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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Cambodia

An inspirational farm stay with the Smiling Gecko Project

By Benjamin Lehmann
General Manager, Farmhouse Smiling Gecko

Smiling Gecko Project

Smiling Gecko is such a unique and inspirational project to be part of and although the farm house hotel is only a small part of the program, it’s essential in helping to cross finance all the other work our NGO do.

At the heart of the project we have a school with around 300 children who come from all the villages around and we work closely with the local community offering new skills and training. All our guests are invited to take a two hour tour of the site to gain a better understanding of the work we do and I think this really helps you see the country in a completely different way.

The farm stay is also just the perfect place to unwind and relax- it’s so quiet out here. I love to float in the outdoor pool once the sun sets and look at the incredible night sky or watch the sunrise from behind the palms and banana trees by the fish pond in the morning. We offer free bicycles to all our guests too which is a beautiful way to explore the surrounding countryside.

We are really proud of our organic farm which is also home to some pigs, chickens and fish which means we can also produce farm to table cuisine in our wonderful restaurant that’s managed by a team of talented local chefs. We mostly work with people from the surrounding villages, many of whom haven’t been to school so are unable to read or write and that can be challenging in terms of communication at times, but then when we overcome an obstacle together, that feeling makes it all worthwhile. It sounds like a cliché but the Khmer people are so open and kind and always smiling. They have a great sense of humour too so it’s always fun despite the challenges.

I really recommend coming to visit our small community here at Farmhouse Smiling Gecko. I can’t describe how unique and special it is, you just have to experience it for yourself.

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  • Places to stay

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Alfred & Benjamin Lehmann

Benjamin Lehmann hails from Switzerland and has vast experience in the hotel industry. He studied at the École Hôtelière de Lausanne, regarded as the world’s best hospitality school. He has lived in Asia for 7 years, managing luxury brands in Koh Samui and Phuket in southern Thailand before moving to Cambodia. Benjamin is passionate about sustainability and believes in putting people and the environment at the centre of his work.
Benjamin Lehmann (Smiling Gecko Project)

Alfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like James, who's travelled extensively in Cambodia. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the celebrity chef who can help you to rustle up home cooked Khmer meals, the guide who can show you the less-touristed parts of Angkor Wat and the locals who can give you a real insight into traditional village life.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656