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Guide to Mekong Responsible Tourism

Cambodia Laos Myanmar Thailand Viet Nam Yunnan & Guangxi

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WELCOME TO THE GREATER MEKONG SUB-REGION Marvel at the sight of mythical religious, archaeological and historical sites, admire the outstanding architectural heritage left by successions of various influences, and be surprised by the diversity and complexity of local customs and traditions. Explore in depth and challenge yourself whatever your level is, as there is something for everyone. Ecotourism and community-based tourism opportunities abound: trekking, cycling or zipping on a cable in the rainforest canopy, or gently gliding along the multitude of canals, rivers and other streams flowing through the region. Be thrilled by the sight of a kingfisher, a hornbill or a giant ibis, the melodious call of the gibbons, or the gracious pace of elephants. Relax in a beach resort, learn Thai cooking or Vipassana meditation, Lao weaving or ancient Cambodian ceramics, dance with the Muong in Viet Nam, sing with the Hani harvesting rice in Yunnan, or admire the intimate collaboration between fishermen and dolphins in Myanmar. And to perpetuate ancestral techniques and support contemporary creations, shop and bring back souvenirs of the vibrant, colourful and addictive cultures of the Mekong.

Well, you’ll want to come back again and again, as the more glimpses of understanding you get of the Mekong people, the more you’ll be eager to learn, yearning to return. The E-guide to Mekong Responsible Tourism provides inspiring examples demonstrating that tourism can indeed drive positive change. And last but not least, thanks to YOU it will contribute to poverty alleviation in the Mekong Region, the cultural revival of lost skills and traditions, the preservation of ancestral techniques, knowledge and teachings, the protection of unique ecosystems and of all its inhabitants whether they crawl, glide, swim, fly or roar. Most of all, it will give your hosts a renewed pride and faith in what they do, and hopefully encourage more to follow the rewarding path of responsible tourism. So many reasons for you to use our guide! We wish you a fantastic journey. Christine Jacquemin Project Director

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MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

Be tolerant and open-minded, listen, look, smell, touch, taste, feel and experience, meet different people who may change your perspective on life, or simply become your friends.


THE E-GUIDE TO MEKONG RESPONSIBLE TOURISM This printed version of the E-Guide to Mekong Responsible Tourism was developed to complement other travel guides by presenting a type of tourism hardly found elsewhere. It shines the light on the best of responsible tourism, designed and crafted by true actors of change who are working at making the world a better place to live in and travel to. Whether private operators, rural communities, NGOs, or international organisations, they have developed fantastic products and services that are at the same time enjoyable and useful, with your own pleasure as their goal. The original printed version of ‘The Guide to Responsible Tourism in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam’ was funded by the Cambodian Ministry of Tourism, the Lao National Tourism Administration and the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism, with loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). In 2011, thanks to funds provided by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) committed to update it and to feature all six countries of the Mekong sub-region: Cambodia, China for the provinces of Yunnan & Guangxi, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

It was designed for those who want their holidays to be a learning experience, an enjoyable trip visiting the natural and cultural wonders of the Greater Mekong sub-region, as well as a journey benefiting the people and places they visit. By selecting the service providers featured here, rest assured that your own pleasure and money will truly contribute to the host communities’ well being and development, and will encourage the conservation of nature, and the preservation and evolution of their cultural heritage. The sites, activities, fair trade shops, cafés & restaurants, accommodation from homestays to boutique hotels and tour operators have been carefully chosen through a rigorous selection process ensuring they are committed to sustainable development by making their business more responsible, environmentally, socially and culturally. You also have a role to play. By choosing them, you help their activity achieve financial sustainability. Note: This PDF version was developed for those who wish to take it along when travelling; you can print country booklets one by one or altogether, note that the first 10 pages are similar for all countries, so please avoid printing several times. For all new entries after the completion of this PDF version, check the website: www.mekongresponsibeturism.org ‘latest updates’.

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MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

Warning! Be aware that this guide may change the way you travel.


Tourism has become the world’s largest industry (USD $ 1 trillion per year and 6% of global employment) and is one of the top three sources of export earnings for nearly half of the less-developed countries. For a few years now, the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) has been the fastest growing world destination in terms of international arrivals. Between 2000 and 2010, international arrivals in the GMS doubled to reach 31 million visitors. The tourism sector provides around 5 million jobs and represents between 9 and 20% of the GDP of the GMS countries. Yet its impacts in the destinations could be greatly improved. Even though the countries do benefit, the local people are often left with low-paid jobs, a higher cost of living, cross-cultural issues and degraded natural resources. The purpose of responsible tourism is to transform a vicious circle into a virtuous circle… The very assets that attract visitors – welcoming people and exotic customs, rich ecosystems, stunning landscapes, fine sand beaches, and cultural heritage – are threatened by inappropriate tourism development; constructions spoiling the harmony of the place, disruption of the socio-cultural fabric of local communities, pollution. …since tourism can contribute to local human and economic development:

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

It is at the origin of the biggest transfer of wealth from rich to poor countries, from the North to the South.

• It boosts private sector entrepreneurships and reaches parts of the economy that other activities don’t; a majority of jobs in micro, small & medium enterprises and in rural areas, a strong multiplier effect (up to x 4), as tourism boosts other sectors such as transport, handicrafts, agriculture, services. • It is consumed at ‘the place of production’; so local people have easier market access than in other sectors and a chance to benefit more directly, to manage, and control some operations. • It limits rural exodus, encourages the preservation of cultural traditions, of natural heritage, and revives the pride and confidence of the people in their local traditions and customs. • It is labour intensive (2nd largest employer in the world) and allows the creation of a multitude of jobs accessible for women, youth, and the disadvantaged. •

SO, WHAT IS RESPONSIBLE TOURISM? The concept of responsible tourism underlines the fact that we all – tour operators, guides, accommodation and transport providers, visitor attraction managers, planning authorities, national, regional/provincial and local governments, international organisations, NGOs as well as tourists and host communities – have a role to play. It conveys a sense of shared responsibility and by no means a sense of guilt or a call for judgement. The Cape Town Declaration (2002) states that: “Recognising that Responsible Tourism takes many forms, that different destinations and stakeholders will have different priorities, and that local policies and guidelines will need to be developed through multi-stakeholder processes to develop responsible tourism in destinations.

Having the following characteristics, Responsible Tourism:

• minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts; • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry; • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life changes; • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural herit age, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity; • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues; • provides access for physically challenged people; • is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.”

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

WHY RESPONSIBLE TOURISM?

The International Centre for Responsible Tourism

It is the largest growth industry of the last 50 years, and is a sector very resilient to political, natural and economic crisis.

It all depends on how tourism is developed, organised, managed, and consumed. 6 - CAMBODIA

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CULTURAL TIPS People in the region are well known for their hospitality, warmth, and politeness. The most difficult challenge you’ll face will be to understand what lies behind the eternal smiles of the Mekong people. They will seldom contradict you, but may disagree in silence, despite their infinite tolerance towards often clumsy travellers. Below are some insights into the cultural values to avoid awkward situations or offending people. Observe people, adjust your behaviour accordingly, read a little about the country and you’ll experience much more than a successful holiday. Respect the host culture

Each community may have its own etiquette and taboos; listen to your guide’s recommendations. Cultural diversity and exoticism is what you came looking for? So accept it, don’t try to change it. In turn you may tell locals about your own culture. Try to understand their aspirations

Some tourists take pride in paying the cheapest price they can, unaware the seller might accept a price below its cost price only because he desperately needs cash. Whatever you buy, be reasonable and keep smiling. Support the local economy, buy locally made food and handicrafts, preferably from local craftsmen and markets. Drugs & Alcohol

In all Mekong countries, the use and consumption of illegal drugs is strictly forbidden. You face harsh penalties, including death. The use of alcohol needs to be carefully considered in smaller villages and is sometime forbidden in National Parks and in Muslim communities. Avoid buying from children and refrain from giving to child beggars

Although you think it may help, it mainly encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope of a better life and are vulnerable to abuse. It’s much better to make a contribution towards a local project and just play and interact with the kids. If you wish to support children and avoid wrong behaviour check ChildSafe’s 7 tips. ChildSafe’s 7 tips

Answer questions!

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

We admire the rural beauty of houses made of bamboo and straw, or the sight of a farmer harvesting his field with a buffalo. But we tend to forget that these houses offer little comfort, are vulnerable to climatic hazards and, that strenuous tasks reduce life expectancy. Most locals aspire to live in a concrete house with air conditioning, a tin roof, and to use electric machinery to ease their hard work. Have a balanced view of development and explain the advantages of some old traditions.

Bargain within reason

Get ready to answer the same questions a thousand times; ‘Where are you from? Are you married? How old are you?’ While you may find it disconcerting, intimate, or too repetitive, be aware that people are just being friendly and trying out their English skills! Dress modestly

In temples or religious sites, men and women should take off their shoes and hats, and have covered shoulders and legs. Elsewhere, you may see people dressed flimsily, but do not consider this as the norm. Being dressed in miniskirts, mini shorts, bra-less in body-tight clothes or bathing in bikinis IS considered offensive by rural people and the older generation. Always ask permission before taking photographs (or videos) of people

Monks, farmers, children are not exotic, photogenic ‘images’ to be ‘snapped’, but real people. Take some time to chat. Respect their wishes if they refuse. Avoid paying to take a photo as this encourages begging. Your photo will then be a shared memory, which you can send back.

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Other dos & don’ts

ENVIRONMENTAL TIPS Extend the length of your stay

Air travel is said to account for 3 to 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming. Take it easy, take your time! Travel less but for longer periods, it will be more fulfilling and restful as well. • It is respectful to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home. • In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, a respectful way of greeting is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together as if in prayer at the chest. • When using a toothpick, use one hand to cover your mouth. • Present and take business cards, money and gifts with both hands. • Do let the oldest be served first; do bend slightly in front of elders. • Small gifts are generally appreciated by adults; if invited to a Cambodian wedding, give cash.

Don’ts

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

• Becoming angry is considered a major weakness. The only way to resolve conflict is to stay calm. Asking for help always works better than pointing blame; criticism should be avoided. • Feet are considered the lowest part of the body, and the head the highest: - don’t point at someone with your feet, step over or, elevate your feet; - don’t touch someone on the head. • Don’t show affection in public, avoid kissing. • Show respect to monks, novices and nuns, don’t shake hands, don’t step on a monk’s shadow; don’t take photos or disturb monks during prayer times. • Ladies, do not sit next to, or hand anything directly to Buddhist monks. • Don’t turn your back to Buddha’s image; don’t handle them or sacred objects with disre spect. • Don’t purchase historical artefacts. • Don’t go where you are advised not to go. • Do not support the sex industry, including dubious shows, karaoke or parlours. Aside from the fact that people are not a commodity, you risk supporting the mafia.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Say ‘no to plastic’; the disposal of plastic and polystyrene is a major problem in Asia. Prefer buying in local markets where packaging is reduced, the food is fresh and the money directly benefits local producers. Take your own bags with you when shopping. Say ‘no to straws’ before ordering a drink not requiring one. Calculate how many straws a year you use, multiply by the number of tourists, and you can visualise a growing mountain of waste. If a glass is not clean, using a straw will not make it any cleaner or safer. Avoid leaving waste behind in rural and natural areas, and it would be great if you pick up rubbish left by others in the forest, in the sea or on the beach. You’ll notice that it encourages others to do the same. Smokers take your cigarette butts back with you! Don’t throw them anywhere; they will probably end up in a river or the sea. Bottled water is easy to find, but there are few recycling facilities. Actively try to reduce the ‘consumption’ of plastic bottles by using alternatives. Refill a bottle from widely available water fountains in hotels and guesthouses or bring your own water filter, water purification tablets, or iodine to purify water.

Save energy and water

In your room don’t use air-conditioning unnecessarily, turn it down at night. Prefer hotels with fans, as most of the time it is sufficient, and it avoids sore throats and colds too. It’s also cheaper! In cars, convince your driver to turn it off when the vehicle is stationary. Avoid hot showers if the water is being heated with cut timber. Remember, a cold shower is one of the best-kept health and beauty secrets! Walk, cycle or experience public transport for sightseeing. Use 4-wheel drive cars only when necessary. And do we need to tell you this? Turning taps and switches off when not needed is always a good idea, as is not changing towels and sheets every day. Be careful of ‘wild’ products

Unless you’re sure it comes from a well-managed source, avoid buying anything made of wild animal parts (snake skin, tortoise shell), or taken from the sea (aquarium fish, shells, corals). Look for goods with reputable Eco-Labels such as the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or the MAC (Marine Aquarium Council). Some endangered species may also end up in your plates; check the IUCN list including shark fins, red tuna among the most commonly consumed.

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MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

Dos


CATEGORIES OF OPERATORS Community Based Tourism & Homestay

A travel to the Mekong region would not be complete without at least one stay with a local, ethnic community. Experience genuine cultural exchange with indigenous communities and explore in depth some of the most beautiful countryside and protected areas under their enlightened guidance. In this category, you’ll also find many ideas for experiential holidays where you’ll be learning cooking, permaculture, organic farming, pottery, silk weaving, traditional fishing or even how to build a boat!

Look with your eyes, take with your mind, and leave things in their natural environment. Respect the fauna and the flora

Respect national park rules. Keep silent, never remove any plant species, never feed any wild animals, and never leave recommended trekking routes. Hire local guides who are knowledgeable about local ecology. Don’t respond to locals offering to bend the rules. Sometimes people will try to sell protected species. While you may wish to do this so that you can set the animal free, the best attitude is to refuse to pay any money. When they realise there is no more demand, the practice may eventually stop. When snorkelling, be aware that touching coral formations can hinder their growth, and coral cuts can easily become nasty infections too. Do not take any coral or shells, as even though they may be dead, it encourages locals to think that they are desirable souvenirs and that there’s a market for these items.

MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

In limestone caves do not touch formations, as natural body oils from the fingers hinder the formations’ growth and will discolour the limestone. Reduce deforestation by avoiding unnecessary use of scarce firewood. Fuel stoves should be used for cooking on camping trips. Bonfires are not to be encouraged. Stay on tracks

This is especially important during the wet season because it is all too easy to create new tracks in order to get a better footing. If people don’t adhere to this, the trail soon becomes a series of footpaths that turn into erosion gullies.

Nature Discovery focuses on the exploration of nature accessible to all: boat cruises, home-

stays in hill tribes’ villages, easy trekking or gentle rambles, nature trails and night safaris into protected areas, bird watching.

Arts, Culture & History gives you the addresses of sites and museums, or sometimes even

shops where you will learn more about the destination. We did not feature the essential sites that we know you’ll visit anyway such as Angkor Wat or the must-see Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi. We chose to direct you towards those you may otherwise miss.

Body & Mind Healing indicates where to unwind, relax, meditate, and pamper yourself from

head to toe.

Accommodation

A choice of accommodation that ranges from comfortable homestays to simple huts, from boutique hotels to farms, from rural accommodations to urban chic or seaside resorts. The focus is deliberately on micro, small & medium enterprises, as we consider that the big hotel chains and 5 star properties, although some do actively engage on an environmentally friendly path, do not need our guide to get promoted. Shops

This category regroups shops selling locally made handicrafts, which contribute towards the revival of a diverse cultural heritage, the perpetuation of ancestral skills and technical knowhow, while encouraging contemporary designs. Some convert recycled materials into fine jewellery, clothes, or home decoration items, others sell organic products for body care or food. Most apply international Fair Trade principles. Restaurants

Use the toilet facilities that are provided. If there are none go at least 50m away from water sources and people’s homes. Bury everything, but take sanitary napkins back.

This selection takes you to some of the best bars and restaurants. Most were developed by NGOs and act as training schools supporting the education of street kids or disadvantaged youth and help their families to gain sufficient income, so they can keep learning and break the cycle of poverty.

Waste

Learning holidays

Toilet Facilities

Organic waste such as food scraps should not be dispersed or buried in national parks and natural areas. This practice may introduce exotic seeds and is not the natural diet of the native animals. Carry it back. Your guide will advise you in this regard. On treks bring organic soap and shampoo with you, and avoid soap when bathing in streams or lakes. Check our addresses of shops selling organic products.

Places where you can learn something for a few hours or a few days; cooking class, permaculture, rice planting, basket weaving, traditional fishing, and … Families Disabled Acess

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MEKONG SUB-REGION - Introduction

Special tips for protected and remote areas

Active Holidays displays activities requiring some fitness and a sense of adventure, such as biking, trekking, kayaking, climbing, etc. This type of holiday is the best way to get closer to the destination and its people in a simple, non-intrusive way. Nature Discovery focuses on the exploration of nature accessible to all: boat cruises, homestays in hill tribes’ villages, easy trekking or gentle rambles, nature trails and night safaris into protected areas, bird watching.


CAMBODIA Country Profile Phnom Penh & Around Siem Reap & Around Northwest Northeast South

Enter the Kingdom of Wonder For a century, the name Cambodia invoked a deep sense of awe and mystery. An exotic kingdom with magnificent wonders hidden in a tropical jungle; an enigmatic pearl of exploration and adventure. Like its slogan, ‘Kingdom of Wonder’, Cambodia offers the visitor much to marvel at. Just as Angkor is more than its Wat, Cambodia is more than its temples. Discover a country steeped in heritage and tradition on its way towards modernity. Considered only a decade ago to be an adventurous destination, Cambodia is now open to all travellers, with many pockets of unexplored or newly explored treasures still to be found. We will lead you to a few of them.

Boutique accommodation dominates the landscape. Offering a personalised, authentic experience that cannot be replicated by a five-star hotel chain, this type of accommodation provides a strong sense of place and culture, and a chance to offer guests a holiday experience like no other. The country’s food culture is also not to be missed. Typically, a Cambodian meal is served with rice and at least three dishes. Each will either be sweet, sour, salty or bitter or a combination to reach harmony. Chilli is usually left up to the individual to add. A wide variety of international cuisines can also be found in the larger cities, with in particular excellent French restaurants. A visit to the coast is not complete without ordering crab or squid stir-fried with green Kampot pepper, the world’s finest. AUTHOR

With tourism as her background and passion, Sharee Bauld has spent the last 12 years in Southeast Asia, the past nine in Cambodia working as a tourism consultant. When she is not working, she would prefer to be found exploring the many unique and beautiful sites of Cambodia. You’ll also recognize her pleasant and precise writing style in the Myanmar section. 14 - CAMBODIA

We have also featured some of the best shops where you’ll find refined traditional handicrafts as well as contemporary design items for you or your house, many applying fair trade principles.

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CAMBODIA - Country Profile

Once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, Phnom Penh was considered one of the loveliest Frenchbuilt cities in Indochina in the 1920s. Its stunning colonial heritage, tree-lined boulevards, a gorgeous riverside promenade featuring a glittering palace, and a great selection of restaurants and bars and a visit to the Royal Palace and to the National Museum is a must-do for anyone who boasts of having visited Cambodia. Do not write off this pleasant city from your travel plans! You will also find beautiful testimonies of Chinese and French colonial heritage in Battambang, Kampot or Kep.


