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Cambodia Travel Tips

Destination Guides

Typical Costs

Accommodation: Most guesthouses have dorm beds for between $2-4 USD per night. Private rooms range from $6-10 USD per night. You can get comfortable hotels for $15 – 20 dollars with air con, tv, and other amenities. After that, the sky is the limit but I’ve never needed to spend more than $20 USD per night for luxury in this country.

Food: Food is very cheap in Cambodia. Local street vendors will cost you about $1-2 USD per meal and basic restaurant meals will cost between $3-5 USD per meal. Western meals at nice restaurants go between $5-10 USD. You can get some really world class food in Phnom Phen these days and dishes start at around $8-10 USD. Fruit from the market will cost less than $1 USD.

Transportation: Local city transportation is cheap, costing only a few dollars. You can get a bus anywhere in the country for under $10 USD and renting a driver for the day will set you back between $15-20 USD.

Activities: Tours activities are between $10-20 USD depending on the length and popularity of the activity.

Money Saving Tips
Cambodia is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia. There really isn’t any big money saving tips here because just by being here, you are saving money. Food, accommodation, transportation is all dirt cheap.

Drinks really add up. Every drink is a dollar and before you know it, you’ve spent more money on beer than on food and accommodation. There’s no reason this country should cost you more than $20 USD per day but if you drink a lot, you’ll never hit that amount.

Top Things to See and Do
Angkor Wat – This huge temple complex is the reason most people visit Cambodia. The temple ruins are massive and you’ll need a few days to explore all of them. While there’s a lot more to the country than this UNESCO site (too many people only come to visit Angkor), no trip is complete without satisfying your inner Tomb Raider and exploring these ruins.

Tongle Sap – Sailing down this river allows you to get a look at how closely Cambodian life is tied to this major waterway. You can take a boat all the way down one end to the other or just cruise around on a day trip.

Sihanoukville
– White sand beaches, nearby deserted islands, great diving, amazing seafood, and a heavy nightlife filled with cheap booze make this spot a favorite among travelers. This was once a very seedy spot has become a mecca for backpackers. It’s not a quiet place to hang out but it’s good place to drink or use as a base to visit the nearby islands, which are quiet and serene.

Phnom Phen – The capital of Cambodia, this place has a wild west atmosphere with dusty streets and a devil may care atmosphere. There are few good attractions to see and there is an up and coming foodie vibe to the city. Since the destruction of the lake, most of the action has moved towards the river.

Kep – This beautiful beach town is the quiet version of Sihanoukville. There’s also great seafood here is a nice place to relax on near the ocean without the party atmosphere that is Sihanoukville. This city is famous for it’s pepper crab and empty beaches. There’s not a lot to do here so it also makes for a good day trip.

Bokor National Park
– Wander among the atmospheric French ruins while hiking a great rainforest. Bokor was a big destination for the French aristocracy back in the day and you can see the ruins of their homes. It is a day trip from Sihanoukville or nearby Kampot.

Battambang – Known as a farming area, and famous for its fading French colonial architecture, this is the place to get a real taste of Cambodian life. There are great temples, a bamboo train, and stunning architecture from long past here. This destination sees few tourists except for those who like to get off the beaten path and off the Siem Reap-Phnom Phen trail. It’s Cambodia without the tourism.
Prasat Preah Vihear – This breathtaking mountain temple is source of conflict with its neighbor Thailand, who also claims this place as its own. The trip here is not easy but the nothing worth going to is ever is.

Visit a river village – There are 3 floating villages to choose from in the country. The houses are built on bamboo stilts and there are always boats filled with people selling trinkets, food, and hanging out. The Chong Khneas is the most visited in the country but popularity has made it a bit of a tourist trap recently.

Visit the pepper farms – Outside the city of Kampot (go there) and on the way to Kep are vast pepper fields. This southern region of Cambodia is filled with pepper farms where you can learn about the history of the spice, see how it is grown, and pick up what is considered some of the finest pepper in the world.

