Real South East Asia Experience

Visit Viet Nam, Cambodia and Bali on a 12 week long tour while making a social impact!

South East Asia stretches across eleven countries from eastern India to China. Every country is unique but across the region you’ll find blissful beaches, ancient temples, delicious cuisine, lush landscapes and urban jungles. Your 12 week volunteering adventure will take in three of these amazingly exotic but very accessible countries; Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali.

Spending 12 weeks travelling and volunteering around the heart of South East Asia will give you time to embrace the richness of the culture, revel in the history and become immersed in the communities along the way. You’ll live in these countries rather than just passing through and have a hugely positive impact while you’re there.

Vietnam has been described as ‘astonishingly exotic and utterly compelling, A country of breathtaking natural beauty with a unique heritage, where travel quickly becomes addictive’ by Lonely Planet and they’re not wrong. However, the country is still plagued with poverty and nearly 40% of Vietnamese people still live on under £2 a day.

Volunteers are vital and you have your choice of where you’d like to help. Whether you’re playing games with sick children at Hanoi’s Paediatric Hospital, teaching English to a community class, caring for special needs children or even working in the offices of a development NGO – there is so much positive work to be done.

Cambodia is a country emerging from years of turmoil and civil unrest. Yet it has the most beautiful and blissfully undeveloped coastlines in the region and is blessed with one of the most spectacular temples in the world, Angkor Wat. But it is also one of the poorest countries in the world with around a third of Cambodians surviving on less than £1 a day.

With PMGY you can contribute to grass-roots development by teaching English, providing disadvantaged young people with the tools to gain meaningful employment and break out of the cycle of poverty or volunteer at an orphanage and make a real difference to the lives of some of the most needy children in this beautiful developing country.

With a population of less than four million, Bali is an island of soft white sands, crystal clear waters, lush tropical forests and ancient temples. Many say that Bali is not so much a place but a state of mind, a feeling of wonder and a mood of serenity.

Our programmes in Bali aim to give a true insight into the Balinese way of life, to experience its famous beauty whilst seeing the side of the country the tourists don’t get to see. Stay in the rice bowl of Bali in the traditional town of Tabanan and give that most precious commodity of all, your time, to children desperate to learn. Teach English set amongst rice paddies, steep ravines and forests. Invest your time in Bali’s children and help to ensure their future is bright!

Your Itinerary

  • Day 1 (Wednesday) Arrival Good morning Vietnam!
  • Day 2 (Thursday) Orientation Begins
  • Day 3 (Friday) Orientation Continues
  • Day 4-5 (Saturday-Sunday) City Tour & Free Time!
  • Day 6-10 (Monday-Friday) Volunteering
  • Day 11-12 (Saturday-Sunday) Free Time
  • Day 13-32 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Weeks
  • Day 33 (Sunday) Goodbye Vietnam – Hello Cambodia!
  • Day 34 (Monday) Orientation
  • Day 35-38 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins
  • Day 39-40 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend
  • Day 41-60 (Monday-Saturday) The Following Weeks
  • Day 61 (Sunday) Goodbye Cambodia – Hello Bali!
  • Day 62 (Monday) Orientation
  • Day 63-66 (Tuesday-Friday) Volunteering Begins
  • Day 67-68 (Saturday-Sunday) Weekend
  • Day 69-87 (Monday-Friday) The Following Weeks
  • Day 88 (Saturday) Last Day


Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?

Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we always ensure our host locations are safe. Each programme has been extensively researched and has passed our strict vetting process. Our UK team undergo an extensive routine when establishing our in-country infrastructures and we continue to monitor our safety procedures on a regular basis. Furthermore, we monitor the stability of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis. Through our constant contact with consulates and embassies and our reports from our overseas teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable regions.

The PMGY team have visited and participated in every programme we offer and verified them based on our own independent criteria. We carefully inspect every little detail of our set-up. From inspecting the living conditions, checking out the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, to tasting the food you’ll be eating – each and every programme we establish has gone through a lengthy and rigorous vetting process. Risk assessments have been written for all areas in which PMGY operate and our experienced local coordinators are always on-hand to manage any emergencies that may occur. Our UK team are always on the road reviewing our risk management procedures in the field and monitoring local conditions.

In emergency situations we have the necessary protocols and equipment in place and we are able to evacuate our volunteers from potential dangers. Our local coordinators are trained to deal with emergency circumstances.

When you join PMGY we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visa issues etc. Furthermore, our UK team are only ever a phone call away should you wish to discuss any aspect of your upcoming programme. When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive safety briefing during your orientation course by our local coordinators. We will go through everything from emergency procedures, how to use local transport and cultural differences. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM card, something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. We will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.

