program Volunteer Cambodia: Village Immersion Program
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cambodian scuba diving and elephant sanctuary volunteering

Marine Conservation & Elephant Experience

On this 28 day adventure you will be surrounded by happy people, majestic wildlife and live on a tropical island while experiencing everything Cambodia has to offer! After arriving in Phnom Penh and spending the first night in Cambodia’s capital you will rise early the next morning and travel to the tropical island where you will be spending the next two weeks. You will sleep in accommodation above the pier. Your days will be spent surrounded by white sand, palm trees and sunshine.

Here you will be taught to dive (if you don’t already have your PADI qualification) and will help build an underwater artificial coral reef to incubate marine life.

Once you have placed the coral pods you can explore the artificial reef and see how it is helping re-establish the marine environment. You’ll explore different coral reefs and may even see the seahorses, parrotfish, sea cucumbers, barracuda and so much more!


In the afternoons you will experience island life, resting in hammocks, playing volleyball with the locals or getting involved in building and teaching projects to advance the community.

In the second 2 weeks you will wake to the sounds of elephants trumpeting in the distance. Here you will be helping rehabilitate elephants that have been rescued from horrible conditions in the illegal logging industry.

You can help by planting and harvesting food, walking the elephants through the jungle, and bathing the elephants.

The elephants are not the only animals that have been rescued. Because of Reach Out Volunteers efforts we are caring for abandoned dogs, and injured wildlife including monkeys and gibbons.

You will also work at a community school, playing games with the children and teaching them new skills.

Over you weekend you will have the option of staying out at the refuge or travelling into Siem Reap and experiencing the magnificent Angkor Wat temples, night markets while taking a time-out to unwind with a massage.

Get ready for a once in a lifetime experience, because that is what this program is all about!

Arrival Day Departure Day Status
07-May-17 03-Jun-17 Vacancies
02-Jul-17 29-Jul-17 FULL
19-Nov-17 16-Dec-17 Vacancies
03-Dec-17 30-Dec-17 Vacancies
17-Dec-17 13-Jan-18 Vacancies
31-Dec-17 27-Jan-18 Vacancies

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Sunday - Arrival Day

Your team leader will be waiting for you outside the arrivals area of Phnom Penh airport. They will be holding an ROV sign and wearing an ROV shirt, so you can’t miss them! If you get in before noon, enjoy a guided tour around Phnom Penh. Once you are settled into your accommodation, you will have free time.

Optional activities in Phnom Penh:

  • Explore the markets and shops around the city.
  • Visit the palace.
  • See the pagodas and temples.
  • Visit S21 and the Killing Fields (only for those arriving early / departing late).
  • Enjoy a foot or back massage for as cheap as $5!
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 2: Monday - Transport to the Island

This is a full travel day. Volunteers will take a bus to Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh, approximately a 4-5 hour journey. After lunch in Sihanoukville, everyone will get on a boat that takes us to the island, Koh Rong. This boat journey is approximately 3 hours. If you know you suffer from motion sickness, please bring any required medications. Once we arrive on the island, volunteers will get a tour of the village, meet their dive instructors and local people, get settled into their accommodation, and enjoy dinner.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Beach Bungalow.

Days 3-6: Tuesday-Friday - Project Work/PADI Training

The volunteers will be split into groups and alternate working on land projects or studying to achieve their PADI certification.

Land projects include but are not limited to constructing new houses or school buildings, painting, mixing concrete, working on the water catchment, beach and village clean up, sanding and coating coral pods, and preparing the concrete feet for pod deployment.

In the evenings, volunteers will have free time.

Optional activities while on the island:

  • Relax at sunset rock.
  • Walk to coconut beach for a swim with bioluminescent plankton!
  • Play games or cards at the Inn.
  • Play billiards.
  • Enjoy a game of volleyball.
  • Spend time with the local children.
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Beach Bungalow.

Days 7-8: Saturday-Sunday - Free Weekend

Volunteers have free time over the weekend. Team leaders will often organize a trip to the tourist side of the island over the weekend. Volunteers who already have a PADI certification can also organize recreational dives.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Beach Bungalow.

