For all you active horses out there, how does an adventure along one of Cambodia’s, least accessible areas sound like to you? Ever heard of Ratanakiri? Well, you will be doing more than just hearing about it, you will actually experience it with a memorable light adventure. Just in case you didn’t know, the province is way up in Northeast Cambodia, with Laos bordering it to the north and Vietnam right across on the east.
Ratanakiri surely is a great place for n outdoor experience. The province, over 10,780 square kilometers in area has a resident count of only 150,000, or roughly 1% of the country’s population. Ratanakiri’s geography is quite diverse (with the Annamite Mountain Range cutting through), with forests, lowland watersheds, craters lakes, rolling hills and mountains. In addition, two important Cambodian rivers, the Tonle Sap and the Tonle Srepok flow from east to west across the province.
From Phnom Penh, we’ll whisk you off to Kratie. On the way, stop at Kampong Cham, Cambodia’s third largest city. Savor the moment here, because all the hustle and bustle associated with a big town will be gone once we leave. While here, admire Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei where classic examples of Khmer architecture can be seen.
Kratie is your chance to see the rare and elusive Irrawaddy Dolphin. These mammalian fish have unfortunately been reduced to critically endangered numbers, mainly due to accidental fishing, pollution, human development and capturing for aquariums and dolphin shows. Make sure you have your camera ready, because this snapshot of the dolphin can very well be the highlight of the entire trip!
Next up, the provincial capital of Banlung. Yes, it is a small town. The central market is a great place to see the town come to life, as ethnic minorities from surrounding villages converge here to sell their goods. The town is also your base to explore the vast bamboo forests that characterizes the region as well as waterfalls and hills. Sleepy and rustic towns will also be visited. Be prepared for bumpy jeep rides and calming water trips between destinations. Yes, this is Cambodia.
See and experience more authentic and traditional lifestyles and cultures as you head north. Farming, fishing and even hunting becomes the people’s main source of food. The people here are so remote from the rest of the country that some don’t even speak Khmer, the country’s main and official language. Enjoy a picnic lunch up here.
The day is completed with a trip to the volcanic lake of Yeark Laom, a superb place surrounded with pure greenery, where you can swim or take a walk around the lake. Enjoy your final dinner here as you reflect upon your incredible journey to the remote northwest.
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