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Trekking Cambodia – 12 days

For those who enjoy multiple adventurous activities this trip offers some great opportunities. We follow the Mekong River and enjoy a close encounter with the rare and unique Irrawaddy dolphins near the best sunset town of Kratie. The northeast offers real potential with protected community forests, remote rivers, traditional villages, elephant riding, ethnic minority tribes and overnight jungle trekking and both in Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri we get to experience all of these and more. We survey the mighty waterfalls that thwarted the grand designs of French imperialists in Stung Treng (and which now mark the Lao border). Onto explore Mekong flooded forests at Ramsa Wetlands by kayak.
What’s Included
11 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners.
Hotels (9 nts), Hammock (1nt) and homestay (1 nt).
All sightseeing and transfer services.
Private air-conditioned vehicle with drinking water during the tour.
In BriefFull ItineraryTrip DetailsHotels & Prices
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Day 1: Arrive to Phnom Penh Airport.
After welcoming you at the Phnom Penh Airport, a Cambodian Pride Tours representative will transfer you to a comfortable hotel in the city for overnight.
Overnight Standard Hotel in Phnom Penh
Day 2: Phnom Penh to Kratie Via Stung Trong.
Meet your guide and be picked up from your hotel (between 8:00am and 8:30am, depending on your hotel location – ask your sales agent for estimated pickup time) and hit the road to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham. En route, there is the chance to pause at Skuon, affectionately known as ‘Spiderville’, where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. We arrive in Kompong Cham and enjoy a local lunch in Kompong Cham.
Our road journey continues along the Mekong passing through rural villages before we take ferry across the river at Stung Trong to Krouch Chhmar. Then, we hit the road passed many pretty Wats especially from Hanchey towards the old river port of Chhlong, home to some of the best examples of French colonial architecture in the country. We then reach Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. (B)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Kratie
Day 3: Kratie rural lifestyle motor biking and dolphin watching.
After breakfast, you will travel pillion on motorbike and go off the beaten track to the west bank of the river where you will have a full day’s experience of true rural Cambodian life; seasonal crops, rice whisky production, noodle making and palm sugar making in season. Be welcomed into the home of a village family and share a delicious homemade meal featuring local products and specialties. Later in the afternoon, we travel to Kampi, one of the many deep pools where the rare freshwater Irrawaddy river dolphins gather to feed. We board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance encounter with these gentle creatures. Viewing is commonplace, although it is easier to see the dolphins in the shallower waters of the dry season, than in the swollen river of the wet season. After enjoying an hour or more of dolphin viewing, we return to Kratie. (B,L)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Kratie
Day 4: Travel to Mondulkiri. Bou Sra Waterfall, Coffee Farm and Sea Forests.
After breakfast, we leave behind the sleepy town of Kratie and travel southeast towards the small junction town of Snuol, our gateway to the wilds of Mondulkiri. We turn left and leave behind the surfaced roads of civilization to take on the red earth roads of hill country. The first half of the journey from Snuol is flat, passing through patches of lush forest and areas of cultivation and plantations. After Kau Sima district, the road snakes up through the mountains that give Mondulkiri its name of ‘where the mountains meet’. We reach Mondulkiri and check in to a comfortable hotel.
In the afternoon after lunch break, we leave Sen Monorom and head east towards the double drop waterfall of Bou Sraa, one of the most famous in Cambodia. It is possible to access both drops and there are swimming opportunities. Along the way, we may stop at a Pnong minority village to learn a little about their way of life. On our way back to Sen Monorom, we make a stop to visit local coffee growers (Unique product in that province). Here, there is not only coffee, but there are almost every fruit that you can imagine fruit planting in Cambodia including strawberry and durian. As Mondulkiri is know as the best land and weather for farming and living. Afterwards, you can taste the original Cambodian coffee or fresh-fruit shake at it’s own restaurant. Before we return to our hotel we to go up the hill of Sen Monorom for an amazing panoramic view of the Sea Forests. This is probably the last remaining forest to be protected in the area. (B)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Mondulkiri
Day 5: Bounong Hill Tribe Community Elephant Trek.
