (approx. US$900) for 1 week
£1,125 (approx. US$1,400) for 2 weeks
£1,490 (approx. US$1,850) for 3 weeks
£1,745 (approx. US$2,170) for 4 weeks
£275 (US$345) for each additional week.
Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
Duration: From 1 week to 2 months or longer, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates: The project starts every Sunday throughout the year - you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements: Minimum age 16, or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
No qualifications or experience required, but you must be enthusiastic.
What's included: Arranging your Programme
Full pre-departure support and assistance
Payment Protection insurance
Accommodation
Food
Meeting you at the nearest Airport
Transfer to your accommodation
Daily transport to and from your project
Local in-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion
What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to the airport.
Who is this Programme suitable for? SOLO travellers or travelling with friends.
GROUPS (Read more ...)
GAP YEAR BREAKS from School or University.
GROWN-UP GAPPERS, career breakers and retired.
ANYONE interested in temples, community restoration.
Also suitable as a summer placement or short break.
Open to all nationalities.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping a local disadvantaged community restore a precious and irreplaceable link to their cultural heritage, and knowing that you made a difference to them.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten overseas volunteering holiday into Asia and the Cambodian culture.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping to .
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!
BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com

ANY QUESTIONS?

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An internal passageway showing needed renovation in the temple
An internal passageway showing just how much renovation work is still needed in the temple.
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WORK CONTENT AND DESCRIPTION

This project aims not just to restore but to conserve the Buddhist Temple of Banteay Chmar in its natural state. For the local people, this temple holds a special place within the community, not only as a place of common ground, but also as a sanctuary, and of course, somewhere to practice their worship. The commune of Banteay Chhmar (in Banteay Chhmar Province) contains 14 villages and there are 4 villages around the temple with 6,312 pleople. The name was taken from the large temple, called Banteay Chmar, which translates to Small Base.

The massive Buddhist temple of Banteay Chhmar, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir (baray), comprises one of the most important and least understood archaeological complexes from Cambodia's Angkor period. There are some other 9 smaller temples around the Banteay Chmar temple. They all are mostly hidden in the forest and covered with small bushes and trees because of the lack of conservation from the local people.

Banteay Chmar is one of the main tourist destinations in Banteay Meanchey Province, but not many people have explored those small satellite temples around this temple, despite them being really beautiful and having a rather secret history. This project is important to the local people in this area. By these projects we hope to get more and more tourists, both Khmer and foreigners, to visit this area so that the local economy is boosted.

You'll receive instruction while on the project.

TYPICAL SCHEDULE EXAMPLE

Your programme will start with an introduction week where you’ll visit cultural sites in Siem Reap and learn about language and rich culture of Cambodia. It’s a great way to get to the town and everything required to make your stay more comfortable.

After Siem Reap you will move on to the location of your programme where the introduction week continues. If your programme is 2 weeks or less you can choose to do a few days or opt out of the introduction week and go straight to your project. Please let your Project Coordinator aware of this upon booking.

Sunday:
All volunteers will meet up in Siem Reap and travel to Banteay Chmar by taxi or bus. It takes 1.30 hours from Siem Reap to Banteay Meanchey (Sisophon) and another 1.30 hour from Sisophon to Banteay Chmar. You'll travel to your home stay in the town and arrive in time for dinner.

Monday:
In the morning, the coordinator will meet all the volunteers to introduce you to Banteay Chmar and to explain about the projects. You'll then explore the village and visit some satelite temples. You'll return to the home stay to have lunch, then continue onto Banteay Chmar temple (the biggest temple in the area ). You'll visit the local Handicraft Centre (scarf weaving) on the way back.

Tuesday to Friday:
You'll begin to work on the temple's main renovation and preservation. You work responsibilities could include:

  • Clearing the temples by cutting back overgrown bushes, trees and grass in the surrounding area within the grounds.
  • Cleaning up the temples, picking up trash, removal of some stones.
  • Planting trees in the temple compound, making environmental signs.
  • Going to a school - to educate students on the importance of protecting the temples.

