Are you ready for a transformational journey where you can spread your wings and experience what the world has to offer? Whether you’re a first time traveler or a No Barriers Youth alumni, we’d like to invite you on a 12-day adventure to Cambodia to experience the history, culture, and phenomenal people who make this a world-class educational travel destination.
This expedition is designed for students 14 to 18 years of age eager to immerse themselves in Southeast Asia and excited to meet new friends while engaging in the unique history, culture and language of the Cambodian people.
The journey begins in Denver where you will meet your No Barriers Expedition Leader before boarding your flight to Phnom Penh. Upon your arrival, you will meet your Destination Expert who will welcome you to Cambodia and share the wonderful history, culture and traditions of his home country throughout the expedition.
Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia and home to two million people who primarily speak Khmer. This thriving city, once known as the “Pearl of Asia,” sits on the banks of the Tonle Sap and mighty Mekong rivers. After your in-country orientation and learning a few words of Khmer you’ll jump right into your expedition by spending time with your Cambodian peers form the SSI Leadership Academy, an educational nonprofit with ties to Colorado.
While in Phnom Penh you’ll visit the Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields to learn about the Khmer Rouge and their radical Marxist movement that forever shaped the people of Cambodia. After you depart the capital city you’ll get the extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in a local village, learn how to cook sticky rice, play soccer with community members and so much more!
After you say goodbye to Phnom Penh and your friends in the village you’ll travel to the city of Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia. Here you’ll participate in a service project and have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. This massive temple complex was built in the 12th century and includes Buddhist faces carved into stone and ancient ruins overtaken by the jungle.
These are only a few of the highlights of an expedition that will not only capture your imagination but will leave you transfixed and forever changed from the minute you land in this fascinating destination.
Throughout the expedition we’ll focus on globally responsible leadership, persevering through challenges and learning to live a No Barriers Life. As participants, you will also explore the idea of creating a vision for your future, the rope team that will help get you there and much, much more. But most importantly you will learn, laugh, lead and live life fully… returning home ready to take action and better your community.
12 Days | All Inclusive | Download Itinerary
Afternoon – Safety and orientation briefing with your Local Guide, followed by lunch at a local restaurant and then a walking tour of the area, including a visit to a local market.
Evening – No Barriers Opening Ceremony with your Expedition Leader.
Dinner and overnight in Phnom Penh at Asia Tune Hotel or similar.
Evening – Overnight Phnom Penh at Asia Tune Hotel or similar.
Afternoon – Enjoy lunch at the Friends Restaurant, which provides underprivileged street children with the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in hospitality. Not only is the food delicious but all profits are reinvested into the Training Centre activities.
Visit the Tuol Sleng Prison, housed in a high school, to glimpse the devastating horrors that prevailed during Cambodia’s ultra-radical Marxist movement. This excursion may prove distressing for some, but it is an important piece of Cambodia’s recent past.
Finish your afternoon with an excursion to Choeung Ek, also known as the “killing fields.”
Evening – Enjoy a traditional Cambodian dinner in the city before returning to your hotel for a Group Reflection Activity. Overnight Phnom Penh at Asia Tune Hotel or similar.
Evening – Dinner at a local Cambodian restaurant followed by free time.
Overnight Phnom Penh at Asia Tune Hotel or similar.
Evening – Enjoy a traditional Khmer-style dinner together and get to know the community. The families are very excited to share their culture with you and also love to learn about your interests and life back home. This is a great chance to play some games with the children in your guesthouse. Return to your guest house and rest — most people go to sleep pretty early in the village and wake up early!
Evening – Group dinner and return to your guest house for your second night in the village.
Afternoon – Have a traditional Khmer lunch at local restaurant. After lunch, continue your journey to Siem Reap. In the afternoon, join a workshop at Phare, the Cambodian Circus. Phare is a social enterprise developed by locals to help some of the poorest young people find a way of income and to give them some hope. In this one-hour workshop, meet some of the performers, who have become local celebrities, and have a lesson on one of the disciplines of being a performer, which could be juggling, balancing and many others.
Evening – After the workshop, enjoy dinner and then see the actual Phare show. See stunning acrobatics, thrilling storylines and great humor for a fantastic night out.
Overnight in Siem Reap at Mother Home Inn or similar.
Evening – Visit the Old Market (Psar Chaa) and have free time to explore or shop.
Relax at hotel, enjoy a dip in the pool, and dinner and overnight in Siem Reap at Mother Home Inn or similar.
Afternoon – The whole afternoon is set aside for a visit to the main temple, Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, and the intricate carvings at the temple of Angkor Wat demonstrate the skill of the Khmer builders. It was constructed in the jungle in the early 12th century, then – two centuries later – was mysteriously abandoned by the Khmer civilization. Lunch will be at local restaurant in front of the temple. Continue to explore Angkor Wat and its vast temples after lunch.
Evening – Finish the day with an unforgettable sunset atop one of the special places Angkor Wat and have your No Barriers Closing Ceremony.
Overnight in Siem Reap at Mother Home Inn or similar.