The journey begins
Supporting Borey Komar
19th to 26th August 2019
This is a different type of retreat, in all honesty, as it is a retreat from your daily lives to helping with something really amazing.
You will be going into the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh and joining architect Ambra Ruffini as she leads her team of students in a hands-on learning experience. Your financial contribution to the Project, which is included in the price of this Retreat, will bring a lot of happiness and change lives.
The team is working on a project, including building a natural pizza oven, seating area and food gardens at Borey Komar. It is a residential home for 60 plus children and is supported by the French NGO Enfants d'ASIE. It provides a safe and caring environment and they do an amazing job on a very limited budget.
There is less than 40 cents per meal per child available. So the number one requested birthday meal of pizza is just too expensive.
So the team is going to build a natural pizza oven, seating area and food gardens. You will be joining them and helping, but do not worry we will go easy on you. In purchasing the retreat, you are helping to pay for the project, so we are including some other great experiences, and for some of the time, leaving it to Ambra and the students.
Beyond the building project we are undertaking you contribution allows for the employment of a full time gardener for a year to develop food gardens which in time will allow them to grow enough food to be close to self sufficient.
We have included daily IYENGAR YOGA classes with international teacher Tala Rubiana, both at your hotel and at some amazing locations. The yoga style is gentle and suitable for beginners or those already on their path.
Also included are visits to the National Museum, Royal Palace, some amazing Pagodas including guided meditation and a sunset river cruise on a traditional boat.
The highlight will be when we construct the oven as part of activities-based learning for the children, yourself and others from the community over a two-day workshop.
So come and discover Phnom Penh, become grounded with yoga classes twice a day and get involved with something that will change lives.
Is this package for me?
|Travel Style||Natural Building, Yoga and Phnom Penh discovery, perfect for couples, friends or the solo adventurer|
|Service Level||Hosted by your teachers Ambra Ruffini and Tala Rubiana at the Phnom Penh Era Hotel, and inclusive of guided exploration of Phnom Penh and other unique experiences.|
|Physical Rating||The hands-on natural building can be quite demanding, but it's your choice how much you choose to participate. The yoga style is IYENGAR YOGA and suitable for beginners wishing to start their yoga journey, and for those already on the path. Some long walking as well as up and down the stairs during our city exploration does require a basic level of fitness.|
|Trip Type||Small group Retreat (maximum 15 people)|
- 7 nights accommodation in twin shared room (or elect the single room supplement)
- Daily Breakfast at the Hotel
- $750 USD contribution to the Borey Komar Project
- 14 IYENGAR YOGA classes
- Expert Natural Building Teacher
- All transfers in private A/C vehicle
- Green Cultural Travel guide
- Expert Guides
- Entry to Royal Palace, National Museum and Wat Phnom
- Pagoda visit and meditation with monk
- 2-day Pizza Oven Workshop
- 8 lunches
- Welcome and farewell dinners
- Borey Komar Aspara dance and dinner with the children
- Guided city tour
- Yoga Mats provided and donated to Borey Komar at the end of the Retreat
- Morning tea on all private tours
- Chilled water during your transfers
- All government taxes excluding Visa.
|Twin Share per person||$2390||$2540|
|Own Room Supplement||$365||$395|
Reserve your place at this amazing Retreat with a 20% deposit and pay by 15th July to enjoy our Early Bird Price
Day 1: Becoming Grounded
Arrival Phnom Penh > Introduction > Afternoon Yoga Class > Welcome Dinner (L,D)
Welcome to Phnom Penh where you will be warmly greeted by your Green Cultural Travel representative ensuring your Hotel transfer and check in goes smoothly. Depending on the time of arrival you will be free to explore the facilities of the hotel and join us for lunch before gathering to meet with your teachers Ambra Ruffini, Tala Rubiana and fellow participants, You will be introduced to the programme and group expectations discussed. After a short break you will enjoy the first Yoga class and then you will have a chance to rest. As a group we enjoy a welcome dinner at the Hotel.
Day 2: Sinking In
Yoga Class > Breakfast > Site Visit and and theory > Traditional Lunch > Project Commencement > Afternoon Yoga Class (B,L)
After morning Yoga class and breakfast we will take our first visit to the project site Borey Komar, meeting Ambra and her interns. We are weather dependent and so will interchange today's theory classes and first construction depending on conditions. We will enjoy lunch catered for by the school. After returning to the Hotel with time to relax, your Yoga journey continues and then guests can choose to dine at the hotel or join with your Green Cultural Host and fellow guests to discover Phnom Penh by night,
Day 3: Letting Go
Yoga Class > Breakfast > Project Works > Traditional Lunch > Royal Palace, National Museum Wat Ounalom > Afternoon Yoga Class (B,L)
The day again begins with a morning yoga class and breakfast. Then we spend a few hours at the site working with the team and lunch at the project.Then head we back to the hotel to shower before heading out to explore Phnom Penh. Taking in the Royal Palace, National Museum and Wat Ounalom. You will discover an ancient history and vibrant transforming city. Following on from the afternoon Yoga class guests are again free to enjoy the facilities of Hotel or head out to Phnom Penh and enjoy more time as a group at one of the great restaurants.
