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Explore magical days of yoga at rural Cambodia while supporting the Ponheary Ly Foundation Girls’ Dormitory and fall in love with Siem Reap with this journey that will ask you to give back to yourself by compassionately giving others. From daily yoga to lakeside picnics to exploring the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, getting lost in the textiles and food stalls of the glowing night market, and even trying your hand at Khmer cooking, this trip will crack your heart wide open from the inside out!
During this retreat, you will be accommodated at Seven Candles Guesthouse. The guesthouse has 28 tastefully appointed rooms, 14 with two extra-long twin beds, 12 with a single queen bed, and two quadruple rooms furnished with four twin beds.
All rooms have ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers, comfortable bedding and towels, cable television with movie channels, a digital video disc players with a big movie selection, a mini fridge, room controlled air conditioning, ceiling fans, and in-room coffee and tea service. Half of the rooms have private balconies.
This retreat will take place at the Seven Candles Guesthouse in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The retreat is located on Wat Bo Road, a short 10-minute walk along the river to the old market in an area filled with great local restaurants and shops. The 28-room guesthouse is owned by Ponheary Ly and her family; natives of Siem Reap and managed by Lori Carlson who hails from Austin, Texas.
Upon arrival at the Seven Candles Guesthouse, you will take a stroll down Pub Street for a bite to eat to enjoy the sunset overlooking the Wat Bo River on the roof and settle into the sounds of Siem Reap.
You will start your day with a morning rooftop yoga practice followed by a delicious and healthy breakfast with fresh ingredients from the market in town. You will sip home-brewed coffee and eat fresh mangos and dragon fruit in the opening circle setting intentions for the next days. After the open circle, you will hop in a tuk-tuk and travel to West Baray lake where inner tubes, hammocks, and grilled pineapples await for you to relax and unwind.
You will enjoy a traditional Khmer meal back at the guesthouse before heading into town for the giant puppet parade; a children’s community art project that inspires disadvantaged children to promote self expression through art. The evening will be free to check out Siem Reap’s nightlife or chill out with an ice cream from Blue Pumpkin; Siem Reap’s best ice cream shop with creative and authentic flavors like durian.
On this day, you will wake up to a rejuvenating yoga practice followed by breakfast. During the afternoon, you will head to the Tonle Floating Village and take a boat tour to visit the communities that live on this lake. You will see houses on stilts, floating pigpens, and flower markets. You will also visit the local school and monastery and might even catch a local boat race.
You will have a fantastic lunch in town and have the afternoon open to see the local galleries that surround Siem Reap or take a pottery class that supports the Khmer art scene. Dinner will be back at the guesthouse and you will head back into town to visit the "Night Market-Made in Cambodia" tour where you will learn all about traditional Khmer handicrafts.
You will start with an early morning yoga practice and filling breakfast before beginning your first day of volunteer teaching at one of the Ponheary Ly Foundation schools where you will get in touch with your creative side by teaching a fun English lesson. You will see how the smiles of the students multiply just by setting foot into the classroom.
Then, you will have free time to explore the town or get a massage before an evening sunset yoga class followed by a Cambodian feast back at the guesthouse.
On this day, you will have a light breakfast and pack your yoga mat as you will be heading off to Angkor Wat, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you will be doing yoga in the magnificent complex. You will then have a guided tour of the ruins and learn all about the construction and history of this Hindu to Buddhist temple site.
The lunch will be back in town with free time to follow, then you will meet back at the guesthouse to visit the Girls’ Dormitory and help with homework, practice English, and learn all about their lives.
Then, early dinner will be held back at the guesthouse as you have a fun evening planned of entertainment by going to Phare, a Cambodian circus comprised of dance, circus acts and live music to support youth performing arts.
You will welcome the day with a morning bike ride exploring the rural countryside of Siem Reap. You will see rice paddies, sprawling fields, cows, and small temples as you explore the back roads of the amazing town. A huge breakfast will be awaiting you back at Seven Candles before leaving to teach at one of the Ponheary Ly Foundation schools.
Then, you will have free time to unwind, shop, or simply walk down the Wat Bo River. An evening yoga class will get you nice and hungry for the cooking class at Le Tigre de Papier where you will get to choose and make your dinner using locally produced vegetables and fresh fish from the Tonle Sap Lake.
