Travel with The Village Experience to explore the beautiful countries of Thailand and Cambodia this December. In Thailand, we’ll visit cultural and historical sites, sample local foods, and hit the markets. We’ll then head South to Khao Lak and spend time with TVE project partners – Baan Than Namchai Orphanage and Women’s Artisan Group. In Cambodia, we’ll journey to Angkor Wat and volunteer with several local community based groups including Somaly Mam’s Voices for Change. Join us on this epic journey!
Dec 5 – Arrive to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand and check into hotel for overnight. A representative from our tour company will be at the airport with a “Village Experience” signboard to transfer you to the hotel.
Dec 6 – Spend today exploring the bustling city of Bangkok. Visit cultural, religious, and historical sites throughout the day including Wat Po, Wat Phra Kaew, and the Grand Palace. Break for lunch and massage on the infamous Khao San Road. We will have a special Welcome Dinner at Cabbage and Condoms Restaurant and learn about the work of Population Development Assistance (PDA). PDA’s mission is to empower Thailand’s rural communities to eradicate poverty. They have some rather unusual approaches to bringing awareness to their mission including Cabbage and Condoms Restaurants and Birds and Bees Resorts located throughout Thailand. All the proceeds from these two income-generating businesses go towards sex education and AIDS prevention programs in Thailand. Overnight at hotel. (B, L)
Dec 7 – After breakfast, board flight to Phuket in Southern Thailand. Transfer to SHE Thailand to visit with the ladies of the new Opportunity Collection Burmese Refugee Program. Continue on to the village of Khao Lak and check into hotel. On the way, stop for coffee and a snack at Home and Life Bakery – this is the income-generating business for Home and Life Orphanage. We will learn about this organization and visit with the children and administrators. Free evening for dinner. (B,L)
Dec 8 – Morning Elephant Trek through the jungle. Spend the afternoon with the children of Baan Than Namchai Orphanage and the women artisans creating The Opportunity Collection for The Village Experience. We will have lunch on site and spend time with the children and learn all about their entrepreneurial activities. Return to hotel in the evening. Free evening for dinner. (B,L)
Dec 9 – Morning visit to Saori Weaving Cooperative to meet more of the women behind The Opportunity Collection and Global Wristband Project. Spend the afternoon on the beach relaxing and taking in the beauty of Thailand’s gorgeous coastline. Return to hotel in the evening. (B)
Dec 10 – Depart in the morning for Phuket Airport. Fly back to Bangkok and be met at the airport for transfer to Thailand/Cambodia border town of Aranya Prathet. Overnight here and prepare to cross into Cambodia the next morning. (B)
Dec 11 – We will be met in the morning by our Cambodian team and transfer to Siem Reap. Visit Tonle Sap Lake Floating Villages and the Artisan D’Angkor carving stone school. Dinner will be at Sala Bai Hospitality Training Restaurant. Check into hotel for overnight. Our hotel is fully committed to giving back to the community and helps support artisan projects in the area, children’s education, and responsible tourism. (B,D)
Dec 12 – Spend today exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world! We will explore the Southgate area in the morning, break for lunch, and then visit the Angkor Wat Temple in the afternoon. Enjoy sunset on Bakheng Hill and dinner at a local restaurant in the evening. Return to hotel. (B,D)
Dec 13 – Free day to explore Siem Reap or spend another day at Angkor Wat. We suggest trying lunch at Butterflies Café and dinner at Marum Restaurant – run by local NGO Kaliyan Mith. Overnight at hotel. (B)
Dec 14 – Early departure to Phnom Penh. On the way, we will see the Kampong Kdei Bridge from the Angkorian Period. After lunch, spend the afternoon with Cambodian Children’s Fund. Off the Mat included this organization in their Cambodia Global Seva Challenge, and we will have the chance to meet the administrators, visit with the children, and see the progress of OTM Projects. Cambodian Children’s Fund provides life-changing education, nourishment and healing to vulnerable children from some of Cambodia’s most destitute communities. The organization started with 87 children and today cares for more than 1,200! Return to hotel for dinner and overnight. Our hotel for the next few nights is heavily involved in supporting former street children and local artisans in the community. (B,D)
