Cambodia Community Projects Fact File
Location of the Cambodia Community ProjectsThe project is based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, South East Asia and works with partner projects in and around the town, the furthest of which is about an hour’s tuk-tuk ride away from Globalteer’s HQ.
Cambodia has a population of 13 million. 90% of its people are ethnic Khmer and the predominant religion is Buddhism. English is widely spoken, as well as some French and Japanese. Siem Reap is just a few kilometres from the spectacular Angkor Wat complex of temples. The town attracts many tourists and therefore has many restaurants, bars, internet cafes as well as museums and cultural activities.
Volunteer AccommodationVolunteers in Siem Reap a choose between ‘standard’ accommodation or ‘upgrade’ accommodation, both of which are locally owned and close to shops and restaurants in the town of Siem Reap. Both options have 24 hour security and reception giving volunteers both peace of mind and easy access at all times. Standard accommodation is located approximately 100 metres from Globalteer’s offices in Siem Reap and the upgrade accommodation is less than a quarter of a mile away, meaning whichever option you choose, you will be close to other volunteers and of course to the Globalteer team. Rooms are single occupancy or can be shared if volunteers are travelling together. Please make sure you specify which accommodation option you would like when you fill in your application form.
Standard volunteer rooms are clean and comfortable, each with hot water, private toilet and shower. The rooms have fans but can be upgraded to air conditioning for a daily fee. Cable TV is available in all rooms with channels in English, and each room has a small fridge for storing cold drinks and snacks.The guest house also has a number of larger air-con rooms which are assigned on a first-come first-served basis to guests who pay the additional fee for air conditioning.
The guest house has a bar area and restaurant, all set in lovely leafy grounds, and Globalteer volunteers also have use of our very own social area - just right for a drink and snack after a long day working at your project. A small pool has also recently been installed for that refreshing end of day dip!
There are also plenty of Khmer restaurants near the guest house if you fancy "going local" in the evenings. Free WiFi
internet is available in rooms and in communal areas. We also have a team of friendly and reliable tuk-tuk drivers
on hand with specially negotiated rates should you need transport at any time
Globalteer's guesthouse provides a friendly and social environment for volunteers, and is located about 100 metres from Globalteer's offices. This enables us to offer unparalleled support
For more pictures, go to the Volunteer Cambodia Sports project photo gallery
Siem Reap upgrade Accommodation
Upgrade volunteer rooms are located in a modern hotel about a quarter of a mile from Globalteer’s Siem Reap offices. They offer a higher standard of comfort
and more facilities
for volunteers who don’t mind paying a little extra. For full details and photos of the upgrade accommodation, please click here
Getting to the projectThe nearest airport to this project is Siem Reap (Airport code REP).
To help you find the best air fares Globalteer has formed a partnership with a division of The Flight Centre Group who will tailor make your travel arrangements for you at a competitive price.
You can contact them for a free, no obligation travel quote by calling 0844 560 9944 from within the UK, or if you are outside the UK you can call +44(0)203 056 1146. Make sure you mention Globalteer when you call and if you do purchase your travel through them, Globalteer will receive a small donation. However, don’t forget that it’s up to you to make sure your travel arrangements are right for you and your project.
Getting to Siem Reap
There is an international airport 6km to the west of town. It is often easier to fly to an major destination such as Bangkok, Singapore or Hong Kong and then take a local budget airline to Siem Reap. Overland transport is also possible from neighbouring countries.
An easy and more environmentally friendly way to reach Siem Reap is by bus from Phnom Penh or Bangkok. Getting from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap by boat is also possible.
Visas are easily obtained on arrival at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh international airports. Visas are available at border crossings with Thailand and Vietnam but not always with Laos.
A tourist visa costs US$20 for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days only. A 'normal' visa (previously called a 'business visa') costs US$25 for 30 days and can be extended for an indefinite period of time.
Cambodia immigration authority ask that volunteers get a 'normal' (business) visa on arrival, even if they stay less than one month. By law, a 'normal' (business) visa permits visitors to volunteer.
Be aware that a passport with at least 6 months validity is required. You will also need to provide immigration with a passport size photograph.