Cambodia is located in the heart of Southeast Asia. The country shares its borders with Thailand to the Northwest and the west, to the Northeast with Laos and to the east with Viet Nam. The south of the country has a long and beautiful coastline on the Gulf of Thailand, which has just entered the prestigious Club of ‘The Most Beautiful Bay of the World’ in January 2011. Cambodia covers 181,035 km2; it is a rather small country with all tourism destinations only a few hours drive from Phnom Penh. Water is a dominant feature of the Cambodian landscape with the mighty Mekong River dissecting the country along 486 km from north to south, and the massive Tonle Sap (Great Lake), Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake and a rich source of fish and livelihoods, located in the middle of the country. There are three main mountainous regions in Cambodia. The Elephant and Cardamom Mountains in the Southwest, the Dangkrek Mountains along the northern border with Thailand, and the Eastern Highlands rising towards the Laotian and Vietnamese borders.

CAMBODIA - Country Profile

History

Carbon 14 dating of a cave at Laang Spean in Northwest Cambodia reveals people were living in Cambodia as early as 4200 BC. The history of Cambodia has been profoundly influenced by its location midway between the two great cultures of India and China. Indians brought their religions, Hinduism and Buddhism, their written languages, Sanskrit and Pali, and their sculpture and arts. The Chinese brought their scholars and diplomats who were the first to record the emerging kingdoms of the Funan period. Eventually these disparate kingdoms were united under the reign of Jayavarman II, and Cambodia entered the Golden Age of Angkor. In 802, Jayavarman II proclaimed himself a Devaraja (God king), the earthly representative of Shiva. The capital settled at Angkor and from the 9th to the 13th centuries, the Khmer kings created the largest mainland empire South-east Asia has ever seen. At its height, it encompassed large parts of today’s Thailand, Laos and Viet Nam. By the reign of Jayavarman VII (late-12th century), Angkor had a population of almost one million when London was a city of just 40,000. However, disaster was lurking in the wings. Overpopulation, deforestation and siltation conspired to choke the vast hydraulic system that helped fuel and feed the empire. Religious rivalry and

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dynastic intrigue sparked small-scale civil wars and ascendant neighbours began to conquer the outposts. Siam (now Thailand) sacked Angkor several times, finally taking it over in 1431. The Khmer kings relocated the capital near Phnom Penh, strategically safer and closer to the old empire trade routes. The period from the 15th to 19th centuries was a time of weakness and insecurity, as neighbouring Thailand and Viet Nam growing ever more powerful were threatening its territory until the French entered in 1863 and made the country a protectorate. The French did little to develop Cambodia’s infrastructure during their 90 years of rule, but they helped the country to survive as a recognized entity and negotiated the successful return of Angkor and the western provinces from Siam. Cambodia reached independence in 1953 and enjoyed a long period of prosperity and stability. However, as the Viet Nam war began to escalate, Cambodia found itself trapped. Prince Sihanouk, who favoured neutrality, was overthrown in a coup in March 1970 by then Prime Minister, Lon Nol, who moved closer to the USA for support. This led the country into a full-scale civil war. It was a bloody conflict with thousands killed on both sides, including many victims of a secret US bombing campaign. Eventually the Khmer Rouge came to power on 17 April 1975 and embarked on one of the most radical and bloodiest revolutions the world has ever seen. Cities were evacuated, money abolished, religion banished and clocks turned back to Year Zero in a complete break from the past. By the time the Khmer Rouge were overthrown in 1979, millions of Cambodians were dead through torture, execution, starvation, disease or overwork. The Cambodian resistance and their Vietnamese allies took Phnom Penh on 7 January 1979 and set about rebuilding the shattered country, but a desperate famine and the geopolitics of the Cold War impeded their efforts. A new phase of civil war rumbled on until 1991, when the United Nations negotiated a peace agreement. Free elections were held in 1993, which saw the Cambodian People’s Party and FUNCINPEC form a coalition that has continued in one form or another until today. Cambodia became a member of ASEAN in 1999 and joined the WTO in 2005.

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CAMBODIA - Country Profile

Geography


People The majority of Cambodian people are ethnic Khmer and have inhabited this area since the beginning of recorded history. There are also significant populations of ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese who have been here for several generations. Cham Muslims form a large population. Cambodia is also home to a diverse population of chunchiets (ethno linguistic minorities) who traditionally live in the country’s remote mountainous regions in the north-east. Today, they are about sixty thousand, including the Kreung and Jarai in Rattanakiri and the Pnong in Mondulkiri.

Tourism

Languages Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language derived from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit and belongs to the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. English is the most popular international language and is widely spoken in urban centres. French was the language of choice in the 1950s and 1960s and is still common among the elite and elders. Mandarin and Vietnamese are quite widely understood. Learn a few words of Cambodian to earn smiles from the local people.

Socio- economic Facts Population 2010

14.14 million

Density

78/km2

Literacy rate 2008

77.6

GDP per capita 2010 (ADB)

$551

GDP

$11.3 billion

Growth GDP 2010

+ 6.7%

Agriculture

35.3

Industry

22.6

Manufacturing Services

CAMBODIA - Country Profile

Tourism

15 42 8.7

Tourism accounted for 8.7% of the GDP in 2010 and employed directly about 547,000 people (20% of GDP and 1.3 million jobs for total contribution). In 2010 two and a half million international arrivals were recorded, to which a surging domestic tourism of seven and a half millions domestic tourists can be added. The government strongly supports the growth of the tourism sector and tourism investment is positively encouraged throughout Cambodia. The government fully supports the initiatives of pro-poor tourism initiatives throughout the country with the support of a wide spectrum of organisations and development partners. Exceptional sites such as Angkor or the Tonle Sap Lake benefit from international support for their preservation and conservation. The Ministry of Tourism is also working with a number of partners to encourage studies and research to ensure a sustainable and responsible development of tourism. With a good network of national parks, the more remote areas of Cambodia have potential for ecotourism that the Ministry is encouraging in cooperation with international conservation organisations. Ancient temples dot the landscape and have the potential to encourage visitors to book longer stays. Living culture in the form of Cambodian dance, music and arts is also staging a strong comeback. The coast of Cambodia is now also recognised as a world-class attraction, as since January 2011, Cambodia became a member of the ‘The Most Beautiful Bay In The World’ Club. 18 - CAMBODIA

Basic Vocabulary

Hello = Suor s’dei Goodbye = Lia sun howie How are you? = Sok sabai chea teh? I’m fine = Knyom sok sabai Yes = Baat (for man) Jaa (for woman) No = O-te Thank you = Aw khun I’m sorry / Excuse me = Somh toh

Religions Theravada Buddhism is the leading religion in Cambodia and defines the lives of many Khmers. Religions were banished during the Khmer Rouge period, but in the past decade, religious worship resurged. Hinduism flourished alongside Buddhism from the 1st century AD until the 14th century, and some elements of this religion are still incorporated into the important ceremonies: birth, marriage and death. Cambodians practised animism, worshipping the spirits of nature long before Buddhism and Hinduism arrived in the country, and these religions were fused with traditional animist beliefs. Cambodian Buddhists still follow some animist practices, such as ancestor worship. A significant minority of Cham (Khmer Muslim) people practise Islam, and there is a small number of Christians. CAMBODIA - 19

CAMBODIA - Country Profile

Share of GDP in % (2009)


Natural Heritage More than 18% of the country’s territory had been designated and categorized as National Parks (742,250 ha); Wildlife Sanctuaries (2,030,000 ha); Protected Landscapes (9,700 ha) and Multiple Use Management Areas (403,950 ha). Cambodia’s large mammals include tigers, leopards, bears, elephants, wild cows and deer. The many bird species in the country include cormorants, cranes, kingfishers, hornbills, and pelicans, and even the Giant and White-shouldered ibis. Popular places include the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, which is home to rare water birds such as Lesser and Greater adjutants, Milky storks and Spot-billed pelicans, as well as Ang Trapeng Thmor in Banteay Meanchey province, home to the Sarus crane (Grus antigone). is second only to the Amazon River in fish biodiversity and provides a home for one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, the Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas). The critically endangered freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin inhabits stretches of the Mekong River in the Northeast.

The Mekong River

Bokor National Park

1,581 km²

Most of Bokor or Preah Monivong National Park is a primary forest that is particularly rich in endemic flora and, provides a home to endangered fauna such as the tiger, Chestnut-headed partridge and Green peafowl. The park’s other attractions are Popokvil Falls and the abandoned French hill station of Bokor. The Cardamom Mountain Range

20,000 km² - altitude 1080 m

It is the biggest protected area in Cambodia made up of Mount Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Cardamoms Protected Forest and Mount Aural Wildlife Sanctuary. The area encompasses three of South-east Asia’s most threatened ecosystems: lowland evergreen forests, riparian forests and wetlands. The fabled Cardamom Mountains is an area of breathtaking beauty and astonishing biodiversity; 59 globally threatened animal species, including tigers, Asian elephants, bears, Siamese crocodiles, pangolins and eight species of tortoises and turtles.

Virachey National Park

Virachey National Park overlaps Rattanakiri and Stung Treng Provinces in north-eastern Cambodia. It is one of the top priority areas for conservation in South-east Asia. Largely unexplored, it holds a large assortment of wildlife, waterfalls and mountains, dense semi-evergreen lowlands, montane forests, upland savannah, bamboo thickets and occasional patches of mixed deciduous forest.

CAMBODIA - Country Profile

CAMBODIA - Country Profile

3,325 km² - altitude 1,500 metres - ASEAN Heritage Park

Kirirom National Park 350 km² - altitude 675 m

Kirirom National Park, Kampong Speu Province, 112 km south-west of Phnom Penh extends over the eastern part of the Cardamom Mountains. Kirirom was Cambodia’s first designated national park. It contains many footpaths through the forests with a number of small lakes and waterfalls. Among the animals in the park, the following deserve mention: deer, gaur, banteng, Spotted linsang, and Pileated gibbon. Ream National Park

210 km²

Ream National Park, 18 km from Sihanoukville, was established in 1993. It includes 150 km² of terrestrial and 60 km² of marine habitats; it contains beaches, mangrove forests, tropical jungles and over 150 species of birds, and is well noted for its monkey population.

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tatai, koh kong

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Cultural Heritage

Ceramics

UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Angkor Complex (1992) - Preah Vihear (2008) - Royal Ballet (2003) - Sbek Tom Khmer Shadow Theatre (2005)

Tangible Heritage Archaeological Heritage

The ceramics of the Khmer empire are believed to have been produced as early as the 9th Century. Ceramics of extremely good quality were produced in high volumes during the 11th and 12th centuries. A majority of Khmer ceramics are glazed brown or celadon, covered with a natural wood-ash glaze with iron, dark jade/green or deep olive/green colours. Today, the majority of the ceramics made in Cambodia come from the province of Kampong Chhnang (chhnang meaning pot). Bronze

The use of bronze casting in Cambodia began sometime between 1,500 and 1,000 BC. Following the permeation of political and religious ideas brought from India around 1AD, a tradition of casting bronze Hindu and Buddhist divinities emerged in Cambodia. This tradition reached its pinnacle during the Angkor period. The large bronze figure of the ‘Reclining Vishnu’ (late 11th century), displayed in the exquisite National Museum of Phnom Penh, demonstrates the level of mastery that Khmer bronze artists achieved. Sculpture

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We will not describe here the cultural heritage linked to Pre–Angkor and Angkorian periods; we’d rather recommend reading one of the numerous books dedicated to it, and in particular Angkor an Asian heritage by B. Dagens, or you will find all the basic information in your regular guidebook.

The stone carving skills of the ancient Khmers were inherited from India but later evolved into a unique Khmer style, however many sculptures represent the Hindu deities such as Shiva, Vishnu, Brahmans, Ganesha, and Hindu mythical monsters. Some large sculptures portray the epics of the Hindu myths such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. The most astounding Buddha statues are found in Angkor Thom (Bayon) where the magnificent statues of four-faced Bodhisattava Avalokiteshvara, the lord Buddha, were sculpted on fifty towers. Although each sculpture bears the common characteristics of the supernatural being it represents, its details reveal the personal imagination of its sculptor. Good examples can be seen in the 2,000 sculptures of Apsara, the female devatas (angels), in Angkor Wat. Some sculptures depict important events or the everyday life of the Khmer people, such as the relief carvings of Angkor Thom, or mythology on the magnificent carved walls of Angkor Wat galleries.

We just wish to stress the fact that if the Angkor Complex is the most magnificent temple complex, other outstanding ones can be found in Cambodia with around 3,000 temples dotting the country. Additional sites well worth a visit are Koh Ker (100 km north-east of Angkor) and Preah Vihear (140 km from Siem Reap) in Preah Vihear province or, Sombor Prei Kuk of the Pre-Angkorean period in Kampong Thom province (midway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap). Older archaeological sites of interest

Banteay Kou in Memot and the Memot Centre for Archaeology in Kampong Cham Province. Dating from the Neolithic period it contains a series of 17 circular Early Iron Age villages up to 300m in diameter. Groslier named this civilization “Mimotien”. Sre Ampil Archaeological and Conservation museum opened in 2006 in the grounds of Sre Ampil pagoda in Kien Svay district, close to Phnom Penh in Kandal Province.

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Textiles

There are three important silk textiles in Cambodia. They include ikat silks, hol twill-patterned silks, and the weft ikat textiles. Traditionally Cambodians wear a chequered scarf called a krama. The krama has been a symbol of Cambodian dress since the first century reign of Preah Bath Hun Tean. It is used for all purposes including for style, protection from the hot sun, an aid (for your feet) when climbing trees, a hammock for infants, a towel, or a sarong. CAMBODIA - 23

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The cultural heritage of Cambodian culture was deeply influenced by Indian culture 2,000 years ago through the language and religion, but also art styles and music, which the Angkor civilisation shaped into one unique culture.


Intangible Heritage

Festivals & Events

Music

Cambodia’s festivals follow the lunar calendar, so the dates vary from year to year.

Classical Khmer dance or Apsara dance

Known as Cambodian Court Dance or the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, it was historically performed by royals and their relatives and, before 1953, performances were rarely seen by the public eye. Khmer classical dance is of a unique style, it uses stylized movements and gestures to convey meaning and tell a story. The costumes are highly ornate and heavily embroidered. A pinpeat orchestra accompanies it, and when it is not playing, a chorus of several singers will sing lyrics that tell the story.

Kbach Kun Khmer Boran

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Khmer martial arts date back more than a thousand years, as evidenced by carvings and bas-reliefs in the Angkor temples. The martial arts include Bokator, Pradal Serey, Baok Chambab, Kbach Kun Dambong Vèng, amongst others.

The most important festivals include: • January/February: Chinese or Lunar New Year. (H) • April 14: Joul Chnam Khmai, the Khmer New Year, is the most important festival in the Cambodian calendar. This three-day celebrtion often extends to a week. (H) • Early May: Chat Preah Nengkal. The Royal Ploughing ceremony (National Museum in Phnom Penh) is a ritual agricultural festival in which the royal oxen determine whether it will be a good harvest or not. (H) • May/June: Visakha Puja, celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and parinibbana (passing into nirvana). The festival is best seen at Angkor Wat, where there is a candle-lit procession of monks. (H) • September/October: Phchum Ben, is the second most important Cambodian festival, when respects are paid to dead retives through offerings made at the local temple. (H) • October/November: Bon Om Tuk or Water Festival, commemorates Jayavarman VII’s victory over the Chams in 1177. It coincides with the unique event where the water from the Mekong River reverses in direction and empties into the Tonle Sap Lake. Boat racing is the highlight of the 3-day festival. Teams of boat racers from all over the country descend on Phnom Penh to compete in the annual races with their families and fans. (H)

Other public holidays (H) January 1st – January 7th: Victory Day – January 19th: Meak Bochea Day – March 8th: Women’s Day – May 1st: Labour Day – May 15th: King Sihamoni Birthday – June 18th: former Queen’s Birthday – September 24th: Constitution Day – September 29th: Coronation Day – October 31st: Former King Sihanouk Birthday – November 9th: Independence Day – December 10 Human Rights Day.

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Traditional Cambodian music flourished in both the royal court and in village settings. Most functions are typically accompanied by an ensemble called Pinpeat, a form of music that was used in religious ceremonies, but also during shadow puppets and pantomimes shows. This type of orchestra consists of several types of xylophones, drums, oboes, gongs, and other musical instruments. The Mohori, a secular music has more than 600 musical themes and is most often heard at royal banquets, played to folk dancing. Lastly, PlengKar is the music that is played at weddings, one of the most important Cambodian ceremonies.


Local Time: GMT+ 7 Telephone Country code: 855 Working Hours

Government offices: 7:30 - 11:30, 14:00 - 17:00 Banks: 8:30-15:30, most open on Saturday mornings

• Ambulance 119 • Fire 118 • Police 117

In Phnom Penh Police: 24-hour emergency numbers 023-366841 & 012-999999 should connect you with English-speaking officers.

Official website:

www.tourismcambodia.org

In Siem Reap Tourist police office (012-969991) at the main ticket checkpoint for the Angkor area.

Phnom Penh: Siem Reap:

- Sisowath Quay, in front of the Royal Palace - Phnom Penh International Airport - Phum Mondul 1 – Sk. Svey Dongkom - Phum Mondul 2 – Sk. Svey Dongkom (near the old market)

Bag snatching is frequent in Phnom Penh, and women are easy targets. As a global rule for all destinations, never leave your belongings unattended and maintain a firm grip on cameras and shoulder bags.

Tourist offices

You can also visit tourist offices in Mondulkiri, Sihanouk Ville and Kampot. Other offices with irregular working hours are available in Battambang, Kep, Kampong Cham, Koh Kong, Poipet, Preah Vihear, Rattanakiri, Stung Treng. To get a complete list check the ‘Contact’ section of our website www.mekongresponsibletourism.org. Money

$1 = 4,000 riel – €1 = 5,600 riel

The riel is convenient for small purchases, local transportation, meals, drinks and market purchases, for higher amounts US dollars remain the main currency in Cambodia. There are US dollar ATMs in major cities. Cash advances on credit cards are available in major cities (Canadian Bank, Acleda Bank or ANZ Royal Bank) for large sums of money. Most banks can cash travellers cheques with a 2% commission.

