Chi Phat

Where to stay: Chi Phat

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We have 9 places to stay in and around Chi Phat.

Chi Phat

Chi Phat offers more than 40 accommodation options, with a range of homestays, guesthouses, bungalows and eco-chalets to choose from. Then, of course, there are the forest camps, and a night in one of those is highly recommended for adventurous types. Most accommodation is centred around the village, though some is much further out. You will not find anything luxurious, but that will simply make you appreciate it all the more later on.

A general note on accommodation in Chi Phat

As most Cambodians live in stilted, wooden houses, this is what most of the homestays look like. They tend to be simpler but, of the ones that we viewed, we actually found them more charming than the guesthouses, where the stark brick walls can seem a little oppressive. On the other hand, those stark rooms were frequently significantly cooler depending on their orientation. The quality varies from very, very basic to solid, comfortable Cambodian wooden homes. The welcomes always seem to be warm and kind though, and we’re not just saying that.

The team at the CBET centre says they will be working with hosts — whether of homestays or guesthouse — to bring up standards in the future. However, compared to many other places we’ve stayed in Cambodia, we found standards here to be pretty good on average. There is no air-con, and electricity is limited, which means no fan after 22:00. All the beds have mosquito nets, and they all seemed to provide towels, water and clean bed linen. There is no hot water, and while we are generally enormous fans of cold showers, on chilly, dry season mornings this can be a tough way to wake up. You will be awake though, that we promise. Some bathrooms are squat toilet. If you’ve never used one before, it’s good to remember that they’re actually much better for you than Western-style seated toilets. It’s good for your thighs too!

The principles of CBET would normally preclude expressing a preference for any particular accommodation. The point of the project is to spread the benefits so that all individuals are not tempted to fall back into harmful practices. As soon as one card falls, it’s only a matter of time before the whole fragile, valuable deck collapses. You can choose for CBET to randomly allocate a property -- contact them in advance or once you arrive -- to you based on whether you prefer a homestay, guesthouse or bungalow. Check out the properties below for a general idea of what to expect. While you can book online via booking.com, it is probably a better idea for the community to ask to be randomly allocated a place.

Even if you book directly with the property, you still need to register at the CBET centre, and they can help you find your way to your accommodation, or contact the owner who will come to collect you. Very often the owners do not speak English, or have a bare grasp of the language. Attempting to communicate by email or phone before you arrive may create more confusion than enlightenment.

We randomly visited a number of properties, and details are given below to give you an idea of what to expect and how the properties can vary. In our view, even those properties that might not be as “polished” as others are just as valuable and comfortable once you’re tucked up in bed. And, as we said above, you’re not here for the thread counts on the bed linen.

All of the properties are named after one of the animals that calls the Cardamoms home. One slightly confusing element is that the houses are identified publicly by the English-language name, but when you get there, the names are Khmer.