The 'Top 5 Must-Do's' When Volunteering in Cambodia!
Bordering Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cambodia is right in the heart of South East Asia. A torrid history ofviolence and colonial occupation has left the country greatly impoverished and underdeveloped, which means the need for enthusiastic volunteers is high. Luckily, there’s a lot to be enthusiastic about in this naturally beautiful country!
To start with, Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries in Asia, which means if you choose to volunteer here you won’t need a big budget. The fact you’re considering Volunteering in Cambodia means you’ve undoubtedly heard about Angkor Wat, the Killing Fields and the endless parade of temples to visit. If not, then every tuk tuk driver in Cambodia will offer to drive you there so you’ll learn soon enough about these must see locations. So here are a few other things to tick off whilst you’re Volunteering in Cambodia.
- Battambang Bamboo Train to the Rice Fields
There’s not too many places in the world you can ride a train where the carriage is a flatbed made of bamboo. This 30 minute ride takes you through some lovely scenery to the Cambodian rice fields. You’ll learn from your time Volunteering in Cambodia that the pace of life isn’t exactly all systems go. So when another bamboo train comes the other way you’ll have a laugh at the experience of one train disassembling and reassembling in order to pass trains coming the other way.
- Big Scary Guns
There was once a time when a tourist attraction in Cambodia was to fire a rocket launcher at a real life mooing cow.
Common sense has since prevailed in this starving nation and this abhorrent act has since been stopped. However you can still fire a rocket launcher for $200US in some baron land, as well as fire a large number of those big high powered guns that you see in war films.
Why Cambodia? Well Cambodia would have to be one of the cheapest places in the world to do it, so if you’ve ever wanted to give it a try…why not here?
- Eat Some Crazy Animals
You’ve chosen to Volunteer in Cambodia because you’re adventurous, so why not bring that spirit to the dinner table. Restaurants and street vendors throughout Cambodia serve tarantula.
You can also eat a Cambodian special animal platter that is a combination of snake, crocodile, raw beef, prawns and frog legs. The fact Cambodians appear to eat everything makes the idea they used to let tourists blow up delicious cows seem so wasteful.
- Kep and Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)
Technically these are two different things, but you depart from Kep to get to Rabbit Island so you absolutely must go to the crab market (allergies, personal taste and religious beliefs pending). The restaurants at the market give you a view of the staff wading through the sea capturing your lunch right there and then. It is so fresh and delicious that you won’t believe how cheap it is when the bill comes!
Spend the night on Rabbit Island. It’s a jungle covered island with serene beaches where you can stay in a bungalow for less than $10. It’s exceptionally quiet with no electricity, so it’s a great place to be alone with your thoughts and think just how great a decision it was to Volunteer in Cambodia.
- Visit Mondulkiri
Mondulkiri is a town trapped in a Cambodian time capsule. The indigenous population of Mondulkiri are the Bunong people who are still very traditional in their ways and what is unique about them is their practical use of elephants. You can also experience the Elephant Valley Project where the working elephants are retired and rescued. You’re not allowed to ride them there but you do get to interact with face to face which is a great experience in itself. The landscape of Mondulkiri is stunning, filled with waterfalls, jungle fit for trekking and a plethora of animals.