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Giving Back in Siem Reap

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Cambodia is one of Asia's poorest countries and despite being a major tourist destination, Siem Reap has its share of disadvantaged communities. Fortunately, because it is a key tourist destination, it's home to many big-hearted organizations in tourism, hospitality, and beyond doing great work to improve local lives. And "giving back" doesn't have to mean volunteering: travelers can contribute by the decisions we make about where to stay, shop, and eat.
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Shinta Mani Foundation, Corner of Oum Khun & 14th St., Krong 17254,, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Shinta Mani Resort and Club is one of the most stylish hotel complexes in Siem Reap. It also has the biggest heart. The property is home to the Shinta Mani Foundation, a registered NGO that aims to enhance the lives of individuals in local...
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717 Street 14, Krong Siem Reap 12000, Cambodia
Beyond Unique Escapes is arguably Siem Reap's best tour company, offering an array of excellent tours to the temples and villages. If you only do one tour in Siem Reap, this is the one I recommend. I've done it a few times and it's one of my...
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Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
We traveled with non-profit Globe Aware on a volunteer vacation in Cambodia. A highlight of the trip was a 2-day project building wheelchairs for local disabled people. My 9 year old son even got in on the action, helping to build 2 chairs of his...
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Friends International is a wonderful home-grown Cambodian NGO that has now expanded around the world. They've reached out to some 60,000+ at-risk kids, youths and their families and communities through social services, training and education...
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717 Street 14, Krong Siem Reap 12000, Cambodia
The excellent Siem Reap based tour company, Beyond Unique Escapes offers some of the best village experiences I've done in Cambodia, including A Day in the Life of a Village, in tiny Kompheim village, some 16km from Siem Reap. You might begin with...
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Preah Sangreach Tep Vong St, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Skip the night markets if you're after authentic handwoven textiles (most of what's there comes from Thailand and Vietnam) and instead make a beeline for Weaves of Cambodia. Located in a sleek contemporary store attached to the Angkor Hospital for...
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Navatu Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
We visited the inspiring Green Gecko Project while in Siem Reap. It's an organization run by a husband and wife team who educates and cares for Cambodian street children. This is a great place to volunteer or drop off donations. Green Gecko is...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Last summer I traveled with GEEO's Thailand/Laos/Cambodia teacher travel program. One of the first places we visited in Siem Reap (Cambodia) was New Hope. New Hope is a non-profit organization that provides free education, and a medical clinic for...
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Ring Road, south of the intersection with, Sok San Rd, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
I was delighted to come across the Phare Circus the last time I was lucky enough to visit Siem Reap. I've never tired of exploring the atmospheric temple complexes the region is famous for, but it’s always nice to have the option of variety. The...
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Alley W, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Wild Poppy is a fabulous boutique stocking Cambodian made fashion, jewelry and accessories, much of which is produced by disadvantaged local villagers as an activity of HUSK, an NGO operated by Australians Anthony and Fiona, who own boutique hotel...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Travel company ABOUTAsia likes to boast that you'll see 'Angkor without the crowds'. I saw more people at temples such as Ta Prohm on the tour I tested out than I have when I've gone on my own, so I don't buy into the marketing and don't believe...
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Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
In the shadow of the splendid Angkor Wat and the beautiful new hotels many people live a much less glamorous life. I wanted to see the real Cambodia during my time there and worked with Go Philanthropic Foundation (GoPhilanthropic.org) to connect...
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The Giant Puppet Project, Cambodia’s largest community arts effort and takes place every February in Siem Reap. Basically it is a lively, night-time carnival on the city's Pub Street featuring a parade of huge glowing figures up to 30 meters long,...
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Chocolate Rd, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
A meal at HAVEN if you stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia is an absolute must. Located next to Angkor High School, the food is great, the staff incredibly polite and helpful, and the whole dining experience really enjoyable. Apart from indulging in a...
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#8A, B Phum Slokram (Between Wat Polanka and Catholic Church), Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
You can graze on creative, contemporary Cambodian tapas, including delights such as red ant fritters served with prahok sauce (my favorite), in the gorgeous courtyard garden at Marum, a hospitality training school restaurant that educates, employs...