Why We Love Cambodia (And You Should Too)
Are you considering volunteering in Cambodia? Not just traveling there but actually immersing yourself in the local culture and community, while giving back and getting to know the local people.
Here are our top seven reasons to travel to Cambodia…
1. The People
There’s a reason it’s the first thing you read in guidebooks and it’s the first thing travelers tell you, because it’s overwhelmingly and unequivocally true! Khmer people are some of the most humble, friendly and sincere the world over. It’s a country steeped in a deep and heartbreaking history that will shake you to the core, yet what you’ll be struck by is their incredible outlook and positivity. On the whole, Khmer people have an outstanding capacity to welcome travelers in with open hearts, and genuinely have an interest in you and your well-being. Learn from their outlook and try to match their smiles!
2. To Experience A Better Commute
There’s no better way to get around than by jumping on your push-bike and ambling along a street, or down an idyllic countryside lane! There’s no sitting in traffic with SUVs bumper to bumper here!
3. For The Wonder
You’ll be left in awe when you stand in front of Angkor Wat! It’s one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. For several centuries Angkor Wat was the center of the Khmer kingdom, now it’s on the top of every traveler’s must-see list when they venture to this breathtaking country. Make sure you schedule in a sunset or sunrise - it’s something else! Aside from Angkor Wat, there’s an endless camera roll of temples to see!
4. Because - Impressive Skylines!
If you’ve had your dose of ruins, yes it does happen, then there are a stack of things to check out in the vibrant, bustling cities of Cambodia. If you are volunteering on the Special Needs project, then the placements are typically located in Phnom Penh. While the Teaching placements are mainly in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This gives you ample time to get out and explore the buzzing backstreets during your free time.
5. To Experience Untamed Islands
When people hear Cambodian beaches, they think Sihanoukville, a well-known stop on the young backpacker route. But that’s just a gateway to an assortment of stunning and untouched islands that will leave you breathless. Check out Koh Rong, Koh Thmei, or if you are really intrepid Koh Totang! The pictures are stunning, the reality even better.
6. For Impossibly Scenic Countryside
Outside of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there are vast swathes of countryside and if you pack your bags and set out on the dirt roads, a whole different experience awaits you! It’s undeveloped, authentic Khmer life at its best. Think lush rice paddies, kaleidoscope sunsets and authentic experiences that you just can’t plan for!
7. To Collect Grassroots Travel Experiences
When you’re not volunteering you can spend your time exploring and collecting experiences from a bygone era of travel! You can buy petrol out of old glass alcohol bottles and fuel your never-ending motorbike adventures. You can laze about on forgotten beaches and pass hours chatting to locals. You can trawl never-ending markets for absolutely anything under the sun. You can float down the Mekong and be welcomed into homes for long lunches. It’s a real adventure.
More About The IVHQ Cambodia Volunteer Program
At IVHQ we are dedicated to ensuring our volunteer programs are responsibly-run and have a positive impact that is sustainable over time. We set clear standards for responsible volunteer travel and we work closely with our local team in Cambodia to ensure the projects meet all of our expectations. As an IVHQer in Cambodia, you’ll be working with incredibly friendly locals on projects that are driven by the community.
You can give back your skills on one of five projects, including Teaching English and Special Needs Care, which have a great need for hard-working volunteers. English skills are required for most jobs in Cambodia; however, many children do not have the opportunity to learn the language, as most families cannot afford this type of education. Volunteers on the Special Needs Care project find the work to be rewarding, with the tasks being suited to volunteers who are passionate about education and are looking for a more challenging project, which focuses on providing care and support to children with special needs. Regardless of which project you choose, you can set off with the confidence that your time in Cambodia will be a worthwhile and rewarding experience for both you, and the community that you will be immersed in.
While volunteering in Cambodia, you will be accommodated in either a volunteer house or home-stay - with both providing the opportunity to live alongside other like-minded IVHQ volunteers. Volunteer houses create an atmosphere where it’s easy for volunteers to be social and make friends quickly! The home-stays operate in a similar way and are incredibly social but the major bonus being that you’ll be interacting and living with a local family, sharing home-cooked meals and exchanging cultures. Not only will Cambodia become your home-away-from-home, but your fellow volunteers and host-family will quickly become your second family!
Volunteering in Cambodia, it’s the experience of a lifetime!