All our local teams are experienced development professionals who have years of experience in hosting international volunteers. They are our representatives on the ground and will assist you 24/7 throughout your stay. Whether you need to call home, travel at the weekend or require urgent assistance – they are there to support you.

While we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each programme is as safe as possible.

Suitable for

Couples
Singles
Groups

Typical day

Almost every day you will be doing something different on this adventure, but here are three examples of what you might be doing in each country.

Viet Nam

On Saturday our local coordinators will take you on a tour of Hanoi. You will get to see some of the best sights this famous city has to offer whilst also learning about safety and how to use the public transport system. Sunday is a free day. Take this time to further explore the local area with fellow volunteers and prepare for your first day of volunteering on Monday.

Cambodia

Your orientation will begin on Monday. Our local team will teach you about life in Cambodia, the do’s and don’ts, the local culture and religion. Your orientation will continue with an introduction to the local language, safety advice and all the projects we support in the community. In the afternoon, our local coordinator will take you to see some of the famous sites around your immediate area. You will also have the chance to go to the ATM, buy a local phone or SIM Card and visit the supermarket.

Bali

Your next 3 weeks will follow a similar pattern, as you will be volunteering from Monday to Friday. Time will fly so make sure you make the most of it. Our local team are there to support you throughout your stay. Whether you’ve lost your passport, want some advice for weekend travel plans or just need someone to talk to, they are there for you.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High School level
Other Skills
You should also be physically fit, as volunteering overseas can be quite strenuous. If you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas then these must be declared to us during your online application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Viet Nam? Volunteer World directly connects you with Plan My Gap Year

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Free-time activities

Here is an idea of what you could be getting up to:

Hanoi

  • Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex - The Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum Complex is an important place of pilgrimage for many Vietnamese. A traffic-free area of botanical gardens , monuments, memorials and pagodas, it’s usually crowded with groups of Vietnamese who come from far and wide to pay their respects to ‘Uncle Ho’.
  • Hoa Lo Prison Museum - This thought-provoking site is all that remains of the former Hoa Lo Prison, ironically nicknamed the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ by US POWs during the American War. Most exhibits relate to the prison’s use up to the mid-1950s, focusing on the Vietnamese struggle for independence from France.
  • The Old Quarter - Take a step back in time into the Old Quarter of Hanoi. It will feel like a different world in comparison to the rest of the city where change takes place daily.

Phnom Penh

  • S-21 (Tuol Sleng) Prison - This prison was the Khmer Rouge’s primary interrogation and extermination centre, designed to purge anti-Khmer Rouge elements from the new society Pol Pot and his henchmen began ruthlessly creating. 
  • Royal Palace - The Royal Palace is located opposite the ever present Tonle Sap River. Although not as large and impressive as the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace is still a point of immense beauty. The Silver Pagoda is simply brilliant and the surrounding gardens are extremely beautiful.
  • National Museum - Located just opposite the Royal Palace, the museum has a large art collection, statues of Hindu gods as well as two magnificent statues, one of king Jayavarman, the other of Yama, the Hindu god of death. No photos are allowed and it is a must visit to get the vibe of the city and country, for any visitor.
Tabanan
  • East Bali & Sanur - With arguably the island’s best dive spots right off the shores of Amed and Candidasa, and the island’s highest point, Gunung (Mount) Agung, looming authoritatively above them, east Bali is a place of literal highs and lows.
  • North Bali - In north Bali, days start with dolphin-watching trips from Lovina in traditional outrigger canoes, followed by long afternoons bathing in the mossy air terjun (waterfalls) of Sekumpul, Gitgit and Sambangan. Be prepared for a few stairs, but as a general rule, more stairs equal less crowds.
  • West Bali - Many travellers can’t look beyond West Bali as the gateway to good surf, blazing their way to Medewi or Java. All the while, they are skirting the stunning Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park) with its calm, secluded beaches that are home to families of wild deer, and unique regional flavours like ayam betutu, a wood-smoked chicken broth served with rice and spicy spinach.

Water Sports
Swimming
Concert/Music
Safari/Zoo
Museum/Opera
Sports

Services

What's included?
Your fee includes both your registration fee and programme fees.

Your programme fee includes
  • accommodation, 
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner,
  • airport pickup (24 hours), 
  • in-country transportation to projects,
  • in-country orientations, 
  • 24 hour in-country support.
Your registration fee includes; 
  • 24 hour UK based support, 
  • comprehensive volunteer handbook, 
  • live pre-departure webinars, 
  • regular programme inspection.
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

You should arrive into Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (airport code HAN) on the selected Wednesday start date.

