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ActionAid Cambodia First Hand Experience 2021 – W2

5th Nov 2021 - 13th Nov 2021

5th Nov 2021 - 13th Nov 2021
29th Oct 2021 - 7th Nov 2021

10 days/Cambodia /Project Trip

Overview

About Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia is in Southeast Asia and borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south. Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city. Siem Reap, a city near the famous ruins of Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s main destination for tourism and Battambang, the largest city in western Cambodia, is known for its rice.

Agriculture has long been the most important sector to the Cambodian economy, with around 59% of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihood (with rice being the principal crop). Other important sectors include garments, construction and tourism. Evidence of Cambodia’s more tragic past is captured in deeply moving sites such as the Tuol Sleng Museum and the famous killing fields, which tell the story of the genocide under the Khmer Rouge regime.

The Project
Access to education remains a huge barrier for those living in Cambodia, with 29% of women being illiterate. At Put Tream school in Pursat, western Cambodia, the classrooms are not fit for purpose and are poorly constructed from wood and tin. They don’t provide adequate protection from the elements which is a major issue, particularly during the rainy season when the noise and lack of cover prevent children from attending school altogether.

You will work together with local people to help build a classroom block at Put Tream Primary School. By building these classrooms, you will be enabling local children to access their right to an education in a safe and supportive environment, helping to break the cycle of poverty.

There is also the option to extend your stay after the trek to explore more of Cambodia for an additional cost.

You don’t need any building experience to take part — just enthusiasm, a willingness to work hard and the desire to make a difference!

You will be working alongside the local people and you will be under the direction of an ActionAid construction supervisor and skilled local craftsmen. You will also be accompanied by an ActionAid representative and a first aid trained Different Travel Company UK tour manager.

The climate of Cambodia is tropical, with a distinct wet and dry season. The dry season, from November to February, experiences temperatures ranging between 30°C during the day and 25°C or slightly cooler at night.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included throughout the trip as specified on the itinerary. The food you are provided is traditional Khmer (Cambodian), and may include some Western dishes too.

Khmer cuisine shares much in common with the food of neighbouring Vietnam. It has also drawn upon influences from Indian and Chinese cuisine, both of whom are powerful players in Cambodia’s history. Curry dishes, show cultural influence from India and there are many variations of rice noodles showing the influences from Chinese cuisine. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khmer curries and desserts.

You can expect the following to be served:
Breakfast: Pancakes, fruit, coffee, bread, eggs, omelette, fruit fritters.
Lunch: Fried noodles with vegetables and/or egg, bread rolls or baguettes.
Dinner: Rice, noodles, fried chicken, meat stir fry, chips, spring rolls, omelette, eggs, fish, vegetable dishes, fresh fruit.

You will stay in hotel accommodation throughout the trip. Rooms will be shared on a twin or triple share basis (single sex) depending on the total group size and gender split. Double-occupancy rooms may be possible for couples if requested in advance. A single occupancy room is available upon request and payment of a £225 single supplement (main trip). Single rooms are strictly first-come-first-served and are subject to availability. Different Travel will invoice you for the single supplement charge shortly after you book.

If you opt to extend your stay, rooms will be shared, on a twin or triple share basis depending on the total group size and gender split. A single supplement of £125 will apply for the Siem Reap extension, and a single supplement of £95 will apply for the Battambang extension. Single rooms are strictly first-come-first-served and are subject to availability.

At the hotel accommodation you will have hot showers and flushing toilets. You may wish to carry a small pack of baby wipes for your general hygiene during the project day (e.g. to clean your hands before you eat lunch).

Cambodian toilets are generally the Asian squat kind, although Western toilets are found in hotels and restaurants catering to foreign visitors. You should bring one roll of toilet paper for your own use as this is rarely supplied at public facilities (it is supplied in hotels) and only a limited amount is provided at the project. Please note that toilet paper must only be put into the bins provided, never flushed.

The minimum age is 18 (or 16-17 if accompanied by an adult). There is no upper age limit.

Although you will never be asked to push yourself beyond your capabilities or comfort zone, you are recommended to arrive in Cambodia with a reasonable level of physical fitness to be able to cope with the physical demands of the project, e.g. digging, moving rocks and bricks, bending, lifting etc. Activities you may wish to consider to increase your fitness levels include walking, running, cycling, gym workouts and boot camps etc. Developing your core and leg muscle strength is useful so exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and crunches will really enhance your abilities. These exercises can be done at home; no gym needed. Please consult a doctor or qualified fitness trainer before taking part in any new exercise routine. You can download a number of free apps, which will help you train and track your progress. E.g. MapMyWalk, C25K (couch to 5k run), MyFitnessPal.

You will never be asked to do anything outside your physical capabilities and teamwork will be encouraged at all times. No volunteer should feel they have to do something they are not happy or comfortable doing. There are many tasks on a building site so ask the supervisor for jobs you feel comfortable with. Be open and honest if you feel you cannot do what you have been asked to. If you do have any reservations about any job you are assigned, please do not hesitate to raise these with the construction supervisor.

