By Rustic Pathways   Reviews (12)   94% Rating

Rustic Pathways | Cambodia

By Rustic Pathways   Reviews (12)   94% Rating

Join Rustic Pathways in Cambodia and experience the stunning beauty of the country and it’s warm and welcoming people. Our Country Director and incredible team of local staff have developed unique, culturally immersive programs, including long-term service initiatives designed in partnership with local communities and nongovernmental organizations. All programs visit the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, a stunning sight even for travel veterans. These adventures are not only educational but highly involved, and will open your eyes to the complex beauty of Cambodia.

“Cambodia is an enthralling country that expanded my thoughts on human strength and suffering. I learned about the history and people of a whole new country. I also got to engage with a community vastly different from my own, and for that, I believe I am a more understanding and compassionate person.”
--Pascale Bronder, Cambodia Alum ‘12

Locations
Asia › Cambodia
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
Language
English
Housing
Guesthouse
Hostel
Hotel
Cost
Cost does not include international airfare.
Starting Price
0.00

Rating Values

  • Impact
    89%
  • Support
    96%
  • Fun
    96%
  • Value
    90%
  • Safety
    97%

Program Reviews (12)

Michelle
Female
48 years old
Palo Alto, California
University of Oxford

Interesting, and safe, but missed opportunities

Overall 8

I'm writing as a parent. My daughter just completed the Floating Villages trip to Cambodia. This was her second trip with Rustic Pathways. She enjoyed it, though not quite as much as the trip to Tanzania. It wasn't as "rustic", with a lot more hotel stays and general tourism. She knew that would be the case before going. In the event, she was disappointed that the group didn't take more advantage of the opportunities to visit museums and sights. She says they spent just 1.5 hours at Angkor Wat because the majority of the group wanted to go back to the hotel "to rest" (aka play with their phones), and this happened several times. The group leaders needed to be more forceful about saying "you have this amazing opportunity, you can rest any time" and actually leading them. Her impression is that most of the kids had been sent by their parents - whereas she had actually selected the trip - and that made them less enthusiastic travelers. She doesn't plan to take another trip with Rustic, though she thinks our middle school daughter would get something out of it.

How can this program be improved?
Make sure the participants actually want to be there. Don't be so wimpy about the activity timetable. Less time in hotels. Fewer connecting flights on the trip out so the travel doesn't take two days!
Izzy
Female
18 years old
Seattle

Best experiance of my life

Overall 10

I went on this trip thinking i was going to help others but when i got there i realized i was also helping myself, I helped out in schools and built a home for a struggling family while at the same time i made friends that will last a life time, i clicked with the people on my trip faster than my friends at home because the people on my trip where more like me. This program is definatley something everyone should do, i came home wiser and more aware of my surroundings while knowing i helped Cambodian people. Im definalty going on another rustic trip next year -Izzy

How can this program be improved?
When you fly home the LAX kids and JFK kids are seperated in singapore, we only had 3 minutes to say goodbye, it wasnt long enough.
Julia
Female
18 years old
Boulder, Colorado

Floating Village Project

Overall 10

Cambodia is one of the most interesting and beautiful places I've ever been to. Siem Reap is a great city and Angkor Wat was amazing. But the best part about my trip was getting to stay in the floating villages and stay on a boat. The people are so welcoming and the kids are so friendly. The way of life in this village is drastically different than anything I've ever seen before. All of the houses are completely floating and move in location year round due to water levels. They keep crocodiles in farms, and go out on their boats every morning to fish. This experience was unforgettable, because I never expected to see anything like that in my life. I made good friends from America and across the world on this crazy adventure that i will never forget.

qwerty
Female
18 years old
Los Angeles

Off The Map: Cambodia

Overall 7

I thought that the trip overall was amazing. I got to experience completely new and unexpected things, ranging from riding an elephant through the jungle, to getting a fish massage in Siem Riep. The only issue I had was the social aspect of it. The group was larger than usual, so there were lots of kids... meaning 2 giant groups with subcliques. But if you're reading this and thinking, 'ooh i better not do this program then', then please consider the fact that every group is different and I may have just gotten a bad combination of kids. Plus, the staff definitely tried their hardest to bond us with games in the first few days. But the trip itself was an experience that I am so grateful to have had, and I did meet a lot of wonderful staff members and friends that will last a lifetime!! Thank you Rustic!!!