You will be met at the airport by one of our local staff or an appointed driver who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Accommodation

Bali

During your time with PMGY you will live in our Volunteer House which is just a 5 minute walk from the centre of Tabanan where you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

The accommodation is basic but comfortable with free Wi-Fi. Each room has bunk beds with up to 8 people per room in same-sex rooms. Volunteers are provided with fans in the room and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared, have a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem as Bali is hot and humid all year-round!

We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables with our local team in their private area. There will also be fridge space available for volunteers to store any items they need to keep chilled.


Cambodia

If you’re going to the orphanage placement then you will live at the orphanage site in separate living quarters. Please note you will spend your first night with PMGY (the Sunday night) at our partner guesthouse in central Phnom Penh. We will drive you to the orphanage on the Monday afternoon after you have received your orientation period with our local team.

The accommodation at the orphanage is very basic but relatively comfortable. Up to 10 volunteers can stay at the orphanage at any one time. You will share a room with fellow volunteers (single sex rooms) with up to 4 volunteers per room. Each room has single beds, mosquito nets and a ceiling fan. There are two bathrooms within a short walk from the volunteer accommodation – these are for volunteers use only. The bathrooms have western style flush toilets and cold water showers.

Volunteers at the kindergarten placement will stay at our partner guesthouse in central Phnom Penh. You will share a room and bathroom with fellow volunteers, up to 6 per room. All rooms are single-sex, unless a couple have requested a private room. Depending on the room you will be provided with a single bed or bunk beds. The guesthouse welcomes outside guests but we have rooms reserved exclusively for PMGY volunteers, so you will not share your room with non-PMGY volunteers.



Viet Nam

During your time with PMGY in Vietnam you will live at our Volunteer House located within a quiet and friendly neighbourhood approximately a 45-minute bus journey from the Old Quarter of Hanoi. There is everything you need within walking distance of the Volunteer House: ATMs, supermarkets, laundrettes, chemists etc. There are also some great cafes and local bars. You’ll be living with other PMGY volunteers from around the world, so you’ll make plenty of friends along the way.

Dorm Room Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Bali

You will be provided with three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indonesian dishes that can be typically quite spicy. Balinese cuisine consists of a lot of rice and the meat is mainly fish or chicken – vegetarian options are always available. A weekly menu has been introduced that so you will know in advance what is on the menu for that day.

Cambodia

The orphanage grows the majority of vegetables and meat they use and so food is always very fresh and healthy. You are provided with three meals per day. Meals are local dishes and a vegetarian option is always available. Volunteers eat with the rest of the young people and so you really feel like part of the family.

At the guesthouse, you will be provided with three meals a day. Breakfast and dinner are served at the guesthouse. There is a menu where you can select your meals and there are local and western options to choose from. For lunch you will receive a packed lunch from the guesthouse, which you take to the project. Filtered drinking water is available free of charge for you to help yourself as you please.

Viet Nam

You will be provided with three meals a day, which will be traditional Vietnamese dishes – this means a lot of rice! All food will be nutritious and freshly cooked.

For breakfast you can expect cereal, toast and tea/coffee. Some projects will provide you with lunch, for those that don’t, you will eat at the Volunteer House. Lunch in the house is usually always a Vietnamese dish, which will include soup, rice, vegetables and sometimes meat or fish. For projects a little further afield, you can eat lunch at a local restaurant and then be reimbursed for the value of your lunch up to 40,000 VND.

Dinner is served at the Volunteer House. We have cooks at the house who will freshly prepare your meals. You can expect a variety of dishes, so there will be always something to suit even the fussiest eaters! A typical meal will have pork, fish, beef or chicken and tofu or egg and at least 2 different kinds of vegetable dishes, along with rice and soup. Western meals will be served on an ad-hoc basis and our volunteers always appreciate this.

If you fancy eating out there are plenty of cafes and local amenities in the surrounding area or you can take a bus or taxi into the main tourist area, the Old Quarter, in the city of Hanoi.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs
12 weeks (min. stay)
$2325

You can volunteer at the project site in Hanoi/Viet Nam between 12 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
$194/week
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Viet Nam

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Viet Nam. Please check the visa regulations for Viet Nam.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Viet Nam and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Viet Nam.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Viet Nam.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Noibai International (HAN) in Hanoi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Viet Nam.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Viet Nam provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Viet Nam you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Viet Nam.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Viet Nam while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Viet Nam upfront.
Hanoi, Hanoi, Viet Nam