Wander, learn and support nature conservation at this gorgeous butterfly enclosure.
Banteay Srei Butterfly Center (BBC) is one of the largest netted butterfly enclosures in South East Asia but it is not just the size that’s impressive. At BBC, you can admire butterflies fluttering above as you stroll through a beautiful garden filled with colourful tropical flora. BBC has a multitude of butterfly species and you can see these plus amazing caterpillars and pupae upclose. Tour BBC to learn about butterfly species and lifecycles from a knowledgeable guide. BBC also offers delicious food and drinks so take a moment to enjoy the colourful garden following your tour. BBC provides an alternative source of income to people from rural communities in Siem Reap Province.
The Banteay Srei Butterfly project began in 2008 with the aim to diversify income for rural communities and raise awareness about conservation. At the beginning, the focus was on rural farmers in nearby Banteay Srey and Phnom Kulen districts whom raised the butterflies as an income generating activity. By raising and selling the butterfly pupae, this prevented the expansion of agricultural land into precious forest areas.
In 2009, the BBC project opened as Angkor Butterfly Centre, before becoming Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre in 2010 as a social enterprise to support conservation efforts in the local region. Not only conservation, BBC also employs 20 staff member from the local community. They work as tour guides within the garden, or specifically as butterfly experts – helping to raise larvae and puppae too.
Lay, 26, has worked for BBC for two years and appreciates the opportunity he has to learn English at the centre.
“For each group that comes in, I take them to see the butterflies and describe their lifecycle and show them the different life stages. People from different backgrounds come to visit the butterflies. It can be hard sometimes with English. But I enjoy learning from them…and I hope they learn more about the butterflies from me too I want to be able to speak fluently. Practicing at the centre is really good for my English but I would like to study too.”
The Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre (BBC) is an immersive butterfly exhibit and restaurant, 25kms from Siem Reap in Banteay Srei district. The centre supports conservation efforts in nearby Phnom Kulen and Banteay Srei. At the centre is a garden enclosure where you can admire the superb butterflies amongst tropical plants. BBC provides a 30 minute tour ($4 Adults, $2 Children) of the gardens and butterfly enclosure with a local guide. Get up close with caterpillars, stick insects and butterfly larvae – there is lots to look at here. The netted garden has thousands of butterflies, all native species to Cambodia.
BBC currently works with 5 farmers to raise butterflies as an alternative to land clearing for agriculture. Butterfly farming relies on intact forest, therefore creating an economic incentive to preserve forest areas. Entrance fees goes towards supporting alternative livelihoods for local communities in the Banteay Srei district. BBC also supports conservation efforts in nearby Phnom Kulen National Park.
The BBC Centre also has a restaurant that prepares excellent Khmer dishes. Here you can relax and drink a cold beverage in amongst the butterflies. BBC offer entrance, lunch and drink packages for $9 per person.
The office and exhibit is open 7 days a week 9am to 4:30pm. The main attraction at BBC is the exhibit, a netted enclosure with tropical plants and butterflies galore. The exhibit is in a mixture of shade and sun and a paved walkway. There are information signs in English scattered around the enclosure. There is also seating in the shade within the netted area.
BBC has an extensive menu of Khmer and Western food plus hot and cold drinks. Sit at the front of the centre with fans or seating is also available closer to the butterfly exhibit.
There are western style toilets available.
BBC is well signed and is accessed easily from the main road to Banteay Srei. There is sufficient parking space available at the front of the centre.
BBC has a small shop with postcards, tote bags and trinkets for sale. All proceeds support conservation efforts.
Spend at least half an hour in the butterfly garden with a knowledgeable guide. Wander the garden, learn about the lifecycle of butterflies, admire caterpillars and stick insects and take photos of stunning flora in the netted-garden exhibit.
Start or finish your experience with a meal or drink. The restaurant at BBC offers delicious Khmer or Western food and has an extensive drinks menu. We recommend sitting in amongst the garden whilst you enjoy your food. A package ticket for $9 per person includes a meal, drink and tour BBC.
BBC is located just next to many stalls selling palm sugar. Here women from the local community prepare the sugar and it can be purchased in many different products. Palm sugar has a caramel sweet flavour – try it as powder, in blocks or try palm juice and fruit – delicious!
Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre is located 25km away from Siem Reap in Banteay Srei district. Perfect if you are temple-hopping, BBC is just off the main highway – Road 67. BBC is located on the way to the Cambodia Land Mine Museum.
Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat, has road and air access. Many bus companies arrive and depart from Siem Reap. Flights connect SIem Reap to Phnom Penh and other regional cities. To book your road journey try bookmebus, private taxi’s also.
Getting to BBC
BBC is approximately 45mins from Siem Reap town and is easily accessible by motorbike, tuk-tuk or private car. Cycling is an option as they roads are relatively flat – however during the heat of the day be sure you stop for rest and drink plenty of water. A motorbike can be hired for $6-$8 whilst a day rate for tuk-tuks range from $20-$30 depending on how far you travel. You can arrange this easily with many tuk-tuks drivers in Siem Reap who are sufficient in English or alternatively through your accommodation.
BANTEAY SREI BUTTERFLY CENTRE (BBC)
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A colourful visit to Banteay Srei Butterfly Centre (BBC)
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