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The Hospice of St Francis Trek Cambodia

13th Nov 2021 - 23rd Nov 2021

12 days/Cambodia /Moderate

Overview

This spectacular 5-day trek is a wonderful way to experience Cambodia. The route takes us through rice paddies, jungles and traditional villages, encountering local people, ancient temples and monasteries along the way. With mountains, rivers, Buddhist sites, waterfalls and farmland, this jungle adventure offers a unique glimpse into Cambodian life and culminates in an arrival at the magnificent temple complex at Angkor. We will explore this staggering site before continuing with the project phase of our challenge: two days spent assisting at a community project near Siem Reap.

This trek is graded as moderately challenging. You will trek along established routes through villages, farmland and jungle with some short sections of road, some steep sections and a few hills. You can expect rocky and uneven terrain underfoot and possibly slippery and muddy ground, especially after the rain. Regular breaks are taken but long days are inevitable. It is essential that you are fit enough to trek for at least 8 hours at a time for consecutive days; don’t expect it to be easy.

The trek is accompanied by local professional English-speaking guides who have an excellent knowledge of the region. You will also be supported by a team of local support staff and drivers and a UK Different Travel Company tour manager.

This trek is graded as moderately challenging. You will trek along established routes through villages, farmland and jungle with some short sections of road, some steep sections and a few hills. You can expect rocky and uneven terrain underfoot and possibly slippery and muddy ground, especially after the rain. Regular breaks are taken but long days are inevitable. It is essential that you are fit enough to trek for at least 8 hours at a time for consecutive days; don’t expect it to be easy.
You are required and expected to train in preparation for this and your training should include hill walking and trekking up and down gradients. The Different Travel Company has the right to refuse anyone who they feel is not fit enough for the challenge for the health and safety of the individual, and the group.

You can expect highs of 33°C during the day and lows of around 21°C at night. Weather conditions will vary but in general you will experience hot but cloudy days with occasional short rain downpours and high humidity. It’s important to be prepared for all weather conditions and temperatures.

Please note: the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate however, climate change impacts the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions which are out of our control. Should this happen the guide will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and ultimate safety of the group.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner, is provided throughout the trek as specified on the itinerary. Tables, chairs, plates, mugs and cutlery are all provided, and you may be able to purchase drinks at the homestay depending on availability (payable locally).

You will stay in a hotel in Siem Reap for a night at the start of the trip and four nights at the end. During the trek you will stay in traditional stilt house homestay accommodation for four nights (the entire group stays together in a village), one night of which we stay in the pagoda hall of Wat Preah Kral, a Buddhist monastery.

You must be aged 18 or above to join this trip. It may be possible for you to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old but you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. There is no upper age limit.

An ideal candidate for the trek would be someone who enjoys being out of their comfort zone and trying something new. Adventure travel involves an element of the unexpected so do not expect standards to be the same as you are used to at home. Remote areas are sometimes unpredictable (be it because of group pace, weather conditions, local bureaucracy, or other factors) and itineraries may be altered to allow for this. For you to get the most out of your challenge it is important that you are flexible, positive, and eager to take on all the challenges that arise. Suitable fitness preparation before departure forms part of this.

You should have a good level of fitness to ensure fast recovery from each day of trekking.

You must engage in training (including plenty of walking up and down hills) before departure to ensure your best chance of enjoyment on the trip. This could include hill walking, running, cycling, gym workouts, boot camps, etc. You can download a number of free apps to help you train and track your progress, e.g. MapMyWalk, C25K, MyFitnessPal, etc. Attempting to complete the trek without training will make it more challenging than necessary and will be detrimental to your experience, and the experience of your teammates.

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.

Essentials

E-tickets + pre-departure info
Passport + copy
E-visa confirmation
ATM card + credit  card(s)
Cash (£ sterling)
Insurance policy details
Pen for immigration forms
LED head torch + spare batteries
Sunglasses
Mobile phone + charger
Camera + spare batteries
Adaptor (multi-option)

Clothing & Footwear

Hiking boots*
Flip flops/trainers for home stay
Trek socks + underwear
Base layer top (long sleeved)
Lightweight trek trousers
Non-cotton t-shirt
Long sleeved light warm layer
Change of clothes for evening
Light poncho/waterproof jacket
Sun hat
Neck cooling ‘Cobber’ (optional)
Buff (www.buffwear.co.uk)
Pashmina/wrap (for temples)
Casual attire for sightseeing days
Old clothes/shows suitable for project
Protective gloves for project
Swimwear (optional)

Hygiene

Shampoo+ conditioner*
Toothbrush + toothpaste*
Antiperspirant deodorant*
Shower gel/shaving kit/loofah*
Wet wipes*
Hand sanitizer
1-2 toilet rolls*
Waterproof sun block (high SPF)*
Small travel towel
Feminine hygiene products*
Nappy sacks (for used toilet paper)*

First Aid Kit

Prescription medicine
50% DEET insect repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Plasters
Blister plasters (e.g. Compeed)
Imodium (Loperamide)
Rehydration (e.g. Dioralyte)
Anti-histamine tablets/cream
Antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon)
Indigestion remedy (e.g. Gaviscon)
Lip balm with SPF protection
Nail scissors/tweezers
Muscle rub (e.g. Deep Heat)
Zinc oxide tape
Throat lozenges (optional)
Decongestant (optional)
Spare glasses/contact lenses

Optional

Video Camera + charger
Walking pole(s)
iPod/MP3 player
Sewing kit
Portable battery pack
Notebook/Books/playing cards
Luggage organisers/packing cubes

