Discovery >

Emerging Khmer Destination Unveils Its First Website

September 28, 2010 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under:

BANGKOK, 28 September 2010 – Khiri Reach and GTZ have launched a community tourism website to promote the little-known 8th-10th century Khmer ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk in central Cambodia.

The website, www.samborpreikuk.com, was jointly funded by Khiri Reach, the not-for-profit arm of Khiri Travel, and GTZ (German Development Cooperation), which is financed by the German government.

The objective of the site is to stimulate tourism in the Sambor Prei Kuk area, which has over 150 easily accessible pre-Angkor temple ruins in a forest setting reminiscent of an Indiana Jones movie.

The majority of the people in the area subsist on less than two dollars a day. “Sambor Prei Kuk has magnificent temples,” said Frans Betgem co-founder of Khiri Travel. “We just need a flow of tourists to the area to help ease poverty. The website is a step in the right direction.”

Many of the villages in the area still rely on car batteries for electricity after dark.

On the website, visitors will find information about how to get to Sambor Prei Kuk from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Plus, information about the temples, simple village attractions, local villagers who act as guides, local festivals, how to book a visit, and an extensive reading list of recommended books.

Visitors to the Sambor Prei Kuk can inspect the ruins on foot or by bicycle. There are ox cart rides, a homestay project, and a simple handicraft and souvenir shop and restaurant built by the villagers.

In At Sou village near Sambor Prei Kuk there is a memorial building to a young Japanese UN peacekeeper who was killed in the area in the early 1990s when the UN was there to oversee nationwide elections. Despite the tragedy, the father of the peacekeeper returns each year to pay homage to his son and donates funds to support local health and education in the village.

Inspecting the ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk can be combined with visits to other community based attractions in the province. These include Santuk Mountain, the holiest in the region, Tonle Sap protected area and bird sanctuary, the Santuk Silk Farm and an inspection of villages specialized in stone carving and making rice noodles.

Since 2005 GTZ has worked with the Sambor Prei Kuk Conservation Project to establish craft training courses for seven villages in the area. Community funds now go towards temple conservation, supporting home businesses, maintaining signage, and the upkeep of the craft hut and information centre.

Betgem said: “The whole community tourism set-up at Sambor Prei Kuk is very charming. It has been made possible due to the great efforts of people such as Linda Oum of Khiri Cambodia and Visal Prom and Ngin Hong of GTZ.”

Latest post

Khiri Travel Introduces Culinary Experiences in Asia

Khiri Travel has introduced seven culinary experiences across five countries that showcase authentic local food in iconic settings.

Read More

Fireboat Festival in Laos

The Fireboat Festival occurs at the end of Buddhist Lent, in the Lao calendar (Oct 31 this year). During this time, each village creates a large boat out of wood and banana leaves covered in candles,

Read More

True Adventure in Eastern Shan State

One of the last frontiers of exploration in Myanmar, eastern Shan State is rarely visited by outsiders.

Read More

Khiri Travel Awarded Travelife Certification

Khiri Travel has taken a big step in boosting its responsible tourism credentials by reaching the final stage of the Travelife certification program.

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our B2B newsletters are for industry professionals




    *We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time.