Program & Schedule
Banteay Chhmar is an extremely important-yet lesser known, Angkor period archaeological complex, that is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the Banteay Meanchey Province.
It is immense in its composition, which includes the temple, shrines and even a reservoir. There are nine other, smaller temples that surround the Banteay Chhmar temple. They are all mostly hidden in the forest and covered with small bushes and trees, due to the lack of regular maintenance carried out over the years, by the local people and authorities.
In this project, you will be assisting a local team with the conservation and preservation of the temple grounds. By doing so, the community around Banteay Chhmar will benefit economically from the conservation of history and preservation of culture, which will in turn, attract more tourists (both Khmer and foreign) to the area.
Modest clothing (covering your legs and shoulders) is requested outside of the accommodation for respect of the community.
Aims & Objectives
- Participate in the conservation and preservation local history and culture
- Create cultural exchange opportunities through our efforts with the locals
- Gain practical experience in conservation efforts abroad
If this is your first week of this program, In the morning, you will be introduced to Banteay Chhmar and the overall project goals. You will then explore the village and visit some satellite temples. After lunch, you will be taken around Banteay Chhmar, including a visit a local handicraft (scarf weaving) center. If you are continuing on in this project, tasks will resume as outlined in rest of schedule.
Tuesday to Friday
You will assist the local team at the temple’s main conservation and preservation sites. Tasks may consist of: Clearing the temples - by cutting back overgrown bushes, trees, and grass, in the surrounding area; Cleaning up the temples - picking up trash, removing stones; Planting trees in the temple compound; Making environment signs; or Going to a school - to educate students on the importance of protecting the temples.This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: -
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: On Signup
Passport copy required: No
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
There are no further requirements for this program.
Living & Location
Banteay Chhmar is a commune of the Thma Puok District in Banteay Meanchey province to the northwest of Cambodia. This commune contains 14 villages and there are 4 villages around the large temple of Banteay Chhmar (which translates as Small Base) with a total population of only 6000+ people.
During your time in the program, you will stay at the homestay in the village. The accommodation is an original wooden Khmer-style house. Please note that the toilets are squatting toilets (proven to be a healthier alternative!). This is traditional Cambodian living!
Basic, home cooked, local style dishes can be expected for all your daily meals.
This is a remote area of Cambodia and you will not find ATMs, so please make sure you have enough money with you, although you will not need much during your stay here.
Activities & Events
No scheduled activities outside the program.
Sights & Surroundings
Explore the massive temple of Banteay Chhmar, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir (baray), comprises one of the most important and least understood archaeological complexes from Cambodia's Angkor period.
There are nine other, smaller temples around the Banteay Chhmar temple. They all are mostly hidden in the forest and covered with small bushes and trees because of the lack of conservation from the local people and authorities.
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
- Siem Reap
Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Capital: Phnom Penh
Currency: Riel (KHR)
Time zone: UTC +7
Once known as the Khmer empire, Cambodia is perhaps best known for its monumental temples, especially that of Angkor Wat - finalist in the election of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2006. It is without doubt a country of incredible beauty, scattered with these temples, fertile rice fields and a rich and interesting history. For this reason it is unsurprising that Cambodia has taken a firm place on the tourist map. Having been a protectorate of France for almost 100 years, the country gained its independence in 1953. Following this however, Cambodia experienced years of civil war, turmoil and political corruption, as well as suffering from its involvement in the Vietnam war.
Despite holding this dark history, Cambodia really is an extraordinary country and has prevailed due to what has been described as the unbreakable spirit of the Cambodian people. The people here are known for their friendliness and their smiles.
Cambodia has monsoon climate with temperatures ranging from 21°C - 35°C (The average year-round temperature is 27.7°C). Its monsoon season spans from May - October, whilst dry season lasts from November to December . Dry season is the most popular time to visit however rainy season can be incredibly beautiful in Cambodia due to the richer colours that it causes. The rain also can help to make temperatures more pleasant. Post-monsoon season is also a favourite time to visit because of the stunning green countryside
Whilst temperatures do not vary hugely, during the winter the northern parts of the country can be colder.
Buddhism is an important aspect of Khmer cultural and is practiced by 95% of the Cambodian population.
In true Asian style, the staple food in Cambodia is rice whilst fish from the Mekong river plays another major part in Khmer cuisine. You can also expect to find use of noodles, soups, stir-fries, curries and salads and so there is something to suit everyone’s taste. The french colonial influence can even be seen in the use of toasted baguette with Cambodian red curry.
It has to be said that the Cambodian cuisine is relatively unknown compared to that of Thailand and Vietnam.