Days 9-12: Monday-Thursday - Project Work/PADI Training

The volunteers will be split into groups and alternate working on land projects or studying and doing in water training to achieve their PADI certification.

Land projects include but are not limited to constructing new houses or school buildings, painting, mixing concrete, working on the water catchment, beach and village clean up, sanding and coating coral pods, and preparing the concrete feet for pod deployment.

In the evenings, volunteers will have free time.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Beach Bungalow.

Day 13: Friday - Transport back to Phnom Penh

Volunteers will leave the island early. We will take a boat to Sihanoukville then bus to Phnom Penh. Your team leader will likely organize a fun night out for your night in Phnom Penh.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 14: Saturday - Phnom Penh and the Killing Fields

Today we spend a day in Phnom Penh. We will visit the Killing Fields and the notorious S21 facility. There will a chance to visit the night markets and the Russian market.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 15: Sunday - Transport to Siem Reap

After breakfast, the volunteers will travel to the Phnom Penh bus terminus to travel to Siem Reap. It is a six hour journey with stops on the way for food and drinks.

Optional activities in Siem Reap:

  • Explore the several markets around the city.
  • Relax by the pool.
  • See the pagodas and temples.
  • Enjoy a foot or back massage for as cheap as $5!
  • Experience the excitement of Pub Street.
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Bungalow.

Days 16-18: Monday to Wednesday - Project Work at the Local Schools

These are full working days at the local schools. Different tasks include mixing concrete, laying bricks, painting, or sawing and hammering to complete various construction and beautification projects.

Volunteers have free time in the evenings. Your local team leader may schedule a language class, history lesson, outing to the carnival or to the circus on these nights.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 19: Thursday - Angkor Wat

All volunteers will have a guided tour of Angkor Wat, beginning at sunrise.

After the tour, volunteers will have free time. Many choose to rest after a long day of exploring the temples!

Volunteers who choose to purchase the Tonle Sap Add-On will visit the floating villages after the Angkor Wat tour.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 20: Friday - Final Day at the Schools

Volunteers will spend their final day finishing their outlined projects. After work, there will be a goodbye ceremony with the children and teachers where people are welcome to say a few words, hand out donations, or just play and relax with the children after a long week of hard work!

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 21: Saturday - Free Day

Saturday is a free day for volunteers. The following add-on is available for Saturday but not mandatory:

  • Kulan Mountain – Swim under a massive waterfall in the middle of the Cambodian jungle

Volunteers who do not choose to buy an add-on may stay in Siem Reap and enjoy free time.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 22: Sunday - Travel to Elephant Sanctuary

After breakfast we will travel to the Elephant Sanctuary located about three hours outside Siem Reap. Once we arrive, enjoy a tour of the elephant sanctuary and get settled in your bungalows.

Before dinner, volunteers will prepare food for and feed the elephants. In the evening, volunteers have free time.

Optional activities include:

  • Play cards.
  • Play games.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Read a book.
  • Your team leader will arrange large group activities for everyone to enjoy at night.
    • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    • Accommodation: Hotel.

    Days 23-26: Monday-Thursday - Project Work at the Sanctuary

    Volunteers will participate in several projects including planting trees and food for the animals and people living on the sanctuary, weeding the fields, cutting sugar cane, building a firebreak, constructing houses for the rangers, building dams to create baths for the elephants, and joining them for a cool down in these baths!

    Your team leader will arrange for your group to visit a local school on one of these days to work alongside the local teachers and play with the children.

    Every evening, the volunteers will prepare and feed the elephants dinner.

    After the volunteers eat dinner, there will be a short documentary shown either about the sanctuary or the plight of these elephants rescued from the illegal logging industry.

    Volunteers have free time after the documentary.

    • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    • Accommodation: Bungalow.

    Day 27: Friday - Final Day at the Sanctuary

    Volunteers will complete their project work in the morning. After a final feeding and time to say goodbye to the elephants, the volunteers will be transported back to Siem Reap.

