Cambodia: Peace & Development Studies, Sample Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary. No two Dragons courses are the same. Every itinerary considers the unique strengths of the instructor team and interests of the student group.
Week 1: Siem Reap & Angkor Upon arriving in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, we retreat to the tranquil grounds of Meta Karuna Reflection Centre, lying on the outskirts of Siem Reap and the famed Angkor Wat temple complex. Here we orient ourselves to the course goals and begin laying the groundwork of our intentions and expectations for the month-long journey to come.
Week 2: Battambang & Phnom Penh We continue our journey to the artistic capital of Cambodia, Battambang, a magical place, full of colonial architecture, hilltop temples, and laidback galleries, offering a perfect blend of relative modernity and small-town friendliness. We spend our days meeting with English speaking local Theravada monks at Wat Phiphetaram to learn about how Buddhism influences the everyday life of local people. We also visit the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT), an NGO set up to educate others about the dangers of orphanages and orphanage tourism worldwide.
Week 3: Homestay Island Next we move onto the homestay portion of the course, where we live with local families in traditional Khmer homes and surrender to the daily routine of the island of Koah Ksach Tonlea. Life on the island revolves around the sun and the seasons and depends wholly upon the bounty of the earth.
Week 4: Kampot & Kep Moving into the final week of the course, students venture to Kampot for their Expedition Phase. Using their new travel skills, students organize transport, bargain with tuk-tuk drivers and design activities with the help of instructors. We learn about the garment industry, swing on vines inside a bat cave, discuss the realities of the Khmer Rouge and hike through the forest to bathe in a pristine waterfall. Kampot also offers student a chance to learn about the Cham Muslim people of Cambodia while assisting the community with a mangrove restoration project meant to keep rising salt water from inundating crops. In these calm environs, with our hands in the wet sand, we engage in transference activities aimed at self-reflection and in celebration of the incredible encounters we've had over the last month.