Cambodia Bunong FAQs
You will find below answers to many frequently asked questions. If your question does not appear then please click here to open the 'contact us'
page to ask us your question.
01. Is Cambodia safe?Mondulkiri is a very safe and friendly province but, as always when traveling you must take the usual precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common sense and knowledge is the key phrase, and on arrival you will have an orientation meeting to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Visitors to the area should be aware that UXOs exist in Mondulkiri. It is believed that the area will never be fully cleared in the same way as UXOs are still being found in Europe from the 1940's. There are virtually no land mines in this area of Cambodia. Most visits to Cambodia are completely trouble free.
02. What languages do I need?You need to be able to speak English as this will be the common language at the project. English does not need to be your first language but you will need to be proficient in English to teach. It is also courteous to learn some Khmer and Bunong and you will be given help on arrival with the basics (Hello, Thank you etc).
03. What are the living conditions at the project?Volunteers will stay in a clean and comfortable hotel at the centre of the provincial capital of Sen Monorom. Rooms are single occupancy and can be shared by volunteers who are traveling together. The rooms provide hot water, private toilet and a hot shower. The rooms have fans but can be upgraded to air conditioning for an additional charge. Cable TV is available in all rooms with some channels in English. There is no restaurant on site however the town is quite small and local services are only a short walk away.
04. What type of food will I be eating?Sen Monoron has many restaurants and market food stalls with limited choice of western foods in a few restaurants and tourist locations. Those looking for fast food chains or a developed nightlife will be left wanting.
05. Will I have time for extra activities?Yes, in fact we actively encourage it! Cambodia is a beautiful country and we wish you to experience its culture, history and people. The local staff will give advice and help arrange trips for you. You will also experience field trips and village visits during your volunteering time.
06. What about E-mail, telephone and cash withdrawals?Sen Monorom has mobile phone coverage. You will not get mobile phone coverage when traveling distances from the town. Sen Monorom has internet access but it is probably not as quick as you may be used to! Cash withdrawals can be made from an ATM in town and usually from traveler's cheques.
07. What vaccinations will I need for Cambodia?We recommend that our volunteers consult a doctor for up to date advise about vaccinations. Do this as soon as possible as some vaccinations take time to be effective. General advise is to be up to date with tetanus and diphtheria, Hepatitis A & B and typhoid.
08. How many hours will I be volunteering?You will be volunteering for approximately 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. We can be flexible with your time as required. This is a very varied project with lots to be done so self motivated volunteers can be kept busy. Weekend activities with the students can also be organised.
09. Do I need to be qualified to teach?No, you will be given guidance and teach from text books with the help of local teaching staff and existing volunteers. If you don’t feel confident enough to teach at first then you may just help out the local teaching staff. Many of the English classes at this project are casual and conversational for the students to practice English and pronunciation.
10. Do I need a visa?
Visas are easily obtained on arrival at Siem Reap and Phnom Penh international airports. Visas are available at border crossings with Thailand and Vietnam but not always with Laos.
A tourist visa costs US$30 for 30 days and can be extended for another 30 days only. An 'ordinary' visa (previously called a 'business visa') costs US$35 for 30 days and can be extended for an indefinite period of time.
Cambodia immigration authority ask that volunteers get an 'ordinary' (business) visa on arrival, even if they stay less than one month. By law, an 'ordinary' (business) visa permits visitors to volunteer. In reality, many volunteers get a tourist visa and the immigration on arrival will often tell volunteers that they only need a tourist visa unless they are staying for more than 60 days.
Be aware that a passport with at least 6 months validity is required. You will also need to provide immigration with a passport size photograph.
There is an online service to obtain a tourist visa via the internet which has an administration fee but will save time at the airport:
Note: As visa requirements can change and are different for nationalities, it is the volunteers responsibility to arrange entry visas.
11. What cultural differences must I consider?Cambodians are very friendly and a smile will go a long way. Be respectful to elders. Shouting, or public displays of over emotion are impolite. Remove shoes before entering a temple or someone's home. Dress respectfully, especially when visiting temples. Do not point at someone with your finger or naked foot, do not touch peoples heads. For women, it is forbidden to touch a monk or even brush past his clothes. A woman may not directly pass anything to a monk, she must place it on a table for him to pick up. Do not underestimate the importance of dressing correctly, please read the orientation guide for advise.
12. Is there a dress code?Yes, Cambodia is a conservative country and we ask that you respect them by dressing accordingly. The basic rule is to cover your knees and shoulders. Full advise can be found on the orientation guide.
13. Can I drink alcohol and smoke?Of course, but we request that you use common sense. Alcohol is not permitted whilst with the children and smoking must be done out of their sight as you are role models and influential to the children. There are bars in Sen Monoron for you to indulge when away from the children.
14. Do I receive training and orientation?Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from the project staff, giving local information and advice. There are resources at the project locations for volunteers to use. The staff are available to assist volunteers in achieving the project objectives.
15. What is the criteria of a volunteer?Volunteers will be assessed on the information provided during the application process.
16. Should I bring presents for the children?The greatest gifts you can give the children are love, respect and an education. Being part of this project is the best way to help the children in poverty and their community. Giving beggars money is not a sustainable activity and full information will be supplied during your orientation. If there are specific activities during your placement we will advise you, for example, you may wish to bring crayons if an arts project is in progress. An up to date wish list will be sent before your arrival. Gifts should not be given directly to the children but to project staff.
17. Do I need travel Insurance?
Travel insurance is highly recommended at this project. To help make getting insured easier we have formed a partnership with award-winning travel insurers, World Nomads. They provide insurance to travellers from over 140 different countries and are the only insurer we have found that will allow you to take out a policy even after you have left your home country.
If you purchase an insurance policy from World Nomads through this link -Travel Insurance
- they will also make a donation to Globalteer and the many projects we support.
Please note that Globalteer can accept no responsibility for your travel or insurance arrangements and encourages you to fully research all travel and insurance options available to you.
18. Who usually volunteers at your projects?The majority of volunteers are from the UK, United States, Australia, Canada and Ireland. We also place volunteers from Holland, Germany, Ireland, Japan and New Zealand although all nationalities are welcome. The majority of volunteers travel alone to the projects, although we also accommodate couples and groups.
19. Where does my money go?A full explanation of where your money goes can be found on a link from the Globalteer home page including our full independent accounts as confirmed by the UK Charities commission.
20. I have read about corrupt NGO's and poor child protection in Cambodia. How can I be sure that Globalteer are not one of these NGO's expoliting children, donors and volunteers?Globalteer is a registered UK charity and we are therefore required to abide by UK charity law. We have a robust child protection policy and accounting system that is posted online in the public domain. Any partner projects are required to achieve the same high standards required by the charities commission. We agree with many of the concerns raised about some NGO's in Cambodia and take great care to protect those we serve and those who serve with us from such exploitation.