    The remainder of the day is a free day to explore Siem Reap.

    • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    • Accommodation: Hotel.

    Day 28: Saturday - Departure Day

    You will be dropped off at the airport with ample time before your flight. Please be ready and waiting in the lobby with your luggage at the time allocated by your team leader.

    • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    What’s Included:

    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day.
    • All drinking water.
    • All accommodation.
    • All on ground transport.
    • All program activities unless specified as optional.
    • Building project materials.

    Accommodation:

    Nights one and thirteen: You will be staying at a hotel in Phnom Penh city close to restaurants, markets and shops. Volunteers rooms are separated by gender, in twin or triple share rooms. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms hav private bathrooms, and doors with locks. Hotel comes with unlimited drinking water. Venue also has 24-hour security and wifi availability.

    Nights two to twelve: You will be staying in beach bungalows. This rustic accommodation comes with bed, linen and mosquito nets. You will really be embracing island life – complete with bucket showers!

    Nights Thirteen and fourteen: You will be staying at a hotel in Phnom Penh city close to restaurants, markets and shops. Volunteers rooms are separated by gender, in twin or triple share rooms. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms have private bathrooms, and doors with locks. Hotel comes with unlimited drinking water and snacks. Venue also has 24-hour security and wifi availability.

    Nights fifteen to twenty one: You will be staying at a hotel in Siem Reap city close to restaurants, markets and shops. Volunteers rooms are separated by gender, in twin or triple share rooms. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms have private bathrooms, and doors with locks. Hotel comes with unlimited drinking water and snacks. Venue has 24-hour security and wifi availability.

    Nights Twenty two to twenty six: Bungalow accommodation on site at the Elephant Sanctuary. Volunteers in triple share accommodation separated by gender. Bungalows include bedding and mosquito nets.

    Night Twenty seven: Back to our hotel in Siem Reap.

    Extension Description
    Volunteer Cambodia: Elephant Sanctuary - 7 Days
    Make a real difference working with elephants that have been rescued from horrible conditions in the illegal logging industry.
    Volunteer Cambodia: Village Development - 7 Days
    Volunteering in rural communities you will help rebuild houses and schools that are falling down around the villagers.
    Volunteer Cambodia: Village Immersion - 14 Days
    You will be building homes for poor families, classrooms for impoverished schools and teaching and playing sport with the children.
    Volunteer Cambodia: Scuba Diving & Community Immersion - 14 Days
    In addition to marine conservation, our volunteers help with teaching and building projects in the community.
    Volunteer Cambodia: Village Development and Elephant Program - 14 Days
    This international volunteer project is the perfect combination of wildlife conservation and community development.
    Teaching: Cambodia - Siem Reap - 28 Days
    On this volunteer program you will have the opportunity to run educational classes alongside local teachers.
    Cambodian Island Scuba Diving & Elephant Program - 28 Days
    On this 28 day adventure you will be surrounded by happy people, majestic wildlife and live on a tropical island.
    Asian Volunteering Adventure - 35 Days
    This is an opportunity for the adventurous traveller to experience diverse cultures in some of the most stunning landscapes in Asia.

    Arrival and Departure

    Arrival Airport: Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), Cambodia
    Departure Airport: Siem Reap International Airport (REP), Cambodia

    Arrival Day: Is the first day of your program
    Departure Day: is the final day of your program.

    Airport Collection Times: 8am -12pm (Midnight) on arrival & departure day.

    • Generally all our programs start on Sunday and finish on Saturday.
    • If you are doing an extension after the program please check the relevant Arrival & Departure tab on the program page to confirm your departure airport. If you are unsure email us at admin@rovolunteers.com to confirm.
    • If your flight is delayed and you are landing after the arrival date we can still collect you but a private collection fee will apply.
    • If you have purchased an extra day before or after your program a private collection will be arranged for you. This is included in the fee for the extra day.
    • If you are arriving early or departing late and have not organised an extra day on program with us you will be responsible for your own transfer & accomodation.

