Everyday Heroes: Mr. Teng’s Testimonial
Meet Teng, short for Mr. Bunteng of Sambor village in Cambodia. He reflects on being a fisherman and sometimes a farmer – like 80% of Cambodians, “Life was fun sometimes, but hard all the time!” Teng’s sturdy home is now a village homestay surrounded by rice fields and nearby his village’s namesake, Prasat Sambor Prei Kuk, pre-Angkorian temple remnants covered with vegetation that look remarkably similar to the Tomb Raider temple in Siem Reap (but without the crowds!).
Located between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Sambor Prei Kuk is a quiet place exhibiting the culture and character of the hardworking Cambodian people. Developed by the staff of Khiri Travel, the bed and breakfast homestays at Sambor Prei Kuk are a community-based tourism project (CBT) that offers comfortable rooms for visitors and a sustainable income for Teng’s family and their employees. Khiri Travel, especially Khiri Reach Ambassador, Linda Oum, invested in this CBT project by training the local people in hospitality standards and how to be tour guides.
It was never his intended profession, but Teng is a teacher also. His classroom for about 50 students is a shaded area under a leafy mango tree where he sets up a large dry erase white board to teach the lessons. Teng has big ideas adding, “I want young people to learn English so they can have more options in their life.”
Homestay visitors can choose to play sports in the village, help with teaching English or just relax and visit with the host family. Teng will also take guests to the temple ruins by bicycle. He was telling our Khiri staffer how he used to be very shy. Now, confident of his new skills in tourism, he is not afraid to talk to anyone.
For more information about this charming village, homestay bed and breakfast and arranging for visits to the Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex, please leave your contact information in the form at the bottom of the page.