Day 4: Contentment
Breakfast > Tonle Sap Yoga > Wat Phnom > Cyclo Tour > Central Markets > Traditional Lunch > Project Works > Afternoon Yoga Class > Apsara Dance and dinner at Borey Komar (B,L,D)
Today begins with an early breakfast and then we head to the majestic Tonle Sap and enjoy a morning yoga class on the edge of this vast river. We jump on board Cyclos, the unique bicycles for a visit to Wat Phnom an ancient Pagoda and onto the art deco inspired Central Markets. We join Ambra and the team for lunch and then we continue our work on the build. Returning to the hotel you will have time to relax before late afternoon Yoga and then we are returning to Borey Komar for an amazing evening your are sponsoring. Apsara dancers will perform for you and the children as well as everyone enjoying a dinner.
Day 5: Giving
Yoga Class > Breakfast > Project work > Lunch Boray Komar > Pagoda visit and guided meditation > Floating Yoga Class > Sunset Cruise and dinner (B,L,D)
We continue building our routine with morning yoga followed by breakfast. We join the team for the morning on the project and have lunch again catered by the school continuing your important financial support of the project. Then after getting refreshed we head to a beautiful pagoda for a tour and guided meditation with the monks. We then board a traditional boat heading out onto the Tonle Sap and our afternoon yoga class. Jumping on board after Yoga will be Ambra and her students and then we head out onto the mighty Mekong River for a sunset cruise and dinner.
Day 6: Awareness
Yoga Class > Breakfast > Natural Pizza Oven Workshop > Lunch at Boray Komar >Workshop continues > Afternoon Yoga Class (B,L)
Today we join a Natural Pizza Oven workshop lead by Ambra at the project. A mix of theory and hands on experience as we build the oven over this two day workshop. The day has two sessions with lunch in between. Returning to the Hotel you will have time to relax before your late afternoon Yoga class. As usual you can join your Green Cultural Travel Host and head into Phnom Penh or relax and dine at the hotel.
Day 7: Connection
Yoga Class> Breakfast > Natural Pizza Oven Workshop > Lunch at Borey Komar > Celebration and Yoga > Pizza Dinner with the children (B,L,D)
We continue our yoga journey and breakfast before heading to the second day of the Natural Pizza Oven Workshop. Lunch will be with the children who will be joining in this special day. Then we begin our celebration with activity based learning and games with the children. Afternoon yoga today may be a bit more chaotic as we lead the kids in a basic introduction.
We cannot finish the oven as it needs to sit for a month. So we will be cooking pizza the more conventional way as a farewell dinner for the children as beautiful way to celebrate our time here.
Day 8: Reflections
Yoga Class > Breakfast > Group reflections (B,L)
We take our final class together and breakfast. Then we gather together and your teachers will lead a group discussion on the Retreat and reflections or what can be taken away into your daily lives. Then depending on the time of your flight you can relax before we transfer you to the airport for departure.
Natural Building - Ambra Ruffini
Ambra studied Architecture at Università degli studi di Firenze, she did her Erasmus at Istanbul Teknik Universitesi and her master degree in International cooperation with Universidad Santo Tomas in Bucaramanga, Colombia.
Her studies focused on international cooperation in architecture and natural buildings, that lead her to a thesis on earth building restoration and participated requalification in Colombia.
Her first professional years were in Italy and involved restoration of ancient built patrimony, mostly in Tuscany and Rome. Later she had the chance to work for a renowned architecture studio in Milan dealing with projects worldwide.
This made her aware of how the major architecture and building industry was unsustainable for the environment. She started spending her free time with professionals from different fields studying and participating in projects to enhance green urban renewal in various cities throughout Italy.
2016 saw a dramatic change in Ambra's career: her parents, visiting Burma, met a Thai architect who specialized in bamboo building. The young professionals connected sharing their passion for natural construction and she was offered the opportunity to learn this bamboo technique . Thinking this was a once in a lifetime opportunity she left her job and moved to Asia.
Since then she has been based and worked in Thailand and Burma , volunteered on various social projects and continued to build her natural building knowledge. She has dealt with with different earth techniques, bamboo and recycled materials, trying to make the building industry , the first polluter in the world, a cleaner industry.