Battambang Province

Cambodia’s second largest city lies in the heart of the Northwest and until the war years was the leading rice-producing province of the country. Battambang did not give way to the Khmer Rouge movement until after the fall of Phnom Penh, but it’s been in the center of the ongoing government Khmer Rouge conflict ever since the Vietnamese invasion in 1979 pushed the genocidal regime out of Phnom Penh and to the Northwest.

Until the surrender deal of Ieng Sary (Khmer Rouge number three man based in Pailin),Battambang was the Khmer Rouge in the region. Earlier history saw Battambang flip-flopping back and forth between Thailand (called Siam before their 20th-century renaming) and Cambodia.
Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link for Cambodia. Battambang city is a peaceful and pleasant place these days.

The main parts of the city are situated closed to the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province. It is a nice, picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French architecture is an attractive bonus of the city.

Tourist attraction:

Barseat Temple
Was built during the reign of King, Soriyak Varman I (1002-1050) and located on a hill at Ba Set village, Ta Pun commune in 15 kilometer distance from the provincial town. Ba Set temple adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1036 and 1042. Next to the temple, there is a pond having 20 meter length 12 meter width and 10 meter depth. The pond is never dried, though in the dry season. In rainy season, the water level is higher than usual.

Wat Ek Temple
Adapts the architecture of 11th century and built in 1027 during the reign of King, Sorayak Varman I (1002-1050). It is located at Piem Ek commune in 14 kilometer from the provincial town.

Ba Nan Temple
Adapts the architecture of mid 11th century and the end of 12th century the temple was first built by King, Ut Tak Yea Tit Tya Varman II (1050-1066) and was built finally built by the king, Jarvarman VII (1181-1219). The temple is located on the top of approximate 400 meter heighten mountain at Koh Tey 2 commune, Ba Nan District in 15 kilometer distance from the provincial town by the provincial Road No 155 parallel to Sang Ke River. At the mountain’s valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural well, namely: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey.




Prasat Snung
Characterizes as three separated stupas made of brick, located on a hill having 30 meter length and 20 meter width, in Snung pagoda’s area, Snung commune, Ba Nan District in 22 kilometer distance from the provincial town. According to the style at the gate, the temple is similar to other temples in 12thcentury. Behind the temple, there is another new constructing temple.

Phnom Sam Pov Resort
Is the natural resort located along the National Road No 57 (the former National Road No10) at Sam Puoy commune (the high land having more than 100 meter height) in 12 kilometer distance from the provincial town of Battambang. On the top of Sam Puoy mountain, there are temple and three natural wells, namely Pkar Slar, Lo Khuon and Ak So Pheak. Next to Sam Puoy mountain, there are some main mountains, the natural site like Phnom Trung Moan, Phnom Trung Tea and Phnom Neang Rum Say Sork. These mountains related to the Cambodia folk legend of Reach Kol Neang Rum Say Sork.

Boeng Kam Pinh Puoy Resort
Locates between two mountains, named Phnom Kul or Phnom Ta Nget and Phnom Kam Pinh Puoy, at Ta Nget village, Ta Kriem Commune in 35 kilometer distance from the provincial town. Boeng kam Pinh Puoy has 1,900 meter width, 19 kilometer length and can load 110,000,000-cubic meter water.

Sek Sak Resort

Is the natural resort, which has been popular since before the civil war time. Sek Sak stretches along the river bank full of plant, trees and bamboo-green nature in 500 meter length. As long as visiting Sek Sak, tourists can also visit other attractive sites like Po Pus Pich Chen Da Dong Tong and Sa Ang speak, the pre-history site in five kilometer to six kilometer distance from each other. Sek Sak located Treng commune, Rotanak Mondul District in 50 kilometer distance from the provincial town of Battambang along the National Road No 57, the former National Road No 10.