Saturday - Sunday:
You can stay at the home stay, visit temples and other tourist spots in the region, or go to some of the cities near to Banteay Chmar to do some exploring.

Please note: Due to small budgets, the restoration and sometimes renovation side of the project might not always be available. You can still help conserve the temples by assisting the community group clean up the temple, plant more trees in the temple area, cutting some small bushes etc.

2018 Holidays:
The project is not available during these dates:
13th - 22nd April 2018 Khmer New Year
8th - 12th October 2018 Ancestors Day Holiday

If your programme falls within any of the dates above, you may join the Community Construction Programme.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com
Volunteers Masked up to work on the temple
Volunteers masked up to avoid the dust when working working on the stonework of the temple.
Volunteers helping to weave some fabric for the temple
Helping to weave some of the fabric that needs to be replaced in the temple.
Volunteers cleaning the grounds of the temple
Volunteers helping to clean and maintain the outside terrace and temple grounds.
a derelict section of the temple
A more derelict section of the temple looking a bit bizarre with the tree growing out of the top.
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ACCOMMODATION

You will be housed with a local home-stay family in a typical wooden Khmer-style house. Rooms are shared, same sex equipped with a fan and mosquito net – maximum 2 volunteers per room. Electricity is available 24hrs a day with shower and western toilet (but no flush) and no hot water.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wifi is not available once you get to your Restoration Project, but it is available during the Introduction Week that starts off your Programme.

FOOD:
All food is included during your stay. The meals will be typical Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes. There are three meals served during the week and two during the weekend (Brunch and Dinner)

A little about Cambodian food:
Cambodian food has generally been influenced by Chinese and French cuisine, and also shares many common dishes with Thai food, although not as spicy. The staple food for Cambodians is rice. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice, although noodles are also popular. A wide range of curries, soups and stir fried are served with rice.
Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. A meal will usually include a soup, or samlor, served alongside the main courses. Each individual dish will be either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chilli is usually left up to the individual to add themselves.

Khmer cuisine also uses many vegetables, some of which are very unusual, such as different and unusual local varieties of melon, beans and squash. Fish is the most common form of meat in Khmer cuisine, including dried salted fish known as trei ngeat. Getting to taste and know local cooking is one of the many delights of living in a foreign country.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com
There are many temples dotted around Cambodia. One could arrange an entire travel trip viewing nothing but temples!
Volunteer Roland Graf in a temple in Cambodia
A photo to share with friends and family - Volunteer Roland Graf in front of an awesome temple!
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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com DOWNLOAD THIS INFORMATION in .pdf How to Fundraise for your Program

ANY QUESTIONS?

Please with any questions and include your phone number, if possible, to help us give you the best possible response.

We'll get back to you very shortly, but if you haven't heard from us within one working day, please check your Junk Mail / Spam folder. Thank you.

A volunteer standing next to a well-known statue of an elephant and baby
A volunteer standing next to the well-known statue of an elephant and baby which is on everyone's tourist list.
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OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

Make the most of your time there! To help you do that, we've put together some exciting activities, courses and tours that you can add to your itinerary. These are designed to be fun, but also to enable you to learn, and expand your personal and professional development enjoyment ... but mostly for your enjoyment! :-)

Cultural Week in Cambodia

1-WEEK CAMBODIA CULTURAL IMMERSION PROGRAMME IN SAMRAONG:
PRICE:
£450, including food and accommodation.

This fun-filled culture week is designed to ease you into the lifestyle and pace of Cambodia. It gives you the opportunity to integrate into the rich cultural life of Cambodia. You'll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Cambodian customs.

You'll get to know your town and everything required to make your stay comfortable. You will also be given basic "survival" language classes and learn traditional Cambodian cooking techniques with the chance to sample your work. Cambodia is most famous for its temples and you'll be taken to the finest temples of the area. We also carefully arrange a Q&A session with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism.