She has just designed and built a project in Chiang Miain in collaboration with 'The Little Urban Farm' and has formed a new collaborative partnership "Plan T Natural Building' for which which she has become the lead architect.
Ambra specialises in the design and construction of small to medium scale buildings using natural and recycled materials. Dealing with professionals and volunteer workers through both her architecture work and workshops her aim is to bring natural building knowledge to people and in the future bring more awareness on those techniques to western countries to spread the use of renewable resources in the construction industry.
IYENGAR YOGA - Tala Rubiana
After 8 years of regular practice, Tala Rubiana pursued a life-changing journey of training to become an Iyengar yoga teacher in 2006. She completed her 4-year Introductory level 1 & 2 apprenticeship teacher training program in 2010, under the guidance of Senior teacher Carole Baillargeon from the Darwin Yoga Space.
In June 2017 Tala founded Iyengar Yoga Rasa Studio in Phnom Penh after coming back to Cambodia for the third time. Her vision has always been the same:
“To help establish a solid community of regular and more disciplined yoga practitioners and to help me continue my study by continuing to teach different types of bodies and keep on witnessing the steady development of students into becoming a good Iyengar yoga practictioner.”
Main Supporting Charity - Enfants dAsie
Recognised as a public service and certified by IDEAS, Enfants d’Asie is an organisation founded in France in 1991 with the aim of supporting disadvantaged children in South East Asia towards a better future.
Currently, with a presence in Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Vietnam, it supports almost 10,500 children from very poor families. Enfants d’ASIE provides comprehensive support: from education to professional integration, through the management of basic needs and moral support.
Their Facility - Borey Komar
A residential care facility providing a home for over 60 children. In the heart of Phnom Penh and sitting in the grounds of a public school. The children sleep on different levels of the 3 story complex depending on age. The children are fed, clothed, provided with after school care and lessons and a safe and happy environment. These children are a range of orphans, parents in prison or simply unable to support the children due to financial or other issues.
As part of their support Efants d'ASIE have a second home where the children can move to attend university or transition into the workforce once they have finished school and are to old for Borey Komar.
We are excited that some of these young adults will also join us on the 25th August 2019 for a day of learning and celebration,
- Visa fee
- Flights & airport taxes
- Other personal expenses
- Other activities
- Tips, and all services not clearly mentioned
- Travel Insurance which is required
• Prices are net per person in United States Dollars (USD) and are subject to change without prior notice
• Prices are based on twin-share basis except solo travellers and are subject to room availability upon Package booking
• No refund for any un-utilized Package
FIT (Individual) Travel Arrangement
• Period before arrival* Amount of Cancellation of the holiday price
• More than 45 days before arrival- Free Of Charge (FOC)
• More than 21 days before arrival– 30%
• Less than 14 days before arrival – 50%
• Less than 7 days before arrival – 80%
• Failure on traveling date at point of arrival 100%
GIT (Group – 7 guests or more) – Travel Arrangement
• Period before arrival* Amount of Cancellation of the holiday price
• More than 60 days before arrival- Free Of Charge (FOC)
• More than 45 days before arrival– 30%
• Less than 21 days before arrival – 50%
• Less than 14 days before arrival – 80%
• Failure on traveling date at point of arrival 100%
The Cambodian people are very modest, so avoid wearing clothes that are too short or revealing in public and in particular at religious or culturally significant places.
Ask permission before taking someone’s photo.
Due to the nature of travel in Asia, a backpack is more suited to this trip than a suitcase.
In Cambodia, the dress standard is more conservative than it is back home. When packing, try to choose long, loose, lightweight, clothing that will keep you comfortable in the mostly hot and humid Asian climate.
There are no flights on this Package
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you. However, if you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled for any reason, please contact us immediately. Please refer to our emergency contact details.
If you need to contact us in an emergency, it is best to call either the Green Cultural Travel Local Representative or our Green Cultural Travel Local Office first. If you don’t receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message with your contact information so they can return your call as soon as possible.
Emergency contact numbers
Green Cultural Travel Office Phnom Penh, Cambodia
During Office hours GMT +7 (Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5.30pm, Saturday 8.30am to 12.30pm, Sunday 8:30am to 12:00pm
From outside Cambodia: +855 12 536 791
From within Cambodia: 012 536 791
After hours emergency number
From outside Cambodia: +855 12 536 791
From within Cambodia: 012 536 791
What to Take
We suggest that you pack as lightly as possible.
Most travellers carry a small to medium size backpack or rolling bag or suitcase.
You will also need a day pack or bag to carry water, cameras and other electronics like iPods and mobile phones.