How can this program be improved?
Not as many people!
Zia
Female
23 years old
Amherst, Ma
University of Massachusetts- Amherst

Great Time

Overall 10

This is a trip to always remember. I have always been intrigued by Cambodian history, and actually visiting all the places (S-21, Angkor Wat) was amazing. Not only that, but we got to do a home stay in a village which was incredible; we got to have a traditional Cambodian meal with the locals, while walking around their village. It was absolutely wonderful! The staff was extremely nice and friendly and definitely contributed to the wonderful experience.

How can this program be improved?
The length I stayed-- I wish I had gone for longer.
LOVEDCAMBODIA
Female
18 years old
California

Great time!

Overall 10

One of the best experiences i had. The staff were great the service work was fantastic and educational. The main drawback was the high cost of the trip and flying with rustic pathways was very expensive.

Diana
Female
18 years old
Boston, Mass

Cambodia Children's Project

Overall 10

This experience was one of the most exciting, fascinating, and rewarding things I have ever done in my life. Being able to travel to such a far distance from home and still feel welcomed by the leaders and by the community was an amazing part of this trip. I learned so much about the Cambodian culture, and I've honestly fallen in love with this country thanks to Rustic. I'm planning on studying abroad in Cambodia in college, and I'm taking another trip with Rustic this summer!

dalh2755
Female
18 years old
Canada
Other

Cambodia Orphanage Project

Overall 10

I don't think I have ever connected and had as much fun with kids in my life. Even with a language barrier, I still made best friends for life that I will definitely one day have to go back and see once again. Monks and Rustic Pathways staff were amazing, food was incredible, and everything about Cambodia that we saw made me crave more experiences exactly like it. I think I learned more in my 11 days in the State then a whole year at school. Just simply breathtaking!

Provider Response

Wonderful to hear you had such a positive experience in Cambodia with us. We strongly believe these programs are powerful educational opportunities, and it's great to hear you thought so as well! Thank you for the review.

Danielle
Female
25 years old
Atlanta, Georgia

Cambodia: Off the Map

Overall 9

Junior year, my best friend and I decided to do a trip with rustic pathways. I had really hoped to do an environmentally focused trip however my friend had a different idea. He wanted to explore more of the social, historical and cultural aspects of Cambodia. As an open personal I agreed to doing the Off the Map trip instead (thank goodness I did!)

The trip really did take us through Cambodia exposing us to the beauty it had to offer. We explored the rugged jungle on elephants, walked along the Rabbit Island's sandy beaches, shopped in the urban markets of Phnom Penh, toured the French colonial city of Kampot, watched for dolphins on a river tour, taught Cambodian orphans English, helped to build a new library, hiked up Bokor mountain, visited the world famous temple, Angkor Wat and visited the killing fields. The trip without a doubt made 2011 the best summer of my life.

BCK123
Male
22 years old
Sandy Springs, Georgia

The Amazing Place Crammed between Thailand and Vietnam

Overall 10

After the painful 36 hours of flying to the other side of the world, I finally landed in the exotic lands of Southeast Asia. With swollen ankles and tired eyes, the Rustic Pathways groups split apart and were welcomed to Phnom Penh by the ironically named Mr. Thai and a young, shy Khmer man named Sokheng.

After resting for the night in a hotel that exceeded my expectations, the group embarked on the first day of the trip to Rabbit Island. A 3 or so hour drive to the coast, followed by a 20 minute boat ride brought us to the quiet, secluded bungalows and beaches of Rabbit Island. The rooms consisted of a mattress and a mosquito net, and the quietness of the whole scene made for a peaceful break from the developed world.

