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Ivanhoe Grammar School Cambodia Service Project 2023 – Day Twelve Students’ Reflections

IGS school trip at Angkor Wat temple

To continue from Day Eleven Reflection blogging of the Ivanhoe Grammar School Cambodia Service Project 2023, this article reposting the reflections from the assigned students on their Day TWELVE experiences and impressions:

Team One Day 12 reflection

Today we visited the floating village in siem reap. it was a short bus ride from the hotel, and within no time we were boarding on a big blue boat and began cruising down the river. Along the way we encountered a herd of water buffalo and saw a range of floating housing, as well as hundreds of speed boats. During this ride we got a glimpse into the lifestyles of the people who live in the floating villiage and along the river banks.

We took a short stop at a floating shop which sold a variety of products including crocodile skin belts and wallets, hand crafted wooden sculptures and statues, and other souvenirs. During our stop we saw snakes, frogs and a crocodile farm which was definitely the highlight of the day. After our short stop, we boarded the boat again and sailed back down the river. We made a stop for lunch, which consisted of a range of seafood such as freshly caught fish and prawns, as well as chicken, rice and a variety of salads. After lunch we got back on the bus to visit a museum and art workshop. At the museum we saw the process of making traditional Cambodia sculptures alongside larger statues used for temples. The museum was extremely interesting as we got to see how statues are hand carved and the precision used to do so by the artists.

By Ben Mc and Ben D

Day 12, Team 2. Visit to the floating villag on Tonle Sap; lunch at idyllic ecovillage; final stop at the Artisans of Angkor.

Team 3 Tuesday June 27th Sam and Samira and Eleanor

Today was a great day. It was all out mountain biking around Angkor Wat. This day began with a beautiful morning wake up at 6am 😊 followed by a great hotel breakfast at 6.30. We then ventured on the bus to meet our bikes to begin our day of cycling. We rode from the city through the beautiful Cambodian jungle, and encountered many spiky plants, sandy paths and low hanging branches – Ms P would say it was challenging (she has gathered some battle scars).

Btw we are still healthy, 0 cases of sickness is team 3! ‘TEAM 3 GERM FREE’ if you will. The start of the ride was lovely, the clouds covered the sun and the breeze was nice. However, after our first stop at the mote the weather tuned ferocious, the cloud dissipated and the sun was out – lets just say we all began to slip slop slap. It was at this point that the real race was on, everyone was sprinting to reach the soft drink and fresh fruit at the first temple. Bayon temple was the first stop, and breathtaking to say the least. It was then onto the next temple where we added to our already ridden 10km. We then visited the ‘tomb raider’ temple, which was Sam and I’s personal favourite. After this we hit the 20km mark just as we arrived at our amazing buffet lunch. To quote Billy he said it was ‘great’. The final stop was Angkor Wat, which was also the finish to our great 28km mountain bike ride. This is one of the seven wonders of the world, and lets just say Lucas was definitely wondering about why exactly we climbed to the top of the temple despite his fear of heights. We were also greeted by rabid monkeys, some friendlier than others.

Learning about the rich Cambodian history was also especially interesting, particularly the change in religion from Hinduism to Buddhism in the 14th century. Also learning about the ways in which the temple was built (over 300 000 volunteers, and 6000 elephants!!!) was really interesting. Learning about how Angkor Wat is unfinished was particularly surprising given how HUGE it is and how complete it looks. The tour guide was AWESOME, making the whole experience that much better, even proving that Angkor Wat was at the centre of the earth. To round out our day we took a fun tuk tuk trip to dinner which featured a lot of singing and giggles, shoutout to Ali for her wonderful singing to the locals. Team 3 had an amazing day today and can’t wait for our trip back to Samrong village tomorrow!

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