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Health & Safety Emergency Contact Numbers

Bargaining is an acceptable practice in Cambodia unless prices are tagged, for example shopping in markets, hiring vehicles and, sometimes, when taking a room. However, bargaining is not necessarily about getting the lowest possible price, but a price that is acceptable to both the buyer and the seller. Remember to keep the exchange friendly. Not trying to put the price as low as possible is part of responsible behaviour. Climate

Some Cambodians joke that the country has three seasons: hot, hotter and hottest. The average temperature is around 27-28ºC. The wet season usually starts mid-May and continues until September or October; the cool season starts in November and continues through January; and the dry hot season starts in February and lasts until May. Even during the wet season, it rarely rains all day. The period between June and September is indeed a good choice to visit the country. The temples of Angkor are at their most beautiful and photogenic with full pools and moats, the vegetation in the countryside is deep green, the rice paddies are of luminous light green, and river and lake levels are high, while temperatures are slightly reduced and clear blue skies appear after the rain.

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It is important to have travel/health insurance before visiting Cambodia and to look after your health once in the country. Although sanitation and international standard medical facilities are improving greatly, if you fall seriously ill you should return to Phnom Penh. If it is a very serious incident, proceed to Bangkok. Pharmacies in urban centres are generally well stocked and prescriptions are not necessary for most antibiotics. Check the expiry date, and prefer air-conditioned shops where medicines are better conserved. There’s no need to be paranoid. While there are quite a lot of tropical diseases out there, the most common ailments to affect visitors to Cambodia are simple things like an upset stomach or a spot of dehydration. Avoiding tap water and drinking lots of filtered water are good first steps towards a healthy trip – but please avoid plastic bottles as much as possible! In cities, free filtered water is provided by the glass in almost all restaurants. Ice is generally considered safe, as it is mostly produced in factories. Beware of mosquitoes in the daytime everywhere (dengue fever in particular during the wet season) and night-time in forest areas and along borders (malaria). The area near Pailin is known to host mosquitoes carrying a strand of malaria resistant to all medicines. Hospitals

In Phnom Penh • Calmette Hospital, 3 Monivong Blvd - Tel: 023-426948 • Royal Rattanak Hospital, 11, Street 592 - Tel: 023-991000 • SOS International Medical Centre, 161 Street 51 - Tel: 023-216911 • European Dental Clinic, 160A Norodom Blvd - Tel: 023-211363 Ambulance services: 023-724891, 023-426948 & 012-808915 In Siem Reap The Royal Angkor International Hospital on Airport Rd - Tel: 063-761888

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Practical Information


Visas , Gateways & Border Crossings Most nationalities receive a one-month single entry visa on arrival (VoA) at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports, as well as at some land border crossings (see below VoA). The visa costs US$ 20 plus $5 processing fee in some cases and one passport-sized photo is required. You can also arrange a visa through Cambodian embassies overseas or apply for an e-visa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website www.mfaic.gov.kh. Tourist visas can be extended only once for one month, whereas business visas can be extended for up to one year at a time at the Cambodian National Police Immigration Department, Ministry of Interior, opposite Phnom Penh International Airport Tel: (+855) 12 581 558. Note: Nationals from Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia are exempted. Those from Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Nigeria need to go to the nearest embassy.

Gateways By air

Phnom Penh International Airport and Siem Reap International Airport. By water

Sihanouk International Seaport and the Phnom Penh International Port (VoA) It is possible to reach Phnom Penh Capital by ship along the Mekong River from Vietnam. By road From Thailand

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• Ban Klong Leuk, Sakeo Province / Poipet, Banteay Meanchey Province (VoA) • Hat Lek, Trat Province / Cham Yeam, Koh Kong Province (VoA) • Chong Chorm, Sorin Province / O’smach, Oddar Meanchey Province (VoA) • Sangam, Sisaket Province / Choam, Oddar Meanchey Province • Ban Pakard, Chanthaburi Province / Prom, Pailin Province • Ban Lem, Chanthaburi Province / Dong, Battambang Province From Viet Nam

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• Mok Bai, Tay Ninh Province / Bavet, Svay Rieng Province (VoA) • Yin Soeung, Ang Giang Province / Kaam Samnor, Prey Veng Province (VoA) • Tin Bienh, Ang Giang Province / Phnom Den, Takeo Province • Xamat, Tay Ninh Province / Trapaing Phlong, Kampong Cham Province • Bonue, Binh Phuoc Province / Trapaing Srè, Kratie Province • Lethanh, Gia Lai Province / Oyadav, Rattanakiri Province • Dinh Ba, Dong Thap Province / Banteay Chakrei, Prey Veng Province • Ha Tieng, Kien Giang Province / Preak Chak, Kampot Province • Mi Quy Tei, Long An Province / Samrong, Svay Rieng Province From Laos

Voen Kham, Champasak province / Dom Kralor, Stung Treng province (VoA). Whereas visas can be delivered when entering Cambodia from this border post, you need your visa in advance to enter Laos. 28 - CAMBODIA

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PEPY TOURS

Siem Reap - Tel: 017 737 519 Email: info@pepytours.com Website: www.pepytours.com Come learn, experience, enjoy and become a biker of change with PEPY Tours (“Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself”) on one of their educational adventures: bicycle tours in South East Asia, experiential education trips for schools, and custom high end tours. They’ve received awards from National Geographic and Ashoka’s Geotourism Challenge, from WildAsia and are members of Heritage Watch.

EXOTISSIMO

Email: inquire@exotissimo.co Websites: www.exotissimo.com www.exofoundation.com Exotissimo Travel ranks among the pioneers of tourism in the Mekong region, since 1993 they offer ecoadventure packages that keep social and environmental awareness at the forefront. Exotissimo caters to the responsible visitor who wants an in-depth, nature-based experience of the Mekong countries. They have offices in each country, in Cambodia they have one in Phnom Penh and one in Siem Reap.

HANUMAN

Phnom Penh - Tel: 023 218396 Email: sales@hanumantourism.com Website: www.hanuman.travel

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Join with one of the longest running locally-owned, locally-operated travel companies in Cambodia to experience a holiday that will impact positively on the lives of the people you meet. Their latest ‘Good Cause Cambodia’ tour takes travellers around Cambodia on a 14 day/13 night unforgettable experience.

TRAVEL LOOPS TOUR

Siem Reap - Tel: 0977776977 Email: inquiry@travelloops.com Website: www.travelloops.com Travel Loops is an online full-service Indochina travel company with headquarters in Cambodia providing private and small group tour packages. They believe in providing quality, innovative and authentic travel experiences that are fun, meaningful and unforgettable. They specialise in biking tours. They are a member of ConCERT.

Sustainable Tourism Organisations ConCERT Connecting Communities, Environment & Responsible Tourism

Tel: 063 963 511 - Email: info@concertcambodia.com
 Website: www.concertcambodia.com

Bridging the gap between tourism, organisations and the poor, ConCERT is the link to helping travellers to help the destinations they visit. ConCERT gathers over 20 well managed and financially transparent NGO members in Siem Reap province, who are involved in various activities including schools, water supplies, environmental protection, HIV/AIDS support, health care provision, community development etc. You’ll find at the office information covering issues concerning street children, human trafficking, Cambodian culture and heritage, school and orphanage visits, and environmental protection.

INTREPID TRAVEL

Based in Australia Email: generalinfo@intrepidtravel.com Website: www.intrepidtravel.com For travellers with a yearning to get off the beaten track, and grass root experience, Intrepid wrote the book on it. In the Greater Mekong Sub-region alone, Intrepid operates 21 itineraries and approximately 1400 departures. They offer a variety of trip styles catering mainly to those looking for community based tourism eperiences. Themes include family, active, overland, wildlife, urban adventures, photography, festivals and events and private groups.

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HERITAGE WATCH

Email: admin@heritagewatchinternational.org Website: www.heritagewatchinternational.org Dedicated to protecting Cambodia’s rich culture, the Heritage Friendly Tourism Campaign is helping visitors and locals alike understand the need to preserve the past. Heritage Watch started in 2003 in Cambodia as not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the world, through research, education, and advocacy. It is now active in several countries. Certified businesses participating in the Heritage Friendly Tourism Campaign have met certain criteria that encourage responsible tourism and participate to local economic sustainability.

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Responsible Tour Operators


Boddhi Tree Boutique Hotels Contact details

The Boddhi Tree, the symbol of the ultimate potential that lies within us all, embodies the very nature of the Boddhi Tree Boutique Hotels and Restaurants.

Contact details

# 227 Street 19 Tel: 023 22 22 80 Email: reservation@thepavilion.asia Website: www.thepavilion.asia Stay in the Finest Heritage Houses of Phnom Penh You’ll be willing to come back to Phnom Penh just to try out the range of comfortable and unique boutique hotels last witnesses of the capital historical past.

What to experience?

What to experience?

The Boddhi Tree Aram is located close to the Royal Palace. Built in the 1950s, the building’s high ceilings and wide-open windows combined with contemporary furnishings blend effortlessly with Asian touches to enhance its light-filled spaces. Twelve large rooms, air conditioning, flat screen TVs. Boddhi Tree Del Gusto is a charming, sensitively restored 1930s colonial house offering eight fan, or air-conditioned rooms and a shady café & restaurant in a quiet garden adorned by fragrant jasmine and bougainvillea, an oasis in Phnom Penh.

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Phnom Penh & Around

The Boddhi Tree Umma guesthouse is a renovated traditional-style house, decorated with locally produced contemporary furniture. Surrounded by a beautiful, lush garden it provides a surprisingly quiet and shady haven in the centre of Phnom Penh. Twelve rooms, some with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning, fans and mosquito nets.

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How does it help?

The business opened in 1997, and has provided stable jobs to over eighty staff with 85% of their workforce emanating from the youth training programmes of Cambodian NGOs. The Boddhi Tree supports the Leadership and Character Development Institute (LCDI) that provides occupational training skills and on-the-job-experience, as well as basic educational services to high school dropouts, former gangsters and those who never had opportunities for education. The company believes in “what is good for you is good for nature” by buying chemical and pesticide-free produce from the Urban and NonTimber Forest Products Exchange Programme. Through buying the locally branded IBIS rice, they support the livelihoods of poor communities who once hunted birdlife for a living. They have assisted in creating an organic garden for the organisations Health Cambodian Children Centre (HCCC) and Leadership Character Development Institute (LCDI). They are committed to stopping sex trafficking and child prostitution, working with the Spanish organisation Afesip and the Childsafe programme. Generating greater economic benefits for local people and enhancing their well being is central to the Boddhi Tree’s ethos. As such they support the education of all their staff to continue their studies. 32 - CAMBODIA

The Pavilion displays an original combination of Khmer and French colonial architecture styles set in a lush garden. The property has 20 rooms, located 100m from the Royal Palace with a 14m swimming pool, intimate resting areas, a garden bar & restaurant. The rooms have all facilities, hot water from solar panels, and free wi-fi. The Kabuki is the sister hotel welcoming families with kids, where a nice garden and a pool were designed for them. The Blue Lime is more intimate. The Plantation is a 72-room charming, colonial style hotel, located just 80m behind the Royal Palace and 100m from the National Museum. Another restoration project of the city’s declining historical past, it is setup in a lush an exotic garden with a 25m swimming pool, and facilities including a restaurant, spa, and fitness centre. The 240 is a 10 room intimate accommodation setup in an old “Chinese block” located on Street 240. The property hosts all standard facilities, and flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi and LAN internet. The restaurant and shop Naturae specialise in natural and organic foods. Adjacent is an art gallery. The Chinese House, at the corner of street 48 and Sisowath Quay is the capital’s oldest chinese house. The property is an original combination of Chinese architecture (roofs, doors, pillars) and French colonial style (facade, tile floors). The Chinese House now hosts Tepui Restaurant & Lounge serving a refined cuisine influenced by the Mediterranean and South American flavours, and cocktails with Asian accents. How does it help?

The owners have a strong ethos and commitment to responsibility, sustainability, restoration and preservation. In a former life, Alexis used to work with NGOs supporting victims of sex trade and retained a sense of responsibility and commitment. In each property they aim to maintain the basics of responsible tourism, substituting alternative technologies wherever possible, providing opportunities for those less fortunate, and demonstrating clear policies on the intolerance for sex tourism. They have strived to make contributions towards urban architectural preservation, enhancing urban green spaces, and dedicating funds to renewable energy research projects. Their most recent project is experimenting prototypes of eco-floating bungalows using autonomous energy supplies, including solar air conditioning, led lighting, and redefining the essential energy needs of the tourists. They pride themselves in their strong commitment against child abuse and sex-trade, funding the protection of street children through local organisations. They provide good staff working conditions (wages, holidays, working environment), and accompany the most skilled to higher positions within the company. CAMBODIA - 33

Phnom Penh & Around

The Boddhi Tree group of boutique accommodation are leaders in creating a tradition that combines sustainability, good practice, social leadership and good values. The three Boddhi Tree properties impart sophistication, charm and elegance, all being sensitively restored heritage buildings from the 1920s through to the 1960s. The restaurants are designed to create a unique culinary experience, while enjoying fine Asian and continental cuisine. You’ll taste organic produce from local organisations, and vegetarians will appreciate a large choice. All offer free WIFI.

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Dream of Nirvana come true

• Boddhi Tree Del Gusto, 43, St.95 • Boddhi Tree Umma, #50, St. 113 • Boddhi Tree Aram, #70, Street 244 Tel: 011 854 430, 023 998 424 Email: bookings@boddhitree.com Website: www.boddhitree.com

The Pavilion & Co

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Friends’ Restaurants Contact details

Contact details

Boeung Keng Kang No. 152, St. 51 Tel: 017 602 251 Email: restaurantsector@site-pse.org Website: www.pse.asso.fr Dine for the smile of a child

Friends are our Cambodian heroes

Indulge your taste buds in a menu of Western and Asian cuisines, where you can sample delectable dishes made lovingly by students.

From fusion restaurants to creative crafts shop there’s one group of Friends who have developed an exemplary social enterprise getting kids off the streets in a remarkable way, you’ll want to become friends with these real actors of change.

Lotus Blanc Restaurant provides a quality dining experience combined with the friendly service of the Khmer people. Apart from their service being of a consistently high standard (and of course with that infectious smile) the food is also delicious. The restaurant draws a regular crowd of locals and travellers to indulge in its popular set lunches. Their daily lunch and dinner salad buffet gives hungry and inquisitive stomachs the chance to try a variety of delicious food. With dishes such as deep-fried prawns with tamarind sauce, glass noodles with seafood, seafood amok and duck confit, they can please even the fussiest palate. Every Friday and Saturday night, the restaurant hosts a traditional Khmer dance show, and a series of original events. How does it help?

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Phnom Penh & Around

Lotus Blanc restaurant is part of the activities of ‘Pour un Sourire d’Enfant’ (PSE litterally meaning For the Smile of a Child). This NGO was started in late 1995 by a couple who saw it as their mission to reduce the extreme poverty they witnessed in Cambodia. They started by serving food to scavenger children living off garbage collection, then they opened a school, providing food and/or revenues through part time jobs to the families so they don’t send their kids back to the garbage mountains. Then they developed classes from primary to high school, and eventually vocational trainings. Over the years, they’ve supported more than 8000 students with education, food and health care, social protection and vocational training. The staff is 96% Cambodian and some current managers were former disadvantaged children. In the vocational training centre of PSE, there are 7 schools (hospitality, business, gardening, mechanics, construction, home and food management, hairdressing and beauty care) where 19 skills are taught. Their two application restaurants provide real training and experience to students in the kitchen and restaurant environment that will provide them with the necessary skills and experience to find a job elsewhere when they graduate. In keeping with the present-day trend of environmentally conscious businesses, most of the vegetables served in Lotus Blanc come from an organic farm in Areikat Commune. In Siem Reap and Sihanoukville they have created ‘integration centres’ for students pursuing an internship or starting their professional careers. These have been established to designate contact people and assistance, and secure a safe environment for the female students in an unknown city, far away from their families. 34 - CAMBODIA

What to experience?

A visit to Phnom Penh would not be complete without enjoying a delicious meal at one of Friends’ Restaurants. Their motto is fair price, fun atmosphere, Khmer smiles. At Friends (#215 Street 13), indulge in creative tapas, Asian fusion, frozen daiquiris and a range of weekly specials; favourites include fish with salsa verde and Cambodian chicken curry. Book in advance! For unusual Cambodian flavours, choose the Romdeng restaurant (#74 Street 174) set in a beautiful colonial house and decorated by expressive childrens’ paintings. It serves a great variety of Cambodian food ranging from forgotten recipes to contemporary creative dishes, and fried mygale spiders! A must try!! Their third training restaurant Le Café Mith Samlanh in the quiet garden of the French Cultural Centre (Street 184) offers a French-bistro menu of crêpes, salads, cakes and ice cream, and serves breakfast from 7.30am onwards as well as a Khmer lunch buffet in a lush setting. Shows and events are regularly held, so make sure you check out the French Cultural Centre programme. A cookbook ‘The Best of Friends’ illustrated by the insightful paintings of their students will allow you to try your cooking talents back home. How does it help?

Friends are definitely among our Cambodian heroes! Friends International believes that it is possible to build a world where no child has to live or work on the streets. By working directly with families, Friends helps them to increase their own incomes, so that their children do not need to work on the streets and can go to school instead, in order to become independent and productive members of society. They work with the Mith Samlanh programme, which was established by Friends International in 1994 and offers food, shelter, medical care, training and educational facilities to more than 1,800 homeless or abandoned children each day. They offer 10 vocational training courses for young adults (15-24 years) in practical areas such as motor mechanics, beauty therapy, welding, electrical training, laundry and hospitality. Each year, Friends International supports about 120,000 street children worldwide (Thailand, Laos, Indonesia). Last year, in Phnom Penh alone, Friends helped 200 students complete their training and find employment, and 620 others had their studies paid for; around 80,000 medical consultations were provided; and 240,000 meals prepared. Such an impressive record Most importantly, they developed the ‘ChildSafe Network’ that educates on the best actions to take to protect children, and how to respond when a child is in danger. They advise tourists not to give anything to street children or even buy anything from them, as although you might think it helps, it only encourages them to stay in the streets where they have little hope of a better life and are vulnerable to abuse. Awards: Isabelle Allende Foundation Espiritu Award (2008) - the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2007) - the Gold Medal of the Cambodian Government for the Reconstruction of the Country (2005) - the Silver Medal of the Société d’Encouragement au Progrès (2003) - the Order of Australia for Service to Humanity (2002) CAMBODIA - 35

Phnom Penh & Around

What to experience?

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Tel: 012 802 072 Romdeng restaurant - Tel: 092 219 565 Café Mith Samlanh - Tel: 092 471 791
 Email: info@friends-international.org Website: www.friends-international.org

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Lotus Blanc

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Cambodia Living Arts

Seeing Hands Massage Contact details

No. 128-G9, Sothearos Blvd Tonle Bassac, Chamkamorn Tel: 023 986 032 Email: info@cambodianlivingarts.org Website: www.cambodianlivingarts.org Cambodia Living Art Cambodian Living Arts mission is to revitalise Khmer performing arts and to inspire contemporary artistic expression among today’s youth.

