Tag Archive for Cambodia

New! Angkor Wat to Bangkok Cycle!

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 Sit down in your saddles ladies and gentleman as this month we are launching our brand spanking new Angkor Wat to Bangkok Cycle just in time for the Khmer New Year! To celebrate we are offering £100 off the deposit on this challenge for the departure date 04/12/2015! Simply quote ANGKOR100 at the time of booking.

So what are you waiting for?!

If you’ve ever dreamed of peddling past brightly robed monks, through vivid green jungles to follow the coastline of Thailand then this incredible new cycle Challenge could be for you! We take you 400kms in the saddle from the lotus towers of Angkor Wat deep into the heart of Cambodia, before crossing the border into mystical Thailand. This cycle incorporates the architectural phenomenonal grandeur of the ancient City of Angkor, with the beauty of the Cambodian countryside. You will need your wits about you as you dodge potholes and cows, tackle river crossings and take one hand off the handlebars to greet the locals as we wave goodbye to Cambodia and hello to Thailand, the Land of Smiles. Here we follow the stunning coastline all the way to the finish line, with a chance to revel in the crystal blue waters before our final push to bustling Bangkok…

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Angkor Wat? Built between 879-1191 AD this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most astonishing examples of architecture worldwide and the starting point of your Challenge, our bikes offer the perfect method of transport to navigate this vast ancient city. Prepare to be blown away at the intricate detailing on every slab of the main Angkor Wat temple, the labyrinth of work is a tribute to the Khmer people that constructed these breathtaking structures. If you only explore 2 temples, one must be the Temple of Bayon with its many faces it offers a small window into 12th Century Khmer society beautifully captured in stone, including an extensive insight into everyday life. In contrast the temple of Ta Prohm offers a breathtaking contrast as it has been devoured by trees, the roots pushing their way through the stones.

Bangkok

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Thailand’s eclectic capital is a buzzing hub of tradition, traffic and tremendous excitement as it is here we conclude our magnificent cycle. The multitude of people, sights, smells and challenge of navigating through the various forms of transport will be a shock after the peaceful kilometers of the Chantaburi coastline. Once we have reached our final destination we have chance to explore and relax in the beautiful Botanical Gardens before exploring all that Bangkok’s nightlife has to offer. It is hard not to get caught up in the magic of the capital which is why we celebrate here on the final night of our challenge.

Koh Samed/ Hua Hin Beach Extension 

Hua-Hin's-sunrise-shoreline

Renowned worldwide for its white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, Thailand’s coastline is postcard worthy throughout. After cycling a phenomenal 400kms across South East Asia it’s fair to say your legs may be pretty stiff, what better way to unwind than reward yourself with a Thai massage on the sand, watching the sunset over the Gulf of Thailand….

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Renowned worldwide for its white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, Thailand’s coastline is postcard worthy throughout. After cycling a phenomenal 400kms across South East Asia it’s fair to say your legs may be pretty stiff, what better way to unwind than reward yourself with a Thai massage on the sand, watching the sunset over the Gulf of Thailand….

*For full Terms and Conditions see here!

Sources:

http://www.canbypublications.com/angkor-cambodia/bayon.htm

Getaway to a greener challenge!

So you want to raise money for a Charity that is close to your heart? But you are also very aware of Global issues and are determined to make a difference worldwide?

Then our newly launched Cambodia Jungle Trek, aimed at directly ‘giving back’ to the communities and Rainforest of the Cardamom Mountains, might be the challenge for you, as we looked at putting this challenge together with Community Eco Tourism especially in mind.

The Cambodia Jungle Trek starts and ends in the village of Chi Phat, located in the heart of the Southern Cardamoms Protected Forest, it is a location that has been severely affected by warfare, commercial logging and hunting.  Chi Phat is also known as the birthplace of the Community-Based Ecotourism Site (CBAT), an organisation that has set the standard in the country, providing a wide array of green activities

Preservation of the Cardamom Mountains requires working in close partnership with the communities living in the region. Decades of instability have left many families hovering around the poverty line. However, in providing for their families, many have engaged in activities that have actually put the region’s wildlife and forests at risk.

By participating in one of our Charity Challenges, it is not only your chosen charity that benefits, Charity Challenge also donates on your behalf to a project that directly benefits the local area of the trek. In the case of the Cambodia Jungle Trek,  we donate to the work of Wildlife Alliance.

Wildlife Alliance is the leader in direct protection to forests and wildlife in the Southeast Asian tropical belt.  Their mission is to combat deforestation, wildlife extinction, climate change, and poverty by partnering with local communities and governments.

So how do they do this?

