Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Siem Reap
Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre
When the kids discovered that there was a butterfly centre in Siem Reap, we had no option – we had to go!
We usually have a rule of one major activity per day (especially in hot and humid climates), but since it was very close to the Cambodian Landmine Museum, we decided to do both together.
If you’re visiting Siem Reap and plan to see the amazing temples, it may be tempting to throw in a temple visit too, but I wouldn’t. We wanted to keep it separate and as one outing — it would have been far too much for the kids.
So, we left first thing in the morning on a Saturday, in order to avoid the afternoon heat.
It was lovely enjoying a longer ride in a tuk tuk, because most of them are usually quick rides around town! But with a refreshing breeze on our faces, we experienced a sneak peak of some beautiful temples. We also drove past some local communities, so we saw some traditional homes, a school full of kids and some police stations.
We saw lots of cows, chickens (and their gorgeous fluff ball chicks following close behind), and other animals by the side of the road. I did wish I bought my sunglasses though, as the dust blew into my eyes from time to time. Cambodia is either dry and dusty, or rainy and muddy!
Twenty-five minutes after we left our hotel, we arrived at the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre — which is approximately 25 kilometres from town.
We paid $2 for the children (our 2 year old was free) and $4 for adults (including my 13 year old daughter).
As soon as we stepped foot into the lush, green, flowery enclosure, butterflies could be seen everywhere! We quickly spotted around 5-8 different types of butterflies, all so beautiful and delicate.
The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre tour guide was lovely, and spoke English really well. He showed us butterflies and caterpillars at every life cycle, and let the kids touch and hold a very pretty caterpillar!
To protect the butterflies, when they are found around the enclosure in the pupa stage, they are carefully taken and placed into special wooden boxes. As you can see below, there are many rows in these boxes. Since the pupa stage is just 10-14 days, there are butterflies frequently emerging.
We watched several newly hatched butterflies drying out their soggy, wet wings, before flying off into the enclosure. This process usually takes about an hour. It was very cool!
There’s a relaxing shaded seating area off to the side of the enclosure, which is perfect for a drink to cool off. The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre offers basic drinks for customers, for example soft drink and water, however we brought our own cooled water.
While we sat for a moment and got ourselves rehydrated, the kids were both shocked and intrigued to see a cheeky gecko enjoying a butterfly feast. We’ve loved seeing so many geckos in the tropical countries we’ve visited, but felt awful for this poor butterfly!
Aside from watching the gecko devour a meal of one of the star attractions, the kids had an absolute ball. It was simply magical for them, being in an enclosure that was brimming with so many butterflies. Let alone seeing so many hatch right before our eyes!
We definitely recommend families pay a visit to the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre when visiting Siem Reap. An hour is plenty of time to slowly wander, listen to the tour guide and sit down for a drink (and perhaps a snack if you’ve prepared ahead!).
It’s also a great opportunity for photography lovers to take some amazing shots! I had loads of fun looking for photo opportunities! Check out these gorgeous shots:
The Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, 365 days of the year.
It cost us $22 USD via our hotel for the tuk tuk driver for half a day.
For more information, see the Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre website here.
Kelly Winder is the creator of BellyBelly.com.au, a doula, writer and mother to three awesome children. Currently she's travelling the world for 12 months with her partner and three children, and hopes to inspire more families to do the same.