The couple days following we strolled through the French influenced town of Kampot. Massages from the blind and testing of traditional Khmer foods ensued. Just on the outskirts of town is Cambodia's tallest mountain, Bokor Mountain. We rode in open bed trucks to see the developing resort site, but further along the road was a trip into Cambodia's colonial history with a dilapidated French casino and church.

We returned to Phnom Penh after Kampot and this is where we delved into the dark recent history of Cambodia. We visited the S-21 Genocide Museum and The Killing Fields. We saw second hand the terror of the Khmer Rouge. Although the sites were depressing, seeing the rising skyline of Phnom Penh indicates a bright future for the nation in one of the world's fastest growing regions of the world.

The longest drive of the trip brought the group to Mondulkiri -- a remote town in the mountains of Cambodia. However, along the way our group got a taste of the infamous fried tarantulas -- taste a bit like terriyaki beef jerky, so I recommend taking a sample! In Mondulkiri we rode elephants through the trails viewing the less crowded side of Cambodia, and we enjoyed the tranquility of a riverside lunch and a show of elephants cleaning themselves.
A few days later we made our way to Kratie to see the dwindling population of river dolphins. While there were some hectic scenes of bumper boats, we still witnessed these endangered creatures in their homes in the Mekong.

The next stay of the trip was the most meaningful, we built the foundation of a library for an orphanage in Kampong Cham. We worked and played games with the orphans, and they even showed us their English skills by reading children's books. The orphanage is still developing, and Rustic Pathways has really started something special there!

The grand finale of our trip was in Siem Reap. Here we walked into the ancient temples of the Khmer Empire. While Angkor Wat is the most famous, the surrounding temples are just as awe-inspiring and made a fantastic last visit for the trip. After the temples, Mr. Thai took us on a surprise trip to a waterfall in the mountains surrounding Siem Reap. There were few tourists in the area and the beautiful falls also made a nice swimming hole underneath.
All in all, Cambodia: Off the Map helped make summer 2011 easily the best summer of my life. While the sites and food are fun aspects of the country, the wonderful, kind people make it a truly special place that anyone should try to visit!

alb7
Female
18 years old
Ithaca, NY
Other

The most influential experience of my life.

Overall 10

We we working hands-on and together with the staff of the program,which included locals, each-other, and the people of the community. The work was interactive and rewarding, as well as fun. It was clear that we were really making differences for individuals as well as the whole of the community. I defiantly felt immersed in another culture and gained many new understandings of other ways of life then the one I am accustomed to.

HappyCamper
Female
18 years old
Northampton, MA
Smith College

Loved it! Would go again in a heart beat!

Overall 9

I went to Cambodia, on an Orphanage trip during the summer of 2010, and I loved very second of it. Rustic was a wonderful program and offered a lot of financial aid which made my trip possible. They made it really simple to connect separate programs and go from one country to another. Travelling was a little mind numbing, but that is the only negative experience I had during my entire trip. As a young teen traveling by myself, I was nervous before I left, but I always felt safe and looked after while abroad. We stayed in a hotel, which offered a cool space to sleep with a television and a much welcomed clean shower. Internet was only a 5 minutes walk down the road and we always travelled with supervision. We worked at the orphanage each morning until mid afternoon; it was hard work but always well appreciated. During my trip, we built a stage of tile, so that the children could put on recitals to raise money for the orphanage; rebuilt roads that had sunk and flooded, worked in the rice paddies and also spent a lot of time bonding with the children there. We were also given the opportunity to visit some popular tourists sites and learn a lot about the Cambodian culture. It's a truly wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone.

About The Provider

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on purposeful community service projects, and expand your worldview with Rustic Pathways.

Whether you are looking for summer volunteer and travel programs, or gap year programs, Rustic Pathways is a great place to start!

Rustic Pathways | Cambodia

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