Contact details

Phnom Penh 12 St 13 near Wat Phnom - Tel: 012 680 934 Siem Reap Sivatha St opposite Phsar Kandal Tel: 012 786 894

Sihanoukville 95 Mondol 3 Tel: 012 799 016 Battambang 20 Usaphea Village Tel: 012 214 727 – 092 379 903

Healing Hands of the Blind Relax with a massage expertly given by blind Cambodian masseurs to help members of the blind community benefit from an independent life.

What to experience?

What to experience?

The ‘Living Arts Tours’ offer travellers a unique and culturally sensitive glimpse of Cambodia through hands-on experiences with Cambodia’s treasured artistic heritage. Offering these up-close experiences for visitors plays a key role in helping the vision of Cambodian Living Arts to become a reality as the tours both involve and benefit the artists and performers.

Seeing Hands Massage is the perfect way to wind down after sightseeing on a hot humid day. Blind masseurs have been trained in the art of massage and can relax and refresh your body with an hour of soothing treatment. Shiatsu massage - which focuses on pressure points - is available, or choose Anma massage which helps to relax the body and the mind. There is also the option of a traditional foot massage.

What makes their tours special is the fact that the tour guide accompanying you is a current or former arts student and thus serves as a cultural ambassador introducing you to their own intimate knowledge of the Khmer arts. While their tours are carefully planned to be non-intrusive to students and teachers, these tours still offer a lively space for interaction and learning between guests and students.

They provide one of the best value for money massages in Cambodia and you help to ensure blind people make an independent living. Many of the masseurs have earned diplomas and certificates in massage from overseas institutes in Japan and Singapore.

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As Khmer performing arts gain recognition and strength on a national and global stage, Cambodian Living Arts is going beyond simply preserving these art forms and is striving to ensure that they can sustain themselves in today’s globalising economy. Many arts performances staged every night in the tourist hubs of Cambodia are often removed from their traditional contexts and devoid of artistic integrity. Cambodian Living Arts own vision of promoting a sustainable model for the arts allows for students and teachers to profit directly from travellers who make a visit to their classes while at the same time gaining an up-close, authentic glimpse of Khmer arts in a culturally sensitive context. Each tour they offer creates paying jobs for their artists as well as providing them with experience as performers, language interpreters and tour guides. Each one of their ‘Living Arts Tours’ allows teachers and students to earn both financial support as well as recognition for their unique skills. Income from the Living Arts Tours goes to support the students, teachers, CLA community-based projects, as well as the communities in which CLA classes are based. Award : 2010 Travel+Leisure’s Global Vision Award 36 - CAMBODIA

How does it help?

Seeing Hands Massage creates employment for members of Cambodia’s blind community. Without adequate social services in many parts of Cambodia, life for blind people is one long struggle. Seeing Hands Massage offers blind masseurs an independent sustainable income that helps them to lead a relatively normal life. The masseurs can earn a very good salary by Cambodian standards, usually a better monthly wage than for many non-disabled Cambodians. The Seeing Hands Massage centres are privately run associations, run by successful blind entrepreneurs. The main Phnom Penh centre currently employs 13 blind masseurs and there are more than 25 blind masseurs working with the various projects around the country. There are also a number of sighted support staff to help out with day-to-day administration.

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Phnom Penh & Around

Phnom Penh & Around

How does it help?

Seeing Hands Massage has been a great success and there are currently several branches in Phnom Penh, as well as branches in popular tourist cities around the country. You can find Seeing Hands in Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville.

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Every time their classes host visitors, teachers and students are keenly aware of the fact that these interactions help to raise awareness about Cambodia, as well as the diversity and richness of Khmer performing arts. As a result, Masters and students alike feel great pride to be able to share their knowledge and skills with guests from around the world. Check their website to get update information on performances.

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Friends’ Shops Phnom Penh - 49, Street 240 Tel: 023 21960 mekong.quilts.pp@gmail.com Siem Reap - 5 Sivutha Boulevard Tel: 063 964498 Email: mekong.quilts.sr@gmail.com Website: www.mekong-quilts.org

The Fabric of Society There’s beauty in the patterns of life that are pieced together to make a quilt. In making such a quilt, many individual pieces of material represent stories of life in poor rural communities.

What to experience?

Beautiful, high quality, hand-crafted bed covers greet you as you approach the entrance to the shop of Mekong Quilts. Resembling the patchwork and stitching patterns that you remember from your grandmother, the quilts have been superbly recreated with some contemporary designs to add to this revived tradition.

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Tel: 023 986601 Email: info@friends-international.org Website: www.friends-international.org Getting by with a little help from my Friends Friends’ three shops are the perfect places to spend your money on a wide variety of beautiful, funky and unique products made from local and recycled materials.

What to experience?

Friends ‘n’ Stuff (street 13) sells products made by beneficiaries from various Friends projects: second-hand clothes, jewellery, toys, purses, crafts and books, as well as products made by parents from their “Home Based Production” programme and by former street youths.

Upon entering their shop in Phnom Penh you are greeted by a wide variety of quilts to choose from which include different colours and themes, and range from contemporary to traditional designs.

Friends@240 (street 240) is a social business and the shop is a creative and interactive fashion studio for hip accessories and clothing, both ready-to-wear and tailor-made. Continually offering new ranges for both kids and, adults, the shop sells a variety of hoodie jackets and shoulder bags, printed T-shirts, comfortable trousers, and new vinyl bags available in a great range of colours.

You will find a range of quilt types including traditional, patterned and patchwork, Asian inspired, and even children’s and babies’. The quilts are created using both modern and traditional designs filled with either simple or detailed, intricate patterns.

Tooit Tooit at the Russian Market in Phnom Penh and the Old Market in Siem Reap sells the products made byparents from their “Home Based Production” project, so that their children can go to school instead of working on the streets. Favourites are products made out of recycled materials as well as their sarong collection.

Mekong Quilts also specialise in accessories and gifts made from the same quality fabrics and sewn with the same quality and care. They accept custom orders to ensure you have that unique product to suit your home. All Mekong Quilts remain simple and classic in their entirety, having an ageless appeal to all buyers.

And if all of this shopping makes you exhausted, drop by The Nailbar street 13 where beauty students practice the skill of nail art. Come in, indulge, and relax with a massage or get your nails in shape with a manicure or pedicure, or some trendy nail art.

How does it help?

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Contact details

Every quilt is hand stitched by women from poor rural areas of Cambodia with the women taking great pride in their workmanship, striving to consistently improve their skills. Mekong Quilts began as an income generating project, founded in 2001 in Viet Nam under the parent organisation Mekong Plus, which provided poor and impoverished women with a sustainable livelihood. The programme then expanded to Cambodia helping more women provide for their families. With the women being able to work in their communities, children are able to attend school regularly. Women can also stay in the village instead of temporarily moving to Phnom Penh for work during the off season. Currently, Mekong Quilts employs a total of around 340 women across Cambodia and Viet Nam. The work in Cambodia is centred in the village of Rumdoul, Svay Rieng Province. Profits generated from the sale of the quilts are reinvested into the community through Mekong Plus, to support local communities. This includes programmes such as scholarships for children, agricultural training and microfinance programmes, etc. With several of their quilters disabled, Mekong Plus has started a large inclusive education programme which aims at adapting the schools and the communities to people with disabilities. Awards: World Bank for innovative development actions- VUSTA Vietnam Union of Scientific & Technical Associations - The Guide Awards Vietnam business magazine 38 - CAMBODIA

How does it help?

Friends is definitely one of our Cambodian Heroes. Friends International’s objectives are to provide education, life skills, and employment tools to children, youths and their parents to assist them in becoming active members in their societies. Ten vocational training courses are available for young people (15-24 years) to provide the necessary skills to gain employment. They engage skilled young people from vulnerable backgrounds to develop their skills in the workshop, while receiving a stable income to build their futures. Friends International’s “Home Base Production” initiative is an income-generating programme for parents of marginalised children. They train them, buy their production and sell it in their retail stores. Their “Home Base Production” team in 2009 employed 151 families, with an average monthly income of US$86 and indirectly benefited 611 children. The majority of raw materials used in Friends International’s products come from local and recycled materials; food packaging, straw, rubber tyres, newspapers and magazines. They developed the ‘ChildSafe Network’ that educates on the best action to take to protect children and how to respond when a child is in danger. They advise tourists not to give to or even buy from street kids, as when you think it helps, it only encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope for a better life and are vulnerable to abuse. Awards: Isabelle Allende Foundation Espiritu Award (2008) - the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2007) - the Gold Medal of the Cambodian Government for the Reconstruction of the Country (2005) - the Silver Medal of the Société d’Encouragement au Progrès (2003) - the Order of Australia for Service to Humanity (2002) CAMBODIA - 39

Phnom Penh & Around

Contact details

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The National Centre for Disabled Persons Contact details

3 Norodom Blvd Tel: 023 210 140 Open daily 08:00 to 18:00 E-mail: ncdp_cambodia@online.com.kh Web: www.ncdpcam.org

The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia Contact details

House#11B, Street 240 Tel: 0213 904 & 012 790 735 Email: aac@online.com.kh Website: www.aac.org.kh

NCDP Handicraft Project

For the revival of Cambodian Intangible Heritage

Visit a boutique in the capital that provides a showcase for the best of Cambodian handicrafts produced by the disabled community.

Cambodia is known not only for the beauty of its architectural heritage, but also for the traditional arts and crafts forms that have been passed down through generations of Cambodian society

What to experience?

What to experience?

NDCP Handicrafts is a popular Phnom Penh retail outlet located in the National Centre for Disabled Persons. Operating for more than a decade, NCDP Handicrafts produces high quality Cambodian products on sale in the boutique, as well as orders for export. Cambodian silk is famous for its quality and NCDP produces a fine range of handmade handbags, purses, wallets and accessories, as well as larger items such as cushion covers and throws. Scarves remain one of the most popular items and the store includes a superb range of designs and colours. There is a great choice of soft toys made from silk, for both babies and children – it will be difficult to stop yourself from purchasing only a few! There is also a great range of pieces of jewellery on offer, from necklaces made from local buffalo horn and silk to silver bracelets of varied designs. Other popular products include handmade cards, including seasonal Christmas cards, wood carvings, stone carvings and everyday items such as souvenir t-shirts.

The Artisans’ Association of Cambodia brings you the finest selection of handmade crafts from all corners of Cambodia, all at fair trade prices. Their shop in Phnom Penh showcases just some of the beautiful products on display created by their member organisations. The products available are as diverse as their members; from beautifully hand crafted pieces of silver jewellery to intricately carved wooden items, hand woven reed bags and pen/pencil cases, indigenous textiles from the northeast of the country, fashion accessories made from woven recycled plastic bags, clothing made from organic hand woven cotton, all kinds of soft toys for babies and children, and of course hand woven silk in a variety of colours, patterns, textures and functions. They encourage all travellers to visit the shop and make a purchase that will have a positive impact on the local economy and on the continuation of Cambodia’s rich craft heritage.

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NCDP is a semi-autonomous entity under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation. It works to support Cambodian disabled people through six main projects – one of which is their handicraft retail outlet in Phnom Penh. NCDP Handicrafts provides income and employment for members of Cambodia’s disabled community, helping them to lead a more normal life. Those supported through the work of NCDP include victims of landmines and women with disabilities. NCDP projects aim to raise the living standards of Cambodia’s disabled community and the organisation provides support and training to an extensive network throughout the country. NCDP Handicrafts is continually looking to improve the quality of its products and plans to expand its product line overseas, supplying to more wholesale businesses in other countries. It is envisioned that in time, this will create hundreds of new jobs for Cambodia’s disabled community.

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The advent of the Khmer Rouge threatened to destroy the once prosperous traditions of weaving, woodcarving, pottery and handicraft production, but these art forms are now making a comeback. The Artisans Association of Cambodia is a membership-based organisation for craft producers and sellers in Cambodia, established to promote new methods of socio-economic integration for landmine survivors, those with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. They provide technical assistance to both members and non-members in design and product development, market development and access, policy and advocacy, and fair trade promotion. A member of the World Fair Trade Organisation themselves, the Artisans Association of Cambodia currently has 50 member organisations. They promote Fair Trade principles to their members and non-members in Cambodia including transparency and accountability, creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers, payment of a fair price, fair working conditions, and an absence of child labour.

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Phnom Penh & Around

How does it help?

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Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre Contact details

Contact details

#52AEO, Street 240, Tel: 097-888-7442 Email: Rachel@keokjay.org Website: www.keokjay.org

Fresh designs using environmentally-friendly processes and materials, with a unique handmade touch – that’s KeoK’jay.

What to experience?

From the outside KeoK’jay may look like just another fashion shop. However, on further inspection of not only the clothes and accessories but the story behind the brand, you have reached a world where few fashion designers tread. KeoK’jay use techniques and processes derived from the traditional textile processes of Cambodia, helping to preserve them by using them in contemporary fashion. Each piece is made to be comfortable, useful, fashionable, washable, and well-loved. Each is elegant and has a touch of edge, defining a bold look. Naturally dyed cotton is hand woven by a local social enterprise, unique designs are hand screen printed onto shirts and fabrics, t-shirts and fabrics are dyed naturally with locally collected plants and materials, and hand woven cotton left over from garment factories. Their sales assistants are happy to answer questions and point you in the direction of other responsible options.

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Phnom Penh & Around

How does it help?

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Meaning bright green or fresh in Khmer, KeoK’jay is a social enterprise whose primary goal is to provide jobs for HIV positive women in Phnom Penh, through the production of handcrafted clothing and accessories. With their partner the non-profit Sihanouk Hospital Centre of HOPE, KeoK’jay identifies women in need of support and provides training in sewing and textile skills. KeoK’jay’s workers have experienced everything from genocide to rape but working side-by-side and talking about their experiences provides a sense of community and therapeutic support in a workplace which is safe from discrimination, emotional abuse, and fear.

Close Encounter with Cambodian Wildlife Encounter the diversity of Cambodian wildlife at one of the best rescue centres in the region, providing a sanctuary for countless threatened species.

What to experience?

Situated less than an hour away from the capital of Phnom Penh, the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre is home to over 1,200 animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Set in 2,300 hectares of protected forest, the centre provides a perfect day excursion from the city and enables visitors to view some of Cambodia’s most spectacular wildlife in a natural forest setting. As many as 1,000 animals from more than 80 species of Cambodian wildlife can be observed. Elephants, tigers, leopards, bears and other large mammals, all rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, are housed in large, naturalised enclosures within the Phnom Tamao Protected Forest. Cambodia’s wildlife is usually very difficult to spot, as larger mammals inhabit remote and inhospitable areas of the country. The centre provides visitors an unparalleled opportunity to view dozens of Southeast Asia’s most endangered and vulnerable animals, including tigers, elephants, sun bears, leopards, and rare monkey species. Home to the world’s largest captive collections of pileated gibbons and Malayan sun bears, as well as other rarities such as Siamese crocodiles a day trip to the centre is not to be missed.

How does it help?

As the only official government-owned facility for the placement of rescued wildlife within Cambodia, Phnom Tamao plays a pivotal role in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. Each year, hundreds of animals are rehabilitated here before being re-released into protected areas throughout the country whilst other species are bred for future reintroduction and to create a ‘safety net’ population for their wild counterparts.

KeoK’jay offer a proactive alternative to the traditional aid models. By creating high quality products that resonate with the ever-changing fashion market without sacrificing social principles. KeoK’jay aim to combat the traditional victim mentality that leads to dependency by building a business that does not depend on charity to sell products. KeoK’jay believe there is a strong need to integrate social and environmental responsibility into fashion. Their goal is to be a viable business creating products that can compete in the international fashion market without adding to the labour and environmental problems that consume the sector. Every step in making a product is carefully considered with the customer and the environment in mind, from design, to materials, to production, to packaging. The designs are inspired by Cambodia, and designers work side-by-side with producers. Approximately 70% of KeoK’jay’s products derive from recycled materials including second hand clothing and garment factory cast-offs, vintage buttons, cement bags, newspapers, and cardboard. Another 20% comes from locally made, sustainable materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, and naturally dyed materials. Only 5% are new industrial materials, such as thread and zips. 42 - CAMBODIA

regarding natural resources.

With around 400,000 visitors per year, the centre performs a key role in helping to educate both local and foreign visitors about the conservation threats facing many of the country’s wild animals. The centre helps shape attitudes towards a more sustainable approach

The Centre is supported by a number of international conservation organizations such as Wildlife Alliance, Free the Bears Fund and Care for the Wild.

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Phnom Penh & Around

A fresh and fair approach to fashion

44 km south of Phnom Penh on the National Road 2 Turn left after the sign indicating the zoo (37 km) and follow the dusty road on 6 km Website: www.wildlifealliance.org/visit-our-field-sites

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Khmer Homestay

Chambok Ecotourism Site Contact details

Kampong Thom Province Tel: 012 635 718 Email: khmervillagehomestay@yahoo.com Website: www.khmerhomestaybaray.com

Contact details

2 hours west of Phnom Penh Kirirom National Park Mlup Baitong Association Tel: 089 558 328 Email: poks2mlup@gmail.com Website: www.mlup.org/chambok/index.asp

A Cambodian Rural Homestay Away from Home

An ideal nature escapade from Phnom Penh

A community-based tourism site that captures the essence of life in the heartland of Cambodia.

As an easy day trip from Phnom Penh, enjoy the quietness of nature and a bit of bushwalking on the boundary of Kirirom National Park.

What to experience?

What to experience?

Whether you are just visiting for a day or you’re interested in staying in one of their traditional houses for a night or two, a visit to Khmer Homestay is more than just a holiday, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience you will never forget! Travellers will be offered a wide range of activities, such as pony cart rides through the villages, participating in traditional Khmer noodle-making, seeing traditional Khmer dances performed by the local students, participating in a fishing expedition, or visiting the weaving and woodcarving workshop run by the local village women. They also have a range of traditional styles of accommodation to stay in, depending on how you want to experience your stay. From natural bamboo huts to palm leaf huts and wooden houses with double or single thin mattress, mosquito net and battery-operated fan, individual toilet and shower facilities, there will be something for everyone, including families. Their last project is the opening of SOLAR (school of livelihood and refuge) cafÊ, 2km away from the village, to host lunch for groups of tourists travelling through.

Situated next to Kirirom National Park, Chambok community-based ecotourism site has a lot to offer visitors interested in getting back to nature. Chambok offers a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions such as trekking, hiking, bird watching, swimming at the waterfall, biking etc. There are about 300 bird species native in the Chambok area and 30 different kinds of mammals. The best time to watch birds is early morning or late afternoon as the air is filled with their singing. Guided tours and binoculars are available at the site. The most breathtaking attraction people come to Chambok for is to swim at the base of the 40 meter high waterfall, and the 3km trail hike to the waterfall is quite pleasant taking you through a range of enjoyable scenery. Along the paths, there are several opportunities to have a picnic. Either you can rest on the stones watching the stream or, rest in one of the bamboo huts awaiting you. Homestays and meals are best booked at least 2 days in advance. Trained local guides are available from the visitor centre to share their knowledge of nature, history and culture from the region.

