Marked by stunning natural scenery as well as gems from cultural heritage, Cambodia is on travel wish list of many. The increasing number of travellers to the region is raising concerns about impacts of widespread tourism on country’s environment. While tourists are being encouraged to focus on sustainable travel measures, some local bodies have also come up with initiatives that will make the job easier:
Here are top ways to support sustainable travel initiatives in Cambodia:
Attend the Phare Circus
Started as an artistic outlet for the youth that spent time in refugee camps under the Khmer Rouge, the Phare Ponleu Selpak School, also running the circus, was shaped by an arts teacher and her students in the year 1994. The school gives vocational arts training to around 1500 students at no cost and the graduates are also given an opportunity to pursue a career in hospitality and performance arts vis-à-vis the circus. All shows that are performed include great elements of music, humour and theatre performance for ensuring the audiences have a good time. There’s an on-site restaurant from where you can pick some refreshments.
Visit the Landmine Museum
The Landmine Museum not only displays objects of great historical importance, it also has an intriguing story to tell. The museum was built by one Aki Ra, who was first child soldier in the Khmer Rouge but later on had a change of heart and went on to work with the UN where he was trained to disarm landmines. In little time, he started destroying thousands of landmines, many of which he had earlier planted himself. Today, the museum premises also host a school and a house where the child survivors of landmine attacks are rehabilitated. The good news is that 100% of your ticket amount will go to welfare programmes for the children.
Try Zip-lining with Angkor Zipline
Of all ways in which you can explore the famous temples of Angkor, you will find that zip lining with Angkor Zipline is one of the most rewarding for those looking to give back to the country as a part of the ticket goes to tree plantation initiatives in the park. For your zip-lining adventure, you will be hanging 45-meters off the ground. And as you make your way from one end of the zip-line to the other, the longest being 300 meters, the awe-inspiring beauty of the temples will wow you and humble you at the same time.
Book a Massage with Seeing Hands
A chain of massage shops spread over the Southeast Asia, Seeing Hands has taken up the noble task of empowering blind men and women by hiring only them as masseuses. The Pokhara-based organisation is known for providing relaxing massages from an array of varieties available in a very basic set ups.
Choose Cafes That Focus on Sustainable Options
Is there a better way to contribute towards sustainability than to eat sumptuous food at renowned cafes that have also dedicated a part of their efforts to community service? And when in Cambodia, one comes across a number of these restaurants and cafes. Epic Arts Cafe in Kampot serves mouth-watering food in a cosy environment and a part of their proceeds go for setting up art programs for children with disabilities. The Peace Cafe in Siem Reap, set amidst a beautiful garden, offers a sumptuous vegan fare to visitors. The cafe also organises yoga and health and hygiene classes as well as donates first aid kits, school material and shoes to needy sections of the society.