- Explore an 800-year-old ancient temple complex and get to know our friends in Banteay Chhmar as we learn about community-based tourism and heritage preservation.
- Dive deep into the Cambodian countryside as we help to build a permaculture centre designed for local farmers who are combatting drought and promoting sustainable agricultural practice.
- Volunteer at the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia, an ecotourism project that provides an alternative approach to elephant care, rehabilitation, and conservation.
- Live with homestays in northern hill tribe communities to learn about one of Thailand’s most successful volunteer- and community-based tourism initiatives.
- Feast your way through the streets of Chiang Mai, trying savory, sweet, and spicy delights… and everything in between!
Backpacking with a Purpose: Apply for 2018 programs today!
You might’ve heard of this region’s 30 cent street pad thai, deep-fried tarantulas, and bucket-fuelled dance parties. Sure enough, all of this exists, but there’s so much more.
Thailand is a country that seamlessly blends modernity with its deeply rooted cultural traditions. Cambodians are moving past their tragic recent history to forge a brighter and more equitable future. Both countries face many challenges – Thailand struggles with ongoing political divisions and widespread inequality and Cambodia is ranked as one of the world’s poorest nations. While thousands of backpackers stream through this part of the world, few are put in touch with these realities.
Our Southeast Asia programs are designed to dig beneath the surface of how this region is commonly experienced. From dedicated activists promoting sustainable farming practices to young break-dancers empowering a new generation of Cambodians, join Operation Groundswell to discover a Southeast Asia you had no idea existed.
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The program fee does not include flights, insurance, or personal expenses such as souvenirs. We also ask team members for a community contribution that goes directly to support our local in-country partners.
As a registered non-profit, we're committed to financial accessibility. Our Financial Needs Grant can cover 15-25% of your five- or six-week program fee and is available for anyone experiencing financial strain, including individuals from low-income households, students, and recent graduates.