Located far out into the northeast, near the borders of Laos and Vietnam lies Ratanakiri. For those looking for an authentic Khmer experience in an area so remote that it is almost isolated from the rest of the country, then take out your compass and follow the NE. There you’ll find a haven of natural landscapes such as thick bamboo jungles, lush mountains and crystal clear waters.
Once you head into Ratanakiri province, you’ll notice a sparsely populated area. There are only 150,000 or so people in an area measuring 10,782 square kilometers! Or in other words, only one percent of the entire country’s population is here. And you can imagine how quiet Ratanakiri is, also in terms of commercial development.
If you’re looking to embrace tropical nature, then you’re in the right place. It consists of rolling hills, plateaus, mountains and crater lakes, the most famous of which is Yeark Lom, not far from the capital with nearby hilltribe villages. Two rivers, the Tonle San and the Tonle Srepok flow from east to west right through the province. The province is also home to numerous waterfalls including Tuek Cha Falls, a spectacular cascade in a jungle gorge with a zircon mine and even more hilltribe villages located nearby. Another area to visit is Virachey National Park, one of the largest protected forests in Asia, and one that is rarely visited mainly because of its remoteness. More than 80% of Ratanakiri is covered in tropical rain forests, great news for adventurers and nature seekers alike.
Right in the center of the province is Banlung, the capital. Just like the rest of Ratanakiri, there are people few and far in between, with only 17,000 in the entire town. However, according to the province’s standards, this is a busy town, and where you should go to see ethnic minorities from surrounding villages gathering at the city market to sell their goods.
Expand your perception of Cambodia. Head on east from Phnom Penh and get a true depiction of the country via Exotissimo’s Ratanakiri Experience tour. Included is a stop at another rustic provincial capital, Kratie, with a chance to catch the rare and elusive Irrawaddy Dolphin. Scroll through our Cambodia tours page for other exciting and revealing experiences in the country.
Get it touch
Take adventage of