Rattanakiri - Cambodia Eco-ourism

I. Background
  • Province Capital: 636 km. north - east of Phnom Penh
  • Area: 11,052 Square kilometers
  • Population: 94243 people (ethnic minority) represent 75.77% of the total.
  • Religion: Buddhism and Animism.
  • Accessibility: by land, car from Phnom Penh/Kratie/Steung Treng to Rattanakiri.
  • Major occupations: farming
  • Major products: gemstones & agriculture
  • Major industries: farming & tourism

II. Introduction

Ratanakiri became a province of Kingdom of Cambodia in 1960 under King Norodom Sihanouk's reign. Banlung is the capital city of Ratanakiri, situated in the highland, along the National Road No19 from Ou porng Moan to the Vietnam border about 200 km. ( Ou´ porng Moan-Banlung is about 120km, Banlung-Vietnam 80k.m)

Ratanakiri is situated on the north - east plateau , 636 Km from Phnom Penh. It is bordering Vietnam on the east, Laos PDR on the North, Steung Treng on the West and Mondul Kiri on the South. There are two rivers crossing the province ( Sre Pork and Sresan River )

A sparsely populated province, it is renowned for its unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristic of the province forms an impressive range including undulating hills and mountains, a level plateau, watershed lowlands, crater lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Forest cover varies from area to area, from the dense impenetrable forest in the northern reaches, which are still rich in wildlife, to the drier and sparser forest, found in the southwest. Similarly, the soil types present range from rich volcanic soil to the sandy soil found near rivers.Thus Ratanakiri province offers wonderful opportunities for Eco-tourism in Cambodia.

III. Recommended Itinerary

  • Day 1: welcome guest at Ratanakliri airport and transfer to Hotel, city tour, Phnom Eisey Patamak, have a swin at Yeak Loam Lake, visit culture center, overnight. 
  • Day 2: Visit Ceal Rumplan ( stone field ), continue to Veun Sai district, take a trip along the Sre San river stop at Kachoun village, visit Tumpoun village, return journey through Ou'lalay, visit Kavet minority Chinese village, Banphang village, get the cotton yarn wrish tied and get water spray from elderly villages, visit Norng Kabat forest, turn back to Banlung, overnight. 
  • Day 3: Take a trip to Andoung Meas (Golden wells ) district, continue by boat to Taing Se commune along Sre San river, visit Charay hill tribe, visit gem mines and digging wells at Bar Kaev, on the way back, visit rubber plantation, coffee orchard, return to Banlung overnight. 
  • Day 4: Transfer to Lumphat district, take a bath at Sre Pork river, visit Lao village, visit Cashew farm coffee orchard at Ou'cheng, Kachanh and Katieng Waterfalls, return to Banlung. 
  • Day 5: Take a trip to Ou'Seanlair Waterwall, visit gem mines and digging wells, visit Tumpuon village and return to Banlung, overnight. 
  • Day 6: Shopping handicrafts, fly back to Phnom Penh.


IV. Economic Potentiality

Ratanakiri is scarcely populated, and it is also true that the capital city does not have an adequate market, but if we can conclude that Ratanakiri abundantly possesses a variety of natural resources, they could then satisfactorily served as important elements to develop the national economy. Underground and on land resources are gold, mine, gem stone, granite, onyx, fertile red soil, water sources ( home of wild animals ), luxury and quality wood and above all, the beautiful weather with fresh and pure air, and yearly rain.

V . Transportation

By air : Now is not available.

By land : (636 km)from Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham - Kracheh (Overnight ), continue to Rattanakkiri by car. From Phnom Penh to Steung Treng by boat in raining season (Overnight) , continue to Ratanakiri by plane or car.

The popular kinds of transportation in banlung ( Ratanakiri ) are car, motorbike, elephants riding, boat or trekking.

VI. Population and ethnic Minorities Ratanakiri Province number 94,243.

The minorities represent 75.77 % of it.

1. Population:
- 17,212 Families
- 94,243 Habitants
- Female: 47,847 ( 50.8%)
- Male: 46,396 (49.2%)
- 5.5 Persons / family

1.1. Disabled persons:
- 1,087 persons
- Female: 570 persons
- Male: 517 persons

1.2. Density:
- 8.6 Persons / k.m2
- 1.5 Families / k.m2

2. Ethnic Minorities

There are 8 different hill tribes ethnic groups: 

1.            Tumpoun            24.13%
2.            Kreung 18.89%
3.            Kavet    2.65%
4.            Kachok 2.65%
5.            Charay  19.47%
6.            Prou      7.54%
7.            Phnong                0.24%
8.            Lun         0.20%
9.            Total      75.77% 

They like to live in the jungles, hills, mountains in small separated villages where they make their living through traditional ways of cultivation ( shifting agriculture), hunting and collecting fruits, must from the forest. They believe in spirits, derived from their animism beliefs.