The rural town of Samraong is where you will live during the culture week. The relaxed and slow paced way of life is sure to leave a mark on all travellers and upi'll have maximum interaction with the people!

SCHEDULE:
The following schedule is a guide and the day order may change, however the full program will still be experienced.

Monday (Siem Reap)
 Breakfast
 An excursion to Wat Thmey, a small pagoda
 A visit to the Museum of War, dedicated to the Civil War and guided by ex-soldiers
 Exploring Artisant D’Angkor, a craft shop that brings ancient Khmer arts and crafts back to life
 Lunch
 A visit to markets, and the Lucky Mall (supermarket
 Dinner
 An evening at Pub Street and the night market, the liveliest area of Siem Reap
Tuesday (Siem Reap)
 Breakfast
 Excursion to a silk farm and West Baray, a popular place for swimming
 Lunch
 Khmer massage salon
 Relax at the swimming pool
 Dinner
Wednesday (Samraong)
 Breakfast
 Depart for Samraong
 Lunch
 Introduction to the projects
 Walk around and discover the local rural Cambodian village
 Dinner
Thursday (Samraong)
 Breakfast
 A visit to Greenway School, a rural school built from scratch over the years by previous participants
 A tour around Samraong and visits to the surrounding local villages
 Lunch
 Cambodian culture lessons
 Cambodian cooking lessons
Friday (Samraong)
 Breakfast
 An excursion to the local temple: assist the monks with the chores, discussion and Q&A about Buddhism with a local monk.
 Lunch
 Free afternoon to relax
 Dinner

Weekend
You are free during the weekends – you can relax at your accommodation, take a bicycle into town, expand your sightseeing or visit the many more sites in and around the Oddar Meanchey Province. There is also the possibility to take a taxi to Siem Reap for the weekend and visit the famous Angkor Wat.

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a lesson on the local culture
A lesson on the local culture before heading out and sightseeing or exploring.
lesson on the local cuisine
A practical lesson on how to cook local Cambodian food.
Volunteers together with a monk at the temple. Here you'll give a little help in the temple.
Terms and Conditions apply for Add-Ons, please see here.
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LOCATION | SIGHTSEEING:

ANGKOR WAT: Surrounded by beautiful rice fields, lakes and jungles Truly one of mankind’s most incredible achievements, this ancient city of temples will take your breath away and leave you traipsing through a mystical magnificent past. Built between 800 - 1200 AD by the Khmer Empire, more than 200 temples have been restored, to some extent enabling you an insight into life from this time. There are more than 1,000 ancient sites of Angkor although several are now almost entirely gone. Angkor Wat is a symbol of Cambodia and is the country's prime attraction for visitors.

SIEM REAP: is a lively stop off destination on the South Asia tourist trail! With the flat plane jungle ruins catapulted to fame via Lara Croft just over the outskirts, the town is geared up for travellers and this is no more evident than in ‘Pub Street’ a place to drink beer and make new friends. Siem Reap was a fashionable destination for the 1960’s elite pack wanderers and, according to the Lonely Planet, is once again one of the most popular spots on the planet today having reinvented itself as the heart of Cambodia, scattered with guesthouses, superb food and a steady flow of tourists from near and far.

Although developing fast, Siem Reap retains its charm with colonial, Chinese and old-style French architecture, shady boulevards and a river amidst the upsurge of hotels and new resorts. In the city, you’ll find traditional dance, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and markets of all kinds! Other local attractions include Angkor National Museum and the Cambodian Cultural Village.

This is a great time to be here. Siem Reap is a place you can get stuck, in the best possible way. The temples of Angkor are to be savoured leisurely and the city to be discovered and enjoyed at any pace you desire! Although the second main city of Cambodia, the city itself is fairly small and feels more like a town than a city. Most people in this area are farmers. Despite the tourism industry, the people are generally extremely poor, even by South East Asian standards. Silk farming is particularly popular. The local population is 171,800 with Buddhism the major religion and Khmer the local language, although most people speak English and also some French.