Why not check out the Cambodia Community Project Gallery
or the Cambodia Sports Project Gallery
Siem Reap FactsSiem Reap is the tourist capital of Cambodia due to the magnificent temples of Angkor. This means that the town has many bars, restaurants, ATMs, internet cafes and hotels catering to foreigners' needs. The major economy in Siem Reap town is tourism although Siem Reap province remains one of the poorer provinces of Cambodia.
It is estimated that one third of Cambodia's population lives on less than one $US dollar per day. Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and around the Old Market. In the town, there are Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake.
The name Siem Reap actually means "Thais defeated" in reflexion of the many times that the Khmer people re-took the Angkor temples from the expanding Thai kingdom. The town is situated on the north east edge of the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia, Tonle Sap Lake, whose rich resources supported the construction of the temples of Angkor.
The area around the old market provides a lively night life, especially along the aptly named "pub street". Siem Reap provides for all tastes, with worldwide cuisine from Thai, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Italian as well as menus catering to western tastes. There are quiet cafes, lively bars and nightclubs.
Bars - more than 70
Restaurants - more than 180
Plenty of markets, stores and street vendors selling souvenirs, textiles, clothes, food, appliances and just about anything you will need.
Emergency services - there are many health clinics with doctors and pharmacies around the town for minor ailments. There is one international hospital (Royal Angkor International Hospital) which provides international standard medical services, 24 hour emergency care, ambulance, translation and evacuation services.
Police - Siem Reap has a dedicated tourist police service for visiting foreigners.
Embassies - all international embassies are located in the capital Phnom Penh.
Got a question about volunteering in Cambodia? Try our Cambodia Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions
Globalteer volunteers in Siem Reap can get some generous discounts on local businesses if you show them your Globalteer ID card. Find out where you can make those all important savings here.
We've put together a useful map of all the local teams' favourite places in Siem Reap - from restaurants and bars, massage spas, shops, tourist attractions - and the best places to get coffee in town!
to view our tailor-made map.
Cambodia has four seasons.
1. November to February, cool and dry.
2. March to May, hot and dry.
3. June to August, hot and wet.
4. September to October, cool and wet.
The hot season rarely reaches above 35C and the cool season may go as low as 20C. The monsoon rains follow a regular pattern of 1 to 3 hours of rain in the afternoon making them easy to plan around. Dry season can be dusty and in the wet season the countryside becomes spectacularly green.
You can read more about the climate in Cambodia and what to expect at different times of year here
Local ExpensesThe official currency is the Riel although $US dollars are used in most transactions and the Riel is used as small change.
4000 Riel ~ $1 US dollar.
Bicycle = Free for Globalteer volunteers (US$2 per day for tourists).
Moto taxi = 2000 Riel for a short journey, US$10 for all day.
Tuk-tuk = US$1 for a short journey, US$13 for all day.
Taxi car = US$60 for the 5 hour journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Bus = US$8 for the 6 hour journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Food and drink:
Meal at local food stall = Less than US$1
Meal in restaurant = US$2 to $20
Soft drink in a restaurant = US$0.50 to US$1
Glass of draught beer = US$1
Drinking water (1.5l) = US$0.50 to US$1 (free drinking water is available at Globalteer House for refilling bottles).
Keeping in touch:
Internet cafes = less than US$1 per hour
Telephone calls = approximately 1000 to 2000 Riel per minute to Western countries. If you are spending a long time in Cambodia then many people bring their own mobile cellular phone and purchase a sim card locally for around US$5 making text messages a very affordable and versatile option for communicating.
The post office is located near the centre of town.
There are many ATM's in the town centre.
Travellers cheques are also a good option in Cambodia, commission is often as low as 1%.
Visa withdrawal can be found at a few banks.
Money transfer facilities are also available in town via Western Union.
Laundry services are available at Globalteer House for US$1 per kilo.
Various types of massage techniques for US$5 to US$10 per hour, the best being "seeing hands massage" - an organisation supporting the local blind community.