VII. Climate

Ratanakiri Province has a climate like the other areas in the country, there are 3 seasons :

- Rainy season:June - October
- Cool season:November- February
- Hot season:    March- May: Temperature: from 20o-32oc

VIII. Tourist Attractions

1.Yeak Loam Lake

Yeak Loam Lake is situated 5 km. south - east of Banlung. The Yeak Loam lake (volcanic crater) is the most beautiful lake of Ratanakiri formed by a volcanic eruption almost 4,000 years ago with 50 m. deep, 800 m. diameter and a walking path around the lake of 2,500 m. Two hundred meters of the track is a quaint wooden building housing tribal handicraft, the Crafts Museum.

2. Eisey Patamak Mountain

At the top of Phnom Svay is the statue of a reclining Buddha, situated 2.5 km. Awesome and peaceful, it has lain undisturbed throughout the years. Cast your eye outwards to glimpse Laos in the north and Vietnam in the east, and enjoy the spellbinding serenity of the surrounding countryside.

3. Kachang Waterfall

Kachang Waterfall is situated 6km. north - west of Banlung. This Waterfall is located in the Kontung stream and flows into the Sre Pok River. The height of it is 12 m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. A beautiful or magnificent landscape and huge amounts of fresh mist surround the waterfall. The visitors can take a bath and sit to look at the waterfall and other natural scenic beauties. or the visitors can also go around to view other natural sights on foot or take an elephants ride.

4. Katieng Waterfall

Katieng Waterfall is situated 7 km. north - west of Banlung. It is also located in the Koutung Stream, below the Kachang Waterfall, 3 km. The height of it is 10m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. The visitors can see a beautiful natural landscape and take a break to take pictures of the birds and then continue to the waterfall.

5. Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall
Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall is situated 26 km, South of Banlung. This Waterfall has 4 floors and the height of each floor is 4 m. The water flows throughout the year. Around the Waterfall are beautiful natural landscapes and the visitors can go take a bath if they wish.

6. Ou'Sensranoh Waterfall

Ou'Sensranoh Waterfall is situated 9 km. south of Banlung. The height of it is 18m. and the water flows and falls all the time. The visitors can go there rest and enjoy the fresh air, or to se the forest and listen to the birds ' cries.

7. Cha Ung Waterfall

Cha Ung Waterfall is situated 8 km. west of Banlung and it flows throughout the year. The source of water creating this Waterfall flowed from Eisey Patamak Mountain ( Svay Mountain ) . Below this Waterfall is a big hole, visitors can stand or sit to watch the waterfall from behind, and inhale he cool fresh air stemming from it .

8. Veal Rum Plan (stone field )

Veal rum Plan (stone field ) is situated 14 km. North of Banlung. Stones cover the surface of this place and a dense around it. The visitors can go there and discover its beautiful attraction

9. Virachay National Park

Virachay National Park is situated 45 km. north of Banlung. With a total land area of 332,500 ha. It has varieties of plants and trees in the forest and many different kinds of animals and birds.

10. Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 37km. south of Banlung. With a total land area of 250,000 ha. there are special kinds of animals and birds like tigers, elephants, red-headed vultures.

11. Ou'Chaloy

Ou'Chaloy is located in the Sre Pok river It is situated 34km. south - west of Banlung. The tourist recreation in Ou'Chaloy is only during the dry season.

12. Norng Kabat Forest

Norng Kabat Forest is situated 23 km. north of Banlung. This place has a pond. the visitors can go there to see the animals and birds which comes to at the pond .Beside this the tourists can go visit the ethnic villages, ethnic culture (tradition belief, festival, dancing, music),

IX. Shopping


A shopping spree starts at the Banlung market. Shopping bargains can be found on intricate stone, wood carvings, gem stones and other varieties of goods, many brought in by tribes like baskets, crossbows, gourds (water containers), bracelets, necklaces, cloth pipe from the outskirts of town make for an interesting and very colorful morning stroll.

