Eat and meet
Banteay ChhmarThe culinary options at Banteay Chhmar are very limited. Until levels of tourism increase, don't expect to find anything extraordinary.
Some nameless restaurants are next to the daily market. Instead of a menu, just choose from a selection of curries, soup, chicken and fish dishes presented behind a plastic display case in front of the restaurant. Little English is spoken so you'll need to rely on the help of a guide, a phrasebook or your sign-language ability (pointing and indicating quantity with your fingers). Mains are around $2.00 and better value than the $4.00 lunches and dinners offered at the Community Based Tourism office. Restaurants close before 17:00, so have dinner early or eat at the nearby CBT restaurant, which will remain open later if you make arrangements in advance.
You might consider grabbing a quick bite to eat from one of the few market vendors. Refreshing fruit and fresh breads are available but the meat, such as hot dogs and chicken, appeared to be a tad unhygienic (even by Cambodian standards).
The CBT restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll likely have to let them know in advance if you plan to have a meal there as they currently have, on average, only about two guests per day participating in their homestay programme. The meals can be served at either the homestay or the CBT office. The homestay families don't serve meals at the moment due to hygiene concerns.
We found the CBT meals to be mediocre and overpriced, though this issue will surely be corrected as tourism levels increase. On a positive note, the meals are the most hygienically prepared option in the area and you might have the opportunity to meet fellow travellers. Breakfast consists of coffee, tea, and either noodles topped with pork or over-sweetened and greasy Khmer cake. Lunch and dinner consist of two different Khmer dishes, fruit and drinking water. If you order beer, they'll happily drive down the street to buy some at the store but they'll add a dollar to the price of each can. Overall, not a terrible choice considering there just aren't many other options.
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