04 Apr 2019
An agro-tourism site in Siem Reap city is aiming to take tourists back in history by allowing them to visit one of the dwindling traditional Cambodian domestic farms and experience how much of the Kingdom once lived.
Chreav community, sitting about 10km west of the Angkor Wat temple complex, harks back to the days of oxcarts, dirt roads and manual farming.
Krouch Ly – who promotes Chreav community as an agro-tourism destination – has arranged tours around the community, which began inviting visitors in March 2013.
“The oxcart tour is a unique experience. The oxcart is useful for serving many purposes, from family transportation to farming activities. Taking a trip on a cart drawn by two oxen is an affordable and safe adventure, allowing you to conveniently explore the countryside and the country’s ancient civilisation,” he says.
Visitors meet with local farmers growing vegetables and fruit using natural fertilisers, as well as learn how to cook local ingredients in Khmer food.
“We arrange many activities, including shopping at a local market, visiting local schools, riding an oxcart, seeing vegetable farms, watching birds, learning how to cook Khmer food and enjoying a meal together. We also take them to go fishing in a lake or visit a rice field,” says Ly.
Chreav is a long-established community of seven villages and is home to more than 2,500 families. Now, with several private tourism companies bringing guests to experience village life, many of the families now earn their living by offering homestays to visiting tourists.
“The local people earn income from tourism by providing a homestay service, as well as selling home-grown vegetables and fruit,” says Ly, who is founder of eco-tourism company Agro-tourism Cambodia. “We keep the environment clean and we maintain our homes to make them more attractive to visitors.”