Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. People here are still trying to shake off the shocking and tragic Khmer Rouge era, and most Cambodians live in poverty. It is not uncommon for Cambodian children to grow up without the food, shelter, or basic medical care that they need. While the temples of Angkor Wat help attract tourism and raise global awareness of Cambodia’s destitution, this generation also needs educators, leaders, and role models in order to learn the tools for positive growth and change. Lend a helping hand to the youth of this developing nation as they move toward a brighter future.
Here at the Cambodia Children’s Project, we continue to provide meaningful service that improves the general well-being and living conditions for the amazing children in this community. Our partnership with a local non-governmental organization is doing fantastic grassroots work. The project is helping more than 55 children who range in age from five to sixteen years old. A child’s enrolment provides them with scholarships for school, food, uniforms, bicycles, English classes, and training in traditional Cambodian dance and culture. Each child has a different background story, and all are in need of positive role models in their lives. Come join in the teaching, games, culture, service, fun, and wonder of Cambodia! Working with this program will fill your heart with a genuine sense of accomplishment.
Participants will require a visa to enter Cambodia. It is participants’ responsibility to obtain the necessary visa. Participants will be denied access to their destination if they do not have the appropriate paperwork.
E-Visas can be obtained online by visiting the Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website at https://www.evisa.gov.kh/
The current cost of the visa is US$37, which can be paid online via credit card. You will need to enter passport details and upload a digital passport-size portrait photo. Once processed, you will be emailed an e-Visa that you should print and carry in your passport to Cambodia. Please send a copy to Rustic Pathways.
Non-Australian passport holders may need alternative visas for entry into Cambodia. Please contact us for details or check with the appropriate consulate or embassy.
Participants will not be accompanied by a flight leader. Our program staff will greet participants when they arrive at Phnom Penh Airport in Cambodia.
Cambodia is 11.5 hours by air from Brisbane and Melbourne, and 8.5 hours by air from Perth.
The start date listed is when you need to be in Cambodia and the departure date listed is the date you will depart Cambodia.
Participants need to arrive before 4pm on the arrival date and need to depart in the afternoon/evening on the departure date.
This program operates in Phnom Penh and Kampong Cham which is two hours from Phnom Penh.
Each program will have leaders who are certified in First Aid and CPR. Some of our program leaders are also certified as Wilderness First Responders, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Rustic Pathways maintains a minimum of 1 Program Leader for every 7 participants.
You will be with other Australian Yr. 12 students. You may find yourself in a smaller, cozier setting or part of a big high-energy crew.
Students will have access to clean, safe drinking water (pronounced duk) on this trip at all times. Water in faucets can be used to brush your teeth but is not for drinking. Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle so you can stay hydrated!
When you join us on this incredible journey we want you to have an as immersive experience as possible and soak it all in. To do that you are encouraged to take a break from technology and engage with the life on the ground in Cambodia. Leave the lands of social media behind and focus on being present in the moment—don’t worry, it will still be there when you return—we promise!
You will have access to internet in Phnom Penh but throughout the rest of the trip, internet access will be sporadic.
You will be given the phone number to our 24/7 emergency line which is kept open for true emergencies only. One of our awesome staff members will be in charge of this line, and they will pass any necessary information to us on the ground in Cambodia.
Get ready to sweat! Cambodia’s dry season starts in November but you can still get the trail end of the rainy season. Temperatures range from 20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius at this time. What does that mean for you? Clothes that have synthetic fibers are great because they dry fast (much faster than cotton)! Ponchos can easily be purchased in-country.
You will be staying in hotels and guesthouses with western amenities such as air conditioning and hot water while in Phnom Penh.
In Kampong Cham, students will be staying in our base house, which is nestled in a small local village. Here students will have a mattress pad on the floor with a mosquito net. Sleeping arrangements will be separated by gender.
