program Volunteer Cambodia: Village Immersion Program
5 out of 5 based on 301 user ratings.
Cambodian scuba diving and marine conservation volunteering

Island Escape

Apply Login
Tax Saver

Tax deductions available for US and Australian residents. See details in Tab below.

This is a volunteer scuba diving program like few others. We are diving to help restore a coral reef damaged by illegal fishing practices. You will be living on a tropical island surrounded by white sand, palm trees and sunshine, you will love the islander lifestyle.

You can obtain your scuba certification on the program, if you are not a qualified scuba diver we train you. It's all included in the price. After the first week training you pass your open water scuba dive course and you will receive your PADI scuba-diving licence.

You will wake to the sound of the rooster and experience the exhilaration of a bucket shower to start your day! You will have the opportunity to dive on the coral reefs that surround the island. It is a unique and beautiful experience especially on those days when the water is clear, warm and so inviting.

Illegal fishing trawlers and the use of dynamite fishing techniques has destroyed the coral reefs surrounding the island, where the marine life thrived. This has had a major impact on the food source for the island community.

You’ll have the opportunity to play volleyball against the locals and teach English to the village children and adults.

After watching a beautiful sunset at night you can have bon-fires on the beach or swim in the bioluminescent water!

If you cannot scuba dive you can obtain your scuba diving certification with us using highly qualified diving instructors. We supply all the scuba diving equipment and everything, including the scuba diving training is included in the price. At the end of the first week you will have an internationally recognized PADI certificate and you can work on the artificial coral reef. If you are already qualified then you can start work day one.

Don’t miss out on a great Cambodian island holiday.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1: Sunday - Arrival Day

Your team leader will be waiting for you outside the arrivals area of Phnom Penh airport. They will be holding an ROV sign and wearing an ROV shirt, so you can’t miss them! Once you are settled into your accommodation, you will have free time.

We strongly recommend arriving a day early for this program as transport leaves early Monday morning for the Island. If you have any delays in your flights you may require private transport to the Island. If you are delayed then we will still be there for you but there will be extra costs for you that are not insignificant. A wise move is to arrive on the Saturday and avoid any worry about flight delays. You can arrange an extra night’s accommodation, private airport collection and meals and accommodation all included from the Add On section.

Optional activities in Phnom Penh:

  • Explore the several markets around the city.
  • Visit the palace.
  • See the pagodas and temples.
  • Enjoy a foot or back massage for as cheap as $5!
  • Meals Included: Dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Days 2: Monday - Transport to the Island

After an early start you will travel south through rural Cambodia to Sihanoukville with a few comfort stops on the way. It is a 4-5 hour journey. We have lunch in Sihanoukville then we bus to the port where everyone gets on the boat that takes us to the island, Koh Rong. This boat journey is approximately 3 hours. Once we arrive on the island, volunteers will get a tour of the village, meet their dive instructors and local people, get settled into their accommodation, and enjoy dinner.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hostel or Beach tent.

Days 3-6: Tuesday to Friday - Project Work/PADI Training

The volunteers will be split into groups and alternate working on land projects or studying to achieve their PADI certification.

In the evenings there are optional activities such as bon-fires and card games as well as free time if you prefer that.

Optional activities while on the island:

  • Relax at sunset rock.
  • Walk to coconut beach for a swim with bioluminescent plankton!
  • Play games or cards at the Inn.
  • Play billiards.
  • Enjoy a game of volleyball.
  • Spend time with the local children.
  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hostel or Beach tent.

Day 7-8: Saturday to Sunday - Explore the Island

Volunteers have free time over the weekend. Team leaders will often organize a trip to the tourist side of the island over the weekend. Volunteers who already have a PADI certification can also organize recreational dives at their own cost.

For anyone who has purchased the Activity Package a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (dependant on weather) kayaking adventure is included.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hostel or Beach tent.

Days 9-11: Monday to Wednesday - Project Work/PADI Training

The volunteers will be in water training to achieve their PADI certification. Once certified, we have a small ceremony to acknowledge to acknowledge the achievement.

In the evenings, volunteers will have free time.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hostel or Beach tent.

Day 12: Thursday - Transport back to Phnom Penh

Volunteers will leave the island early. We will take a boat to Sihanoukville then bus to Phnom Penh. Your ROV Project Leader will likely organize a fun night out for your last night together in Phnom Penh.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 13: Friday - Free Day or Cultural Immersion Add-On Day

Those who have not purchased the Activity Package you will have a free day to explore Phnom Penh.

If you have purchased the Cultural Immersion Add On then today you will be involved in a range of activities including learning about the dark recent history of Cambodia including the Khmer Rouge, visiting the Killing Fields and exploring the notorious jail and torture chamber used by the Khmer Rouge.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast and lumch.
  • Accommodation: Hotel.