On this day, you will get energized for a second day at Angkor Wat with a morning yoga class and breakfast before heading off to check out more temples. You will go back to town for lunch and have some free time, and then you will meet back at the guesthouse to visit the Girls’ Dormitory and help with their English lesson. Dinner will be at the guesthouse and the evening will be open for those who want to go out or have a cozy night in.
You will start your day with a yoga class before breakfast and then you will prepare for your last day of teaching at the Ponheary Ly Foundation schools. You are welcome to bring supplies, songs, treats, and smiles to celebrate a fantastic week of learning and fun. Then, lunch in town will be followed with free time to see the old market or get drinks at a renovated hotel from the former French governor’s mansion.
Afterwards, you will have an evening yoga class, dinner at the guesthouse, and you will get ready for a night out in the town.
On this day, you will have a slightly later morning yoga class and after a healthy breakfast you will get ready for a day of pampering at Frangapani Spa where your feet will be cleansed on flower petals and warm towels before indulging in a service of your choice; from a jasmine rice scrub to a four-handed massage.
Then, you will head to Pub Street for lunch and there will be free time to relax before heading back to the Girls’ Dormitory for an evening activity and a homemade dinner. From there, you will go to the Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital and see a cello performance by Doctor Beat Richner to learn more about the hospital’s mission and accomplishments in serving the Siem Reap community.
You will start the morning with a yoga session and breakfast before heading to the Landmine Museum with Ponheary to hear all about her and her family’s story of survival during the Khmer Rouge. Then, you will meet with the group in town to have lunch and some free time to buy last-minute gifts. This day will be closed by an evening yoga class and a closing circle with a final dinner-night out.
In your last day, you will enjoy a morning yoga class on the roof before packing, eating breakfast and saying your farewells before departing to the airport.
Please book your flight to arrive at Angkor International Airport (REP). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Souljourn Yoga will pick you up from the airport. The pick up is included in the price.
This retreat will take place during the dry season that goes from November to March. It is very hot during April and May. Most tourists come during the cooler months of November, December and January. When planning your trip, don't fear rainy season! It's nice and cool, much less crowded and dusty, and the vegetation is beautiful.
Cambodians are very conservative and dress modestly. You can obviously choose what you want to wear but showing off lots of skin may draw lots of attention. At the Temples, your shoulders and knees must be covered.
The tourist visa cost approximately 20 USD and is valid for an initial period of 30 days but may be extended one time only. After that period, you must leave Cambodia and then reenter on another visa. Overstaying an initial tourist visa for a short period only is not a big deal but will cost you approximately 5 USD per day fine as well as a hassle at immigration. If you have significantly overstayed your initial visa period without renewal, then expect a hassle.
A business visa cost approximately 25 USD. The initial period of validity is thirty days but then it may be extended and re-extended for a fee and it will be virtually indefinitely. If you think you may end up spending or wish to spend more than sixty days in Cambodia for any reason, then take the business visa at time of arrival. It is well worth the extra 5 USD it costs for the flexibility it gives you. The procedure is exactly the same on arrival and takes exactly the same amount of time to process as a tourist visa. The only difference is the box you tick on the application form and the fee you pay on initial arrival and processing. It is as simple as that.
Use bottled water for drinking and brushing teeth. It's okay to shower in the tap water. Drinking fresh coconut water is the very best thing for staying hydrated. There is an excellent International Hospital in Siem Reap. They do take credit cards, do not go to a local health clinic if you're sick. Though you can buy pharmaceutical drugs, most are counterfeit. Please ask the organizer before buying and consuming pharmaceutical medication.
The Cambodian currency is the riel but everyone accepts U.S. dollars, no U.S. coins though. Many places may also accept other currencies as well. Make sure to come with new, clean bills with no tears in them. There are several ATM's in town, few places accept credit cards.
For more information, ask your questions directly to Souljourn Yoga, they will be happy to assist you. Simply click on the Send Inquiry button to send a message.
Jordan first had a taste of global seva when she completed two study abroad programs. The first in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where she taught English and women's self empowerment through the Ponheary Ly Foundation. Between completing her 200 and 300 hour yoga teacher training at ISHTA Yoga and YogaMaya New York, Jordan uprooted to Southeast Asia where she was a reporter for the Phnom Penh Post.
As a free flowing mover and modern dancer, Vinyasa flow classes drew Alison Riazi deeper into her personal practice and informed her teaching style. Her dance background has helped Alison to create interesting and original sequencing, which allows her to provide an open space for her students.
