September – December

Its the second half of the rainy season, and the countryside is lush with colour. September sees the Phchum Ben festival of ancestors, one of the most important festivals in the Cambodian Buddhist calendar, and in November is the Water Festival; unrivaled for its pageantry as crews gather from around the country, representing their villages in a series of exciting boat races on the Mekong River, to celebrate the end of the rainy 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.


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.

24 September
Constitution Day
In 1993, after a many years of internal conflict, Cambodia became a constitutional monarchy. On September 24 1993, Cambodia formally adopted their Constitution, and this day is marked by a public holiday.

22-24th September
Pchum Ben Festival
Pchum Ben is one of the most important festivals in the Cambodian Buddhist calendar. Pchum Ben is the festival of the dead, where the spirits of ancestors can escape into the living world to settle grievances. Cambodians will visit up to 15 pagodas over the 15 days of the festival to offer food to monks to appease the spirits.

15 October
King’s Father’s Remembrance Day
His Majesty King-Father Norodom Sihanouk is celebrated with a public day of remembrance. Cambodians say Sihanouik created modern Cambodia, securing independence from France in 1953.
His full name since abdicating the throne to his son His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni, is Cambodians refer to Sihanouk as Sâmdech Euv, or ‘Prince Father’.

23rd October
Paris Peace Agreement (1991)

29 October
Coronation Day
October 29 marks Coronation Day: the day His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

5-7 November
Water Festival. The end of the wet season, celebrated with dragon boat racing on the Tonle Sap.

9 November
Independence Day
Celebrates the date when Cambodia achieved independence from France in 1953.