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CAMBODIA: BUDDHIST TEMPLE RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION IN BANTEAY CHHMAR

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Work with a local team to assist in the restoration, renovation and preservation of temples. Activities on this project are wide-ranging and fascinating!

The secret and hidden area of Banteay Meanchey contains some of Cambodia's best kept secrets, the ancient temples of Banteay Chhmar. These are widely regarded as some of the most important archaeological complexities of the Angkor period.

Price:
Please see the Prices Page. Prices for all projects are listed and you can choose which currency you'd like to see them in. Prices exclude flights.
Duration:
From 1 week to 12 weeks, subject to visa requirements.
Start Dates:
Projects start every Monday – you choose your start and finish dates.
Requirements:
Minimum age 16, or younger if accompanied by a parent or guardian. No qualifications necessary.
What's included:
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Payment Protection insurance
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Personalised online project portal where you'll access all information your programme, health & safety and country advice.
  • Your own dedicated Project Co-ordinator to help you throughout the pre-departure process
  • Meeting you at the Airport
  • Transfer to your project site
  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Full safety, support and back up from our local in-country team.
  • Project orientation & induction on your arrival.
  • 24-hr emergency support.
What's not included: Flights, Travel Insurance, Cost of Visas, Return to the airport (but we can arrange this for you).
Who can do this Programme?
All projects are open to all nationalities. Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in Buddhist temples, community development, construction, building conservation.

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PROJECT CONTENT

The focus of this project is to assist a local team charged with the task of preserving and conserving the temples around Banteay Chhmar, some of which have been hidden and covered by the forest, causing them to remain mostly undiscovered.

For the local people, this temple holds a special place within the community, not only as a place of common ground, but also as a sanctuary, and of course, somewhere to practice their worship. The commune of Banteay Chhmar (in Banteay Chhmar Province) contains 14 villages and there are 4 villages around the temple with 6,312 people.

SAMPLE SCHEDULE:

Sunday:
All volunteers will meet up in Siem Reap and travel to Banteay Chmar by taxi or bus. It takes 1.30 hours from Siem Reap to Banteay Meanchey (Sisophon) and another 1.30 hour from Sisophon to Banteay Chmar. You'll arrive in time for dinner.

Monday:
In the morning, the coordinator will meet all the volunteers to introduce you to Banteay Chmar and to explain about the projects. You'll then explore the village and visit some satelite temples. You'll return to the home stay to have lunch, then continue onto Banteay Chmar temple (the biggest temple in the area ). You'll visit the local Handicraft Centre (scarf weaving) on the way back.

Tuesday to Friday:
You'll begin to work on the temple's main renovation and preservation. You work responsibilities could include:

  • Clearing the temples by cutting back overgrown bushes, trees and grass in the surrounding area within the grounds.
  • Cleaning up the temples, picking up trash, removal of some stones.
  • Planting trees in the temple compound, making environmental signs.

Saturday - Sunday:
You can stay at home, visit temples and other tourist spots in the region, or go to some of the cities near to Banteay Chmar to do some exploring.

Please note: Due to small budgets, the restoration and sometimes renovation side of the project might not always be available. You can still help conserve the temples by assisting the community group clean up the temple, plant more trees in the temple area, cutting some small bushes etc.

Holidays:
The project is not available during holidays, which are usual a week in April and a week in September. If your programme falls within any of the holidays, you may join the Community Construction Programme for that time.

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ACCOMMODATION

You will be housed with a local home-stay family in a typical wooden Khmer-style house. Rooms are shared, same sex equipped with a fan and mosquito net – maximum 2 volunteers per room. Electricity is available 24hrs a day with shower and western toilet (but no flush) and no hot water.

Wi-Fi / Internet: Wifi is not available once you get to your Restoration Project.

FOOD: All food is included during your stay. The meals will be typical Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes. There are three meals served during the week and two during the weekend (Brunch and Dinner).

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COUNTRY INFORMATION

Once known as the Khmer empire, Cambodia is perhaps best known for its monumental temples, especially that of Angkor Wat - finalist in the election of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2006. It is without doubt a country of incredible beauty, scattered with these temples, fertile rice fields and a rich and interesting history. For this reason it is unsurprising that Cambodia has taken a firm place on the tourist map. Having been a protectorate of France for almost 100 years, the country gained its independence in 1953. Following this however, Cambodia experienced years of civil war, turmoil and political corruption, as well as suffering from its involvement in the Vietnam war.

Despite this dark history, Cambodia really is an extraordinary country and the people here are known for their friendliness and their smiles.

CLIMATE

Cambodia has monsoon climate with temperatures ranging from 21°C - 35°C (The average year-round temperature is 27.7°C). Its monsoon season spans from May - October, whilst dry season lasts from November to December . Dry season is the most popular time to visit however rainy season can be incredibly beautiful in Cambodia due to the richer colours that it causes. The rain also can help to make temperatures more pleasant. Post-monsoon season is also a favourite time to visit because of the stunning green countryside.

Whilst temperatures don't vary hugely, during the winter the northern parts of the country can be colder.

CULTURE

Buddhism is an important aspect of Khmer cultural and is practiced by 95% of the Cambodian population.

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