Monday, July 5, 2010

Home from home

Settling in with the homestay family at Banteay Chhmar. LtoR: Sarin, Mom, Linda, Ratha, me, Sophea, Jasmine. Photo courtesy of Kelly.
My recent fam trip to Banteay Chhmar included a one night stay at one of the six community-based homestay locations that are part of the local CBT project that has been in place for the last few years. Our 20-strong group were allocated our respective homestays that were dotted around the perimeter of the massive temple complex, and I drew the longest straw, getting the same lodging as Jasmine, Linda, Kelly and Sophea. Some people have all the luck and the lucky fairy was shining down on me that particular day. Our homestay was about a kilometre walk from the CBT office through the village and on arrival we found Sarin the owner of the home, waiting to greet us, alongwith his 15 year old daughter Ratha. Our sleeping quarters were in the large wooden house at the front, with the family living in a second house behind and both buildings surrounded by a large garden with pens for their pigs and chickens. Sarin's wife appeared and whilst only Ratha spoke a little English, the Khmer girls with us allowed us to have a good chat with out hosts before we returned to the CBT office for a look around the temple. The facilities at the homestay were pretty basic but clean and my bedroom, whilst without a door, was spacious and airy, and the bed, with mozzie net, comfortable. There was no fan or electric lights, only candle-power. The four girls shared three rooms, all with doors and windows and looking out onto a large communal area. The bathroom consisted of a squat toilet and ladle-style shower in a large room below. All of our meals were eaten at the CBT office, so our homestay was literally a sleeping and washing facility. What was most striking were the noises that greeted our return to the homestay after our dinner that first evening. The rains in the afternoon has triggered the frogs and toads in the nearby fields and gardens and the crescendo of noise was almost deafening, lasting long into the early hours. An overnight stay in one of the homestay options at Banteay Chhmar will cost $7 per person.
Our first look at our village homestay sleeping accommodation
My bedroom had a comfy mattress, mozzie net but no door, fan and only candle light
Typical in rural homestays are a squat toilet and ladle-style washing facilities such as these
A last look back at our rural home for the night in Banteay Chhmar



Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Yes I must say that my sleep was a comfortable one, once I shut out the constant drone of life's little creatures.

July 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM  

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