We require a medical form to be completed by everyone upon registering, and any pre-existing conditions, medications used and other medical issues must be specified. All your medical details are treated in the strictest confidence.

The information will be securely screened by a qualified medical professional, and details provided to your tour manager and local guides so our staff are adequately informed and prepared to support you during the trip. By completing this booking form you are giving consent for us to contact you confidentially with any follow up questions regarding your health.

If you declare any medical conditions you may be asked to provide more information, or we may request to contact your GP. We must be informed if any conditions or medication change, or if new conditions develop. If necessary confirmation of fitness to travel from your GP or specialist may be required.

In the event that your medical issues represent a concern for your safety and wellbeing, or the safety and wellbeing of others in the group, you may be recommended not to take part. If this happens your deposit will be refunded. Please note that we will never unreasonably deny participation on a trip nor contravene the Equality Act 2010.

Clothing & Footwear

Shoes/trainers for sightseeing
Tops for project (t-shirt/shirt)
Trousers/shorts for project
Socks and underwear
Sun hat
Buff (buffwear.co.uk) or bandana
Light waterproof jacket or poncho
Lightweight jacket
Casual clothes for sightseeing
Swimwear
Lightweight pyjamas

Build-Specific Gear

Building boots with steel toe caps*
Building / gardening gloves x3 pairs
Protective goggles
Dust masks
Hard hat (optional)
Knee pads/kneel mat (optional)

Optional

Head torch (in case of power cuts)
Video Camera + charger
Portable power bank
Books/diary/playing cards
Sewing kit

Essentials

Flight e-tickets
Passport + copy
Cambodia tourist e-visa
Pen for immigration forms
Cash / ATM + credit card(s)
Sunglasses
Mobile phone and charger
Travel insurance information
Camera and charger
Universal plug adaptor
Copy of all documents (online too)

Hygiene

Wet wipes*
Bio-degradable Shampoo + conditioner*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant deodorant*
Bio-degradable shower gel* + loofah
Comb/hairbrush
Toilet paper*
Sun block (SPF 30+)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Moisturiser/body lotion*
Razors/shaving foam
Hand sanitizer
Feminine hygiene products*
Nail brush
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Luggage

Small rucksack/day bag
Suitcase or rucksack (for flights)
Combination padlock(s)
Luggage organisers (optional)

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks (optional)
Water bottle (at least 1 litre with name on)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. Nuun)
Water purification (optional)

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
Anti-malaria medication
Insect repellent (max. 50% DEET)
Paracetamol / Ibuprofen
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (Dioralyte)
Muscle rub (Deep Heat)
Plasters
Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Nail scissors/tweezers (optional)

Sleeping

Ear plugs
Eye mask (optional)

Please note: This list is not exhaustive and does not account for your personal taste or preference. It should be used as a guideline only. If you have any questions or queries regarding this list which are not answered in the sections above please contact info@different-travel.com.

*Please ensure you pack your boots in your hand baggage in the unlikely event your luggage is delayed or goes missing.

*Please consider eco-friendly or biodegradable options. Consider shopping at Little Footprint Gifts.

Itinerary

Day 1 (Friday 5 November 2021):

International Departure
Depart London for Phnom Penh on an indirect overnight flight.
Accommodation: Overnight flight
Meals: None

Day 2 (Saturday 6 November 2021):

Arrival in Phnom Penh
Arrive in Phnom Penh and transfer to the hotel. After freshening up we will enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Dinner at a local restaurant

Day 3 (Sunday 7 November 2021):

Travel to Pursat
After breakfast we’ll take a morning sightseeing tour including visits to the Tuol Sleng Museum and Choeung Ek killing fields. We’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant then set off for the approx. 5-hour/230km drive to our hotel in Pursat. This evening there will be a briefing about the project to prepare you for the days ahead.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant, dinner at hotel

Days 4–8 (Monday 8– Friday 12 November 2021):

Pursat
Every morning after breakfast you will transfer to the project. You will be fully briefed onsite at the beginning of each working day on the challenge ahead and all safety and training aspects will be covered. Tasks could include digging foundations, clearing land, mixing concrete or mortar, laying bricks or blocks, helping to install window or door frames, painting or plastering. You will be working alongside the local people and you will be under the direction of an ActionAid construction supervisor and skilled local craftsmen. No previous building experience is necessary and we find the sharing of local techniques just a small part of the engagement between community members and our supporters. You will break for lunch, and typically finish at around 4pm before returning to the hotel. You will enjoy dinner as a group and the rest of the evening is free to relax. On Friday, after your final day at the project, we’ll celebrate your achievements with a farewell dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, packed lunch, dinner at local restaurant

Day 9 (Saturday 13 November 2021):