Dec 15 –In the morning, we will visit The Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek to learn about Cambodia’s troubled past. Enjoy lunch and shopping in the afternoon at Daughter’s Project and Sugar ‘n Spice Café – projects working with victims of human-trafficking. Dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)
Dec 16 – Today will be spent with the Somaly Mam Foundation and Voices of Change. The Somaly Mam Foundation (SMF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of sex slavery and the empowerment of its survivors, led by the vision and life’s work of Cambodian survivor and activist Somaly Mam. Founded in 2007, the organization’s multilateral approach helps victims to escape their plight, empowers survivors with economic independence and as part of the solution, and engages governments, corporations, and individuals in the fight. We will learn all about their endeavors throughout Cambodia and hear the stories of these brave women. Enjoy lunch with the women and see their projects throughout the city. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight. (B.D)
Dec 17 – After breakfast, transfer to the Cambodia/Thai Border and overnight in Aranya Prathet. We will stop for lunch along the way. Check into hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Dec 18 – Visit Ayutthaya UNESCO World Heritage Site in the morning – this was the ancient capital of Thailand. We will explore, enjoy lunch, and then transfer to the airport in the evening. Hotel room will be available for late night flights. (B,D)
- 13 nights accommodations
- All in-country transfers including roundtrip flight to Phuket
- Meals as listed in itinerary
- All entry fees
- Bangkok City Tour
- Visit to Cabbage and Condoms
- Visit to Home and Life Orphanage
- Elephant Trek
- Visit to Baan Than Namchai Orphanage and Artisan Group
- Visit to SHE Thailand and Burmese Refugee project
- Visit to Saori Weaving Cooperative
- Visit to Ayutthaya
- Visit to Angkor Wat
- Tour of Siem Reap
- Tour of Phnom Penh
- Volunteer day with Cambodian Children’s Fun
- Volunteer day with Voices of Change
- Local Thai Guide/Translator
- TVE Guide
- Donation to orphanage
Visit the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date requirements (www.cdc.gov) or speak with a local travel doctor.
- Hepatitis A and B
Talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for Cipro to combat food and water borne illness. The Village Experience recommends using Dr. Jeffrey Jones as your travel doctor. You can reach him at 317-783-8009 or email@example.com.
Passport is required
No visa is needed for Thailand.
A visa IS needed for Cambodia and MUST be obtained ahead of time.
(They have e-visa which means you don’t have to send in your passport. Simply apply online, pay $25 via credit card, and they mail you the visa to bring with you)
Feel free to pack an extra bag of donations for The Baan Than Namchai Orphanage and Home and Life Orphanage in Thailand. School supplies, art materials, educational games, and first aid items are always needed.
We are also fundraising for new sewing machines for Somaly Mam’s artisan project in Cambodia. Each sewing machine is $200.
Passport and copy of passport
Personal insurance card and Travel insurance information
ATM/Credit Card – travel’s checks not advised
Cash –50s and 100s dated 2006 and newer get the best exchange rate
Probiotics recommended if you have a weak stomach
Filled prescription of Cipro or a Z-pack
Bug Spray with Deet
First Aid ointment
Umbrella or poncho
Camera with batteries, charger, and ample storage space
Sunscreen and/or hat
Shampoo/Conditioner/Lotion/Deodorant – all non-fragrant
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Walking or hiking shoes
Sturdy sandals Socks
Several nice outfits for dinner
Swimming attire and beach towel
Layers of clothing for chilly nights – sweaters, windbreakers, long pants
Snacks such as pretzels, chips, granola bars, and gum
Small backpack or cargo bag to hold your everyday items
$2199 per person based on double occupancy
$2499 per person based on single occupancy
$500 deposits per person due at time of registration.
Full payments due 3 months prior to departure date.
The Village Experience