BANTEAY CHHMAR TEMPLES & HOMESTAY
Explore remote Angkorian period temples and forgotten cultural treasures
“Banteay Chhmar historic sites and the community based tourism are one of the least discovered Cambodian treasures. If you loved Angkor Wat but wished that there were less annoying tourists around, more opportunities to explore the historic sites, and less people trying to sell you tourist’s souvenirs made in China… this the the best place for you! Indiana Jones, here I come!”Recommendation from the CamConsious Team
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Banteay Chhmar Temple is one of Cambodia’s national treasures. Dating from the Angkorian period, it is a precious and irreplaceable link to the cultural heritage of the Khmer people. There are countless Buddhist images and startling bas-reliefs of Angkorian-era life that signify its importance as a temple complex. For 800 years, the temple has remained mostly undiscovered and untouched. Banteay Chmar Temple is on Cambodia’s tentative list for submission as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The community based tourism project is helping to protect the cultural heritage and environment, as well as increase income for villagers through tourism activities – homestays, tour guides, cooks and other activities.
- Guests sleep upstairs and the families sleep downstairs.
- 2-4 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…
- Western-style toilet and shower (shared bathroom)
- Electricity 24/7
- Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
- Hammocks to relax in; table and chairs
- Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van and bus
LOCAL AREA & ACTIVITIES
- Visiting the temples! – Banteay Chhmar is the 4th largest temple dating from the Angkorian period after Preah Khan (in Kampong Svay), Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat being the largest temple. There are nine satellite temples as part of the temple complex. In addition, Banteay Torp, another intriguing temple well-worth seeing is about 12 kilometers south of the main temple.
- Cooking Class where visitors can cook a few delicious Khmer dishes alongside a family and enjoy a meal together.
- Visit to The Soieries du Mekong Silk Center
GETTING THERE & TRANSPORT
Banteay Chhmar is located in Banteay Meanchey province in the Northwest of Cambodia. You can access this site by National Road #5 or #6 from Phnom Penh, Battambang and Siem Reap driving by bus, mini bus or taxi. If you are travelling by bus stop at Sisophon = Banteay Meanchey town. Sisophon is located at the junction of Highways #5 and #6. It is a major transit point between Phnom Penh, Battambang Siem Reap and Poipet (Thai border). Buses and taxis to/from Sisophon are available all day. It should not be a problem getting to Sisophon. From Phnom Penh to Sisophon it is about an 8 hour drive. Sisophon is 2 hours from Siem Reap and about 1 hour from Poipet.
From Sisophon to Banteay Chhmar it is another 65 km by taxi, pickup or moto which takes around 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The most comfortable way to get to the site is to hire a private taxi for approx $25, the cheapest way is to find shared taxis for about $5. So, depending on your budget and number of people you are travelling with, it might actually be cheaper to get a private taxi.
NOT TO BE MISSED
Banteay Chhmar Temple is one of Cambodia’s most important and least understood temples from the Angkorian period. The temple complex, its moat, baray (reservoir) and surrounding unspoilt environment comprises a unique archaeological site and a vital link in Cambodia’s cultural heritage. Temple Entrance Fee is $5 per person. This includes multi-day entrance to all the satellite temples and Banteay Torp Temple. Children under 12 are free. You can easily spend several days enjoying this national treasure.
Its remoteness from Angkor Wat, in part, explains the lack of in-depth documentation and study of the temple. The Ministry of Culture & Fine Arts (MCFA) is responsible for overseeing the temple complex.
1 – 5 DAYS STAY
We would recommend most travellers spend several days in this area, as it takes significant amount of time to reach this relatively remote destination and there is plenty to see and do. When you are tired of visiting the temples or if travelling with children who need variety of activities, there are options to visit local villages, hire a bicycle and spend afternoon cycling through rice fields or take part in organised tours by the local community based tourism committee. You can always visit the CBT office to find out what is happing in the local community and what programmes are currently running that you could visit or take part in.
LOCAL AREA MAP
Banteay Chmar temples and community based tourism
Banteay Chhmar CBET - here