Several temples and structures in Cambodia are deemed to be amongst the most important relics of the Angkor period. During the Temple Conservation Banteay Chhmar Project you will assist local teams in their work to renovate and protect these artifacts.
Cambodia’s temples are the most important relics of the ancient Khmer period, as well as being amongst the world’s most important historical relics. Built by the powerful Khmer kingdom over several centuries, these incredible temples are of huge historical value and represent a symbolic goldmine for those interested in modern and traditional Cambodian culture.
The Commune of Banteay Chhmar is especially important simply because the massive temple, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir, is amongst the least understood archaeological complexes of Cambodia’s Angkor period. Indeed, the mystery of this location makes it one of the most famous historical sites in the world.
Besides the main temples, there are nine other smaller temples that are hidden in the nearby forest; these temples are almost entirely invisible thanks to the undergrowth, trees and bushes that have grown around them over the long years. For a number of reasons, there is a distinct lack of conservation from the local population, and there is also not nearly enough attention from external sources, despite the are being a huge tourist attraction for the province.
This program is important to the local economy, and could help to boost the levels of education, cultural exposure, as well as sustainable, site-friendly tourism. In all of these things, it is possible for the local communities to achieve a higher level of comfort, with better job prospects and income potential
This interesting and engaging project offers a range of positive impacts for the volunteer taking part, the community, as well as for future generations of historian and tourist.
Volunteers participating in this Temple Conservation program will meet up in Siem Reap before travelling by either bus or taxi to Banteay Chhmar. The journey will take about two and a half hours in total, but offers incredible views and opportunities for the volunteers to see the landscape that they will be staying in.
Upon arrival you will settle into your accommodation before enjoying dinner with the other volunteers and with local staff.
Week 1- Introduction
This action-packed week will get you sightseeing, learning about local Buddhism, interacting with the people and culture of Cambodia and more!
Explore the lively Siem Reap, a backpacker’s hotspot in the North of Cambodia with lots to do, a world famous temple close by and a vibrant night life. Then, dive into the untouched Samraong in the quaint Cambodian countryside. This is your chance to experience Cambodia from a local perspective while you see and feel how most of the population live.
On the Monday morning you will meet up with your coordinator and with the other volunteers as you are introduced to Banteay Chhmar – during this time you will get the chance to explore the local area, and you will learn a little more about the tasks and activities you will be taking part in.
You will then explore the town and visit some of the nearby temples; you will have lunch at your accommodation before carrying on in the afternoon with a special visit. On Monday afternoon you will be taken to see Banteay Chhmar Temple, the largest in the region. On the way back you can stop at the local Handicraft Scarf Weaving Centre where you can see what’s available whilst meeting a few of the locals.
Between Tuesday and Friday you will get down to the real tasks. You will begin helping local teams in temples with renovation, preservation and protection work. Some of the tasks include: clearing the temple of overgrown foliage, cleaning the temples, removing dangerous obstacles, planting trees and flowers and making environmental signs.
You are free to spend the weekends as you please. Either stay at the homestay or visit the temples and local landmarks. It’s even possible to get transport to the local cities where you can take in modern, urban Cambodian culture.