Please note that visas for entry into Cambodia are the responsibility of each individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from, and where you are going. Rules do change. For the most up-to-date information, please check your government’s foreign ministry website or contact your travel agent.
CAMBODIA – Visas can be obtained in advance from your local Cambodian Embassy or Consulate OR on arrival for $30 USD. Please bring at least two passport photos.
You will require two clean pages (minimum) in your passport and at least six months validity.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others, while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs. Consider your likely spending habits when budgeting for drinks, shopping and tipping.
We have provided some specific recommendations below to assist you to plan your budget and manage your money while on holiday.
During your holiday, you will use both the Cambodian Riel and US Dollar as local currencies. Because currency exchange rates in South East Asia do fluctuate quite frequently, we ask that you refer to the following website for the most up to date information on exchange rates: www.xe.com
The best way to access local currency in Cambodia is from an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) with a debit card. ATMs are readily available throughout South East Asia and will usually accept cards from both the Visa and MasterCard international networks. If possible, travel with both a Visa and a MasterCard to provide backup in case of loss or access problems with one card. Please note, your bank will usually charge a fee for overseas withdrawals.
USD Cash is recommended for those occasions when ATMs are not accessible such as a number of islands and remote provinces. You should bring some cash with you for emergency situations (please refer to our trip dossier) but not a substantial amount as carrying only cash is high risk. The ideal mix is two or more ATM card/s with some cash as back-up.
If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 2003, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!
Credit cards are accepted at some upmarket hotels and restaurants, and some larger stores if shopping for big items. They are of no use at smaller establishments.
Cash advances with your credit card are also possible at some banks. However, the process is time-consuming and tends to attract high fees.
Traveller’s cheques can be tricky, time-consuming and expensive to exchange. While we do not recommend that you bring them as your primary source of funds, you may choose to bring one or two cheques in case of emergency. Thomas Cook or American Express travellers’ cheques in US currency are the easiest to exchange.
Depending on the service, it is customary in Asia to tip service providers, such as waiters, approximately 10%. Though not compulsory, tipping is expected and shows an expression of satisfaction with the people who have assisted you on your holiday. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is an opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides range from $1.5-$3.5 USD per person, per day, depending on the quality and length of the service. If unsure, ask your local Green Cultural Travel representative.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
We recommend that you carry a small First Aid kit, hand sanitizers or antibacterial wipes, and any personal medical supplies you might require.
For legal reasons, our Green Cultural Travel representatives are prohibited from administering any drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia, pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs available in your home country, but they are usually locally produced and may have different names. To ensure you can access to the right treatment, ask your doctor for the details of the active components and dosage instructions if you think you might need to purchase prescription medication while here.
When selecting your trip, please read the brochure and itinerary carefully to assess your ability to cope with our style of travel.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt for keeping your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash, and other valuable items safe. Leave your expensive jewellery at home. You won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables while on tour. We recommend a lock for securing your luggage.
During your journey, you will have some free time to pursue your own interests. You can relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your Green Cultural Travel representative can assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary. We, therefore, offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your personal judgment before selecting an activity in your free time.
Although the locations you will visit on your selected Package are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering about at night. We recommend our guests stay in small groups and take taxis for any night time excursions, including restaurant visits.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
As a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their personal luggage. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. These requirements ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to complete their chosen trip comfortably. While our Representatives work hard to ensure all our traveller’s needs are catered for, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
A Word of Warning
When exploring on your own carry only the necessary minimum with you and use a well-hidden money belt for cash and credit cards. The majority of your valuables, including your passport, should be left in the hotel safe. You can organise use of the safe at the reception of your accommodation. There is no need to get paranoid, just be cautious.
Please do not buy gems in Cambodia unless you know what you are doing. Even if they are genuine, you should not expect to be able to sell them at home. If you fall victim to a gem scam, we are unable to assist you.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory to participate in any of our packages. Your Green Cultural Travel representative will communicate with you prior to your departure to ensure you have insurance in place and we will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy, please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance, we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name.
Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage, and emergency contact telephone number.
Green Cultural Travel – Community Programs
Green Cultural Travel is owned by the Green Cultural Travel Hub Limited and through ongoing dividends we are able to support our and other community projects. If you book flights through our affiliated partner we will ensure that the carbon footprint is offset through direct investment in the planting of tree’s.
Green Cultural Travel Hub
When you purchase a Green Cultural Travel package you automatically become a member of the Green Cultural Travel Hub. This connects you to us and like-minded travellers. Our bi-monthly magazine is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories, special offers and contests. We also include more information on how you can give back, and support, the people and places we love to visit through our local Community Programmes.