Banteay Chhmar Temple and its nine satellite temples form one the great temple complexes from the Angkorian era. The temple was constructed by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. The temple complex is one of the largest from the Angkorian era and is one of only two sites outside of Bayon Temple bearing the enigmatic Bayon-style face towers. Banteay Chhmar Temple is currently undergoing a multi-year conservation project by Global Heritage Fund (GHF) and the Cambodian government is in efforts to have Banteay Chhmar listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Banteay Chhmar is most easily reached from Sisophon. Sisophon is at the junction of Highway 5 and Highway 6 and is a major transit hub that links Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh and Poipet (Thai border). There are numerous buses and taxis to/from Sisophon all day long. It should not be a problem getting to Sisophon.
From Sisophon, taxis are currently the only practical way to reach Banteay Chhmar. Taxis can be met at the Phasa Thmei (New Market) on Highway 56 (the road to Banteay Chhmar) in Sisophon. The CBT has taxis with the CBT logo on them at this taxi stand. Local taxi drivers will also make this trip. The road to Banteay Chhmar has now been paved (updated August 2016).
Share taxis (6 people – 4 in the back; 2 in front plus driver) are $5 per person. If you need extra legroom, you can ask to pay for 2 seats. A private taxi from Sisophon to Banteay Chhmar is $25. In the low season (updated August 2016) a taxi with only a few people (2 or 3) can be negotiated for $5 per person; there is no need to let the driver squeeze 6 people into the taxi.
It takes approximately 1 hour to 1 and a half from Sisophon to Banteay Chhmar. In the rainy season, travel times can be longer depending upon the amount of rain and where it falls. The road is very rarely, if ever, completely closed.
In the unlikely event that the road is closed, Banteay Chhmar can be reached via Samraong, about 50km north. This road is a longer journey than from Sisophon. This road can also take you to the O'Smach/Chong Chom border crossing with Thailand.
The CBT will help you with making your onward travels from Banteay Chhmar.
Taxi drivers in Sisophon will also offer private full day trips. They will drive you to Banteay Chhmar, you can explore the main temple complex for a couple hours while they wait and then they will drive back to Sisophon. Though this is possible, it is strongly recommended to stay in Banteay Chhmar to support the local community and to ensure time to see the small surrounding temple sites.
Banteay Chhmar village, the main temple and the homestays are all in close proximity and can be easily covered on foot. Most of the satellite temples can also be reached on foot, or the CBT has bicycle rentals ($1.50 / day). There are two barays (large water reservoirs). The Meborn Baray can be walked or biked to. The Pol Pot Baray (3 km) is easier to reach by moto. To reach Banteay Trop it is best to hire the CBTs moto-taxi (a scooter with a driver and room for one passanger on the back). The cost for a moto-taxi to Banteay Trop will cost $5 while hiring a driver & scooter for the day will cost you $10. These prices are current as of August 2016 - please look up the CBT webiste for more current pricing.
By far, the most important and spectacular bas-reliefs are the two remaining images of the Avalokitesvara on the western gallery.
The temple has suffered hundreds of years of natural decay, and more recently, was subjected to egregious acts of looting.
What remains is still truly spectacular – a remote, deserted temple overgrown with trees and forest. You will experience a sense of mystical aura and have some awesome photographic opportunities.
With around than 1500 visitors a year, you will also most likely have the temple to yourself.
Temple Entrance fee is $5 per person and is good for multi-day entrance to all the satellite temples including Banteay Torp Temple. Children under 12 are free. Fee collect can be fairly informal and you will sign into a book, with your name, the date, nationality, etc. You will not be given an actual ticket, but it seems it is only the one individual in charge of ticketing tourists so he can check that you are already down in his book if you give him your name (assuming you need mutliple days of access). There is only a ticket booth on the east entance to the main temple complex, though he will walk around or scooter around the site to see who is around. You are unlikely to be challenged for a proof of payment (or even see anyone else) at any of the satellite temples.
The CBT provides a number of visitor activities. The CBT is comprised of local community members. All CBT members are non-salaried and only receive income from providing guest services. This includes the cooks and homestay owners, as well. The CBT also saves some money from guest services in a local community fund to help with community-wide projects such as a solid waste management disposal project.
There is no ATM in Banteay Chhmar. The closest ATM is in Sisophon. US Dollars, Thai Baht and Khmer Riel are all accepted in the market and by the CBT.
Being so far away from a major city makes dining options somewhat limited. Whatever is available in the market usually becomes the main meal of the day. There are no Tex-Mex, Italian or French nouvelle options here.
The market area starts closing down around 5pm, so eat early or, if you are not eating in the CBT restaurant, ask the Chan Rom to prepare a meal for later – they will! The other dinner options are to order in advance from the CBT or your homestay.
Needless to say, there are no bars, nightclubs or swingin’ karaoke joints in Banteay Chhmar. Beer ($0.50 can) and other drinks can be bought in various shops and there are a couple of ice sellers where you can buy ice to keep your beverages chilled.
CBT Homestays: These are the only sleeping accommodations in Banteay Chhmar. There are currently 9 homestays and 27 rooms. Each room has 1 double bed. The homestays are clean and basic with cotton sheets, blankets, pillows and mosquito nets. All of the homestays have western-style (sitting) toilets and showerheads. There are no rooms with air-conditioning. The homestays have either electricity (see below) or battery-powered fans that can be run throughout the night. Flashlights and candles are provided, as well. There are 4 homestays along the road that runs south from the restaurant; other homestays are scattered in nearby villages.
As of February 2015, Banteay Chhmar is being connected to the electrical grid. The 4 homestays in the South Village all now have 24/7 electricity with the other villages to be connected in the next few months.
You will need a CBT member to help you with settling into your homestay since none of the homestay owners speak English and homestay reservations are done on a revolving basis so each homestay owner receives his/her fair share of guests.
Though none speak English, the homestay families are all very hospitable and welcoming. You can read their personal stories here .
Homestays are $7/per room.
There are no internet facilities. If you really need to use the internet you can ask the CBT to borrow one of their computers and/or their USB modems. Please offer a small compensation.
You can contact the CBT directly: +855 97 516 5533 or +855 12 435 660
CBT-GHF Coordinator Tath Sophal can be reached at: +855 97 723 7605 or +855 12 237 605
CBT Website: visitbanteaychhmar.org 
A popular half-day trip or a detour on the way to or from Banteay Chhmar is to Banteay Torp Temple. If traveling on your own, look for a red gateway (maybe only a Khmer sign) on the east side of the Sisophon-Banteay Chhmar highway about 7km south of Banteay Chhmar; head east 4.6km on this dirt road and go past a village to a large baray on your left; a faded sign may point the way right (south) 300 meters and you'll see the temple; then turn left 500 meters to parking. The temple consists of three soaring and precarious looking towers teetering on the verge of collapse. The nearby modern temple has some beautiful wall paintings. Frequently, tourists will have a picnic lunch here on their way back to Sisophon. For groups, the CBT will arrange a kuyon for transportation. Otherwise, it is best reached by moto or taxi. You could also bicycle in the dry season.