At a glance
Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime on a Discovery Tour in Cambodia. You’ll go on a journey of cultural immersion that will take you from ancient to modern Cambodia.
You’ll get to know the warmth and friendliness of the local people by accompanying them in their everyday life. You’ll experience the spiritual path in the temples, explore the cities and try all new flavours and delicacies.
Seize the opportunity to explore Cambodia beyond what the typical tourist gets to see.
Throughout the yearSee Dates
18 or over
What are the highlights of my Discover Cambodia trip?
Prepare to make lifelong friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Here are the highlights of our Discovery Tour in Cambodia:
- Visit the magnificent Angkor Wat Temples
- Explore the Royal Palace, home to the king of Cambodia
- Visit the S21 Museum and The Killing Fields to learn about the Khmer Rouge Regime
- Meditate with the monks and receive a water blessing
- Learn how to cook fragrant Cambodian dishes and eat them too
- Ask questions about the country during a private meeting with the UN representative at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Is this trip to Cambodia right for me?
If you're a culture and history buff looking for a unique travel experience, then our Discovery Tour in Cambodia is for you. We’ve arranged experiences and activities that are not available to other travellers. We’ll show you the everyday life of the locals, teach you about the country’s history and culture, and still fit in famous tourist attractions. Because what trip is complete without them?
All travellers over the age of 18 are welcome to join. The only requirement is an average level of fitness due to the nature of a few of the activities and hikes.
During your stay, you’ll be living in a variety of shared accommodations as you move around Cambodia, including host families and hotels. This is a great way to get to know your fellow travellers and the locals you’re living among.
Day 1 – Arrival in Phnom Penh
Our staff will pick you up from the airport and drive you straight to the accommodations you’ll be sharing with your group. Depending on your arrival time, you can spend the day exploring the city or just relaxing and catching your breath from the long trip.
Once your whole group has arrived, you’ll head out for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Use this time to get to know our staff and the rest of your group.
Day 2 – Royal Palace, Wat Phnom, central market and documentary
Your day will start with an induction to the country, your itinerary and Cambodian cultural etiquette. As part of the induction, our staff will run through some basic Khmer expressions that will come in handy during your trip.
After lunch, you’ll go on a city tour. Phnom Penh is a lively city with many French colonial buildings and plenty of sites to see. We’ll take you to visit the Royal Palace, which is home to the king of Cambodia. You’ll also see the Silver Pagoda with its impressive gold and jewelled Buddha statues.
After the Royal Palace, you’ll stop by Wat Phnom Temple, the tallest religious structure in the city. You’ll walk around the park and learn about the many local dignitaries who were buried there. You’ll finish off your tour with a stop at the Central Market. You’ll find everything from food and clothing to jewellery and furniture.
In the evening, you’ll prepare for the next day by watching a documentary on the Khmer Rouge Regime and its brutal policy.
Day 3 – S21 Museum and the Choung Ek Killing Fields
To understand present-day Cambodia, you’ll start by learning about its recent dark history with the Khmer Rouge regime under ruler Pol Pot (1975 - 1979). This regime was responsible for the deaths of an estimated two million people. A number that is truly hard to fathom.
To learn more, you’ll visit the S21 Museum and the Choeung Ek Killing Fields which are chronical of the Cambodian genocide. Both preserve a tragic period in history with the aim to encourage visitors to be messengers of peace.
Day 4 – Siem Reap, Apsara dance show and night market
Early in the morning, you’ll begin the long journey to Siem Reap. Afterwards, you can rest and recover or enjoy a swim in the hotel pool.
Get ready for a treat as you enjoy dinner and a traditional Apsara dance show. Afterwards, you’ll visit a night market to get a vibe of the local trade. From enticing flavours, to original-made local products, there is something for everyone there.
Day 5 – Sunrise at Angkor Wat and night market
Your day will start super early so that you can watch the sunrise over the incredible Angkor Wat Temples. Remember to capture the iconic sight on camera or simply be in the moment taking in the view of the world’s largest religious site in all its splendour.
After a long day exploring the temples, you can cool off in the hotel pool and explore another night market.
