Homestays

The Banteay Chhmar CBT Homestay Program

Homestay bedroom

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 also 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 comfortable 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 homestays comfortable and enjoy the local hospitality.

Homestay bedroom

Homestay bathroom

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 income opportunities that the CBT is helping to create in Banteay Chhmar.

 

The CBT tour guides will help you with settling into your homestay.  Please ask us if you need anything to make your stay more comfortable.

Homestays are $7/room with $3 saved in the CBT Local Fund.  Please see our Prices & Tour Packages 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) Phoeu Sopheann

Sopheann was born in 1950 here in Cheng village in Banteay Chhmar Commune.  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 CBT Banteay Chhmar.  He would like to become involved in the conservation of cultural assets, ancient artifacts, ancient graves and also become involved in the development of Banteay Chhmar Commune.

Homestay Details: In Banteay Chhmar 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 with concrete floor (share toilet)
  • Electricity provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in downstairs
  • Table with some chairs downstairs
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van and bus
  • Along National Road #56A

Savit Sarin: Homestay owner (B)Savit Sarin and family

Sarin was born in 1952, also here in Cheng village in Banteay Chhmar Commune. 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 communities such as a credit community, forestry community…etc. He is thinking about creating a sustainable community and that villagers can select a project from their own ideas.

Homestay details: In Banteay Chhmar Cheng village north of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 600m from the temple moat near a rice field. The owner sleeps downstairs.

  • 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 with concrete floor with tiles (share toilet)
  • No electricity provided. Uses battery-powered lights
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in downstairs
  • Table with some chairs downstairs
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van
  • Along National Road #56A

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 Cambodia-Thailand border. He is a doctor of traditional medicine in Banteay Chhmar. He works in the rice field and raises chickens. In late 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 visit Banteay Chhmar.

Homestay details: In Banteay Chhmar Lech village west of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 800m from the temple moat near a rice field and with many mango trees and a pond for fishing beside their house. The owner sleeps downstairs.

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…
  • Western-style toilet with concrete floor (share toilet)
  • No electricity provided. Uses battery-powered lights
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo.
  • Hammocks, table and chairs for relaxing.
  • Sitting place downstairs and gazebo
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van
  • Along a village road

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-Thailand border.  He works in the rice field and grows watermelon and cassava.  In 1983, he married Veng Preiv and they are raising four children – all boys. His son, Soknoum, makes 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: In Banteay Chhmar Lech village west of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 300m from the temple moat. There is a lovely garden and visitor sitting area. The owner sleeps downstairs.

  • 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 with concrete floor and tiles (share toilet)
  • No electricity provided. Uses battery-powered lights; the owner also has a generator and uses it if the tourists need (tourists pay for gasoline)
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks, table and chairs for relaxing
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van
  • Along a village road

Sril Som: Homestay owner (E) Sril Som and family

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 SDM 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:  In Banteay Chhmar North village, about 200m from the temple moat.Sril Som's homestay

  • 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 with tiled floor (share toilet)
  • Electricity provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks to relax in
  • Along a village road near #56A

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 Banteay Chhmar Tbong village south of Banteay Chhmar Temple about 500m from the temple moat, 100m from the Banteay Chhmar market with a comfortable visitor sitting area. The owner sleeps downstairs.

  • 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 with concrete floor and tiles (share toilet)
  • Electricity provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks, table and chairs for relaxing
  • Sitting place downstairs
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van and bus
  • Along a village road

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 Khmer-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 in the Banteay Chhmar High School.

Homestay Details:  In Banteay Chhmar Tbong village across from the market and about 250m from the temple.

  • 3 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… 
  • Toilet with concrete floor and tiles (share toilet)
  • Electricity provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Table and chairs for relaxing
  • Parking: car, motorcycle, minibus/van 

Khoeun Sreymom: Homestay owner (H)Khoeun Sreymom and family

Khoeun Sreymom was born in 1990 in Banteay Chhmar Tbong village, Banteay Chhmar commune. She has two brothers; they are both studying at university in Phnom Penh. From 1998-2004, she studied in the Banteay Chhmar primary school from grade 1 to grade 6. From 2004-2007, she studied in the Banteay Chhmar secondary school from grade 7 to grade 9. From 2008-2010, she studied in the Banteay Chhmar high school from grade 10 to grade 12, but in grade 12 she also went to study at Banteay Meanchey High School in Sisophon. She passed her exams so she continued onto Banteay Meanchey University for five months. Her mother stopped her from studying in the university because the family did not have enough money and asked her to come back to help the family. Most Khmer families in the countryside prefer their sons study at higher levels; their daughters only normally study to read and write. However, she did not want stop studying in university.

In 2011, she stayed at home to help her family and she became interested in the CBT. She studied some English with the English lessons under the Heritage Watch training. At the end 2011, she became a tour guide member, thanks to the support of Brija Robertson who helped fund training for female tour guides. However, she speaks only a little English, so she needed some more help from CBT tour guide members who have more experience. One CBT tour guide, Mr. Sopheng, fell in love with her and she with him. They decided to get married and had a wonderful wedding on March 3, 2012. After the wedding 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 at the end of March. Sreymom is still interested in studying at university if she has enough money.

Homestay Details:  In Banteay Chhmar Tbong village in a small group of homes and about 400m from the temple

  • 4 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows…
  • Toilet with concrete floor and tiles (share toilet)
  • Battery-powered lamps provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Table and chairs for relaxing
  • Parking: car, van, motorcycle

Yang Savy: Homestay owner (I)Yang Savy and family

Savy was born here in Banteay Chhmar in 1986. She was married in 2011, and is expecting her first child 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, makes soup for breakfast in the market and her husband is a policeman. Savy’s younger brother is still in high school.

Homestay Details:  In Banteay Chhmar Tbong village in a small group of homes and about 450m Yang Savy Homestayfrom the temple

  • 2 bedrooms in a traditional house with bed, mattress, mosquito net, cotton sheets, blankets, pillows… (an extra bed can be arranged)
  • Western-style toilet with tiled floor and shower
  • Electricity or battery-powered lamps provided from 6 – 11 p.m.
  • Provides clean drinking water, candles, mosquito coils and shampoo
  • Hammocks, table and chairs for relaxing
  • Parking: car, van, motorcycle
  • Along a small village road