Luggage

Trek kit bag/holdall
Suitcase/rucksack for luggage
Daypack (25-30 litres)
Combination padlocks
Small empty bag for non-trek items

Eating and Drinking

Energy snacks
2-litre hydration system (e.g. CamelBak) +
1-litre bottle OR 3x 1-litre bottles
Water purification (e.g. Biox Aqua)
Electrolyte tablets (e.g. NUUN)

Sleeping

Ear plugs
Eye mask (optional)
Lightweight pyjamas
Sleeping bag liner

Please note: This list is just a guideline and is not exhaustive. The items on this list do not take into account your personal preferences based on your previous trekking experience, or individual requirements. For information about items on this list please refer to the trip dossier or contact The Different Travel Company on info@different-travel.com

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

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

Itinerary

Day 1-2 (Saturday 13 November – Sunday 14 November 2021):

London to Siem Reap
Depart London on an indirect overnight flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap we transfer to our hotel to check in and freshen up before a group dinner and a briefing on the week ahead.
Meals: Dinner 

Day 3 (Monday 15 November 2021):

Siem Reap to Kulen Mountain to Thma Chrounh
We set off this morning for the drive to Phnom Kulen (Kulen Mountain), one of the most sacred mountains in Cambodia, and a National Park. It was originally called Mahendraparvata and was where Jayavarman II (a 9th Century king) declared himself King of Kings, making Phnom Kulen the birthplace of the Khmer Empire, unifying local overlords after many years of fighting.
From here we trek uphill from a monastery through dense forest, enjoying beautiful mountain views and passing through small villages and farms to reach the village of Thma Chrounh where we stay in a local homestay.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: 12km / approx. 3 hours walking

Day 4 (Tuesday 16 November 2021):

Thma Chrounh to Preah Ang Thom
Our trek continues through small villages and lush jungle, passing hidden ruins of ancient temples along the way. This afternoon we reach Preah Ang Thom, a 16th century monastery famous for its giant reclining Buddha. We stop for lunch by a cascading waterfall before continuing to our homestay a short walk away.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: 22km / approx. 6 hours walking

Day 5 (Wednesday 17 November 2021):

Preah Ang Thom to Srah Damrei to Wat Preah Kral
After breakfast we set off into the jungle again and uncover the peaceful and hidden site of Srah Damrei, meaning ‘elephant pond’. This recently rediscovered place is hidden deep in the forest and is home to impressive life-size carvings of an elephant and a number of lions that are over 1000 years old. After lunch by a meandering stream we continue to Preah Kral monastery, where we spend the night in the pagoda.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: 14km / approx. 5 hours walking

Day 6 (Thursday 18 November 2021):

Wat Preah Kral to Ta Penh
We head downhill this morning through the jungle to Phumi Sorsey, a small village where we stop for lunch. We then continue through paddy fields, farms and other small villages before reaching Ta Penh, where there is time to meet the local villagers before spending the night in a homestay.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: 22km / approx. 8 hours walking 

Day 7 (Friday 19 November 2021):

Ta Penh to Anh Chanh to Angkor Wat
Our final day of trekking sees us walking across a red soil path through the paddy fields, before eventually reaching the world-famous Angkor Archaeological Park where we will explore the most famous of its temples, Angkor Wat, a visually spectacular, massive three-tiered pyramid, 65 metres high, and surrounded by a moat of more than 5km in length. After exploring the temple complex we will transfer to our hotel in Siem Reap.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Trekking: 18km / approx. 6 hours walking

Days 8-9 (Saturday 20 – Sunday 21 November 2021):

Knapor Village Community Project
Spend two days assisting on a local community project in Knapor Village. You will stay at a hotel in Siem Reap and transfer to the project each day (approx. 45 mins).
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 10 (Monday 22 November 2021):

Angkor
Today is our final chance to explore the mighty temples of Angkor including a visit to the famous Bayon, a temple adorned with carvings of 216 smiling faces and incorporating over 11,000 figures. We will also visit the iconic ancient tree-covered site of Ta Prohm, well known for the trees growing out of the ruins, creating a very atmospheric experience. This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11-12 (Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 November 2021):

Siem Reap to London
Depending on flight times there may be time for some further sightseeing in Siem Reap.
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to London,  which may arrive on Wednesday, depending on flight schedules.
Meals: Breakfast 

N.B. While we do not anticipate changes, this itinerary may be subject to alteration due to flight schedules, hotel availability and other factors outside our control. During the trip itself the itinerary will depend on the group ability, weather and the daily circumstances. Any changes in the itinerary will be made in the interest of group safety and enjoyment. In-country, your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.

Costs & How to pay

Registration fee: £395
Sponsorship: £3500

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.
  • £2,800 (80% of the sponsorship target) must be raised by 20 August 2021.
  • The remaining £700 (20%) must be raised by the date of departure.
  • The amount the charity receives is at least 50% of the minimum sponsorship total.

What's included

  • Return flights from London
  • Airport taxes and charges
  • All transport in Cambodia
  • Accommodation: hotel in Siem Reap (5 nights), homestay (3 nights), pagoda (1 night)
  • All meals as specified
  • English-speaking guides and support crew
  • Trek permits
  • Entrance fee (including Angkor Wat)
  • Project co-ordination and materials
  • UK Different Travel tour manager

What's not included

  • Cambodia visa (current cost US$37)
  • Transport to/from UK airport
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, souvenirs, etc.)
  • Vaccinations
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (approx. £25-£30 per person)
  • Trek kit and equipment

Got a Question?

If you’ve a question about this challenge that you can’t find the answer to within the given information then complete this quick form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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