Banteay Chhmar is a group of villages in northwestern Cambodia, just 20 km from the Thailand border. Currently among the top-listed sites for nomination to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Banteay Chhmar (The Citadel of the Cats) is one of the great architectural masterpieces of Southeast Asia and the Khmer Kingdom’s epic Angkorian Period. The vision of Global Heritage Fund’s Banteay Chhmar Conservation Training Project is "to save the last great Angkorian Temple in Cambodia that remains unstudied, unconserved and unprotected and in doing so hand back the conservation of their heritage to the Cambodian people."
Community involvement in the conservation project is integral to its success and ‘’Visit Banteay Chmar" is a community-based tourism organization that is helping to make this happen. This CBT offers local, English-speaking guides who lead detailed temple tours, boat trips and community tours. Other services enable visitors to explore the local area, including a silk center. Visiting the community is a wonderful way for travelers to experience traditional living on a small scale alongside a 900-year-old temple complex!
The community-based tourism center has a library and a local canteen where visitors can try delicious Cambodian food and find out plenty of information about the area. Stay in award winning luxury tented camps and keep in mind that the proceeds go towards building opportunities for local people to have alternative livelihoods and improve their standard of living. Banteay Chhmar is perfect for anyone who wants to meet friendly people, go off the beaten path and explore a less visited, relatively untouched temple complex in a peaceful and tranquil setting.
Our Thailand Cambodia Overland Explorer explores Banteay Chhmar and offers guests the chance to experience luxury camping within the complex that trained members of the local Banteay Chhmar Community-Based Tourism (CBT) cooperative fully operate and run. The temple ruins offer an authentic luxury camping experience in close proximity to ancient Angkorian temple ruins while at the same time benefits the sustainability of the local community.