Day 14: Saturday - Departure Day

You will be dropped off at the airport with ample time before your flight. Please be ready and waiting in the lobby with your luggage at the time allocated by your ROV Project Leader.

  • Meals Included: Breakfast and lumch.
  • Accommodation: N/A.

What’s Included:

  • All meals as specified above.
  • All drinking water.
  • All accommodation.
  • All on ground transport.
  • Building project materials.
  • ROV Project Leader


Nights one, twelve and thirteen: You will be staying at a hotel in Phnom Penh city, which is close to restaurants, markets and shops. Volunteers will be separated in rooms by gender, in twin or triple share rooms. All linen, pillows, towels provided. Rooms have own private bathrooms, and doors with locks. Hotel comes with unlimited drinking water. Venue also has 24 hour security and wifi availability.

Nights two to eleven: You will be staying in beach bungalows. These rustic accommodations come with beds, linen and mosquito nets. You will really be embracing island life – complete with bucket showers.

Itineraries are subject to change. While we make every effort to ensure the itinerary is completed as it is described we operate in third world countries where transport, infrastructure and promised delivery dates can be unreliable.

Extension Description
Volunteer Cambodia: Elephant Sanctuary - 7 Days
Make a real difference working with elephants that have been rescued from horrible conditions in the illegal logging industry.
Volunteer Cambodia: Village Development - 7 Days
Volunteering in rural communities you will help rebuild houses and schools that are falling down around the villagers.
Volunteer Cambodia: Village Immersion - 14 Days
You will be building homes for poor families, classrooms for impoverished schools and teaching and playing sport with the children.
Volunteer Cambodia: Scuba Diving & Community Immersion - 14 Days
In addition to marine conservation, our volunteers help with teaching and building projects in the community.
Volunteer Cambodia: Village Development and Elephant Program - 14 Days
This international volunteer project is the perfect combination of wildlife conservation and community development.
Teaching: Cambodia - Siem Reap - 28 Days
On this volunteer program you will have the opportunity to run educational classes alongside local teachers.
Cambodian Island Scuba Diving & Elephant Program - 28 Days
On this 28 day adventure you will be surrounded by happy people, majestic wildlife and live on a tropical island.
Asian Volunteering Adventure - 35 Days
This is an opportunity for the adventurous traveller to experience diverse cultures in some of the most stunning landscapes in Asia.

Arrival and Departure

Arrival Airport: Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), Cambodia
Departure Airport: Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH), Cambodia

* Contact our office if you took the 16 day - New Year's Eve Special + Island Program prior to booking your flights.

Arrival Day: Is the first day of your program
Departure Day: is the final day of your program.

Airport Collection Times: 8am -12am (Midnight) on arrival & departure day.

  • Generally all our programs start on Sunday and finish on Saturday.
  • If you are doing an extension after the program please check the relevant Arrival & Departure tab on the program page to confirm your departure airport. If you are unsure email us at to confirm.
  • If your flight is delayed and you are landing after the arrival date we can still collect you but a private collection fee will apply.
  • If you have purchased an extra day before or after your program a private collection will be arranged for you. This is included in the fee for the extra day.
  • If you are arriving early or departing late and have not organised an extra day on program with us you will be responsible for your own transfer & accomodation.




Travel insurance is strongly recommended. It is recommended to purchase travel insurance as soon as you've been accepted for your program or at least by the time you pay your Progress Payment or book your flights. When you volunteer abroad it is important to ensure that your policy includes emergency medical evacuation as well as program and flight cancellation. The World Nomads policy available below is one of the few policies that covers volunteering activities.

We suggest that you check the policy you intend to purchase and make sure it has at least the following benefits;

  • Overseas medical costs
  • Emergency medical transport and repatriation
  • Cancellation costs
  • Trip interruption costs


The information below was correct at the time of writing, however visa requirements can change overnight. You must ensure that the details below are still relevant to your situation as it is ultimately your responsibility to organize a visa for your program.

A Cambodian Tourist Visa is required for everyone when entering Cambodia. The Visa is approximately $40USD and can be purchased by US, Canadian, UK, Australian and NZ citizens when you land. There are some restrictions on other nationalities, so please confirm information with the embassy / consulate of the country you will be visiting prior to departure.

If you need to arrange a tourist visa prior to travelling, we can assist you with documentation. Please send our admin team an email at

Organising your Tourist Visa into Cambodia is a really simple process, and you will need the following:

  • Current passport
  • Extra passport photo (doesn’t need to be the same as in your passport) – they can also take one there if you forget for a couple of dollars USD
  • Approximately $40USD
  • Completed visa form – you do this on arrival, or are sometimes given this on the flight dependant on airline

You then take the above to the visa counter for processing which generally takes ten minutes. They will then give you back your passport with the tourist visa in it, and you then collect your bags, clear customs, and make your way to meet your Team Leader.

