The first thing you notice about Siem Reap is that it is a city of huge contrast. Five star hotels perch on litter lined streets as children in threadbare clothes play in between busloads of tourists. As you venture further into the colonial heart of the city these contrasts blend into a harmonious hubbub where street vendors and tuk tuk drivers nestle in between exquisite restaurants and boutique stores.
The proximity of the majestic Angkok Wat has led to Siem Reap receiving in excess of one million visitors per year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people only staying for a couple of days and are often haunted by the glimpses of extreme poverty they see. By choosing to volunteer here you will be contributing to the poorest country in South East Asia while living in a fantastically vibrant city.
The Travel to Teach project is situated ten kilometers outside of the city providing a perfect compromise for those volunteers who want to experience rural Khmer life while enjoying the amenities of modern services and entertainment.
To see what a typical day at the Siem Reap project is like take a look at the video below:
A Typical Day Volunteering in Cambodia
Art encompasses every aspect of the orphanage, the founder is a fantastic artist and the children love to paint whenever they have free time. Historically the artwork produced by Leng and the children has been sold to tourists to help sustain the orphanage however the corruption from local authorities is making this increasingly difficult. From 2011 onward the orphanage plans to stage four international art exhibitions annually with the hope of generating enough income to sustain them throughout the year. Taking their art abroad is a huge step and the children are desperate for creative input. All types of artists are welcome and we would love to hear from you if you have any specific techniques that you would like to teach.
Our partner in Siem Reap is a small arts orphanage located 10kms outside of the city. Founded by a Khmer couple the orphanage currently takes care of 22 children providing them with safe place to live, proper nutrition, healthcare and education. Volunteers will work in the orphanage for six hours per day teaching English and ICT to the children and assisting them with numerous art related projects and activities.
Due to the small size of the orphanage we can only receive one or two volunteers at a time and prefer volunteers to stay for over four weeks.
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Read how your fees are spent or compare our
prices with other volunteer organisations.
View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.
Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can
be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our
full application form.
(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.
(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.
(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.
For the majority of our programs, you can join us for any amount of time from 4 weeks to six months.
We recommend a trip of three to six months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will be able to learn some Khmer and you will have time to get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay.
May: Sat 25
June: Sat 8, Sat 22
July: Sat 6, Sat 20
August: Sat 3, Sat 17, Sat 31
September: Sat 14, Sat 28
October: Sat 12, Sat 26
November: Sat 9, Sat 23
December: Sat 7, Sat 21
|January: Sat 4, Sat 18
February: Sat 1, Sat 15
March: Sat 1, Sat 15, Sat 29
April: Sat 12, Sat 26
|May: Sat 10, Sat 24
June: Sat 7, Sat 21
July: Sat 5, Sat 19
August: Sat 2, Sat 16, Sat 30
|September: Sat 13, Sat 27
October: Sat 11, Sat 25
November: Sat 8, Sat 22
December: Sat 6, Sat 20
Our Volunteers stay at Angkor Backpacker Inn Guesthouse in Siem Reap town - a short walk from the city centre and all the restaurants, shops, banks and other amenities. You will have a single bedroom with cable TV, fridge and western style bathrooms (aircon is available at an additional fee). Internet is also available free at the guesthouse.
Siem Reap is Cambodias no 1 tourist location and a lively city. The amazing temples in the Angkor Tom Precinct provide endless hours for exploring these architectural wonders. They are the obvious choice for free time with most visitors to Siem Reap especially artists & photograpers just soaking it all in – these also provide great material for the children if you are providing art classes.
Many hotels will allow you to use their pool facilities for a small daily fee. Cycling & exploring the surrounds of town is a pleasant pastime – many simple villages are fun to explore & photograph, but take care you don’t offend people by taking pics without first asking permission – they usually love to look at the pic on your camera replay! And if you are kind enough to revisit with hard copies, you will win their admiration
Pub St is a lively place to dine nightly with several night clubs for young people to meet other travellers & expats to interact with & get to know more about life in this lively cosmopolitan city.
Thailand, Laos & Vietnam are only a days bus ride away for the adventurous in their off time or before or after your volunteer period – Phnom Penh is 6 hours away or ride the Battenbang bamboo railway & explore that province - only a few hours away by bus.
Meals are exciting & cheap – they are your own responsibility however, you are welcome to share the children’s lunch Monday to Friday with them. Breakfasts are widely available from around $0.50, street fare from $2 and $3.50-$4 buys most meals in the restaurants.
The weather in Cambodia is hot and humid throughout the year with 2 distinct seasons, hot, from December to April, and rainy (although still hot) from May to November. The coolest time of the year is November – February where temperatures average approximately 22 degrees CelsiusSiem Reap Weather Chart
TO and FROM SIEM REAP – Siem Reap has a modern airport which handles most of the tourist air traffic to Cambodia. Busses to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh arrive daily & the trip takes around 6 hours. Buses from Bangkok arrive daily & trip takes around 11hours – book with a travel agent in Bangkok is simplest. You will be met at the airport or bus station & taken to your guest house with arrangements for the next day given to you then.
The orphanage is 10 kms from Siem Reap town. A bicycle is supplied for your use while volunteering - it takes around 35 – 40 mins passing by the edges of Angkor Wat moat & is very pleasant & atmospheric. You will be supplied with an official Volunteer Tag to make passing the ticket office easier.
Motos to the orphanage are around $3 each way & Tuk Tuk $4 each way if you prefer at your own expense. We can recommend good honest transport people for you to use if you wish, but all ages seem to love the easy bike ride.
There are two options for your visa depending on the length of your stay:
Business Visa $25, valid one month, renewable for up to one year, available at point of entry. Visa extension: $45 for a month, $75 for three months.
Tourist visa : $20, valid one month, renewable only once for one month, available at point of entry. Visa extension $45. If you overstay just a few days, better pay a fine ($5/day)
NGO visa, applied by the school on behalf of volunteers who stay minimum 3 months. Valid 3 months and renewable for six months. $20 to pay to the school at arrival and at renewal.
If you will be volunteering for 3 months please send a scanned copy of your passport to email@example.com three weeks before you are planning to arrive in Phnom Penh to ensure the visa is arranged on time. On arrival at Phnom Penh Airport report to the immigration counter and show the copy of the visa that the school will have sent you. Do not apply for any other visa!
Please Note: Volunteers at our Siem Reap and Phnom Penh projects are required to provide evidence of a police check-up prior to starting their placement.
If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php
At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.
Courses or boosters usually advised: hepatitis A, typhoid;
Vaccines sometimes advised: Japanese B encephalitis, rabies, tuberculosis, hepatitis B.
Malaria: You cannot be vaccinated against malaria. Malaria precautions are advised in all areas, except Phnom Penh, the Mekong river delta and in the rice growing areas around the large inland lake of Tonle Sap. Avoid mosquito bites by covering up with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers especially after sunset, using insect repellants on exposed skin, and sleeping under a mosquito net (nets will be provided by Travel to Teach)
One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.