Volunteering isn’t just about giving something back to a community or helping protect vulnerable ecosystems, it’s also about having the chance to travel and explore! Travelling and volunteering can help you gain a deeper understanding of the cultures you’re visiting, and helps to create the invaluable memories from your time away.
For those of you that have chosen or are thinking of volunteering in Cambodia, we thought we’d bring you five wondrous activities to fill your spare time.
(1) Angkor Wat
It is one of the most recognisable places in the world; hundreds gather every day at sunrise to capture an iconic photograph of the brilliantly coloured sky behind the dark and beautiful outline of the temple. It is a must to make the pilgrimage there, try and ignore the many other people, and enjoy the beauty of the serene place.
Image courtesy of Arian Zwegers
(2) Phnon Penh Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda
The Royal Palace serves as the royal residence of the King of Cambodia, the Silver Pagoda is a compound located on the South side of the palace complex - its main building houses many national treasures such as gold and jewelled Buddha statues. This is a definite port of call for visitors to Cambodia for its beautiful buildings, and the beauties it contains.
Image courtesy of Davidlohr Bueso
(3) Tonle Sap Lake
The area of Tonle Sap Lake is home to many ethnic Vietnamese and numerous Cham communities, living in floating villages around the lake. Approximately 1.2 million people living in the greater Tonle Sap make their living by fishing on the local waters. It is quite the sight, and is perfect for great photographs of the surreal way of living.
Image courtesy of Juan Antonio Segal
(4) Bamboo Island
Often described as ‘paradise’, with its white sandy beaches and clear blue seas, Bamboo Island is a small island off the coast of Sihanoukville that is a favourite with travellers wanting to rest and recuperate in surroundings that can only make you feel like you have found something special. Catch a boat out to the island – you won’t regret it.
Image courtesy of Sergey
(5) Try Red Tree Ants with Beef and Holy Basil
It is not uncommon to find all sorts of insect based dishes on Cambodian restaurant and street market menus, but the dish that is most appealing and easiest to enjoy for foreign palates is stir-fried red tree ants with beef and holy basil. It is usually served with rice, but if you're very lucky you may also get a portion of ant larvae in your bowl.
Image courtesy of Charles Lam