Traditional Khmer food of course! Cambodia is home to many great cuisines due in part to French colonial influence, and you will get a chance to try these out when in major cities. However, you will be encouraged to eat local food as much as possible, after all, you are in Cambodia! Lok-lak, amok, pra-hok— sound familiar? These are some of the most well known dishes in Cambodia. Be sure to tell one of your local Program Leaders that you want to try pra-hok, which will most certainly give them a laugh. Is it common for Cambodians to eat rice with every meal- even for breakfast, unless they’re having some yummy noodle soup! Some dishes you can expect are: rice based dishes (especially fried rice, pronounced bai cha in Khmer), noodle soups, grilled pork, stir fried vegetables, various fish dishes, and tons of fresh fruit! Coconuts are plentiful so get ready to crack some open and enjoy the refreshing coconut juice with your meals! We will make every effort to accommodate vegetarian and other special dietary needs as best we can, but please be aware that students with seafood or nut allergies cannot be accommodated.
Rustic Pathways works with local community leaders and organizations to identify and prioritize the needs of each community. You can expect to lend a helping hand with the most pressing need of the communities at the time of your visit.
On this program you will be working with our partner organization called the BSDA, where you can expect to partake in projects such as improving grounds and facilities at their education centers and running education enrichments activities.
Don’t worry, we won’t tell on you if you wear the same t-shirt twice! Cleanliness is a big part of Asian culture so we keep as clean as we can while traveling. We will have access to laundry facilities at the beginning and end of this program which usually cost around $1/kilogram. Feel free to buy some laundry soap at the local market and learn how to wash your clothes by hand like many Cambodians do during your time in the Kampong Cham!
Please visit HX Global or Smart Traveller for an up to date report on current situations regarding visiting Cambodia. Staff will alert participants if any changes to safety occur within the country.
Please consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for immunization and other medical recommendations, based on the area(s) where you will be traveling and on your own medical history. In addition to consulting with a medical professional, please visit the following websites for country specific information around immunizations and traveler’s health. Please let us know if you have specific questions.
www.traveldoctor.com.au – The Travel Doctor
www.smartraveller.gov.au – Australian Government Travel Advice
www.cdc.gov – Centre of Disease Control (US)
HX Global is one of the world’s leading providers of medical evacuation and travel services. All participants traveling with Rustic Pathways will have access to HX Global benefits through Rustic Pathways’ membership.
As a member you will have access to HX Global’s extensive travel information database to help you make informed decisions prior to travel. Additionally, all travelers who travel outside their country of residence will have access to medical evacuation support during their program.
This program can cater to most specific diets including but not limited to vegetarian, vegan, gluten and lactose free, as well as peanut free cooking.
Malaria is present throughout the country of Cambodia. Mosquitos tend to pop up whenever the rain starts, and at night. Please bring a bottle of mosquito repellant with the proper amount of DEET (at least 30% DEET is recommended). Packing a lightweight long sleeve shirt and pants to wear at night for extra protections is also a great idea! Students will be provided mosquito nets when in Kampong Cham. Be sure to consult with a travel doctor or your family physician regarding additional precautions to take.
Personal gifts, Internet, phone calls, and snacks are not included. All other costs (accommodation, meals, in-country transportation, and activities) are included in the program price.
Part of traveling internationally is learning how to be responsible for your belongings. All students are responsible for carrying their own personal spending money and you must be prepared for this responsibility. On average, most students require a minimum of AUS $100-$150 for incidental expenses (including laundry, any extra snacks, souvenirs, etc.). The night markets in Siem Reap have an amazing variety of crafts, clothing, and unbelievable miscellaneous trinkets. Shopping there is a real treat, so budget more if you’re a big time shopper and less if you’re a go light, less is more, bring home only the memories kind of traveler.
ATMs are widely available in Cambodia, and students are encouraged to bring ATM cards to limit the risk of theft as they travel. We suggest bringing $200 AUD in cash and then using an ATM if additional money is needed. Don’t forget to call your financial institution beforehand to let them know you’ll be traveling out of the country and ask about any additional fees!
Rustic Pathways Travel Pty Ltd
ACN 145 984 452 ABN 82 145 984 452
Vic Travel Agent's License No. TA-0032954-C
1800 321 435 (within Australia)
+61 3 5972 0862 (outside Australia)
+61 3 8738 1553 (fax)
PO Box 3453
Mornington VIC 3931, Australia