Homestays

The Banteay Chhmar CBT Homestay Program

The homestay program is an important part of the activities in Banteay Chhmar. The homestays allow for our visitors to have a more authentic Khmer experience as compared to staying in a generic guesthouse. The homestays help provide additional income for the families as well as improve their standing in the community.

The homestay owners meet regularly to discuss ideas for improvements that they can make to their homes in order to make them more welcoming and pleasant for visitors. Please understand that you are in rural Cambodia and life is a little more  rustic and filled with lots of local color and noises. While not  ‘western-style’ homestays, we think that you will find the rooms, beds and facilities comfortable and enjoy the local hospitality.

All the homestay owners say that being part of the CBT has increased their social circle and provides much-needed income. The owners are all excited by the prospect of speaking better English, learning housekeeping and the increased business opportunities that the CBT is helping to create in Banteay Chhmar.

The CBT members will help you with settling into your homestay. Guests sleep upstairs and the families sleep downstairs. Please ask us if you need anything to make your stay more comfortable.

Homestays are $7/room with $1 saved in the CBT Local Fund.  Please see our Prices & Tours page for more information.

Meet the Homestay Owners

“At first we were nervous because we thought our home was too simple to be considered”

Phoeu Sopheann: Homestay owner (A)

Sopheann was born in 1950 here in Cheng Village. From 1980-1997 he was a teacher, and taught at the Banteay Chhmar primary school.  Now, he is a rice farmer and owns about 15 hectares of rice fields.  In 1974, he married Khon Davan and they have raised five children – three boys and two girls. In 2007, they decided that to add to their income and to help pay university fees for their son and daughter in Phnom Penh, they would ask to join the CBT. He would like to become involved in the conservation of cultural assets, ancient artifacts and graves and also become involved in the responsible development of Banteay Chhmar Commune.

Homestay Details: Along road #56A in Cheng Village, east of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 50m from the temple moat.

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… (can arrange an extra bed outside a bedroom, if needed)
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share 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

Savit Sarin: Homestay owner (B)

Sarin was born in 1952, also here in Cheng Village. He is a teacher at the Banteay Chhmar Primary School, and in his free time he works in the rice fields. In late 1975, he married Chheng Mom during one of the Pol Pot regime’s ‘arranged marriages’ with 50 other couples at the same time. They have raised six children – three boys and three girls. He would like to create other village cooperatives such as credit and forestry communities etc. He is thinking about projects where villagers can build something good from their own ideas.

Homestay details: Along Road #56A in Cheng Village, north of the temple about 600m from the temple moat near a rice field.

  • 4 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… (can arrange an extra bed outside a bedroom, if needed)
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in; table and chairs
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van

Lem Body: Homestay owner (C)

Born in 1943, Lem Body arrived in Banteay Chhmar’s Lech Village in 1991 from a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border. He is a doctor of traditional medicine in Banteay Chhmar. He also works in the rice field and raises chickens. In 1979, he married Bot Theim and they have eight children – six boys and two girls. He wants to build a new homestay when more tourists come to visit Banteay Chhmar.

Homestay details: Along a village road in Lech Village, west of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 800m from the temple moat near a rice field with many mango trees and a pond for fishing beside their house.

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo.
  • Hammocks, gazebo and chairs for relaxing
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van

Pork Chien: Homestay owner (D)

Born in 1964, Pork Chien also arrived in Banteay Chhmar’s Lech village in 1991 from a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border. He works in the rice fields and grows watermelon and cassava. In 1983, he married Veng Preiv and they are raising four children – all boys. His son, Soknoum, makes beautiful wooden sculptures. He says “Now we feel like we have a larger family and new members as after a wedding (laughs) when people come it makes me proud.”

Homestay details:Along a village road in Lech Village, west of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 300m from the temple moat.

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…(Can arrange an extra bed outside a bedroom, if needed)
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks for relaxing; garden and sitting area
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van

Sril Som: Homestay owner (E) 

Sril Som was born in 1975 here in Banteay Chhmar. She is married to Khut Savuon, also from the village. They have two children. Their daughter, Australie, is studying at university in Phnom Penh. Their son, Nary, goes to the local high school. Sril Som works at the Soieries du Mekong Silk Center, and her husband is a teacher at the high school. They want both of their children to complete university and find good jobs. Sril Som’s mother also lives with them. 