Mondulkiri - Minority Land

This province is chock full of natural beauty, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side. Add to that the communities of hill tribe people who are not affected by mass-tourism, as they are in neighboring Thailand, and you have an area that is very attractive to the adventure traveler. The town of Sen Monorom is the best base camp for travelers who want to explore the surrounding areas.

A quiet but beautiful town nestled into the hills; it has a lot of potential to develop into a center for non-intrusive eco-tourism. At present, it’s very undeveloped, which gives you a feeling of going somewhere off the beaten tourist trail. Also interesting is the variety of languages being used: Khmer, hill tribe languages, Vietnamese and Laos.

Tourist sites:

Boo Sra Waterfall
Locates at Pich Chinda District in 43 kilometer distance from the provincial town by red soil road. Boo Sra is the most beautiful waterfall in Modulkiri and shared into three stages:

First stage: The waterfall has 15-meter diameter and 15-meter to 20-meter height in rainy season, and 20-meter diameter and 18-meter to 25-meter height in dry season. The second stage of waterfall has 150-meter distance from the first stage.

Monority

Second stage: The waterfall has 23-meter diameter and 15-meter to 20-meter height in rainy season, and 20-meter diameter and 18-meter to 25-meter height in dry season. The second stage of waterfall has 150-meter distance from the first stage.

Third stage: The waterfall has stronger speed than the second stage. This stage can not be reached because it locates in the thick forest, lacks of transporting mean and is dangerous due to having fierce-wild animals.

Sen Monorum Waterfall

Locates at Sen Monorum District in five-kilometer distance from the provincial town by red soil trail, Along either sides of the trail, there are industrial plantations like rubber, coffee and cashew as well. The local people usually meet each other at Sen Monorum waterfall during the holidays and national festivals because it closed to the provincial town.

Sen Monorum waterfall has three stages:
  • First stage: The waterfall has slow speed, one-meter height and 2-4 meter diameter.
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  • Second stage:  During the rainy season, the waterfall has strong speed, 6-7 meter height and 8-meter diameter. During the dry season, the waterfall has 7-9 meter height and 4-5 meter diameter. At the waterfall, there is a large space of resting and enjoying.
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  • Third stage: Locates at one- kilometer distance from the second stage. The waterfall has 1.5-meter height only.

Rum Near Waterfall

Locates at Sen Monorum District in 10.5 kilometer distance from the provincial town. The waterfall has good location, which is closed to the industrial plantations like rubber, coffee, cashew, mango, Avocado and Pres as well. During the rainy season, the waterfall has five-meter height and 10-meter diameter, and during the dry season. The waterfall has six-meter and eight-meter diameter only. At the waterfall, there are many big trees projecting the cool shadow to the area.

Chrey Thom Waterfall

Locates at Sen Monorum District in 43-kilometer distance from the provincial town. During the dry season, the waterfall has 15-meter height and 2-meter diameter, and during the rainy season, the waterfall has 11-meter height and 8-meter diameter. The waterfall surrounded by the plantation of Sro Lou and there is a big and brandy tree of Chrey. The Provicail Tourist office in cooperation with the territorial authority has arranged this waterfall spot as the tourist site instead of Boo Sra waterfall that unable to be accessible during the rainy season.

Riverside

Locates at Koh Nhek District in 150-kilometer distance from the provincial town. The riverside has red and golden colored sand, and stretches along the Sre Pork River mixing with many small islands. The riverside is the leisure place for the local people of Koh Nhek District.

Plantation of Pinetrees


Located at Sen Monorum District in six-kilometer distance from the provincial town by the National Road No 14. The plantation of pine trees located on the highland, which there are many pine trees remain since 1970 and growing on line, these pine trees have the same height. The ground covered by a lot of lollen leaves. It look like the golden colored carpet. Tourists can enjoy and rest on it without matting. The history said that, these pine trees were planted before the Sang Kum Reas Ni Yum time.