Extra activities in Cambodia and AsiaVisitors come to Siem Reap to visit the temples of Angkor. There are over 100 temples scattered in the area in various states of decay, some in overgrown jungle, some on lakes. Rest assured everyone leaves with their own personal favourite temple!
Some people visit for one day to see the main attractions but we would recommend 3 days exploring the temples to get a much better overview of this incredible period in Cambodian history. On arrival in Siem Reap our friendly staff can advise the best ways and times to visit the temples.
The town has many museums and cultural activities for you to visit including:
The land-mine museum - which displays the many mines, weapons and bombs from Cambodia’s turbulent past.
Tonle Sap Lake - visit this huge lake which is home to thousands of refugees whose entire community has grown on the lake from floating schools to shops and houses. Also venture further to see the wildlife sanctuary which is home to several species of endangered birds.
Cambodia living arts - experience the enchanting music of Cambodia, lose yourself watching spectacular shadow puppetry or relax and watch the colourful Khmer dancing.
For the more adventurous there is quad biking
, horse riding
, hot air ballooning
, dirt bike riding
, helicopter rides
The town has many markets and shops catering to a variety of needs and also over 200 restaurants and bars. You may even have the opportunity to spend time with the Monks
and gain a unique insight into their lives and the Buddhist religion. Globalteer has negotiated discounts and special offers
for our volunteers with many of the town's shops, restaurants and tour operators, helping you to save money on all those little travelling essentials!
Cambodia borders Thailand, Vietnam
and there are cheap international flights from Siem Reap to many destinations in South East Asia.
The Temples of AngkorThe millennium old temple ruins of the Angkorian Khmer Empire are designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. There are dozens of major temples, the most famous being Angkor Wat whose artistic and archaeological significance and impact put it in class with the Pyramids, Machu Pichu and the Taj Mahal.
At its height, the Khmer empires capital was home to over one million people, holding sway over modern Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. The Temples were built between the 8th and 13th centuries and are spread out some 40 miles around the village of Siem Reap. Some temples have been restored, some cleared of vegetation whilst others remain shrouded in jungle giving a unique and memorable vision of huge trees growing through ancient ruins.
General facts about CambodiaCountry name: Conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia. Conventional short form: Cambodia. Local short form: Kampuchea
Area: Total: 181,040 sq km
Terrain: Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Population: 13.5 million
Age structure: 0-14 years: 37.3%, 15-64 years: 59.7%, 65 years and over: 3.1%
Life expectancy at birth: Total population: 58.87 years male: 55.92 years female: 61.96 years
Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
Literacy: Definition: age 15 and over can read and write total population: 69.4% male: 80.8% female: 59.3% (2002)
Capital: Phnom Penh
Languages: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Government type: Stable multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993
International airports: Phnom Penh & Siem Reap
Currency : Riel (US$1 ~ 4000 Riel) - US$ are used for most transactions with Riel used as small change.
The Globalteer Difference
These days there are a great many opportunities to volunteer overseas, but not all organisations are the same.
Watch our short video presentation to see what makes Globalteer different from your average volunteering organisation!
Find out what previous volunteers
have to say about volunteering with our Cambodia Sports Project.
BuddhismThe predominant religion in Cambodia is Buddhism. Buddhism is a rather flexible religion which teaches that nothing is eternal and everything in the world is subject to change, only aging, sickness and death are certain and unavoidable. Buddhism has no unique creed, no single authority, no single sacred book. It focuses on the potential of the individual to obtain enlightenment or "nirvana".
Buddhism was founded from the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, born in 566BC on the Indian - Nepalese border. He was from a privileged and wealthy family but became disillusioned with his life and left home to embark upon a life of wandering on a spiritual quest. As he sat meditating under a tree he had a profound experience called Bodhi or "awakening". He had a deep understanding of the nature of suffering, its cause and a way of stopping it. The Lord Buddha then devoted his life to teaching the way to cease suffering. By his death at the age of 80 he had a considerable following and a well organised community.
The eightfold path teaches the moral principles that all Buddhist should practice. Following this path helps a person realise that greed and selfishness cause all earthly suffering, with this understanding one's own suffering may end. Buddhism is a very peaceful religion that teaches morality, meditation and wisdom.