Wildlife Alliance’s focus is directly on the people of the Cardamom Area performing everyday duties to sustain a living without destroying the rainforest, instead of training a few teachers to return to these communities to convey our ideas. On example of their good work can be foundhere  – After 18 months of campaigning, Wildlife Alliance has finally obtained the cancellation of a banana plantation that would have cut the Southern Cardamom Rainforest in half.

To check out their mission statement and find out more, follow the below link.  http://www.wildlifealliance.org/mission-strategy/

So what made Charity Challenge choose Cambodia and Wildlife Alliance?

The idea of raising awareness and helping our participants to experience firsthand the direct results of the work locally of Wildlife Alliance is an opportunity of a lifetime. If the experience of trekking in Prime Rainforests and sleeping amongst wildlife in their home territory is not enough we wanted to give you the opportunity to meet the beautiful people of Cambodia and help raise awareness of the effects of deforestation that is caused not just to the wildlife within the rainforests and the villagers surrounding the area but how cutting down the vital rainforests has an effect globally.

When you join the Cambodia Jungle Trek you will have the opportunity to visit two field sites of Wildlife Alliance and witness their good work first hand. You will stay in Homestays in Chi Phat and experience the local communities around the Cardamom Mountains but also on returning to Phnom Penh visit Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center.

If you’ve been inspired to take on the challenge of a lifetime with our Cambodia Jungle Trek and change the world for the better, you can learn more about and book onto the challenge here.

To learn more about all our charity challenges, and find out how else we get involved with responsible tourism. Please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Welcome to the Jungles!

Jungle trekking is a great way to explore the jungle and to get closer to the sounds and sights of such an amazing eco-system. For many, the Jungle represents the ultimate getaway from the mundanely of the office and urban living, but it’s important to remember that every jungle is different.

Here at Charity Challenge, we offer 3 tropical and totally unique jungle Challenges.  So if you know you want to take on a jungle but are not sure which, then the below guides will hopefully help you decide which challenge is for you!

 

THE SUMATRA JUNGLE TREK

 Challenge in a Nutshell: On this this unique 11 day jungle Challenge, you take on a challenging and truly exotic itinerary that entails 6 days of hardcore jungle trekking, camping in the rainforest, tracking wildlife, river walking, meeting local people, tubing down the rapids of the Bohorok river and a taking some time out to visit the Gunung Leuser National Park’s Orangutan feeding platform, where you can observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Terrain: Lots of Steep accents and descents, as our Operations Manager Jo said, “It’s easy to see why Tarzan swings through the trees on vines, as navigating through the tangled tree roots, vines and creepers of the jungle underbrush is quite tricky.”

What will you see: In our Sumatra Jungle trek you will of course see plenty of Orangutan activity not to mention a diverse landscape of Flora and Fauna. The Sumatran jungle is teeming with wildlife, such as the Macaques, Horbills, snakes and the infamous punky haired Thomas Leaf Monkeys.

What to be aware off: the Sumatran Jungle is the home of the endangered Orangutan. You will need to be aware that sightings will be down to your own behaviour and a lot of noise will only scare them away.  There will be leeches and so tiger balm is a must. You will be trekking in the deepest parts of the jungle and river tubing through grade 1 -2  rapids so practising those butterfly strokes would not go a miss.

Jungle Highlight: It has to be seeing the Orangutans at the Bohorok Feeding Platform. At the feeding platform you will be able to see the semi-wild orangutans in their natural habitat. The free-living orangutans are normally fed twice a day at the feeding platform. They are offered a deliberately monotonous diet of bananas and milk to encourage them to forage in the wild. It is a once in a life time opportunity to see orangutans in their natural habitat. If you are really lucky you will also get to experience the wild orang-utan in their habitat deep in the depths of the jungle.

To learn more about this amazing challenge click here!

 

THE CAMBODIA JUNGLE TREK

Challenge in a nutshell: This invigorating 11 day trekking challenge in the South West of Cambodia combines jungle trekking with cultural history as you pass through hilly terrain still largely covered by dense tropical forests, numerous waterfalls and caves along with a visit to a 500 year old burial site and a chance to learn more about Cambodia’s bloody history under the regime of dictator Pol Pot in the 1970s. The region remained closed to tourists for decades and has only recently opened, so if you book onto this challenge you will be the amongst the first to explore Asia’s next big trekking destination.

Terrain: In contrast to Sumatra, the terrain you’ll experience in this trek is primarily undulating, switching between dense tropical rainforests and more open grasslands.

What will you see: This area is still unique in its unfamiliarity with western travellers. Whilst staying local villagers in home stays, you will have the opportunity to hear first hand stories  of the bloody history of the area. You will also certainly have the chance to see some rare and exciting nature, such as hornbills, elephant footprints, Macaques and (unfortunately for some) Leeches!

