Just recently, we introduced you here to an exciting itinerary in Peru. The student group from the University of Bremen has now taken a look at Cambodia as a travel destination and put together a great route for your next sustainable trip – socialbnb hopping included. Sustainable travel through Cambodia: Annika Nies describes to you how to do it best. Let’s go!
Your travel route through Cambodia
Cambodia is world famous for the ruins of the Angkor Wat temple complex – but the country in southeast Asia has much more to offer! From the fascinating Khmer culture to amazing landscapes and a past that should not be forgotten. But how can you travel sustainably through Cambodia and make sure that the tourist income really reaches the locals?
The most important thing is that you book activities with local providers on site, rather than through providers from abroad. We would like to give you some tips on how you can achieve this goal and support local projects through your overnight stays.
It is quite far from Germany to Cambodia, which is why you will probably travel by plane. In order to make this part of the trip as environmentally friendly as possible, there is a possibility to compensate the emitted CO² of the flight. You can do this by using a reputable provider to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide emitted during your flight and donating a suitable amount to an ecological project. This ensures that approximately the amount of CO² from the atmosphere is bound again or converted into oxygen.
The first days in Siem Reap
Your impact journey begins in Siem Reap. Here you can choose between three socialbnbs and support one of them financially with your overnight stay: the Salvation Centre Cambodia, the Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School or the PEPY Empowering Youth.
The Salvation Centre Cambodia is an NGO that focuses on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and the support of those affected from the poorer social group. Its goals include ensuring that children and young people receive schooling, adequate medical care, and financial and psychological support for those affected and their families.
The Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School is a school founded by the French organization “Agir pour le Cambodge”. Every year, 100-150 young and disadvantaged Cambodians are trained there free of charge in the hospitality industry. This vocational training is intended to combat poverty among young people in the region.
The NGO PEPY Empowering Youth takes care of the academic education of youth in remote and underserved communities in Siem Reap and surrounding areas. There, a higher level of education is usually very difficult or impossible to achieve for financial reasons. The goal is to give these young people the opportunity to achieve a higher qualification as well.
As soon as you’ve recovered from the long journey, you’re finally ready to go. And what is one of the highlights of every trip to Southeast Asia? Exactly, the regional cuisine! You can discover it on a street food tour with a local expert or at a cooking class in a nearby village.
Exploring the amazing archaeological park of Angkor is a must on any trip to Cambodia. You can explore it on your own or book a guided tour with local providers. If you’re in the mood for some action before your onward journey, take a sunset quad bike ride through the surroundings of Siem Reap!
Stop in Kampong Chhnang
The next socialbnb on your trip is in the village of Kampong Chhnang. There you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the everyday life of the Khmer people, far away from the tourist masses. The easiest way to get there is by private transfer. If you want to be a bit more spontaneous, you can also ask in Siem Reap for the public bus to Kampong Chhnang.
Your socialbnb for the next nights is the beautiful farmhouse Smiling Gecko. Smiling Gecko Cambodia is an innovative NGO that creates jobs and apprenticeships in the fields of agriculture, tourism and handicrafts on its own premises. In this way it should be possible for a whole community to achieve a higher standard of living. It is planned to build this large-scale project in other places in Cambodia in the next few years. To get a better understanding of the project, you can ask for a project tour.
To calm down after so many new impressions, you can relax at the Farmhouse and take part in yoga and meditation classes.
Your last day in Kampong Chhnang starts early again, because directly from the socialbnb you can make a short hike to the local monastery. At sunrise you will watch the monks at morning prayer and pause once more before the exciting journey continues.
Continuation of the journey to Pang Na
Now we will continue towards Phnom Penh, more precisely to Pang Na, a village about 90 minutes away from the capital. A private pick-up transfer from Kampong Chhnang will take you directly to the nearest socialbnb. If you have chosen another way of getting there, which will only take you to the center of the capital, the host Mr. Thy will come to pick you up there by tuk tuk.
Mr. Thy is the founder of a school where children come from the surrounding area for English lessons. Moreover, socialbnb laid the foundation of the whole concept with Mr. Thy back then. You can find the success story here. After you’ve made yourself comfortable at Homestay Go Pang Na and explored the area, you can try a traditional Khmer meal at Mr. Thy’s home. And of course, a tour of the project is not to be missed! The school, which you support financially with your overnight stay, is located right next door.
Also not far away is the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center, where you can watch animals rescued from illegal trade being rehabilitated. But now it’s time to get to know the capital of Cambodia better, not on foot or in a tuk tuk, but by bike! Asia Adventures organizes bike tours through the city and its surroundings. They put a lot of emphasis on a sustainable implementation of the tours by making sure that the locals also benefit from the tourist income.
End of the trip in Sihanoukville
The last socialbnb of your trip through Cambodia is located by the sea, more precisely in the port city of Sihanoukville. From Phnom Penh you can easily get there with the Mekong Express.
With your overnight stay in the hotel of the Don Bosco Foundation of Cambodia you support a hotel school. There, young Cambodians without sufficient financial means are trained in the hospitality industry to give them more job opportunities in the future.
The socialbnb is located in the middle of the city, which means it’s even easier for you to organize a tuk tuk to take you to one of the beautiful beaches that are just around the corner. Otres Beach and Independence Beach are less than 15 minutes away!
Another adventure not to be missed in Sihanoukville is a visit to the important Ream National Park. On a day trip with a local guide from the Sihanoukville Guide Service, you will travel by boat through the mystical mangrove forests and, if you are lucky, you may even see pelicans.
However, if you are more into the beach feeling, a day trip to one of the nearby islands is a good idea. Especially easy to reach are Koh Rong, Koh Rong Sanleom and Koh Russei. It is best to book a tour directly on site. The last evening you will end with a cocktail at the pool of the hotel complex and already dream of your next socialbnb trip.
Thank you so much for the great travel tips in Cambodia, Annika! You still have the chance to win an overnight stay at a socialbnb of your choice every month. Sign up for our free newsletter to get started: