Something as simple as choosing where you eat can provide immense support to a number of wonderful organizations who take it upon themselves to provide free training and education in the culinary arts. For a gourmet local experience, we recommend Spoons, Haven and Marum restaurants. For a sweeter affair, you can't go wrong with the likes of Bayon Pastry School and the sensational cakes at Bloom. The students of these organizations usually come from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and the training provided to them helps to break the poverty cycle by providing them with skills and the confidence to make a living for themselves and their families.
Whilst we do not support voluntourism in Cambodia, we certainly advocate for anyone who would like to give back as they travel! Siem Reap is part of a developing country and can only benefit from those who visit with the intention of supporting a community which is almost entirely centered around tourism. Giving back is not always about money, there are many ways in which you can support the local community in Siem Reap as you are passing through...
If you've spent some time traveling through Asia, you may have heard the expression "same same, but different" once or twice. Shopping in Cambodia is largely no different to the rest of Asia, in that you will find the same mass produced souvenirs in most markets and stores. These are often not made in-country and provide very little income or trade support to the local community. Siem Reap is home to some unique boutiques and shopping locations which will enable you to support the local community through your purchases. Our recommendations include Made in Cambodia Market - which is home to many upcycled and recycled souvenirs made by local NGO's to support trade in local villages. For boutiques we would recommend Saarti, Trunkh, Artisans D'Angkor and Louise Loubatieres; all of whom offer locally sourced and locally crafted products.
FIND THE ADVENTURE YOU SEEK
GIVING BACK IN SIEM REAP
We get it, you're busy tripping around Southeast Asia and there's not much to see in Siem Reap besides temples right? Wrong! There is so much to see and do in Siem Reap that we couldn't possibly list it all here for you! Every adventure in Siem Reap is planned at our travel desk specifically to suit your tastes and budget. So to get you started in adventure, here are a few adventures you might like to line up before you arrive...
Blood transfusions save lives! Angkor Hospital for Children was founded on the belief that every child has the right to a healthy life. Since they first opened their doors in 1999, this facility has provided more than 1.5 million treatments to Cambodia’s poorest children and their families, have been officially recognized as one of Cambodia’s few paediatric teaching hospitals Whether given to an open heart surgery patient, a child suffering from chronic haemophilia or to a survivor of a motor bike accident, your 350ml blood donation will have a direct, positive impact upon the child who receives it. Donors must be between 18-60 years old; weigh more than 45kg; have not donated in the last 3 months for men or 4 months for women and be in relatively good health.
For more information visit http://angkorhospital.org/
Most weekends in Siem Reap, you will find something happening around town in support of one of our local NGO's. Whether is it a music quiz or a gala dinner, these events are designed to raise funds for extremely worthy causes which provide education, community support, de-mining services, healthcare and much more to the local and outlying communities of Siem Reap. Whilst we don't advocate visiting schools as part of your journey, we most certainly do advocate supporting the organizations and people who remain in Siem Reap for the long term to provide this invaluable and continuing support to our community. Check with our travel desk to find out what is happening around town during your stay!
Phare - The Cambodian Circus is one of the highlights of visiting Siem Reap! This is a 1 hour, high energy acrobatic show that will tell you a story in a way that could only be compared to Cirque de Solai (at a fraction of the price)! The circus in Siem Reap is a social enterprise supporting Phare Ponleu Selapak, an arts school in nearby Battambang that educates over 1200 children in the arts every year, for free! Your night out will not only provide you with a thrilling display of Cambodian artistry, but you will also be supporting an organization created by Cambodians to educate Cambodians. This is one of our ‘not to be missed’ activities in Siem Reap!
Tickets from $18USD per person
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