     

     

    Insurance

    Travel insurance is strongly recommended. It is recommended to purchase travel insurance as soon as you've been accepted for your program or at least by the time you pay your Progress Payment or book your flights. When you volunteer abroad it is important to ensure that your policy includes emergency medical evacuation as well as program and flight cancellation.

    We suggest that you check the policy you intend to purchase and make sure it has at least the following benefits (these amounts are listed as a guide only);

    • Overseas medical costs between $1,000,000.00 (For US citizens this level of cover may not be available.)
    • Emergency medical transport and repatriation $500,000.00
    • Cancellation costs $3,500.00
    • Trip interruption costs $2,500.00

    Visas

    It is ultimately your responsibility to organize a visa for your program, and the information below serves as a guide only.

    A Cambodian Tourist Visa is required for everyone when entering Cambodia. The Visa is approximately $35USD and can be purchased when you land. There are some restrictions on certain nationalities, so please confirm information with the embassy / consulate of the country you will be visiting prior to departure.

    If you need to arrange a tourist visa prior to travelling, we can assist you with documentation. Please send our admin team and email at admin@rovolunteers.com.

    Organising your Tourist Visa into Cambodia is a really simple process, and you will need the following:

    • Current passport
    • Extra passport photo (doesn’t need to be the same as in your passport) – they can also take one there if you forget for a couple of dollars USD
    • Approximately $40USD
    • Completed visa form – you do this on arrival, or are sometimes given this on the flight dependant on airline

    You then take the above to the visa counter for processing which generally takes ten minutes. They will then give you back your passport with the tourist visa in it, and you then collect your bags, clear customs, and make your way to meet your Team Leader.

    Before you go…

    Check:
    • If you are arriving early - you have purchased an extra night add on and sent an email to admin@rovolunteers.com to confirm, otherwise we will assume you are making your own way to the accommodation on the first day of the program.
    • If you have any long layovers, you may wish to do some research on the airport, check out the following site: http://www.sleepinginairports.net
    Pack:
    • We recommend bringing a wifi enabled device in case of delays or issues so you can send and receive email. Also, carry a charging cable and a mini-power pack to recharge the device. (If you are delayed you may spend a lot of time on the phone to insurers and loved ones).
    • Put any medicines and valuables in your carry on luggage so you still have them if your luggage is delayed/lost in transit.
    • Don't forget to bring some warm clothes, toiletries and entertainment in your carry on luggage!
    • Make sure you have appropriate clothing for the climate you are arriving into - look through the get ready information, and also check some weather reports before you leave.
    • If you want to, bring along some donations for the community you will be visiting
    • For some travel packing tips, check out: http://www.marieclaire.com/travel/a17001/packing-tips-tricks-travel
    Day of departure:
    Arrival…
    • If you are arriving on the first day of program, a team leader wearing a ROV T-Shirt will be waiting at the airport from 8am - Midnight.
    • If you are arriving a day early, the team leader will pick you up at the time specified on your ROV program.
    • If you are delayed and unable to contact us, you should make your way to the accommodation listed in your pre departure email.

    Download our Travel Advice Checklist

    Do you want reassurance that…

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    • you have a reliable airline,
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    I’ll look for flights that have…
    • minimum stops and shorter connections,
    • that use single carriers to avoid delayed/missed flights and lost luggage issues.
    Sometimes it is cheaper to land a day early or leave a day late. I arrange it all including any extra accommodation.
    • I call you and together we book your flights during the call.
    • I locate appropriate travel insurance for you to purchase.
    • I confirm your airport collection on arrival.
    • I confirm your return trip to the airport on departure day.
    I’ll find the flights that work for you!

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    * Cheaper flights with alternative airlines may be available. However, sometimes you may end up paying much more with hidden costs and extras :( we avoid this and help to make the travel element of your ROV experience hassle free :)

    The 28 day Cambodian Scuba Diving and Elephant volunteer program

    I enjoyed getting to scuba dive everyday, and actually doing work with the marine environment. Working with the kids and playing with them was fun as well. They are a lot more playful than the children back home.

    Brittany, Canada.