Khiri Travel has introduced luxury tented accommodation right alongside the Banteay Chhmar temples in a remote corner of Cambodia. The initiative is being done with cooperation from the local community who are involved with tent setup, maintenance and providing hospitality.
It also has the support of the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) and the Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. The aim of GHF's Banteay Chhmar Conservation Training Project is to save the last great Angkorian temple complex in Cambodia that remains largely unstudied and unprotected. Banteay Chhmar temples were built in the late 12th or early 13th century.
Khiri Travel has entered a partnership with the local community and is working to build a sustainable business for the local villagers. The aim is to help them learn additional skills, which bring much needed extra income. The initiative is fully supported by the villagers.
The Banteay Chhmar temples are listed for potential inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The custom-designed tents are high quality Gore-Tex and allow substantial comfort including toilet facilities. There are two tents. Each one can sleep two people in comfort. Villagers cook on site using as many local ingredients as possible.
"The tents are erected right alongside the temple ruins," said Jack Bartholomew, General Manager of Khiri Travel Cambodia. "Guests get an authentic, away-from-it-all Khmer cultural experience. I think it's a very peaceful, low impact and rewarding way to enjoy Khmer heritage and give back to the local community," he said.
Banteay Chhmar is a 3.5 hour 4WD drive from Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Khiri recommends the tented camp as an ideal stopover on an overland journey from Bangkok or Khao Yai national park in Thailand to Siem Reap, or vice versa.
Training of the local community is ongoing.