The communities of Baray District are fully involved in all the activities provided for Khmer Homestay. The staff and participants have benefited from the salaries received in their village as a result of tourism, with their children able to attend school, and nutrition standards improving. Local students are given opportunities to perform cultural dances for tourists, which has helped to boost their artistic sense and self-confidence and provided them with skills in teamwork. Khmer Life, a unique vocational training project with Khmer Homestay, provides those from poor backgrounds with training and employment in the art of handicraft production. The Khmer Life centre is a hub of entrepreneurship, where employees are encouraged to use their creativity to create high-quality artwork and handicrafts that reflect both their own personality and the culture of Cambodia. SOLAR CAFE created 16 jobs for the locals, and they are working on the creation of a cooking school for locals. 44 - CAMBODIA

The Chambok Ecotourism Site was established in 2002 under support from a local environment organisation, Mlup Baitong. They helped to develop the site to secure alternative incomes to improve the livelihoods of the people bordering the national park, as well as to maintain and prevent forest destruction. The site is now serving as a demonstration centre of best practices in community-based ecotourism in Cambodia. In 2009 15,000 visitors visited the project generating US$20,000 in income to about 300 local villagers through entrance fee collection, oxcart rides, bicycle rental, food preparation service for visitors, home-stay service, souvenir vending, and transportation for visitors etc. The net income in 2009 indicated that the family income of participating villagers have increased an additional 8.5% in average, with their yearly household income estimated at around US$900. Entrance fees and a percentage of income derived from the tourist activities go into the community’s committee fund for nature conservation of the area. The money is divided between daily wages of the service providers, forest patrolling activities, emergency funds, community development, commune council support, pagoda support, and a community fund deposited into a local bank account. The project has successfully reduced deforestation in the national park, including charcoal production, thanks to benefits derived from tourism and better monitoring of the area by local rangers. CAMBODIA - 45

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Phnom Penh & Around

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Khmer Homestay village was set up to promote both tourism and local industries as a means of alleviating rural poverty. The many activities have been set up to assist and promote the learning and understanding by tourists of the culture and society of Cambodia, and as an insight into the daily lives of the people they encounter each day on their holiday.

Phnom Penh & Around

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Rosy Guesthouse

Contact details

Experience state-of-the-art hospitality at budget prices Experience state-of-the-art hospitality while supporting the training of disadvantaged youth. One of the best NGO success stories in Cambodia, Paul Dubrule, the founder of ACCOR Hospitality Group, created this training school where the highest international standards are the reference.

What to experience?

A craving for refined French gastronomy will probably be your first motivation to go to the Paul Dubrule hospitality school. Once there, you may regret you had not decided to stay overnight in one of their 4 guest rooms - designed to meet the standards of Sofitel’s rooms -with prices similar to those of certain guesthouses. Le Jardin des Délices is a gastronomic restaurant offering a weekly menu created by a Cambodian Chef, Prom Mear Yeat, who was trained in France at Le Nôtre school and at the Paul Bocuse Institute. They can arrange seminar and banqueting services. Khmer Food Lovers is a cooking class. Under the watchful eye of the Chefs, participants learn how to prepare Khmer dishes in addition to choosing products at a local market. Once you have completed your cooking class, you can relax in the garden and enjoy the food you have prepared together. In the heart of Siem Reap, Le Café was created with participation from the French Cultural Centre. An extremely comfortable and relaxing hideout where former students cook Western dishes with local influences.

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Siem Reap & Around

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Paul Dubrule inaugurated the school in 2002 after an eight-monthlong bicycle trip from Fontainebleau, France to Siem Reap. As a cofounder of the Accor Hotel Group, he believes that excellent training and stringent qualifications are the keys to the future of young Cambodians. The aim of the school is to prepare its students for dynamic careers in the hospitality and tourism industries by providing them with an appropriate curriculum adapted from international standards, under the watchful guidance of trained professionals. They aim to help Khmer youth, especially women and disadvantaged individuals, by giving them the means to start a vocational job that will bring them honest and decent prospects. Secondly, they wish to contribute towards the lasting development of tourism in Cambodia, and teach their students the importance of sustainable practices. The school campus is composed of three buildings over 2000 m2 which include full professional kitchens, restaurants, a hotel open to the public, seminar & catering services, eight classrooms, conference rooms, a full library and a cutting-edge digital language laboratory. After a rigorous selection process, 200 students are selected every year. Among them the 30% most disadvantaged are fully sponsored while the others pay a yearly tuition fee covering 25% of the cost. French partners, donations and your expenses fund the rest. After finishing the school, 90% of the students find a well-paid job. 46 - CAMBODIA

Contact details

74, Phum Slor Kram Tel: 063 965 059, 017 841 011 Email: info@rosyguesthouse.com Site web: www.rosyguesthouse.com Wake Up to A Rosy Day While the family-run, environmentally friendly Rosy Guest-house surely represents its namesake by being cheerful and optimistic, it also embodies their philosophy of providing a rosy future for those around them.

What to experience?

On the east bank of the Siem Reap River opposite the Royal Gardens, this small guest-house and their friendly team will make you feel at home from the moment you step inside. With 13 rooms (9 ensuite and 4 with shared bathrooms) beautifully furnished in a French colonial style villa, it’s easy to relax and unwind after a long day. There is free WiFi, cable TV, and DVD players. Whether you wish to hit the bar for a beer and a free game of pool, learn Khmer chess with one of the staff, or relax in the quiet surroundings, you’ll feel welcome, relaxed and well looked after. You will find their restaurant serves an extensive menu of Western and Khmer cuisine, and if you are lucky enough to be there at the right time you can join in the fun monthly charity pub quizzes and raffles. Their team developed a code of conduct and responsible guide book of the area, they are a great source of information on day trips, tours, adventures and unique local experiences to make your stay a memorable and useful one. How does it help?

One of the key concerns of Rosy Guest-house is to reduce their impact on the local environment and help the local community around them, introducing energy and water saving initiatives and working with several local charities. To ensure their guests have the chance to see the real Siem Reap and experience those things aside the typical tourist trails, they work with responsible local tour operators to offer a more in depth tour to countryside villages. Most importantly, they discourage tourists from visiting orphanages due to the negative impact this can have on the children. Their 15 local staff enjoy excellent working conditions; fair wages, paid maternity and paternity leave, paid holidays and sick leave, and they are one of the first businesses to join the government run Social Security system to receive free medical treatment for accidents at work. Rosy Guesthouse actively supports The Trailblazer Foundation who work with local communities to provide them with water purification filters, wells, micro-loans and agricultural initiatives. Being true to reducing their environmental impact, their established a recycling policy, the proceeds of which are added to staff tips. They refuse plastic bags wherever possible. They installed water and energy saving devices in their rooms and bathrooms to reduce water and energy consumption. They donate waste kitchen scraps to pig farmers and try to source products from local producers. Membership : - Heritage Watch - Child Safe - ConCERT CAMBODIA - 47

Siem Reap & Around

Hospitality School; Hotel & restaurants La Glacière, Route Nationale 6 (Airport Road) Tel: 063 963 672 - 063 963 673 Le Café: French Cultural Centre Wat Bo Area Tel: 092 271 392 - Email: info@ecolepauldubrule.org com@ecolepauldubrule.org Website: www.ecolepauldubrule.org

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Ecole d’Hôtellerie et Tourisme Paul Dubrule

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Soria Moria Boutique Hotel Contact details

Contact details

Wat Bo Road, Siem Reap Tel: 063 964768 Email: admin@thesoriamoria.com Website: www.thesoriamoria.com

14th Street Siem Reap Tel: 063 761 998 E-mail: solomon@shintamani.com Website: www.shintamani.com Open doors, open hearts

Cheerful – Comfortable – Caring

Like the corridors of Angkor Wat, Shinta Mani Hotel contains no entryway closed to their guests. Their hope is that in turn, you open your hearts to the beauty of Siem Reap and Cambodia.

A hotel with a heart, promoting local causes to help the local community, this boutique hotel is more than just a place to rest your weary head for the night.

At first glance, Shinta Mani could easily get lost amongst the growing number of luxury hotels vying for guests in Siem Reap. The boutique hotel features a restaurant, swimming pool, spa, a library and an art gallery. But there is one important difference: the hotel is also actively involved in community projects and poverty alleviation. The property re-opens in July 2011 after renovation and expansion to double the hotel’s existing rooms to 39 while retaining all of its original charm, but with a more contemporary design feel. Since opening in 2003, Shinta Mani has remained committed to supporting the less fortunate in the community by developing activities that connect the guests more closely to the destination. Shinta Mani offers you the opportunity to participate in local community support projects. You can visit families and help to support them by financing anything from a brick house to a water well, piglets or a sewing machine. Inspired by the fresh produce of Cambodia and blended with flavours found through the Mekong basin, their Indo-Chinese Restaurant encourages guests to experience the true tastes of the region. Local chefs craft each dish with local and organic ingredients whenever possible.

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Siem Reap & Around

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Shinta Mani seeks to be an inspiration in responsible hospitality and sustainable tourism. Their business model is based on the basic premise that, beyond operating quality hotels, they have the opportunity to provide assistance to the communities in which they live. Shinta Mani committed to the education of young, disadvantaged Cambodians by opening a hospitality school to empower youths to find meaningful employment. Several hundred students apply for the free scholarships that are provided each year, but only 40 are accepted. Students receive general education training in English and life skills, but the majority of their time is spent training in front office, restaurant, spa therapy, housekeeping, culinary arts, maintenance, and finance. The students are also provided with five kilograms of rice each week, two meals each day they come to study, $20 per month, and support until they are able to find full-time positions following completion of their training. Shinta Mani is primarily known for working with organisations to empower and improve the lives of rural Cambodians. In addition to these projects, Shinta Mani is also committed to the betterment of local staff by providing superior training, benefit programmes, and excellent working conditions. The staff have also had the opportunity to work outside of Cambodia to gain new experience and perspectives. All the staff of Shinta Mani have received training on identifying child abuse and how to report it to ChildSafe. Awards : Best Overseas Tourism Project – British Guild of Travel Writers, 2006 - First Choice – Responsible Tourism Awards, 2006 - Responsible Travel Award – World Travel Mart, 2006 - Socially Responsible Spa of the Year – AsiaSpa Awards 2008, 2009 - Memberships : Child Safe 48 - CAMBODIA

What to experience?

Soria Moria is a cheerful little hotel in the centre of Siem Reap, with 38 comfortable, bright and spacious rooms. Being a small intimate hotel, they are able to provide every guest with the personalised service that is synonymous with Cambodian hospitality. Their modestly decorated but spacious rooms are well appointed with air-conditioning, cable TV, telephone, mini bar, en-suite bathrooms and WiFi. Their fusion kitchen serves local and international food, and their popular rooftop bar with great views over Siem Reap serves refreshing cocktails and tropical fruit shakes. There is also an open-sky Jacuzzi and a sundeck. The Sangkheum Center for Children comes to perform traditional APSARA dance in the hotel’s restaurant every Friday. The team at Soria Moria have developed their own guidebook of recommended places to visit, and it’s packed with information about sites outside the main tourist tracks to allow for more authentic experiences. They advise on the cultural behaviour to be adopted. They also organise community trips, and encourage guests to visit projects that they endorse in their guidebook. How does it help?

Soria Moria is a social enterprise that applies market-based strategies to achieve a social purpose, where parts of the surplus are reinvested into the local community. Their most recent revolutionary and groundbreaking development has been to hand over 51% of the ownership of the hotel business to the local employees. Since the opening, the local employees have received ongoing training to take over the responsibility and management of the operation of the hotel. The Soria Moria Trainee Programme in collaboration with three local organisations have provided seven paid trainee positions for their Young Adult Preparation Programmes. The local staff have good working conditions, are insured with personal accident insurance, and are members of the National Social Security Fund. Gender equality is fundamental in the hotel’s organisation, and females hold more than half of the managerial and supervisory positions. With the majority of their staff from farming families living below the poverty line, with few opportunities to move forward in life, this pioneering approach is the essence of responsible tourism. Soria Moria is selective when choosing suppliers and partners, and wherever possible purchases local goods and utilises local suppliers and transportation/guides. Soria Moria has taken action to reduce their environmental impact without reducing the customer’s satisfaction. Improvements have been made in the areas of energy use, water & paper usage. Cooking oil is recycled and given to Angkor Children’s Hospital to be used as biodiesel for their generator, and food waste is given to local pig farms. Awards : ICMS distinguished Alumni Awards 2010 - Foundation for Young Social Entrepreneurs (FYSE) Paragon 2009 Partnerships : ChildSafe - Heritage Watch gold status - CONcert Cambodia CAMBODIA - 49

Siem Reap & Around

What to experience?

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Shinta Mani

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Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School

Les Artisans d’Angkor Contact details

Contact details

Chantiers-Ecoles Stung Thmey Street, Siem Reap Tel: 063 963 330 Email: infos@artisansdangkor.com Website: www.artisansdangkor.com

155 Phoum Tapoul, Siem Reap Tel: 063 963 329 or 012 717 628 Email: info@salabai.com Website: www.salabai.com Say bye bye to poverty with sala bai

Carving out a better future

Give wings to young Cambodians full of hope and potential by supporting their training through the restaurant and hotel of Sala Baï.

Encourage the revival of traditional Khmer arts and crafts with a visit to the Artisans workshop in Siem Reap.

What to experience?

What to experience?

They have three standard rooms and one suite, all equipped with a large bed, mosquito nets, air-conditioning, fan, and shower. All rooms share a large balcony, which is a wonderful place to sit and watch Cambodian life go by. Help their housekeeping and front office students improve their training by staying in their simple, but tastefully decorated rooms. By having lunch in their restaurant or staying overnight, you are actively contributing to the Sala Bai training project. You will allow the students to practice and become professional, but you will also help finance their training.

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Siem Reap & Around

How does it help?

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Sala Bai was a pioneer in providing paid hospitality training to the most disadvantaged children of Cambodia, a model now widely replicated. Established in October 2002 by the French organisation Agir Pour Le Cambodge, Sala Baï gives priority to the training of girls (around 70% of students), who are the most excluded from the traditional school and employment systems. They select students from very poor families (income below US$300 a year for a family of six) through a rigorous process and bring them within one year from great poverty into the middle class. They select students who would not otherwise have a chance to leave poverty, and would never have had the opportunity to continue past the 4th year of school. Each year they train 100 young disadvantaged Cambodians in the four main professions of the hospitality industry: restaurant waiter/waitress, cook, receptionist and housekeeping attendants. They place their students in selected 4 and 5 star hotels, restaurants and organisations for an eight-week internship twice a year, in order to gain first hand professional experience. Following graduation, the students usually reach 100% placement within 3 months. With the exception of 2 volunteer expatriates, the school staff, social workers and trainers are fully Khmer (20 people) and make daily decisions on student hiring, training, placement, as well as school evolution. A permanent relation with the parents and NGO partners insure local people are involved in the process. 50 - CAMBODIA

How does it help?

The Artisans has reinvigorated Khmer crafts and has uncovered an ancient pool of artisans whose ancestors gave the world the temples of Angkor. Artisans d’Angkor established its Chantiers Ecoles (Skills Development Workshops) in 1999, at first supported by the French, now a Cambodian company, it is a model of a sustainable value chain approach where tourism, cultural revival, and local economic benefits are successfully interlinked. Committed to the revival and preservation of traditional arts and crafts, the company promotes fair, sustainable development in order to provide benefits to the rural communities and to help building the pride of the Cambodian people in their cultural roots. The programme includes extensive training of young Cambodians in the arts of their ancestors to enable them to develop a talent. They join the programme after a series of tests and are trained free of charge for at least six months with a food allowance. It encourages students to use these skills at home, enabling them to stay in their villages instead of migrating to the cities. They have created more than 1,000 jobs for young Cambodians, and 13 workshops in villages around Siem Reap. Artisans d’Angkor is also committed to responsible management and has pioneered a fair social policy for Siem Reap with guaranteed levels of pay, social and medical benefits. The artisans detain 20% of the company through an association, allowing them a voice in the decision-making process. Awards : 2006 Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts South-East Asia Programme for the “Natural Plate” and the “Sunset Shawl”, UNESCO – AHPADA - 2008 Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts South-East Asia Programme for the “Picnic Tray” and the “Set of Temples Candle Holder” CAMBODIA - 51

Siem Reap & Around

This is a training restaurant, so opening hours are set according to the students’ training schedule; from Monday to Friday serving both breakfast (7 to 9 am) and lunch (12 to 2pm), from November to July. The restaurant is closed in the evenings, at weekends and on public holidays.

Artisans D’Angkor, in Siem Reap, welcome visitors daily between 7:30am and 5:30pm. Former students conduct free-guided tours of the workshops, in seven languages, offering an intimate insight into traditional handicraft skills. During your tour, you will have a first hand look at the painstaking and meticulous process of the intricate wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding, silver plating and silk painting that goes into each piece using local material and natural dyes. The stylish boutique on-site offers a unique collection of ornamental sculpture, lacquerware, silk weaving and silk painting for purchase. Anyone interested in traditional textiles will relish a free visit to the Angkor Silk Farm (free transport 0930 to 1330 from Siem Reap shop), in Pursat, 15 km west of Siem Reap. There you will view the entire silk process, from the cultivation of the mulberry trees for the silk worms breeding, to the preparation of the silk thread for weaving. Other boutiques include the newest one in Phnom Penh, opposite to the Post Office, the aiports’ outlets, and the Angkor Café located opposite Angkor Wat is an air-conditioned retreat after exploring the temples.

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The Sala Bai Hotel School & Restaurant serves tantalising menus with Asian and Western dishes in either a la carte or a three-course Asian or Western lunch set menu, with French wines and a variety of refreshments.

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Joe To Go & Beau Fou

The Khmer Ceramics Centre Contact details

#520, Angkor Villa St Tel: 063 963463 Email: info@theglobalchild.org mailto:inquiry@travelloops.com Website: www.theglobalchild.org

Contact details

Vithey Charles De Gaulle (temple road) Mondul 3, Khum Slorkram, Siem Reap Tel: 017 843014 – 063 201004 Email: info@khmerceramics.com Website: www.khmerceramics.com

Coffee for a cause

Glazing the lost art form of khmer ceramics

A little café serving Cambodian home-grown coffee, Joe to Go is a great spot to chill out and take a break. And all for a good cause.

Discover the beauty and appeal of Khmer ancestral pottery and its ancient techniques through the contemporary Khmer ceramic art, and give it a try.

