Twelve months in the making, we are very happy to report that our pioneering Monk for a Month Cambodia experience has taken place with great success. We’re also excited to announce 2016 departures are now taking bookings!

Last year I met Ben Bowler from World Weaver’s Monk for a Month initiative at a conference on community development through tourism. Instantly, we connected when he introduced me to the tours he promotes; I couldn’t wait to introduce Ben to Yut, Ayana’s in house Buddhism and spiritual travel specialist. Having been a monk for many years, Yut has long dreamt of running a cross-Cambodia experience for travellers, and it was perfect how well his ideas complemented the Monk for a Month portfolio of tours.

Yut’s love for sharing Buddhism philosophy is infectious, and the team are proud of him for building such a beautiful experience for guests in Cambodia. Our trip introduces guests to Theravada Buddhism in the unique context of Cambodia and allows guests time for their own spiritual journey through Vipassana meditation. It’s a different kind of travel experience, allowing travellers to both gain a very deep understanding of Khmer culture as well as pursue their own self-reflection. Learn more about our commitment of socially responsible spiritual tourism. 

Six guests from all different parts of the world came together for September 2015’s Monk for a Month Cambodia departure. Their journey took them from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, stopping by significant sites of worship and meeting inspirational individuals who personify socially engaged Buddhism.

Yut’s highlights

I think the whole group will agree the absolute highlight of the tour was meeting Venerable Bun Saluth in the forests of Northern Cambodia. He is a very inspiring man who has dedicated his life to protecting the forest in this special place. It was a very magical moment walking together deep into the forest to ordain a tree. Everybody felt incredibly energized after this experience. We were lucky that a local television crew were also visiting the same day and we were on national news! The message in this video encourages people to visit this forest, learn about the conservation work here, and share this message in your own community to help us protect Cambodian forests.

We loved staying at a beautiful meditation centre at the holy mountain of Oudong. One morning we got up early for our guest Amelia’s birthday. We went to the top of the mountain to watch the sunrise. It was a clear morning and one of the most beautiful sunrises. Experiencing this together was very special. We all felt connected with each other and that place in that moment.
I was proud to take the group to my village in the countryside. We spent some time with my family and my father shared his stories of how during the Khmer Rouge Buddhism was almost destroyed and his own experiences of being de-robed at that time. The group got to meet my extended family too, we chatted about different spiritual beliefs in our village, tasted my Dad’s famous coconuts, and laughed.

Insights from our guests

We’d like to thank Katie, from World Weavers, for making this lovely little video of Lyndall, one of our beautiful guests, about her time with us in Cambodia.

“A rewarding and enriching experience, I gained spiritual growth”
– quote from a participant

Sign up for 2016

We’re now taking bookings for departures in February and September 2016 for this same introduction to Theravada Buddhism and Vipassana Meditation. Book now.

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