Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trekking Ratanakiri, Cambodia: A Real “Off-The-Beaten-Track” Adventure

Have you ever wanted to trek through the jungle? Like the sound of sleeping in a hammock under the trees and stars? How about visiting isolated jungle villages and sharing a meal with traditional rice wine? Elephant rides, waterfalls, ancient tribal cemeteries: Ratanakiri has something for everyone.

Yak-Loum-lake-in-Ratanakiri, Cambodia
One of the most popular provinces in Cambodia, Ratanakiri is home to a burgeoning ecotourism movement. Virachay National Park, the biggest protected area in Cambodia, remains largely unexplored and is home to several ethnic minorities as well as a range of wild animals.

Ratanakiri means mountain of treasure and gem mining is an important industry for the locals. Beautiful sapphires, amethysts and zircon are produced here and it is possible to visit the mines, see the process and even try your own hand at it. 
Trekking Ratanakiri

Known for its red dirt, Ratanakiri becomes a dust-bowl in the dry season and a mudpit in the wet. While the roads have improved considerably, in the height of wet season some are virtually impassable. A good time to visit is in November, when the rains have stopped and the dust has not got too far out of hand. Known for its red dirt, Ratanakiri becomes a dust-bowl in the dry season and a mudpit in the wet. While the roads have improved considerably, in the height of wet season some are virtually impassable. A good time to visit is in November, when the rains have stopped and the dust has not got too far out of hand.

Ban Lung, is the regional capital of Ratanakiri Province. Around trekking Ban Lung there are many beautiful waterfalls. A lazy trip along Tonle San river stops off at Laos and Chinese minority villages and the haunting Tompuon tribal cemetary where jungle strewn wooden effigies mark abandoned graves. At Boeng Yeak Lom you can swim in a mysterious seven hundred thousand year old jungle-clad crater lake so perfectly circular that some say it was formed by a meteor.

Waterfall in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri
Waterfall in Ratanakiri
The Ban Lung locals frolicked in the pools at the base of the thundering falls, the more adventurous squeezing behind the solid curtain of water.

Ratanakiri is a province of traditional villages, virgin jungle, and breathtaking scenery. Most travellers who make the effort to reach here tend to stay at least three nights, exploring the waterfalls, minority villages and cemeteries and perhaps doing an overnight (or longer) trip into the national park. No visit to Cambodia could be complete without a Ratanakiri jungle adventure.
 
Note: The flight that link Phnom Penh and Ban Lung is available some months of the years. If you take flight the itinerary would be shorter and price would also be cheaper. You can check with travel agencies for more information.  

ACTIVETRAVEL ASIA (ATA) can be your good recommendation, offering a wide selection of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia adventure tours, including hiking and trekking, biking, motorcycling, overland touring and family travel packages. ATA’s packages and tailor-made private itineraries will take you through exotic destinations to really experience the culture, history and nature of Asia.

Have you a good journey!

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