Day 6 – Floating villages, Genevieve's Fair Trade Village, APOPO visitor centre and cooking class
The first destination for the morning is the floating villages living on the Tonle Sap Lake. This will be followed by a visit to Genevieve's Fair Trade Village. This is a social enterprise focused on creating a fair trade environment that benefits artisans and craftspeople with disabilities, in the Siem Reap area. They create quality goods, for fair prices.
You’ll then visit the APOPO visitor centre where you’ll learn about the impact of landmines on local communities and see trained search rats in action.
Your day will end with a fun cooking class. The chefs will teach you how to make an authentic quality Khmer dish, so you can take the food of Cambodia home with you.
Day 7 – Battambang, temples and bat caves
You’ll travel to Battambang and stop at various temples, which are always a welcomed source of tranquillity.
Close to dusk, you’ll explore the bat caves. It’s something of a spectacle to see the millions of bats pour from caves and zoom into the sky, on their way to the surrounding countryside.
Day 8 – Community work
We’ll introduce you to the community in Battambang where you’ll get to assist the locals with their day-to-day work. Depending on the season, you’ll spend the day helping in the rice fields or learning how to make handcrafts.
You’ll leave to Kampong Chhnang in the late afternoon.
Day 9 – Kampong Chhnang, pottery class and Tonle Sap Lake
Kampong Chhnang is known for producing traditional Khmer everyday pottery. You’ll spend time in a village, learn about the craft and work some clay yourself. Finish off your community visit with a stop at the riverside market.
You’ll also stop at Tonle Sap, the biggest lake in Cambodia. The shape-shifting lake swells and evaporates with the seasons, which gives rise to one of Cambodia’s most fascinating natural sights.
Day 10 – Phnom Oudong, monk blessing and local market
You’ll leave early in the morning to Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, where you’ll climb 509 steps up to Phnom Oudong. From the top, you’ll see the majestic views of the Cambodian countryside. Stand in line and receive a blessing from the monks, a spiritual experience that will guide you on your travels.
Back in the city, you’ll visit the local market. Prepare yourself for some local crawling delicacies: crickets, tarantulas and other insects. The variety is there, all you need is courage.
In the early afternoon, you’ll leave for Takeo.
Day 11 – Community work
We’ll introduce you to the local community where you’ll assist with the day-to-day activities in the village. Depending on the seasonal needs, you can work in the rice fields, learn how to make crafts from coconut, and work and weave cotton.
Day 12 – Tonle Bati Lake, Ta Prohm temple and meditation at Wat Langka
You’ll spend the morning with the community in Takeo before heading out to Tonle Bati, a popular lake and picnic area. It is a nice and quiet spot where you can just relax.
Next stop is Ta Prohm temple. This temple is a popular site for local filmmakers and a picture-perfect location for wedding photos.
Back in Phnom Penh, you’ll get to join a meditation session at Wat Langka temple. The monks follow the Vipassana style, but the sessions here are not guided, so you can just join and meditate in your own way.
Day 13 – Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, water blessing and farewell dinner
For a trip like no other, we’ve organised for your group to have a private meeting at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. You’ll meet the UN representative who will gladly clarify for you all the topics you put up for discussion. Seize this opportunity to ask questions - an opportunity that is not accessible to regular tourists.
To end your trip on a spiritual note, we’ll take you to receive a water blessing from the monks at a nearby temple. The ritual lasts about one hour and it has different stages. It ends with water being poured over you for five minutes. It is definitely a spiritual experience that you’ll remember forever.
In the evening, you’ll finish off with a delicious barbeque farewell dinner followed by karaoke. Eat your fill and sing your heart out on your last night in Cambodia!
Day 14 – Departure from Phnom Penh
Depending on the time of your flight, you’ll be free to explore Phnom Penh. Find those last souvenirs, eat that last bit of Cambodian chicken curry and take the time to say your goodbyes. You might have even made lifelong friends during your trip!
*Please note that the one-week itinerary will be the same as above, however, day seven will be departure day.
Food and accommodation
You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad travellers during your stay in Cambodia. This is a great way to get to know each other, share experiences, and explore your surroundings during your free time together.
The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.
Find out more about our accommodation.
Safety and staff support
Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.
Find out more about safety and backup.
This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
Meet the team Cambodia
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