Homestay details:  Along a village road in North Village, about 200m from the temple moat

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional and modern house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… (can arrange an extra bed, if needed)
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in; table and chairs

Siev Sem & Nil Loeun: Homestay owner (F)

Born in 1948, Nil Loeun arrived in Banteay Chhmar in 1975 as part of the Pol Pot regime’s project of relocating people from their village of birth, in the view that this would make them less distracted and more productive workers. Loeun had originally been told she would be making mosquito nets and scarves for the local population. But, within two years, like so many at the time she was working in the rice fields to produce food for an increasingly hunger-stricken population. By the late 1990s she had married Siev Sem and they have three boys. They also had a daughter, who unfortunately has passed away. She says “When we first learned that GHF would be restoring the temple we were worried that villagers would be made to leave, like in the past.” And, she added, “Now we are very happy that GHF is protecting the temple as well as the people of Banteay Chhmar.”

Homestay details: In Tbong Village, south of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 500m from the temple moat and 100m from the local market

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… (can arrange an extra bed outside a bedroom, if needed)
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks for relaxing; table and chairs
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van and bus

Ouch Nary: Homestay owner (G) 

Ouch Nary was born in 1964 in Siem Reap Province. She married Kim Sareth in one of Pol Pot regime’s arranged marriages with 10 other couples at the same time. In 1984, her family went to a refugee camp along the Cambodian-Thai border. In the refugee camp her husband worked for ICRC and in his free time repaired radios and televisions. In 1991, they moved from the refugee camp to Tbong Village in Banteay Chhmar. She worked as a housekeeper. Her husband continued to repair electronics at their house, and he also worked for the Soieries du Mekong Silk Center. In 1997, her oldest daughter married Bieng Sruon and they have their own house only 10m from her house. In 2000, her husband died, so she continued to look after her four children (all girls) by selling vegetables, kitchen supplies etc. In 2008, she built a new house around the same time that her second daughter got married. In 2011, she applied to become a CBT homestay member. She would like to earn some more income to improve her family’s life and support two daughters who are still studying at the Banteay Chhmar High School.

Homestay Details:  In Tbong Village across from the market and about 250m from the temple moat

  • 3 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… 
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks and thatch-covered sitting area for relaxing
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van 

Khoeun Sreymom: Homestay owner (H)

Khoeun Sreymom was born in 1990 in Banteay Chhmar’s Tbong Village. She has two brothers who are both studying at university in Phnom Penh. From her childhood, Sreymom regularly attended school and became one of the commune’s brighter students. In 2010, she passed all the high school exams and went on to attend Banteay Meanchey University. However, after studying for only five months her mother called her back home. Her mother stopped her from studying because the family did not have enough money and needed Sreymom’s help at home. Most Khmer families in the countryside prefer their sons study at higher levels; their daughters only normally study to read and write. In 2011, she stayed at home to help her family and became interested in the CBT. She studied some English during the Heritage Watch training. At the end of 2011, she became a tour guide, thanks to the support of Brija Robertson who helped fund training for female tour guides. However, at the time, she spoke only a little English. So, she needed some more help from the CBT members who have more experience. One guide, Mr. Sopheng, fell in love with her and she with him. They decided to get married and had a wonderful wedding in March 2012. After the ceremony, she moved into a house with her husband. This house was built in 1994 and was given to her by her parents. Sreymom and Sopheng remodeled the house and applied to become homestay members. They now have two lovely children. Sreymom still wants to work as a tour guide as her English improves and she can find the time.

Homestay Details:  Along a village road, in Tbong Village in a small group of homes and about 400m from the temple moat and market

  • 6 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…
  • Western-style toilet and shower (share bathroom)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in; table and chairs
  • Parking: car, van, motorcycle

Yang Savy: Homestay owner (I)

Savy was born here in Banteay Chhmar in 1986. She was married in 2011, and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, in 2014. Her parents are also from Banteay Chhmar and were married in 1984. The family has a lot of jobs. They are rice and cassava farmers, and they own a small store. Savy is also a CBT cook. Her younger sister, Savean, has two children and owns a shop in the market, and her husband is a policeman. Savy’s younger brother works in the village and plays a lot of football.

Homestay Details: Along a small road in Tbong Village in a small group of homes and about 450m from the temple moat and market.

  • 3 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows
  • Western-style toilet and shower (guests only)
  • Electricity 24/7
  • Provides drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks and thatch-covered gazebo with flowers for relaxing
  • Parking: car, van, motorcycle