What to be aware off: Cambodia is unfortunately the jungle of the leeches, and the place is teaming with them! But there are many tricks you can learn to deter leeches. Tiger balm is an excellent leach repellent, you will also be equipped with Leach Socks, be sure to keep walking and not lean on anything in the rainforest. If you need to stop and take a rest, find a spot with direct sunlight, as leeches do not exist in dry and hot places. Typically you’ll find Brown Leech on the ground and tiger leech on the tree leaves. A Tiger leech bite is more painful than that of a Brown Leech, the bite marks can be permanent too.

Jungle Highlight: The Cambodian Jungle is undeniably lush and spectacular, but this trek is all about the culture. Going to Cambodia would not be what it was without learning about the devastating history of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pots Regime at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Meeting the locals in Chi Phat with their smiles and experiencing real Cambodia  as you spend a couple of nights in homestays with the local villagers is a memory that will stay with you for every.

To learn more about this fantastic challenge click here

 

THE THAILAND JUNGLE EXPEDITION

Challenge in a Nutshell: Our Thailand Jungle takes place in the epitomised rainforests in western Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, location of the infamous Death Railway and Bridge over the River Kwai. The challenge will take you through the rugged jungles in the remote border with Burma, and you will experience a classic jungle adventure as you trek, raft, kayak and ride elephants through the forests and mountains of the Thung Yai Nareusan Wildlife Sanctuary.

Terrain: The jungle expedition in Thailand is more established than the previous two, and entails trekking form village to village on a terrain that is undulated and steep at times. You will also trek through rivers and experience the beautiful mountainous bamboo forests.

What will you see: During this trek you’ll have the opportunity to see lots of exciting wildlife and Jungle flora and fauna. On day 9 of the trek you’ll even have the opportunity to see elephants up-close at the riverside elephant camp.

What to be aware off: You’ve got to stick together in the jungle, if you get behind by only a few feet and you could lose sight of the group behind the trees.

Jungle Highlight: Many of our previous Thailand challenges tell us that their favourite part of the challenge was meeting the Karen people, who traditionally live in bamboo stilt houses and at campsite on the banks of the river, and experiencing their way of life. Also Kayaking down the river Kwai on Bamboo or Rubber Rafting is a real thrill!

To learn more about this classic challenge click here!

So if our jungles have inspired you, you can find out more information about them on our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, both jungle and not, please subscribe to this blog and enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Charity Challenge, Climate Care and Carbon Footprints

In these times of foreign travel, where journeying abroad is the norm, climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing us all, with the potential for significant community, biodiversity and environmental consequences across the world. To take responsibility for the impact our business has on the climate (emissions from the office, and flights for Charity Challenge staff and our passengers’ flights) we are offsetting the carbon emissions from our business through Climate Care.

Who is Climate Care?

Climate care is one of the oldest businesses in the carbon market.  Since 1997 they have been reducing greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of companies and individuals. Reductions are made through a range of projects around the world that not only make real verified reductions in carbon emissions, but also make a difference to people’s lives.

How many tonnes have we offset?

During 2008 and 2009 our customer and staff flights and our business operations generated 4381.68 tonnes of carbon emissions, which were all offset by Climate Care on your behalf.

Who else benefits?

The offsets we purchase on your behalf help to fund a portfolio of projects in the developing world.   In many cases these projects are situated in countries where we have challenges.  The projects not only reduce carbon emissions but also  improve the lives of those living locally which in the long term benefits us all, by providing clean technologies to parts of the world where emissions are growing most quickly.

Cambodia Improved Lao stoves summary;

An example of one of the projects our contributions have been invested in is the Cambodia improved cook stoves Project.  This aims to transform the cooking market in Cambodia, overcoming many barriers to achieve its goal: developing the stove, developing the sales channels, improving sales techniques, marketing the stove and management training.

Replacing the traditional Lao stove with a stove with improved efficiency helps to reduce the demand for charcoal by as much as 21%.

On top of reducing the carbon emissions, the project has social and economic benefits:

  • The project is building the country’s capacity in technical skills in the manufacturing of the improved stove.
  • By reducing the amount of fuel used for cooking, the project enables stove users to spend less on fuel to cook, thereby saving valuable income.
  • The new Lao stove reduces harmful smoke and soot in the kitchen, improving the health of its users.

The reductions we have made through buying those offsets is equivalent to Grounding 16 full flights (assumed 348 passengers) from London Heathrow to New York JFK airport.

Click Here if you’d like to have a look at the Climate Care website, and if you want to keep up to date on our latest news and promotions, check the Charity Challenge Website, subscribe to the blog via the RSS button and subscribe to our mailing list by entering your email address in the box on the right hand tool bar.