Banteay Chhmar

Located in the Thma Puok district in Banteay Meanchey province in northwest Cambodia, Banteay Chhmar, the 4th largest Angkorian complex, is an impressive Angkor temple with outstanding architecture. Besides the main temple, there are also another nine satellites sites and reservoirs that form one of the most magnificent ruins during the Angkorian period as well as typical examples of Khmer history and culture.

Banteay Chhmar was constructed in the reign of King Jayavarman in the late 12th century and was the second temple in Cambodia consisting of stone-faced towers which are similar to the Bayon temple. In English, the name Banteay Chhmar means “Small Citadel” or “Narrow Fortress”. In the effort to protect the monument in its best condition, the temple is now part of the Community Based Tourism Project. Local people preserve the site and promote by organizing tours, building homestays, and offer tour guides’ service for tourists.

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Although Banteay Chhmar is not as massive as the main temples at Angkor, it does bring a marvelous feeling with a peaceful atmosphere due to the lesser-visited site than the others. Out of the nearby situated satellites temple, the 3 of them that are worth discovering are the Ta Prohm, Samnang Tasok, and Chinche Trey temples. The charming Meborn Baray, the large reservoir acting as an important source of water supply during the Angkor period, is now a conserved area.

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In addition to the temple exploration, traveling to Banteay Chhmar, tourists have the chance to experience different exciting activities including enjoying the traditional music performed in the site at night, helping local people prepare the rice, trying the ox-cart ride around the village to learn about the Khmer life, and buying high-quality silk products as souvenirs at the Soieries du Mekong Silk Centre.

The most comfortable way to quickly reach and thoroughly understand Banteay Chhmar is getting the private car with a tour guide from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Battambang. To get around the town, you can also walk on foot.

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Climate, the best time to visit
The tropical climate divides Banteay Chhmar into 2 distinct seasons including the dry period from December to January and the wet period covers the remaining months of the year. The average temperature of the region ranges from 29°C to 35°C. The best time to visit Banteay Chhmar is during the months from October to February with perfect weather for outdoor activities.

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