Lisa Bermudez discovered the yoga practice through her lifelong passion and appreciation for the body and movement. She believes that yoga helps us create a deeper connection to ourselves, which in turn allows us to navigate through this world with a focus on living life to its fullest potential.
During this retreat, you will be served three healthy meals per day. Some of the meals will be served at the Seven Candle Guesthouse, with fresh ingredients from the market in town, and others might be offered at downtown in several venues.
In this retreat you will visit Frangapani Spa, where your feet will be cleansed on flower petals and warm towels before indulging in a service of your choice from a jasmine rice scrub to a four-handed massage. Other spa services will be available for an additional cost.
Focusing on the pressure points and stretching techniques associated with Thai massages. Leaving you feeling relaxed and refreshed. No oil is used during this massage. The cost for this massage is 35 USD for 60 minutes.
Using our own blend of 100% natural aromatherapy oils, they use gentle "effleurage" and kneading techniques to increase blood circulation. It will leave you feeling lighter, healthier and pleasantly relaxed. The cost for this massage is 35 USD for 60 minutes.
Ideal for those who prefer a deep tissue massage, this massage relieves muscles tightened by regular exercise or daily stress. Starting with a warm-up massage, they gradually go to deeper layers of muscle, reducing muscle fatigue. The cost for this massage is 35 USD for 60 minutes.
The hot stones penetrate deeply to help loosen and sooth tightened, congested muscles. The cold stones are used to reduce inflammation and create a balanced and rejuvenating treatment. The stone massage not only relaxes and soothes the body but also detoxifies, leaving you feeling grounded, balanced, and revitalized. This treatment is not recommended for people who suffer from high-blood pressure. The cost for this massage is 75 USD for 90 minutes.
For the best results, it is advised that you combine the sports massage with a traditional herbal hot compress for at least 90 minutes. The cost for this massage is 52 USD.
A great relaxation massage for tight and stressed muscles focusing on the back, shoulder, and head. The cost for this massage is 20 USD for 30 minutes.
Two therapists work together at the same time, mirroring each other’s motions over your entire body. A blissful and relaxing massage. Enjoy the sensation of being pampered by two massage therapists. The cost for this massage is 65 USD for 60 minutes.
Foot reflexology stimulates the whole body through the pressure points on the soles of the feet. Helps cleanse your system of toxins, improves blood circulation, and supports your body’s own healing potential. Perfectly finished with a relaxing head massage. The cost for this massage is 35 USD for 60 minutes.
You have many options to discover Cambodia. The Seven Candles Guesthouse offers different extra tours that you can take depending on how long you stay. These are some friendly options:
The temples you will visit on the recommended one-day itinerary include Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Elephant Terrace, Terrace of the Leper King, and Phimean Akas in the Royal Enclosure, Taprom. Typically the day begins after your breakfast and continues until lunch at which time you'll be brought back to Siem Reap to have lunch. Touring begins again at about 14:30 and continues until dusk. If you want to stay out all day through the break, it's possible. Price is 20 USD per person, and includes guide and transport.
Hike up to the river where you can see two waterfalls and several carvings in the river stone. The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity is at Kbal Spean.
They will drive you up in the mountain to get to the waterfall, the sleeping Buddha and the river of a thousand lingas. You can have a picnic on top. There are 52 temples on Kulen mountain. You can see some of them if you hire a motobike.
This diverse place offers plenty of activities, for all interests. You can experience elephant rides, flight of the Gibbons, have a balloon ride through the west of Angkor Wat, enjoy a motorbike ride or do horseback riding.
If you are looking for a more cultural experience, you can visit the War museum, the Cambodian cultural village, the Angkor National Museum or the Butterfly Garden.
During your free time in this retreat you can chill with several activities. You can have an ice cream from Blue Pumpkin; one of Siem Reap’s best ice cream shop with creative and authentic flavors like durian or dusk at the royal gardens when the bats are taking flight. Another option is to enjoy Siem Reap’s nightlife at "Angkor What?" bar known for a glow-in-the-dark experience.
Also, it is recommended to get a red string or a water blessing from the old nuns at the pagoda behind Angkor Thom and contemplate the sunrise at Sra Srong or the sunset at Phnom Krom.
You can also visit Num bun chok in Preah Dak on the way to Banteay Srey temple and the waterfalls during rainy season at Phnom Kulen, at Kulen mountain.
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