What to experience?

What to experience?

If this wasn’t enough, visitors can discover the local creativity through the Beau Fou Boutique upstairs, selling local handicrafts and different types of bags, clothes, jewellery, scarf, carpets and other fashion accessories made by local people and local organisations.

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Siem Reap & Around

How does it help?

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Joe-to-Go and Beau Fou are two businesses operating in Siem Reap that support The Global Child a non-profit organisation founded to build and operate schools and safe houses for street children in Cambodia. Its primary objective is to educate children to shape and improve the quality of their lives, their communities and their country. Joe-To-Go and Beau Fou send 100% of their profits to The Global Child, provide employment for seven Cambodians and give preference to applicants who come from disadvantaged backgrounds (orphaned, disabled or impoverished applicants). In return, The Global Child secures donations for university scholarships for Joe-To-Go and Beau Fou staff who show an interest in furthering their education. Staff are paid a competitive salary, after a 3 month probation period, they are allowed 7 days of sick leave and given one free meal a day, 26 days holiday and overtime pay. TGC provide pay rises based on performance and duration of employment. The Global Child help the families of students develop small businesses and plan for their future, offsetting the loss in income that sending their child to school causes. The students study Khmer and Cambodian traditional dance in order to preserve the unique culture of the country. The Khmer language is one of the oldest actively used languages. The traditional dance was targeted by the Khmer Rouge as a symbol of an unequal society (it was then only performed for the Royal Court) and, only a few of the dancers survived the genocide. One of those survivors taught students for 4 years. 52 - CAMBODIA

Khmer ceramics once thrived during the Khmer Empire, reaching its apogee from 802 to 1432 AD. Using ancestral materials and skills combined with the latest research on traditional techniques, the Centre creates a wide range of ceramic designs catering to all tastes. You can choose between Khmer traditional and contemporary designs in a range of styles and functions, including tableware, jars, oil burners, cosmetic bottles, and Khmer ornaments. Their ceramics are made from local raw materials, and are transformed from earth and stone into a beautiful fired and glazed Khmer ceramic. They provide free tours of their workshop and boutique, explaining their vision and the process of making ceramics from the potter’s wheel to drying, carving, glazing and firing. And if the tour isn’t enough to make you want to get your hands dirty, there are 3 hour hands-on pottery classes to make your own piece of art and take it home as great souvenir of Cambodia. How does it help?

The Khmer Ceramic Centre in Siem Reap is dedicated to the renaissance and appreciation of the lost art of Khmer ceramics. Through this, they provide free vocational training for young disadvantaged Cambodians and conduct further academic research into this ancient art form to build and revive this lost heritage. Their free vocational training for the unemployed includes a six month training programme to master the skill of ceramic arts. Once training is complete, the potters are able to benefit from employment with the Centre. They are currently 30 workers and trainees. They also help to sustain local communities in and around Siem Reap by buying all of their packaging from locals. Made from sugar palm tree leaves, and known as smok, this material is used to package all of their products, making it an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic bags. Local natural materials are used for the entire product: the glaze, lacquer etc. All glazes are made from natural products like clay, wood ash, feldspar and rice husk ash. The glazes are lead-free and food safe in line with European and US regulations. CAMBODIA - 53

Siem Reap & Around

Joe-To-Go was the first restaurant in Siem Reap town with a proper espresso machine – they are serious about their coffee! The local cooks have been trained in French and American cuisine as well as Khmer, and although their food has rave reviews and is well priced, tourists also come here to eat knowing that they are eating and drinking for a good cause.

Located on the outskirts of Siem Reap, on the road to the temples, is a centre dedicated to the renaissance and appreciation of the lost art of Khmer ceramics. Producing traditional Khmer and original ceramic pieces that are both functional and decorative, the Khmer Ceramics Centre is working to revive the skill and knowledge of this beautiful hand crafted art form.

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Located near the Old Market in Siem Reap, Joe-To-Go, serves up a feast of choices for guests to while away the time. Whether enjoying a cup of local coffee and making use of the free Wi-Fi, flicking through the guidebooks, novels and history books, or just relaxing with a delicious snack or meal, Joe-To-Go has it all.

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Cambodia Land Mine Museum Contact details

Contact details

A sensuous symphony of scented notes! The scent-sation of Senteurs d’Angkor can stay with you long after your holiday with their line of home fragrances. Cambodia’s wonderful culinary and aromatic heritage is their inspiration.

What to experience?

The moment you walk into a Senteurs d’Angkor shop you are immediately struck by an explosion of the senses with heady aromas floating from every corner. If it is too difficult to choose which kind of scent you prefer, start with an everyday indulgence by trying their coconut oil-based handmade soaps. Available in a variety of scents including jasmine, orchid, cinnamon, lemongrass, green tea, mango and orange, they are all made, using traditional techniques and extracts derived exclusively from plant oils and 100 % natural ingredients. Afford yourself some pampering, some “me time” with their delicately perfumed massage oils, body creams & scrubs and bath salts – to ease the ache and pains of visiting the temples and send the body into a state of blissful calm. For scents of a more aromatic kind, tease your taste buds with their fine selection of Cambodian spices including authentic Khmer curry, ginger, lemongrass, cinnamon, chilli and the famous Kampot pepper. For an over the top indulgence, intoxicate your senses with the silky delight of wild honey from the Kulen Highlands, the rich aroma of coffee from Rattanakiri, or the potent rice alcohol (brandy) from Battambang.

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Siem Reap & Around

For those wanting to see more of what goes into making the scents and colours of Senteurs d’Angkor products, visit their workshop. See the weavers producing the lovely boxes that carry all of your purchases home.

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Then you can see how their natural soaps, moisturising creams, scented balms and aromatic candles are made. From there, move on to discover the different steps in the preparation of spices (Kampot pepper, lemongrass, chilli) and the mixture of subtle combinations which make traditional Khmer curry spice. How does it help?

Senteurs d’Angkor prides itself on sourcing all of its products in Cambodia, from their raw ingredients to their packaging materials, which is not easy task. In line with their philosophy of ‘home-sourcing’, most of their packaging comes from the sugar palm tree, an abundant, natural and recyclable resource in Cambodia. They purchase the sugar palm by-products from rural areas and employ local women weavers from villages in Siem Reap province, all of which contribute to sustainability and poverty reduction in what is one of the poorest province in Cambodia. This philosophy ensures that jobs and incomes stay within Cambodia, helping to address the country’s poverty and reduce dependence on imports. They employ 105 people and provide regular work to another 100 people, mostly women, 10% of the workshop staff are handicapped, and all benefit from good work conditions (salary, insurance, working environment). 54 - CAMBODIA

6 km south of Banteay Srei Open from 0700 to 1800 daily E-mail: info@cambodialandminemuseum.org Web: www.cambodialandminemuseum.org Fighting an underground war Learn more about the scourge of landmines with a visit to this flagship museum that promotes mine awareness and education.

What to experience?

A short motorbike ride out of the popular tourism town of Siem Reap on your ride to Banteay Srey temple will bring you to the famous Cambodian Landmine Museum. The Landmine Museum is a rich resource of information about landmines and UXO with many educational displays detailing the story of landmines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) in Cambodia. Housed at the Museum are a number of exhibits, photos and explanations of the instruments of war, as well as a documentary that will tie all of the pieces together. Watching the documentary is a sombre yet fascinating experience that provides visitors the opportunity to learn about the impacts left over from an almost forgotten war. On display is a large collection of weapons of war, including guns, rifles, rocket launchers, mortars, bombs and landmines. It is an eye-opening experience for visitors that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who visits Siem Reap. How does it help?

Aki Ra is the founder of the Cambodia Landmine Museum and National Project Manager for the Cambodia Landmine Museum Relief Fund (CLMMRF), the NGO behind the museum. At just ten, Aki Ra was given his first rifle and spent the next two decades involved in the civil war. The CLMMRF facility is more than a museum. It is also a home that provides education and support for dozens of at-risk youth and landmineaffected children rescued by the organisation. Many children who are part of this family have suffered overwhelming hardships. The CLMMRF was created so that it might serve as a place of healing for bodies, hearts and minds. They believe that love, support and education will help secure a better opportunity for the children that live at the Facility. The goals are to promote landmine accident prevention awareness and public education, and to provide educational facilities, programming and rehabilitation facilities for survivors of landmine injuries. The new museum contains a school, an orphanage for up to 30 at-risk children, a medical clinic that serves as a rehabilitation centre, and a training facility for landmine accident prevention and safety. It also provides employment opportunities for several teachers and local Khmers who play an important part in the Landmine Museum family. Moreover, it is a place for action, serving as a launch pad for humanitarian and landmine relief initiatives.

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Siem Reap & Around

Boutiques : Siem Reap, Pi Tnou St Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports Tel: 063 964 801 Workshop : Siem Reap, National Road No.6 Tel: 063 966 733 - Email: gm@senteursdangkor.com Website: www.senteursdangkor.com

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Sam Veasna Center for Wildlife Conservation

Osmose Contact details

Contact details

Street 27, Siem Reap Tel: 012 832 812 Email: booking@osmosetonlesap.net Website: www.osmosetonlesap.net

552, Group 12, Wat Bo, Siem Reap Tel: 063 761 597 – 0 63 96 37 10 Email: info@samveasna.org Website: www.samveasna.org Osmose in Tonle Sap Lake

Not just for the birds… A must-see for bird watchers and nature lovers, genuine ecotourism tours deep in Cambodia’s northern protected flooded forests.

Take a tour on the great Tonle Sap Lake to watch the endangered bird species in Prek Toal Wildlife Sanctuary and experience traditional floating villages.

What to experience?

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Siem Reap & Around

How does it help?

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The Sam Veasna Centre works with local communities at conservation sites to build the capacity of the villagers in the provision of wildlife viewing services to tourists. The tourists in return provide an income that is based on observing the threatened and critically endangered species of birds and mammals and their habitat. The income gives the local community an incentive for the conservation of biodiversity and reduction of deforestation. Training is continually provided by the Sam Veasna Centre to the villagers who work at the lodge in menu selection and cooking, local guiding, maintenance and enhancement of the lodge. They also train their own English-speaking bird-specialised Khmer guides about the sites they visit, the birds they see, and local environmental and conservation issues , enhancing experience of the tour. The Sam Veasna Centre, in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, assisted the set-up and operation of ecotourism at the site, encouraging Tmatboey villagers to elect their own ecotourism committee, which is responsible for running the lodge and other activities. The committee appoints villagers to work with the tourists who are then trained by the Sam Veasna Centre. Awards : 2007 The Tmatboey Ecovillage Lodge won Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Award 2008 Equator Prize for poverty reduction through sustainable use of bio-diversity 56 - CAMBODIA

How does it help?

Osmose is a non-profit organisation working in conservation, environmental education and sustainable development. By choosing Osmose you will contribute to the community by directly supporting the village economy (paddlers, village tour, cooks, homestays, handicrafts), providing funds for Osmose’s various environmental education programmes to over 1,200 children and their families, and for conservation. Subjects include the importance of the forest in the life cycle of the fish on which the community depends for its livelihood, conservation of the forest flora and fauna, and responsible waste management, differentiating organic matter from inorganic. Osmose helps in the development of three floating villages through the provision of children’s health clinics, providing food security by helping to build floating gardens, supplying canoes so families can fish, and building houses for the poorest families. Osmose has low overheads, so most of the funds it generates are directly put back into the projects they work with. There are many ways in which Osmose has helped to contribute to the sustainable livelihoods of the people on the lake; revitalising the use of water hyacinth (thus reducing this invasive species), of weaving to promote handicrafts thus improving the lives of many women, as well as turning bird poachers into gamekeepers. Osmose employs more than 25 locals alone to protect the water bird colonies. Awards : 2003 Yves Rocher Prize - Osmose’s founder received the Trophée Femmes 3000 ‘Women’s trophy’ in 2004 - Supported by Ushuaia (French foundation for the conservation of Nature), UNDP & WCS CAMBODIA - 57

Siem Reap & Around

The Sam Veasna Centre conducts guided tours to six protected areas across Cambodia, allowing travellers to see some of the most impressive wildlife viewing in the country. In addition to the bird watching, tourists are encouraged to tour the local villages at the sites to gain an understanding of life in a remote forest community. One of their most famous tours is located in the remote village of Tmatboey, in Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Plains of Cambodia where such species as the Giant and White-shouldered ibis remain. Tmatboey is typically a 3 night trip from Siem Reap, usually as part of an extended itinerary that takes in the other Preah Vihear sites. The Angkorian temples of Beng Melea and Koh Ker can also be visited on the way. Day excursions are also available to the Tonle Sap bird sanctuary. The Tmatboey Ecovillage Lodge has three bungalows with two rooms in each bungalow. Each bungalow has fans, mosquito nets, western-style toilets and gravity showers, with electricity for fans and lights generated by solar panels. Evenings in the large open-air dining area are a special treat, mingling with the friendly staff and dining on traditional and delicious Khmer dishes.

Easily accessible from Siem Reap and featuring impressive water bird viewing, pristine flooded forests and traditional fishing and floating villages, Prek Toal Birdlife Sanctuary is an excursion that will be one of the highlights of your vacation in Cambodia. Guided ecotours organised by Osmose to the villages of Prek Toal and Pech Kantiel give you the chance to see magnificent water birds, many of which are threatened. You can visit the floating villages with paddlers from the village, and meet with the fish farm and floating garden owners to learn more of their unique way of life on the water. There are also opportunities to purchase locally produced water hyacinth handicrafts woven by the village women. Osmose guides accompany every trip and all are bilingual (French, English, Chinese, or German); they are knowledgeable, fun, passionate and an invaluable part of the Osmose experience. Choose a one-day tour taking you to see either Prek Toal or Peak Kanteil floating villages, exploring the bird sanctuary, and taking a village tour by traditional Khmer paddle boat. Or for a two-day tour, enjoy the delights of experiencing life in a floating village with a unique overnight stay in a community-based floating homestay. It is an eye-opening experience for visitors that shouldn’t be missed by anyone who visits Siem Reap.

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What to experience?

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Phare Ponleu Selpak Contact details

Contact details

Battambang Tel: 053 952 424
 Email: inquiries@phareps.org
 Website: www.phareps.org

Phoum Okatom 2, Sankat Toul Ta Ek Battambang Tel: 053 656 2000 / 077 331 384 Email: info@aucabaretvert.com Website: www.aucabaretvert.fr A perfect place to discover the old colonial city of Battambang by the Sangker River, and visit the now famous Phare Ponleu Selpak circus, itself worth the trip. Battambang is also a perfect stopover on your way to or from Thailand.

What to experience?

Au Cabaret Vert (the name takes its inspiration from a famous poem by Rimbaud) is located in the heart of the charming old colonial city of Battambang, the second most important city of the country, 3 hours from Siem Reap on the way to Thailand. Amidst 2,000 m2 of tropical gardens bungalows are spread around a natural pool of pure river water. They are equipped with a king-size bed, bathroom with hot water, TV with international channels, desk, mosquito net, air conditioning, and a private terrace Overlooking the garden where you can enjoy a breakfast while being caressed by the first rays of sunlight. A bungalow has been fitted out for the disabled: wheelchair ramp, wider doors and specially adapted bathroom. The restaurant offers quality cuisine cooked entirely using local products (from the garden or local market). You can choose Cambodian dishes cooked in accordance with family traditions, or taste French cuisine adapted to local products such as Duck with oranges (Battambang’s oranges are famous). Everything is homemade and delicious. The good news is that the restaurant is open to all! A stay at Au Cabaret Vert is not complete without a tuk-tuk tour. Their driver will guide you around Battambang and its picturesque surroundings highlighting local craftspeople and NGOs whom they trust. Rental of electric bicycles is also available and they’ve just started cyclo tours.

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How does it help?

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Au Cabaret Vert team (founded by a Franco-Cambodian couple) based their approach on Fair Tourism principles; their aim is to minimise their environmental impact and to develop the local economy. They hire locals who they train for careers in hotel and catering and in French and English. Through their tours they encourage tourists to buy directly from craftworkers: rice paper, rice cakes, wine, fruit juices… Most purchases are made locally, the furniture was made from legallycut wood by Battambang carpenters, the rooms’ insulation was conceived to limit the use of air conditioning and geothermal cooling is used, while the tropical garden is maintained with rainwater. An organic garden is being developed and they work with Cintri, a company specialized in waste management. Finally they support some NGOs that are working on the preservation of natural and cultural heritage: Phare Ponleu Selpak, Komar Rikrey, Mr. Chhoeung School and Library etc. They actively combat the sexual exploitation of human beings, and request an ID from every guest; children (under 18 years old) are not allowed to stay without a parent. 58 - CAMBODIA

What a Circus! Take part in the revival of the Khmer arts with a visit to a local performing circus troupe that offers an alternative lifestyle in the arts community for young Cambodians.

What to experience?

Phare Ponleu Selpak (“the brightness of art”) is famous for its circus and performance exploits. Every Monday and Thursday evening from 6 p.m. don’t miss the circus performances under the big top in the grounds, which are fun for the whole family. Acts include fire juggling, acrobatics and clowns, as well as some dance performances. Daring, talented, warm and very funny – as well being wowed with tricks - you will be charmed by the students of Phare Ponleu Selpak. This is a unique chance to see a different side of Cambodia. From Monday to Friday staff will guide you (in French, English or Khmer) in a tour of the association, including a film on the history of the organisation, and an exhibition of paintings and sculptures. You’ll be surprised by the richness of Khmer artistic traditions and the modernity of proposals submitted by students. While in Phnom Penh visit their newly opened Romeet art gallery in 34 street 178 where current and former students of fine arts will showcase their work and ideas. Workshops, training courses, and conferences are part of the project. How does it help?

Since its creation, Phare Ponleu Selpak’s priority has been the economic, social and cultural development of its neighbourhood. PPS originated in 1986 in Site 2 Refugee Camp on the Thai border with the idea that a creative association, using art and expression, would help young refugees overcome the trauma of war. This original idea was pursued after the refugees returned to their homeland, and PPS was formally founded in 1994. PPS implements a global approach and their action is centred on artistic practice. Arts are used to foster expression, but also as a complete set of tools answering children’s needs: education, life skills, social skills and personal development. It allows the population to reclaim their cultural practices and to rebuild their identity repairing the destructive effects of the Khmer rouge regime. It gives them a reason to hope for the future and believe in themselves. PPS is also open to foreign cultures through visiting artists or travel to other countries. Three artistic schools form the core of PPS’ work: the school of Visual Arts, the school of Performing Arts, and the Music school. PPS’ Child Care Centre hosts 30 children facing dramatic social issues (child trafficking, domestic violence, abandonment, disease, extreme poverty, and street begging), while 46 more are supported while staying with their families. Furthermore, 150 children are welcomed daily in the leisure centre, and another 75 children a day also have access to the library. PPS supports the public school (1,250 children) built within its compound through teacher training and additional salaries in order to ensure free quality education for all. This proximity allows enriching exchanges with the art schools. CAMBODIA - 59

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Welcome to Cabaret Vert, an ecolodge with a social mission

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Au Cabaret Vert Ecolodge

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Banteay Chhmar CBT

The Mekong Discovery Trails Contact details

Banteay Meanchey Province Tel: 012 237 605 / 097 723 7605 Email: info@visitbanteaychhmar.org tsophal@globalheritagefund.org Website: www.visitbanteaychhmar.org

The Mekong Discovery Trails take you to the heart of the Mekong River, where the beauty of the river and warmth of the people create authentic and unforgettable experiences.

