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“A unique experience”
Review of Rana

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Rana
Ranked #3 of 11 Kampong Cham B&B and Inns
Beijing, China
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“A unique experience”
Reviewed January 13, 2013

We stayed at Rana for 2 nights early 2013 together with our 2 kids.
We agree with all positive comments given so far: comfort is indeed very basic (no electricity...), but obvioulsy this is not what you are looking for when coming to Rana.

I would insist on the fact that Don and Kheung obviously don't run their homestay to make money but to meet new people, share with them their knowledge of Cambodia and show the surrounding areas at any time of the day. This is very appreciable and rare.

The price they ask for this is a bargain.
Also Kheang is an outstanding cook!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank JeanValjean_000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
68 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

Rana homestay was one of the best experiences of our whole Indochina trip, and is close to perfect. We visited wiith our 3 children (13/11/9) all of whom rate it very highly.
The owners, Kheang (this is her village) and Don (American), have crafted a 2-day / 2-night experience which we found informative and moving. The homestay is on route 7, just out of Kampong Cham, from where we were picked up by their nominated tuk-tuk driver with no problems. The accommodation is very basic but adequate. The food, cooked by Kheang, is delicious. Sleeping is a bit of a challenge as rural life really does begin early!
However the highlights of the trip are the access to rural Cambodian life facilitated by Kheang. The first afteroon evening we walked around the nearby rice fields and village and then had an interesting conversation with her mother who, at 66, has seen and been through a lot in this turbulent country. The next day we went on a cycle ride to neighbouring villages where we met many locals with whom it was a privilege to share experiences. That evening the invited guest was a local high-school teacher and while this was depressing, in terms of poor resources and outcomes, it was fascinating.
The only blight on this otherwise excellent visit was Don's behaviour when he has had a few too many beers. He is much better company when sober.
Despite this I would recommend this homestay strongly if you want to see the 'real' Cambodia rather than the tourist trail.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Hugh G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2012 via mobile

We did the Rana home stay early on in our trip and learnt so much about Cambodia which made the rest of the trip have more meaning.

Where do we begin? The family don't fool you into thinking you will stay in 5 star accomodation - but why would you want this anyway when you are experiencing the rich culture of a remote Cambodian village? What they offer is a comfy bed in a lovely hut with clean (western) toilet facilities and water to have a shower with.

The knowledge you will gain is amazing - the husband is American and so it is interesting to hear his Western perspective and the wife is Cambodian (from the village) and her experiences are also extremely interesting. We went on tours of the village, and surrounding villages which was amazing. We also took part in the English classes the family run for local children. The family have 2 fantastic children which just adds to the fun.

The food was easily the best we tasted in the whole of Cambodia. We cannot even describe how good the food was and we are real foodies!!!

We would definitely recommend this experience. Even for those of you who like your western comforts or are new to Asia - 2 nights learning the amount you do and experiencing the culture of rural Cambodia first hand adds so much to your trip.

Thank you very much Rana!

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank CakeyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
53 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2012

We stayed end of March 2012, with our 3 kids in the 2 simple bungalows : they do the job. No aircon is needed since you have some air coming through the multiple open windows, and every bed as a nice mosquito nest. The 2 bungalows share a common simple bathroom, that is just perfect (you won't need hot water) and you may have some friends in the night (we had a couple of beautiful frogs). And that's for the rooms (but you don't go there for the rooms).

You come here to experience Cambodia, and that's exactly what Don and Kheang propose and do. We started on the first evening with Kheang for a 3 hours walk, in the rice fields, the lotus and cucumber plantation, where we had the chance to talk (or let's say, exchange a lot of smiles, and eat cucumber and lotus seeds) with the farmers. The day after we went biking for a few hours, and met a lot of people from the village during the day. On our 2 evenings there, we met Kheang's mother and a local teacher, and could have very open discussions, and learned a lot about the country history and current situation.

Don was also really helpful to keep my insulin in a cold place, since there is no electricity here. Our children also spent some time to play "connect 4" with Ra and Na the children of the owners, and the food, made by Kheang, was simple, but genuine and very good. Kheang is probably the kindiest person we met during our trip. And, as it has already been said before, it's the best and the most eye-opening experience of Cambodia and Cambodians people. Thank you for that.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank MAlex75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
98 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2012

Our purpose of the homestay experience was that we wanted to learn more about Cambodia, besides the touristy places we had already visited. After we stayed here, I can say it really opens your eyes and provides you a better understanding of Cambodian life.

During the homestay you live with Don and Kheang and their two kids, Ra and Na. They live near Kampong Cham in a farmers village. Kheang is native Cambodian and she is originally from this village. Don is American but has lived in Cambodia since 1996. Although you live with the family, you spend the night in your own bungalow. This allows you a little bit more privacy and time for yourself. The bungalow is basic (no shower, no hot water, no electricity), but very clean and well maintained. A perfect place to sleep during the homestay.

The homestay involves more than just living with the family. In the day time Kheang takes you out for a walk or a bike ride and you stop to talk to the locals. Kheang starts the conversation very naturally and it is possible to ask anything you like and sometimes locals even asked questions to us. In the evening two locals were invited to talk to us about various subjects. The first night, we talked to Kheangs mother, who survived the Pol Pot regime. Very interesting to learn more about her life during this regime and how it still affects her. The second night we spoke with a teacher about the education system. Those discussions really opened our eyes about how things work in present day Cambodia and were very valuable.

The homestay also gives you a taste of Cambodian food. Kheang cooks very delicious meals, the best we had in Cambodia so far!

If you want to see more of Cambodia than just the touristy places and if you are really interested in how things work in this county, then you should definitely experience this homestay!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Ilse_en_Marcel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
69 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2012

We arrived ill and left well. Thats a good review! We both turned up with food poisoning so they collected medicine for us and really looked after us. Once we were feeling better we had a great experience seeing the local area and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JohnoMckay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2012

We spent two nights with this wonderful family. It was a brief but intense glimpse of rural cambodian life. From our initial contact in Australia by email to our departure on the bus our hosts were attentive. The accomadation is an immaculately clean basic elavated bungalow. there is a separate guest bathroom consisting of a toilet, and cold ladel shower both which are more than adequate. The lack of electricity only adds to the authenticity of the overall experience. Kheany is a wonderful cook and her meals were the best - no joke - we had in all of Cambodia. On the first night her mother came and spoke with us via Kheany's translations about her experiences of Cambodian rural life pre and during Pol Pot and how she percieves her community now and the impact it had on her family ,Kheany took us to the local primary school where she introduced us to all the teachers and principal and translated for us so we could learn first handabout the educational system and obstacles , challenges faced by teachers, children and families. It was an eye opener. That night Kheany arranged for a maths secondary school teacher to come and talk to us which further added to our knowledge. Don is able to provide a unique insight into living as a foregiener in Cambodia and their children Nu and Ra are delightful. Our 12 year old son loved being able to converse and play with them both. Every part of our time with this welcoming family was fantastic, educational but also amazingly relaxing and fun. Well worth the 4 hour bus trip if you really want an insight into rural cambodian life.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank HMR_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rana

Property: Rana
Address: Srey Siam, Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Location: Cambodia > Kampong Cham Province > Kampong Cham
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Kampong Cham
Number of rooms: 5

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