Before you go…

  • If you are arriving early - you have purchased an extra night add on and sent an email to to confirm, otherwise we will assume you are making your own way to the accommodation on the first day of the program.
  • If you have any long layovers, you may wish to do some research on the airport, check out the following site:
  • We recommend bringing a wifi enabled device in case of delays or issues so you can send and receive email. Also, carry a charging cable and a mini-power pack to recharge the device. (If you are delayed you may spend a lot of time on the phone to insurers and loved ones).
  • Put any medicines and valuables in your carry on luggage so you still have them if your luggage is delayed/lost in transit.
  • Don't forget to bring some warm clothes, toiletries and entertainment in your carry on luggage!
  • Make sure you have appropriate clothing for the climate you are arriving into - look through the get ready information, and also check some weather reports before you leave.
  • If you want to, bring along some donations for the community you will be visiting
  • For some travel packing tips, check out:
Day of departure:
  • If you are arriving on the first day of program, a team leader wearing a ROV T-Shirt will be waiting at the airport from 8am - Midnight.
  • If you are arriving a day early, the team leader will pick you up at the time specified on your ROV program.
  • If you are delayed and unable to contact us, you should make your way to the accommodation listed in your pre departure email.

Download our Travel Advice Checklist

Do you want reassurance that…

  • you land at the right airport on the right day!
  • you have a reliable airline,
  • you have a reliable booking agency,
  • not paying too much for your tickets.

I’ll look for flights that have…
  • minimum stops and shorter connections,
  • that use single carriers to avoid delayed/missed flights and lost luggage issues.
Sometimes it is cheaper to land a day early or leave a day late. I arrange it all including any extra accommodation.
  • I call you and together we book your flights during the call.
  • I locate appropriate travel insurance for you to purchase.
  • I confirm your airport collection on arrival.
  • I confirm your return trip to the airport on departure day.
I’ll find the flights that work for you!

You can select the Flight Booking Service from the available Add-Ons once you have created a Profile with us. Don’t have a Profile? Click on the Apply Now button above and create one now.

* Cheaper flights with alternative airlines may be available. However, sometimes you may end up paying much more with hidden costs and extras :( we avoid this and help to make the travel element of your ROV experience hassle free :)


If you are diving on program you will need to bring the completed PADI forms. These forms can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.

When filling out your PADI Medical Statement, if answering YES to certain questions, the form will need to be signed by your doctor. If you already have the PADI Advanced Open Water certification you are not required to bring these forms - unless you have answered yes to any of the medical questions.

If you have a PADI qualification please remember to take your diving card to show the instructor as they will need to see this.

Furthering Qualifications on program

If you have your PADI open water qualification you will have the opportunity to work towards your Advanced Open Water Certificate. If you want to advance your qualifications you must bring your PADI qualification with you.

Diving qualifications are arranged well before you arrive on program as course work needs to be purchased in advance. If you want to further your qualifications on program you MUST send us a copy of your diving license for verification by our dive masters no later than 6 weeks before your trip commences. Licenses sent through after this time will not be taken into consideration.

If we haven’t heard from you by 6 weeks prior to the program commencing, we will assume that you have no diving qualifications and will be working towards your Open Water license on program.

Download your Diving Medical Statement
Download your PADI Liability Form
Download your PADI Standard Safe Diving

This project is Tax Deductible for US citizens.

For US tax-paying citizens:
Reach Out Volunteers Charity LLC is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit. You can claim up to $1000.00 USD as a tax deductible charitable contribution for attending this program.

For this project as you are required to fly to your project location to undertake your volunteer service, you may also be eligible to claim the cost of your return flight to the project. If your airfare includes travel before or after your project you may not be able to claim your flights. You should seek your own tax advice on this.

The taxable receipt will be sent when a payment is made towards your final contribution payment for your project.  

For Australian tax-paying citizens:
Reach Out Volunteers Charity Ltd is a registered Australian Charity and non-profit. You can claim up to A$1,150 as a tax deductible charitable contribution for attending this program.

The taxable receipt will be sent when a payment is made towards your final contribution payment for your project.  

The 14 day Cambodian Scuba Diving and Marine Conservation volunteer program

Very good experience, loved working with the children, getting to know the locals and my group. Didn't expect accomodation was going to be as good as it was. Nights on the island was amazing as well as the diving. Overall amazing trip and volunteer program.

Eleanor, Australia.