What to experience?

Banteay Chhmar is a complex of temple ruins from a very large 12th century Angkorian temple complex, located in the northwest of Cambodia in Banteay Meanchey Province.

It is a series of trails: biking, walking, on horse carts, kayak or boat. Along the Trail, there are safe journeys on and off the beaten track. You may be travelling alone or with a group and with your family. You may take only a small part of the Trail or travel most of it. There are many choices, but whatever you choose to do, remember to allow enough time to go with the flow of Cambodian river life.

Banteay Chhmar offers numerous activities beyond just seeing the temple. While seeing Banteay Chhmar Temple is certainly the highlight of any trip, the Community-Based Tourism group can plan a range of activities for your interests and needs.

Koh Trong Island Trail –Take a local ferry from Kratie town and upon arriving hire a bicycle at the community centre. Follow the signs for a leisurely ride (9km) around the island, stopping at the local pagodas, observing agricultural practices, plant a tree or buy a cold drink and relax under shady trees. Homestay is available on the island as well as a newly constructed guesthouse.

For those considering gastronomy aspects of their trip, the community can provide meals both in their restaurant or arrange picnics in one of the temples or, even along the baray (reservoir) for you. Other activities include learning about the lives of the local people including planting and harvesting rice, growing fruits and vegetables or visit one of the local handicraft makers. They have a Tourism Event Calendar so check it out to see what will be happening during your time there. Whatever your interests are and the amount of time that you can spend at Banteay Chhmar, the community will make your stay an enjoyable and memorable one. How does it help?

Banteay Chhmar Community-Based Tourism is a group of local villagers dedicated to preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of the area as well as creating a sustainable tourism industry in Banteay Chhmar. Tourism activities were initiated by the community to provide a long-term, sustainable and lowimpact way to improve their livelihoods that will help to protect the cultural heritage and environment. Currently, over 70 villagers are directly involved in the CBT as tour guides, cooks, homestay owners, musicians and in other areas. A local savings fund was started from the beginning of the project in 2007, where a portion of the fund is also shared with the Banteay Chhmar Commune Council. A small percentage of money is collected and saved from various tourist activities with money also collected from the sanitation project. The money is used for both community projects such as cleaning the moats and upgrades to the CBT facilities.

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Dolphin Discovery Trail – This trail offers many opportunities to view the critically endangered Mekong river dolphins. In Kratie, travel north of town (16km) until you reach the Kampi dolphin site. Take a boat tour to catch a glimpse of the rare and magical creatures – but make sure that your boat driver turns off the motor when you are within 100m of the dolphins. From Stung Treng to the Lao Border – There are many options for this trail; boat, bus, motorbike or bicycle. Visit the Ramsar Wetland area to see rare and unique birdlife, hike to the waterfall at the Lao border, see the dolphins at the Anlung Chheuteal Pool or explore the forest trails around Ou Svay Commune. A 3 hr return trek to Bong Khouy mountain at Preah Rumkel Commune will give you the opportunity to see some great river views and scenery of the area. Or a short boat ride and hike from the Anlung Chheuteal dolphin pool to the magnificent Sopheak Mitt waterfall on the Cambodia/Laos border. Homestay options are also available in the village of Preah Rumkel. How does it help?

The trail network was developed cooperatively with local villages, NGOs, the private sector and local authorities. Getting out of the main tourism centres allows local communities around to benefit more from the tourists they usually only see passing by. Cambodian people enjoy meeting and interacting with tourists, and if the purchases you make directly from their communities will greatly improve their daily lives, they’ll be even more grateful that you took the time to meet with them.

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What to experience?

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Sala Koh Trong Guesthouse www.kohtrong.com Tel: 012 856 242 (Khmer/English Speaking) Preah Rumkel Community-based tourism Tel: 011 561264 / 011 899 891

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Now one of Cambodia’s top-listed sites for inscription to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, be among the first to see this magnificent temple complex before everyone else does.

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From Kratie to StungTreng Website: www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com Koh Kong Island Trail Tel: 012 55 20 73 (CBT Chief)

River life adventures of a difference in the northeast of Cambodia.

Citadel of the cat

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Contact details

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Cambodian Rural Development Team Contact details

#695, Street 2, Kratie Town Tel: 072 6333644 Email: info@crdt.org.kh Website: www.crdt.org.kh

Dolphins, rural islands and river life Travel northeast to Kratie, get immersed into Cambodian local river life, watch the rare Irrawady dolphins and stay in comfortable homestays.

Pretty guest house along Sekong River A friendly and pretty guest-house, currently the best accommodation and restaurant in Stung Treng, which hosts a training centre for local disadvantaged young people.

Whether you are looking for the peace, tranquillity and natural beauty of rural island life or an opportunity to immerse yourself completely into local village life choose some or many activities to suit your travel ambitions. Some of the activities on both Koh Pdao and Koh Preah Community Based Ecotourism sites include viewing of the river dolphins in their natural habitat, cycling adventures along the village roads or into the wilderness, boat trips along the Mekong River viewing the changing and diverse scenery, staying in a homestay with a local family, and volunteering activities such as helping local people plant or harvest rice. How does it help?

Cambodia Rural Development Team are a local non-government organisation working to improve the standard of living of local people in the north eastern provinces of Cambodia through the conservation of natural resources. The communities living on the islands of Koh Pdao and Koh Preah, in which the organisation works, are incredibly poor and isolated. Located in the Mekong River in a very ecologically significant and fragile area, the communities often resort to destructive environmental practices in order to survive. By integrating their sustainable community based ecotourism programme with their operations, they have helped the communities to capitalise on their natural resources and as a result have become invested environmental stewards. The community understand the value of their natural setting, and are now participating in clean-up days and environmental education programmes to strengthen their ecotourism project.

Located in a shady spot near the Mekong River in Stung Treng, the Tonle Tourism Training Centre doubles as a guesthouse and restaurant to give underprivileged locals a helping hand into the tourism industry. The guesthouse is a small traditional Khmer house with four nicely decorated rooms equipped with fans, mosquito nets and a shared bathroom. A large sitting room and terrace offering a allows guests to feel at home. You can make your own coffee, or train the staff to cook new dishes. Their restaurant can accommodate all taste buds, and offers a selection of Western and local Khmer cuisines, including vegetarian selections upon request. The lovely team can also arrange trips to nearby attractions and villages, as well as homestays. You can rent a bike in town to enjoy the peaceful and pretty countryside along the river, observing riverside life, buffalo bathing, and stop for a refreshing swim from a sand beach in the Mekong. Don’t miss a boat ride at sunset time! How does it help?

The Tourism Training Centre opened in early 2007 with the backing of Tourism for Help (Switzerland) and more recently Tourism for Help (France). Their aim is to reduce poverty through sustainable tourism. The Centre plays an important role in reducing poverty by providing free vocational training to poor young people. During the one-year course, students have to study both theoretical and practical courses in cooking, computer use, basic accounting, English, tourism, housekeeping, as well as local geography, history and ecology. The guesthouse and restaurant provide an experience for the students to learn by doing. Following graduation, the Centre helps to find employment for their students. The Centre regularly contacts hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and other companies or NGOs, advocating their graduates’ suitability for specific roles. One of the former students has become a supervisor at the Tonle Guest-house. Tours to surrounding villages and islands arranged by the Centre allows the community to benefit from positive exchanges as well as additional income from their visits.

Tourism on Koh Pdao and Koh Preah is handled by the local families themselves who have signed up to be homestays, cooks, boat drivers and guides. Having nearly 400 tourists coming to the island has also brought about a sense of pride to the communities - pride in the natural beauty of the island, pride in their own culture and pride in the endangered river dolphin swimming off their shores. 62 - CAMBODIA

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You can gain a rare experience, which found nowhere else as these community based ecotourism sites are situated on islands along the Mekong River. The endangered freshwater Mekong river dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), sweeping views of the magnificent riparian landscape, combined with local culture and lifestyle has made these two communities an attractive place to get away and experience a holiday like no other.

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Prek Village, Stung Treng Tel: 092 674 990 Email: fieldco@tourismforhelp.org Website: www.tourismforhelp.org

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The Community Development Tours of Koh Pdao and Koh Preah in Kratie province in the northeast, provide travellers with an opportunity to travel on the Mekong River and experience a rare glimpse into traditional Cambodian life.

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Contact details

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Tonle Tourism Training Centre

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Mekong Blue

DutchCo Trekking Contact details

Street #2, Sre Po Village, Stung Treng Tel: 074 638 8893 Email: info@mekongblue.com Website: www.mekongblue.com Silk weaving along the banks of the Mekong Immerse yourself in an ancient tradition of Cambodian culture by experiencing the silk production process from the mulberry plants to the silk scarf. A Must Buy!

Taking a tour will no doubt work up an appetite or thirst. Their café offers a relaxing environment in which to soak up the serenity with a refreshing drink or delicious meal. Gaining a reputation as one of the best eating places in Stung Treng, their full time manager and chef cooks up both traditional and modern food to suit all taste buds. How does it help?

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No trip to Cambodia is complete without a jungle trekking adventure in the northeast, to discover the most remote hill tribes and landscapes of the country.

Mekong Blue is a social enterprise of the Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre, offering vocational training in traditional silk weaving and providing employment opportunities for all those working at the Centre. The production of Mekong Blue silk generates an income for the Centre and provides a direct outcome from their programmes, employing both local women and men. The Centre is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty that leaves people with limited life choices and poor economic prospects, trapping them in the same daily struggle for survival. By offering literacy, health education, vocational training and employment programmes to the most vulnerable members of the community, notably women, the Centre aims to improve living standards, reduce the incidence of preventable disease, and contribute to the economic regeneration of the Stung Treng region. There are a number of programmes implemented by the Centre to improve the lives of the workers, such as an on-site kindergarten and pre-school for the children of the women and men working at the Centre; a School Sponsorship Programme for poor students in local public schools; and a Nutrition Programme for the women workers – including a Free Lunch Programme etc. The project helps rebuild traditional Khmer silk weaving skills, an ancient form of Khmer art. The products sold abroad help promote Cambodian handicrafts and art around the world. Award : The UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Handicraft in Southeast Asia on several occasions

Rattanakiri (the mountain of precious stones) Province in the most northeast of the country is home to a very diverse landscape spotted by lakes and waterfalls. Surrounded by dense forest on elevated highlands, the region is scattered with isolated indigenous hill tribes who live in harmony with their habitat. Dutch Co conducts responsible one to four day jungle trekking and trips combining discrete ethnic village visits, boat treks, hiking, wildlife viewing, and kayaking. All their guides are indigenous who love to exchange about the different cultures with their guests. Their one-day ‘Kalai Jungle’ hike takes you through the jungle close to Kalai village where you will see farmhouses of the indigenous Kreung people. Learn how the families live and take care of the crops before taking off again to trek through some streams. The trek follows hunting tracks; however you will occasionally go off the beaten track for a bit of fun and adventure. For a journey of true exploration, try their Kachah Tribe Mountain Trek for 3 or 4 days, experiencing hikes through diverse landscapes, spending the night camped next to a three-tiered waterfall, followed by another night in an indigenous homestay. Or check out their latest Gibbon Spotting Trek. Spending time with the tribes of this region is a very rewarding and educational experience. Very welcoming and hospitable, they are often as interested in, and curious about you, as you will be in them! How does it help?

The indigenous peoples of the northeast are the most marginalised in the country, often dealing with abject poverty and deficiencies in education and health care. As such, providing jobs to indigenous people in remote areas is crucial to improving their livelihoods. Through Dutch Co’s activities, they work with local indigenous communities to help them conserve nature and at the same time to improve their livelihood situation through tourism. The company offers local indigenous people training to become responsible tour guides, in addition to hiring indigenous trackers for their treks. They provide well-trained guides on all of their treks who can explain about the nature and the culture of the indigenous people inhabiting the areas they go to. They keep the impact on the natural environment to an absolute minimum, striving to continually conserve the environment that represents both their livelihood and the livelihoods indigenous people depend upon. Dutch Co ensures that all of their garbage is carried out when they leave an area, ensuring that their guides adhere to their policy but also that tourists respect the environment too. The company pays entrance fees to the communities they visit, the money being spent for community wide purposes such as health care and education. CAMBODIA - 65

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Mekong Blue provides an easy half-day excursion from Stung Treng, where travellers have the opportunity to see the whole silk production process. Taking a tour of Mekong Blue with a local guide begins with their small mulberry hobby farm, the food source for the silk worm, and then moving on to the silk dyeing and weaving processes, where you will learn about each intricate step that goes into making some of Cambodia’s finest silk. The final stage of the tour is Mekong Blue’s Gallery which showcases all of the beautiful Mekong Blue products for sale.

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Trek advisor to the mountain of precious stones

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Just 4kms outside of Stung Treng town, in Sre Po village, lies a place of solitude for the visitor wishing to spend a few hours experiencing the time honoured tradition of silk production and a good meal.

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Village 1, Labenseak community Ratanakiri Province Tel: 097 67 92 714 Email: info@trekkingcambodia.com Website: www.trekkingcambodia.com

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The Dei Ey Community Based Ecotourism Project Phume Phnom, Ban Lung, Rattanakiri Province Tel: 011 790 510 – 011 725 881 Email: yaklom@gmail.com Website: www.yaklom.com

Listen to the birdsong at Yaklom Hill EcoLodge Trek and relax with the songs and sights of birds from the eco-friendly Yaklom Hill Lodge situated in the jungle.

What to experience?

If you are tired of destinations for the masses or if you just need time to recharge your batteries before seeing more of Cambodia or nearby Laos, then stopping by the Yaklom Hill Lodge can help you escape from the hectic world of travelling for a while and provide you with a peaceful moment in the countryside. Yaklom Hill Lodge is nestled in the beautiful jungles of Rattanakiri between two hills. 14 cottages in a mix of Khmer/Lao/Khmer Loeu styles, are dotted on the hillside overlooking another hill, all have a fan, private bathroom, and a balcony with a hammock to chill out. Drinking water and tea-making facilities are offered. There are three panoramic platforms at the lodge, nature trails linking them, sixty bird species have been identified in the surroundings and bird tours are being developed. There is also a traditional hill tribe house that is ideal for small groups or an extended family. Based on a hill tribe village community hall design, it was built by the Tampuan hill-tribe neighbours. The house has a main hall with 8 mattresses on 2 raised platforms, and 2 attached toilets/bathrooms. The balcony commands an extensive mountain view. Don’t expect luxury here, you are in natural surroundings. If you wish to get a more in depth feel of the forest, the lodge has developed a variety of itineraries (day trips or overnight stays), which take you through the ethnic villages.

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How does it help?

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Yaklom Hill Lodge offers an alternative for tourists who want to experience nature in a responsible environment. The natural forest conserved within the Lodge’s boundaries is the only pocket of forest near Ban Lung that remains intact, apart from the forest surrounding the Yak Lom Lake protected area. The last ten years of land use changes has seen Rattanakiri’s forests converted into commercial monoculture plantations. However, the forest in the Lodge area has remained untouched, providing a natural and safe habitat for many bird species and much small wildlife. Yaklom Hill Lodge has a clear policy and regulations that no bird hunting be allowed on the property. The Lodge’s trekking and homestay activities are a mutual partnership between the tour operator and the host families with income generated from these activities going directly to the community. The lodge encourages guests to buy local handicrafts directly from local communities to make sure that money goes directly to the villagers who make them. Yaklom Hill Lodge ensures fair work policies, and the staff consists of 50% locally employed people, with 50% are women. Certification : 2006 Benchmarked Accommodation by GreenGlobe21 66 - CAMBODIA

Contact details

Pichrada District Mondulkiri Province Ms. Noeu Noketh Tel: 088 899 7060 Email: mondulkiri.ecotourism@gmail.com Website: www.mondulkiritourism.org Wildlife experience within the Phnong ethnic community Experience the life of wild-honey gatherers in the heart of one of Earth’s top 200 biodiversity hotspots, harbouring the largest population of endangered wild cattle in Mondulkiri Protected Forest.

What to experience?

Dei Ey (pronounce Day “A”) is an ethnic Phnong Community living in the middle of Mondulkiri Protected Forest, on the border of the Phnom Pich Wildlife Sanctuary. This is one of Earth’s top 200 biodiversity hotspots, harbouring the world’s largest population of endangered wild cattle, the Banteng, and it is also considered to be prime tiger landscape. Together, there are five protected areas bordering on one another preserving wildlife migration corridors. One of the elephant migration corridors passes through the Dei Ey Community Forest. Dei Ey villagers offer guided tours where you can experience a forest camp, the life of wild-honey gatherers (March to May), or the Spirit Forest on treks ranging in length from one day to three days. You will learn about their special relationship with the forest, and how they are trying to protect it along with their traditional way of life. They have built a comfortable community forest lodge for guests to stay in when not camping in the forest. Beyond guiding you inside the forest and looking for wildlife, the village guides will also demonstrate which forest resources they use and how they are able to harvest them. WWF has been working with the villagers on the sustainable harvest of honey, as well as producing a value-added product for the international fair trade market. How does it help?

With a view to engaging the Dei Ey Community as partners in the stewardship of their forest resources, WWF and the Forest Administration have worked together with the local population to increase awareness of the value and the sustainable use of forest resources, as well as protecting and guaranteeing their land rights. The community has defined which areas of the forest can be used for agriculture, from which areas forest products can be harvested, and which areas are under strict conservation. The members of the Dei Ey Community are the owners and operators of the experience. Tourism adds value to the forest from which the Phnong earn a livelihood and gives them an income dependant on the conservation of their forest’s biodiversity. When you visit the Dei Ey Community in addition to supporting residents’ livelihoods through guide fees and purchase of food and accommodation, part of the money that you spend is given directly to the community for conservation activities such as patrolling for poachers and encroachment, as well as wildlife monitoring. The protection of wildlife corridors is an important part of the strategy to protect wildlife habitat, ensuring the growth of wildlife populations and their expansion into neighbouring areas. CAMBODIA - 67

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Contact details

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Valley of the elephants

Kandal Village, Spean Meanchey Commune Sen Monorom Mondulkiri Province Tel: 099 696 041 Email: jackhighwood@yahoo.co.uk Website: www.elephantvalleyproject.org

Immerse yourself in the simple yet amazing daily routine of elephants and their mahouts while promoting more sustainable elephant care practices and preservation of Asian elephants.

