December – March

Cambodia is said to have 2 seasons: the wet and the dry. Both live up to their name in terms of weather, but a more accurate description of the seasons might be “The Wet Season and The Wedding Season”.
As monsoon rains abate in November, Khmer brides and grooms take the plunge with elaborate traditional 3 day ceremonies beneath colourful tents that seem to spring-up outside bride’s houses the very moment the rains end.
The December-March period is also the busiest time in the tourist calendar, with the weather being more suitable for those not used to 35°C days at 99% humidity! Late December and January nights become cool (down to a chilly 23°C!), and rain is scarce for much of the season, making it an opportune time to witness a crisp, clear sun rise over Angkor Wat, and to travel to the far reaches of the country which are literally waterlogged throughout the wet season.

Program Overview:

-Airport Pickup

-Comprehensive 10 day orientation
Includes introduction to Cambodian culture, geography, Khmer language, safety and security, living in Phnom Penh, and 2 day introduction to the CWF curriculum.

-Visit CRDT in Kratie town, and travel with CRDTours to Koh P’Dao

-11 week teaching semester (September 12th to November 25th 2016)
Typically 4 hours of classes per day, Monday – Friday.

-All major Khmer and international public holidays (see below)

-A thank you party at the end of your program.

-Certificate of Appreciation and letter of recommendation

Things to see and do:

-A trip to Koh P’Dao during the orientation program

-Explore the city on impromptu bicycle tours

-Social events such as dinners, boat trips, sports, and local excursions

-Lazing about on a Sunday afternoon in a hammock by the Mekong

-Trips to the former royal capital Phnom Udong, Phnom Chiso, or the wildlife rescue centre at Phnom Tahmao

-Visits to our friends and partner organisations around Phnom Penh, and other provinces

-Free, ongoing Khmer language lessons from high level CWF students

-Dive into Phnom Penh’s vibrant arts scene
Traditional shadow puppets, Apsara dancing, contemporary music, film, street art, foreign cultural exhibits and theater.

-Friday night, catch a live Khmer or expat band on a Saturday night, and stroll around the city’s many contemporary art galleries on Sunday morning, then catch a challenging documentary and tasty bratwurst on Sunday evening.

Holidays

Volunteers typically visit Siem Reap (for the Angkor complex), and the idyllic southern coast gems of Kep and Kampot, or the bustling backpacker beach party that is Sihanoukville. In the dry season, escaping into the hills of Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri in the north-east provide welcome relief from the heat of the lowlands.

December 10
International Human Rights Day

December 24-26
Christmas

January 1
International New Year

January 7
Victory Day (7 Makara)

February 3
Chinese New Year

February 19 – 20
Meak Bochea