TRAVEL:

Read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com
A tuk-tuk in Cambodia
Tuk-tuks are found all over the country and are great fun to ride in!
Volunteer sets off to do some work in the temple passages
A Volunteer sets off to do have a good look around the temple passages before starting some renovation work.
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REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

DANIELA POZO
Canadian
Temple Conservation and Renovation in Cambodia
Plus Teaching Children in the Community

(1) I feel that I am gaining an understanding on the approach people have regarding certain subjects, ex. Veneration on temples and towards education. I've experienced Cambodian lifestyle; how they work, what they eat, and their social customs. I've also gained the experience of volunteering, this being my first experience. Knowing what it means to volunteer and the effect it has on the people or the place you are volunteering in.

(2) The best thing about my placement so far has been talking with the locals. It has been asking about their customs, discussing the difference between our respective cultures, understanding of how similar we are and how different. But the best experience has been having the opportunity to see how hard the children are working to recieve an education.

(3) I would recommend the temple project during the right season. Unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to reconstruct any of it, which would have been much better, but it was nice getting to experience the countryside and see rural Cambodian life. I would definitely recommend teaching English. The kids are so accepting, loving and eager to learn. It's much easier to see the difference you are making, and the difference the project is making on the children.

(4) I think the temple project would be well suited to individuals who really want to experience "traditional" living or experience Cambodian lifestyle.

Can you describe a typical day? (e.g Start time, morning duties, lunch hours, afternoon duties, any other duties…. )
For the temple project, a typical day would start at 8am where we would then bike for 5-10min to the temple. From there you work with your guide until 11am. You head back to the homestay for lunch break until 1:30pm. The second half of the say continues until 4 pm. The majority of the time we cut grass and pulled weeds, sometimes collecting garbage. For teaching, the day begins at 8am, you go to your respective class and begin teaching whatever lesson corresponds to the day. They have about two breaks to play. Other wise the morning group has class from 8am-11am. The evening class runs from 2pm-5pm. There are 6 classes that run everyday that vary by level, kindergarten to level 5.

(5)Teaching English has been a very nice opportunity. The principal of the school is very communicative when it comes to where he wants the school to go, it's aim and what he would like from the volunteers. He asked the volunteers for their help, for their input on how to better their methods of teaching. I've really felt that my volunteering is appreciated at the school by the other volunteers, the principal and by the students.

On your return, would you be willing to talk to prospective volunteers about your placement?
I would. I think volunteering is beneficial both for the volunteers and the community. I wouldn't mind sharing my experience.

AIMS AND ACHIEVEMENTS:

The Challenges
Tourism is one of the main income sources for Cambodian People. Restoring this historical site will help boost the local economy and will preserve a very unique temple which is important to the Cambodian culture and religion.

Our Goals
Our goal is to help preserve this historical site and therefore retain the local culture. We also want to attract more tourism to the area to boost the local economy and thereby the lifestyle of the local people. Part of our aims is to let the participants learn more about local culture which they can then diseminate to their friends and relatives on their return to their home countries, and also to train them and add to their skills by working with local on-site.

Our Achievements:
So far we’ve been able to restore several parts of the temple. This is very satisfying to the local community. We have also ensured that throught constantl cleaning and maintenance, the compound no longer detoriating. This has all been achieved through the assistance of the volunteers who have come here to help us. Last year saw an increase in the number of tourists to the area – most have come from word of mouth from past volunteers.

Therefore the volunteer programme is having a positive impact on the community in many ways and for this we are very grateful.

BOOK NOW! SEE ALL PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA info@travellersworldwide.com
Volunteers and children waving
Volunteers and the children they teach all waving for the camera.
Temples often have rows of statues rather than single ones. These are one of the more beautiful rows, although there are many in Cambodia.
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