Return to Phnom Penh to depart Cambodia
Today we return to Phnom Penh (5-hour drive) and transfer to the airport for the return flight to London.
Accommodation: Overnight flight
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant (depending on flight times)

Day 10 (Sunday 14 November 2021):

Arrival in London
Early morning arrival into London (depending on flight times).
Meals: None

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO BATTAMBANG

Day 9 (Saturday 13 November 2021):

Pursat to Battambang
Today you will say farewell to the rest of the team and take a 2.5-hour drive to Battambang. On arrival you will check into the hotel for a 3-night stay.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: breakfast in Pursat. Lunch at local restaurant en route

Day 10 (Sunday 14 November 2021):

Battambang
Today we will have a full-day city tour to Wat Phnom Banan, Phnom Sampeau, and the famous bat caves.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at local restaurant

Day 11 (Monday 15 November 2021):

Battambang
Today you have a free day to explore the area at your leisure. All activities, tours, transport, meals (except breakfast) and entrance fees are at your own expense.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Day 12 (Tuesday 16 November 2021):

Depart Cambodia
Today you will transfer to Siem Reap airport for your return flight to London.
Accommodation: Overnight flight
Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Day 13 (Wednesday 17 November 2021):

London
Early morning arrival into London depending on flight times.
Meals: None

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO SIEM REAP

Day 9 (Saturday 13 November 2021):

Pursat to Siem Reap
Today you will say farewell to the rest of the team and take a 6-hour drive to Siem Reap. On arrival you will check into the hotel for a 3-night stay.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast in Pursat, lunch at a local restaurant in Battambang en route

Day 10 (Sunday 14 November 2021):

Siem Reap
Today we will have a full-day guided visit to the main temples, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel, lunch at local restaurant

Day 11 (Monday 15 November 2021):

Siem Reap
Today you have a free day to explore the temples and surrounding area at your leisure. All activities, tours, transport, meals (except breakfast) and entrance fees are at your own expense. A 3-day pass to the Angkor Complex is included in the cost, so you can return independently if you wish to explore more temples.
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Day 12 (Tuesday 16 November 2021):

Depart Cambodia
Today you will transfer to Siem Reap airport for your return flight to London.
Accommodation: Overnight flight
Meals: Breakfast at hotel

Day 13 (Wednesday 17 November 2021):

London
Early morning arrival into London depending on flight times.
Meals: None

N.B. The itineraries may change due to flight schedules, local bureaucracy, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itineraries however we cannot be held responsible for changes that might occur outside of our control. In all such circumstances your ActionAid representative, build manager and Different Travel tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £450
Pledged fundraising target £3,200

SPONSORSHIP

This option is for those who wish to raise sponsorship to cover both the costs of the trip (flights, accommodation, food, guides etc.) and a donation to their chosen charity. There is a minimum sponsorship amount for each trip that you are required to raise in order to participate.

  • A registration fee is payable at the time of booking.
  • The fundraising amount must be paid to the charity 12 weeks prior to departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.
  • ActionAid will support you in reaching your fundraising target

Optional Battambang Extension

£685 per person (based on 2-4 people)
£465 per person (based on 5-9 people)
£420 per person (based on 10+ people) 

Single supplement is an additional £95 per person

*Hotel rooms are shared on a twin or triple share basis depending on the total group size and gender split. If you would prefer a single room, a £95 single supplement will apply. Please specify this at the time of booking. Single rooms are strictly first-come-first-served and are subject to availability. A deposit of £195 will be taken to reserve your place.

Cost includes: flight amendment fee, local transfers and transport as specified, hotel accommodation (3*) in twin rooms, breakfast as specified, guided tour (including entrance fees) on Day 10.

Optional Siem Reap Extension

£535 per person (based on 2-4 people)
£425 per person (based on 5-9 people)
£390 per person (based on 10+ people) 

Single supplement is an additional £125 per person

*Hotel rooms are shared on a twin or triple share basis depending on the total group size and gender split. If you would prefer a single room, a £125 single supplement will apply. Please specify this at the time of booking. Single rooms are strictly first-come-first-served and are subject to availability. A deposit of £195 will be taken to reserve your place.

Cost includes: flight amendment fee, local transfers and transport as specified, hotel accommodation (3*) in twin rooms, some meals as specified, guided tour (including entrance fees) on Day 10, Angkor Complex 3-day entrance pass.

What's included

  • Return flights from London
  • Current airport taxes and airline fuel supplements
  • Local transfers and transport
  • Accommodation in 3* hotels
  • All meals as specified
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Project Build manager
  • ActionAid representative
  • Different Travel UK tour manager

What's not included

  • Any necessary vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis
  • Cambodia visa
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, souvenirs etc)
  • Tips
  • Transport to/from UK airports
  • Travel insurance
  • Single room supplement (£225)
  • Optional extensions to Battambang or Siem Reap

Got a Question?

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