What to experience?

Immerse yourself in the simple yet amazing daily routine of elephants and their mahouts while promoting more sustainable elephant care practices and preservation of Asian elephants. What to experience? The Elephant Valley Project, 11km from the town of Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri Province, provides a place where tourists and long-term volunteers can come and visit, interact with and learn about elephants in their natural environment. Your day visit to the Elephant Valley Project is both exciting and meaningful. Each guest is assigned their own elephant and will work closely with the mahouts (elephant handlers) who always accompany them. Spending time with the mahouts gives you a chance to chat to them, share language and give something back. In the mornings you will be able to walk with the elephants and learn about their fascinating past and current rehabilitation process. In the afternoon, pitch in with some hands on volunteering work such as gardening, farming, construction, cleaning and sweeping. Those wishing to experience more than a day with the elephants can stay in a secluded self-contained jungle lodge built in the traditional Bunong (local minority tribe) style. Each bungalow is basic but with comfortable furnishings such as a double bed with mosquito net, tables and a chair, and has a solar heated shower and western toilet. The project has seven elephants at the moment, each with their own stories and personalities. So come visit soon and say hi to Bob, Buffet, Easy Rider, Gee Nowl, Happy Lucky, Milot, and Onion.

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In 2006 the Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment (E.L.I.E) started working with the local people of Mondulkiri Cambodia to provide a better level of care for their elephants and mahouts. In the following year, the Elephant Valley Project was launched to provide a long-term option for elephant care. By providing sustainable incomes to mahouts and families that own elephants, they do not need to use the elephants for harmful and sporadic practices such as logging the forest. The Project rents the land from the local Bunong minority people, providing them employment within the project and other related means of income generation activities. Using their land for the project site contributes to protecting it from destruction, while allowing the local people to continue their cultural ties to the forest and maintain their traditional agricultural practices and lifestyle. The project also runs a forest programme, undertaking activities including seed collection, reforestation and education of the local people on conservation and alternative options to cutting down the forest. 68 - CAMBODIA

Contact details

Prey Thnot village, Tuk Chou District Kampot Tel: 092 33 00 50 Email: mangokampot@mfone.com and mangokampot@gmail.com Website: www.mangokampot.com The Mango orchard along Kampot River Les Manguiers is a superb place mingling sophisticated and refined accommodations, simplicity and relaxation, great food, cool swim and yummy homemade jams!

What to experience?

Les Manguiers (the Mango Orchard) is a small family-run ‘resort’ (franco-cambodian) located along the beautiful Kampot River, just outside of Kampot town. This peaceful retreat offers comfortable lodging, delicious meals, and a wide range of activities, including relaxing! It has become a favourite place for expatriates living in Phnom Penh. You can choose from three types of accommodation – Elegantly decorated and spacious bungalows with a private bathroom, a private balcony or terrace over the river, from which you can dive; the Principal Residence with three rooms and a shared bathroom, all with a river view; and, the traditional Khmer House on stilts with two double rooms, a family room and a large common room, each with a private bathroom and a terrace overlooking the rice fields. Swimming directly from the grounds of Les Manguiers is one of the many benefits of staying here. Take a relaxing ride along the river on canoes, kayaks or a motorized boat to go downriver to the sea, or upriver, to enter the “Green Cathedral”. The facilities include, at no extra charge, numerous bicycles to use, a badminton court, ping pong table, children’s playground, WIFI and numerous books to browse. They cook some of the best mango and passion fruit jams you’ve ever eaten. How does it help?

The owners are strongly involved in community development and several local associations. Les Manguiers supports a local programme called SAMAKI (meaning solidarity in Khmer) that helps the poorest local families, and a local public school. The programme helps the local school to reduce current dropout rate and support slow learners to acquire the basic knowledge necessary to complete their primary education. They also facilitate their interaction with local organizations such as Epic Arts Cafe, the village development committee of Daem Po, and the Khmer Culture Development Institute. They can coordinate visits to meet with local fisherman or handicraft makers. The resort has all been built from recycled wood. To limit the use of their energy, all of their buildings are built to take advantage of the natural ventilation, air-conditioning is not available here. They supply free drinking water out of a water fountain to curb the use of plastic bottles. They planted many fruit trees (mango, passion and coconuts), they grow rice, some seasonal vegetables, and most other products are bought directly from local producers. The owners employ all their staff from the neighbouring area, mainly from poor families. They employ 25 permanent employees, who benefit from a health insurance and excellent working conditions. CAMBODIA - 69

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Les Manguiers

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Elephant Livelihood Initiative Environment

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Jasmine Valley Eco-Lodge 1st May Road Kampot Email: info@epicarts.org.uk
 Website: www.epicarts.co.uk Open daily from 7am till 6pm.

More than a valley with a sweet smelling flower

Great breakfasts and light lunches, lovely shakes and real plunger coffee; all while learning Khmer sign language!

Come to relax in elevated exquisite bungalows, commanding stunning panoramic views of Kep seaside resort.

What to experience?

Nestled just below a national park in the beautiful jungle-covered mountains of the seaside town of Kep is Jasmine Valley. The owners pride themselves in offering more than just accommodation - healthy, home-grown organic foods, the sounds of the Cambodian jungle, magnificent views across the islands to Viet Nam. Nine solar-powered mud-brick and thatch bungalows are dotted throughout the valley overlooking their creek. Their ‘tree-house’ accommodation has a natural bathroom downstairs, a big open bedroom and a large, semi-detached terrace with wonderful panoramic views of the jungle and mountains. Two ‘Mountain Lodges’ with a two storey building house two huge bedrooms, both with the best views on the property. They have outside bathrooms with a regular shower as well as a dipping shower for those who choose to try the authentic Cambodian bathing experience. The restaurant and bar sit by the stream-fed natural swimming pool. There is also a games room complete with pool table, table tennis and foosball (table soccer). At Jasmine Valley you can spot monkeys in their natural habitat amongst the trees and visitors may even be lucky enough to spot a Great Hornbill - right from your own veranda.

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Kep Tel: 097 7917 635/6 Email: info@jasminevalley.com Website: www.jasminevalley.com

The art of ordering in silence

If you happen to be staying or passing by Kampot then be sure to drop by the Epic Arts Café for some of the best home-made cakes this side of the mountain. Whether enjoying a casual breakfast or a quick bite before an adventurous or lazy day, the Café is a great place to enjoy delicious home-made cakes and brownies, bagels, biscuits, scones, French press coffee, a proper cup of ‘English’ tea, and delicious meals and drinks. Apart from providing both locals and passers-by with full and contented stomachs, travellers can purchase a range of handicrafts and products on display at the Café, all of which have been sourced from partner organisations working to empower the livelihoods of people living with disabilities in Cambodia. A unique feature of the Café is the opportunity for customers to communicate with the staff in sign language. For a bit of fun and interaction, try ordering breakfast or a coffee in sign language. There are books available to show you how. In addition to the Café artistic performances and events are held every three months at the local Epic Arts Centre, and are advertised at the Café, so remember to keep your eyes open for upcoming events.

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Contact details

Epic Arts believes in a world where ‘Every Person Counts’ and where people living with disabilities are valued, accepted and respected. The Epic Arts Café is equally a space for young people with disabilities who may not have had access to education to learn and develop skills in hospitality. Their aim is to develop the Café so it is entirely managed in the long term by local staff with disabilities. The Café provides employment for eight people living with disabilities, and is a fund raising opportunity for the work of the organisation Epic Arts. On a daily basis, the Café serves people, many of whom are tourists who have heard of Epic Arts’ work, and wish to offer their support. The upstairs space is also used by the local deaf community to gather, and develop activities. All staff receive positive benefits and substantial salaries. All profits made from the business are put into the further development of training for Café staff, project development, or additional programmes within Epic Arts in Cambodia. At present the Café generates enough revenue to be self-sufficient, and provides a small amount of monetary support to Epic Arts’ programmes such as workshops, training programmes and creation of performances, in London, Cambodia and China. 70 - CAMBODIA

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How does it help?

The owners have built the resort with natural, renewable resources wherever possible, including the manufacture of their own mud bricks on-site. They use solar electricity across the whole property, and have successfully avoided connecting to the main electricity grid. This has made a difference to their power usage, as both staff and guests become more aware of their own consumption by switching off lights and fans during the day in order to guarantee light and fans at night. The owners are first willing to preserve the natural beauty of the valley and mountain by encouraging their Cambodian staff to respect and appreciate it. They developed a “Help Keep Cambodia Beautiful” campaign, targeted at both foreigners and Cambodians. They have implemented permaculture principles in their garden involving companion planting, which helps to avoid chemical spraying, as well as implementing other sensible measures to conserve water and support self-sufficiency in the garden. As a result they grow many fruits and vegetables in their organic garden. They even initiated and trained locals to brew cider from star fruit (which Cambodians often consider a wastefruit), and smoke their own bacon. Their staff have a running joke – “Another week another idea!”. Most staff come from poor, undereducated backgrounds, they get a nice place to stay, eat, learn and earn. The plan is to send the best learners overseas for further training, and having them return to peer-train their colleagues. CAMBODIA - 71

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Contact details

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Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary Contact details

Boeng Kayak village Before Koh Kong Town Tel : 097 905 1427 - 016 633 767 (khmer speaking)

The Rainbow Lodge Contact details

Tatai River Koh Kong Province Tel: 012 160 2585 - 0099 74 4321 Email: janet@rainbowlodgecambodia.com Website: www.rainbowlodgecambodia.com

On top of the boardwalk down by the sea, is where I’ll be

More than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

In Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, Koh Kong, enjoy a picturesque stroll along an elevated mangrove walkway, and indulge in the culinary delights of freshly caught crab.

With its unique riverside setting on the edge of the South Cardamom Mountains protected reserve, the Rainbow Lodge offers a true insight into a side of Cambodia many visitors fail to see.

What to experience?

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The mangrove forests of Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary are the most widely used resource of the protected area. Utilised for both commercial and household consumption, the timber is sought after for charcoal production, furniture, traditional medicine, house construction etc. In addition, land clearing and reclamation of these forests for aquaculture and agricultural activities has led to further destruction of the mangrove forests. Following the efforts by the Cambodian Government to stop mangrove destruction in the Wildlife Sanctuary, many of the local people have been forced to change occupations. The local sea-farming communities identified ecotourism activities in the Wildlife Sanctuary as a positive alternative livelihood to the usual resource extractive activities. Through local funding allocated to the commune councils, and with IUCN (International Union for the conservation of Nature) technical advice, the communities were able to construct tourist-supporting infrastructure and related ecotourism activities that have enabled them to participate and receive additional income that would otherwise have come from the forest. 72 - CAMBODIA

Each bungalow has an individual personality with tasteful soft-furnishing co-ordinated with a colour of the rainbow. All enjoy a stunning view overlooking the river from a private balcony: a perfect place to relax in a hammock gazing at butterflies (180 species). All bungalows have an ensuite bathroom, an electric fan and mosquito nets. All meals are included in the price of the room, really delicious, they vary every day, with special dishes for vegetarians. Guided treks, kayaking and overnight camping can be arranged whilst its peaceful location means it is great for just getting away from it all and wallowing in the beauty of nature. On treks you’ll have a taste of the true jungle, will observe wildlife, swim, relax and enjoy a picnic lunch in stunning locations. How does it help?

From its inception, Rainbow Lodge has strived to mitigate its environmental impact allowing nature to take hold and run its natural course. It relies on solar power (95% of power used) and is self sufficient for water with a locally built reservoir on the property. They adopt a reduce-reuse-recycle policy throughout the Lodge. Drinking water is filtered rainwater, and biodegradable soaps are provided. Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used whenever possible and a natural soak away system is in place for human waste. Rainbow Lodge involves itself in local issues and assist the community in negotiating for improvements and funding for projects with authorities. They source products and services locally, as much as possible. In addition $1.50 per guest’s trekking fee (10%) is donated to a village fund. All staff live on site, have all meals paid for and wages well above the national average, and paid holidays, they receive some hospitality trainings. Sensitisation about rubbish and recycling was conducted followed by a village litter pick-up. Rainbow lodge donated dustbins, T-shirts and 100 books on the subject to mark the event. Recently over a problem with sand dredgers Rainbow Lodge was instrumental in helping the villagers to make a formal complaint. This is a great indication of how far tourism has helped the villagers to take pride in what they have and make them realise they can stand up and be counted. CAMBODIA - 73

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How does it help?

Rainbow Lodge is an eco-lodge situated on the Tatai River on the edge of the Cardamoms Protected Forest in southwest Cambodia. You can experience firsthand the sights and sounds of the jungle, mountains and rivers in a pristine natural environment, whilst learning about issues that face the community, flora and fauna.

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Cambodia’s most unique mangrove ecosystem consisting of 23,750 hectares of protected mangrove forest, rivers, ocean and islands. Located in Koh Kong province very close to Thai border Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary represents a nice stopover when travelling to or from Thailand by land or for a week end from Phnom Penh. The main gateway to Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary is the settlement of Boeng Kayak, where the local community has built a 1 km-long mangrove walk that consists of a series of elevated walkways, picnic platforms, a suspension bridge and a 15-metre high observation tower offering stunning panoramic views. After paying your entrance fee for Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary, walk along an elevated footpath through the mangrove forest. At the end of the path, there is a suspension bridge and a 3-storey-high elevated platform where it is possible to climb above the tree cover and see the inspiring sight of green for miles in every direction. To really get out into nature, it’s best to hire a boat to take you out into the vast waterways through the mangrove forest. On the boat ride you will pass miles of shoreline of mangrove trees and estuaries, fishing boats filled with friendly local villagers, green mussel farms, whole villages on stilts, and a remote beach on a small island where one can occasionally see a dolphin swimming by. If the morning’s activity has made you ravenous, whet your appetite with a local seafood lunch at the local community restaurant. In the evenings be mesmerised by the luminous sight of millions of fireflies.

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Chi Phat Community

The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project Contact details

Koh Kong Province Tel: 092 720 925 – 035 500 0068 Email: chiphatbooking@gmail.com Website: www.ecoadventurecambodia.com

Painting pieces of ‘heart’ for a brighter future

Engage in an adventure tour, trekking or biking in the famous Cardamom Mountains, an exceptional biodiversity reserve where community-based ecotourism has been successfully developed.

Take home a unique souvenir of Cambodia – the imagination, innovation and creativity of a child reflected in a timeless painting.

What to experience?

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How does it help?

The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project was initiated by Roger Dixon, a professional artist, who came to Cambodia to paint on Sihanoukville’s beaches in the early 90’s. The local children were intrigued by this man and his paints and wanted to try it for themselves. Bringing the necessary materials with him the following year, the children started to paint. The activity proved so successful that Roger made it into a regular feature during his annual visits. Often, these children, roaming the beaches of Sihanoukville selling small trinkets to tourists, get caught up in economically and sexually exploitative situations or drop school. They are between 5 and 15 years old and they fall into many categories: orphans, children who are living with uncaring or abusive parents or relatives, and children whose families do not have the means to provide proper care. To combat this, the Cambodian Children’s Painting Project secures a safe, stable, and emotionally supportive environment that gives not only protection from these situations, but also works to improve their education and personal development through art and painting. They are a registered school teaching English, Khmer, and IT. They provide food, access to medical and dental assistance and the most important thing, an opportunity to receive a proper education. Most of their regularly attending children no longer sell their bracelets and wares along the beach, yet they continue to earn money to help support their families through the sale of their paintings. Paintings are sold for $4 with $2 going to the child’s family, and $2 going into the Project’s communal education fund, used to offer the children a chance to attend Khmer school, paying school fees and providing uniforms, bags, books and pens. CAMBODIA - 75

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How does it help?

The Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) project was initiated and is still strongly supported by Wildlife Alliance. It aims to support protection of the natural and cultural resources of the area and create job and income opportunities for villagers with the objective that the Community-based organisation ultimately runs and manages all the activities by themselves. Villagers work as guides, community rangers, moto-taxi drivers, boat operators, cooks, and deal with accommodation. The project fully or partially supports 228 families out of 555 families. The CBET project employs 60 former hunters and loggers as well as operating a Community Ranger team of 30 rangers. Since the introduction of this project as a new way of earning money ($95,000 since the end of 2008), hunters and poachers have been converted to guides, and there is much less pressure now on wildlife and forests. By spending less time in the forest and having more revenue for health care, the quality of life has greatly improved and children have more time to attend school. Integrated farming, livestock rearing, and a community fishery are currently being established.

This beautiful gallery located on Serendipity Beach in Sihanoukville features the colourful and creative art work of the children who once roamed the beaches. You are welcomed to stroll around admiring and appreciating these pieces of ‘heart’. The children work with acrylic and oil based paints. With the help of friends and supporters, they have held a number of art exhibitions around the world to raise awareness of their budding artists. Some volunteers come with new perspectives and ideas opening all creative doors for these children. Music, dance, karate, singing, and theatre are just some of the other activities children have participated in. All paintings in the gallery sell for US$4 each. With so many creative images and ideas to choose from, it will be hard to only pick one to take back home with you.

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Chi Phat and Trapeang Rung Communes are located in Koh Kong Province, in the Southern Cardamom Mountains, which is the second-largest intact rainforest in mainland Southeast Asia, and one of the seven last remaining elephant corridors and large predator ranges in the region. Visitors to Chi Phat have the opportunity for an up-close experience of the wonders offered by the Cardamom Mountains with several ecotourism activities including trekking, mountain biking, home-stays, cycling, bird watching, hiking, swimming, camping, river excursions on traditional wooden boats and kayaking. The area is excellent for mountain biking enthusiasts, with a network of trails through villages and, a wide range of landscapes through rolling open pastures, dense tropical rainforest, open woodlands, wetlands, and dozens of rivers, streams and creeks. Sitting back and cruising on a traditional wooden boat as the sun rises or making your own way by kayak on the scenic Prek Phiphot River or Stung Proat River offers an added opportunity for wildlife viewing. Monkeys, hornbills and other rainforest animals can often be seen. Accommodation services include 12 locally-run guest-houses and 5 homestays in local families’ houses. A recent addition to the choice of accommodation at Chi Phat is the locally-run ecolodge with 4 en-suite twin rooms. The relaxed drinking and dining area overlooking the river is an ideal spot at the end of a hard day. The Trapeang Roung CBET project has 8 homestays.

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Krum 7, Mondul 4, Sangkat 4 Sihanoukville Tel: 017 500 402
 Email: ccpproject@gmail.com
 Website: www.letuscreate.org

Adventurous grassroots journeys at Chi Phat

What to experience?

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Contact details

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intro + Cambodge