We leave Sen Monorom after breakfast and travel to the Bunong village of Putang which is the village of elephants, located 9 km South of Senmonorom. Once in the village, you will meet the family and the elephant at their home. You will be introduced to the herd of elephants and get to know more about their history, character, behavior, body language and relationship with mahout family. You will be able to feed the elephant buckets of bananas before walking alongside them or riding on the neck through the countryside and forest to O’te waterfall. At noon, the elephant must be taken to pastures for at least 2 hours in order to make sure it gets enough feed for the day. Elephants eat up to 300 kg of vegetation per day in order to sustain themselves. While the elephant is grazing, you will have a picnic Takeout Lunch by the waterfall. In the afternoon, the mahout will bring the elephant to the river for a wash. You are welcome to get in the water and give them a hand. You can ask your mahout to try riding the elephant’s neck on your way back. Later we return to Sen Monorom with an option to go up the hill of Sen Monorom for an amazing panoramic view of the Sea Forests. (B,L)
Cambodian Pride Adventures has been supporting elephant experience with Bounong Hill Tribe in order to reduce their use of elephants in hard working activities; such as pulling trees or clear up forests for farming. The more tourists arrive the more they understand about taking care of their elephants. With our elephant experience you have the choice of how you want to them being happy.
Overnight Standard Hotel in Mondulkiri
Day 6: Travel to Ratanakiri Via Koh Nhek and Yeak Loam Lake.
After breakfast at your hotel in Sen Monorom, we leave behind the wilds of Mondulkiri and hid the road towards the red earth of Ratanakiri. We travel north on the newest highway that connects between Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri via Koh Nhek. Along the way, there is lush jungle hugging the road and locals claim to see tigers on this stretch at night whereas some parts of the jungle are giving way to clusters of pine trees and rolling grasslands. The scenery is unique for Cambodia and dotted with traditional indigenous hill tribe villages. We arrive to Ban Lung town of Ratanakiri and check into a comfortable hotel. Later in the afternoon, we enjoy the refreshing waters of the beautiful crater lake of Yeak Loam, set amid a pocket of lush jungle. (B)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Ratanakiri
Days 7-8: Two Day Ratanakiri Forest Trekking.
About Trekking: Just north of Banlung Ratanakiri province is a beautiful nature area. This nature reserve is home to the indigenous Kreung people. This trek is a ‘must have done’, if you only want to get a good impression of nature, and spent one night in the jungle. Enjoy food prepared on a campfire. | Trip lenght: 23km – Difficulty: Easy-Medium
First day of the trek:
We assemble at 08.00 am, after breakfast at the lodge travelling by car to Kalai Village where the trek begins. The local ranger welcomes us. We enter the jungle. A few small creeks have to be crossed. Once in a while we take a break to relax and enjoy the view. We arrive at the campsite where we spend the night around 15.00. The campsite is close to the O’Kaow creek rapids. The water is deep enough for a bath or a swim. Dinner is prepared. In the evening we enjoy a campfire. (B,L,D)
Overnight Hammock with mosquito net
Second day of the trek:
We have breakfast at 08.00 am. After breaking down the campsite around 09.00 am we start walking a different way back. During our way back we rest a few times and have lunch. We arrive in Kalai around 15.00 pm. And our driver is waiting to take us back to Banlung. Estimated arrival time in Banlung 16.00 pm. (B,L)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Ratanakiri
What to Bring During The Trek:
During the actual trek => Long trousers, T-shirt, Closed shoes, Socks, cap or hat, sun cream, sun glasses, camera, small first aid pocket, mosquito repellent, toiletry.
During the night => Sandals or flip-flops, small towel, torch or Flashlight, a set of cloths to spent the night.
Important Note:
This itinerary is written based on our tour research expeditions. It should be read in order to get a good general impression and NOT as a detailed hour by hour itinerary. Cambodian Pride Tours works with the local agency, guide and ranger; we can change parts of the trek due to weather and terrain conditions and in order to follow guidelines of the indigenous rangers depending on the season.
Day 9: Gem mining, Ethnic’s group Lifestyle & Cemetery.
After breakfast in Ban Lung, we head south passing through the rubber plantations to Borkeo where we will see the old gem area in the forests. Our journey continues to discover one sample of Jarai cemetery. After a very local lunch at Andong Meas, we visit Jarai Village which home to a traditional Jarai burial ground complete with carved effigies of the deceased. Jarai is one the eight hill tribe ethnics in Ratanakiri. Family groups are buried side by side and elaborate ceremonies held after a period of mourning. We return to Banlung by road. Along the way, there are opportunities to stop at minority villages to learn a little about their way of life, traditional silk weaving and farming. (B)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Ratanakiri
Day 10: Mighty Mekong Falls.
We leave behind Banlung and travel southwest towards O’Pongman before veering north towards Stung Treng. We journey to Vouen Kam (Anlong Morokot) where we continue by local boat to Anlong Cheuteal. We will be welcomed in to a local family on the bank of the Mekong River for a traditional. In the late afternoon, we survey Sopheakmet Waterfall; that thwarted the grand designs of French imperialists (and which now mark the Lao border). Along the way there is an opportunity to see Cambodian-Laos fisherman and you can learn about their fishing style. There are a few different places for viewing the falls depending on the time of the year. Your guide will make decision for you. If time is available we will take the boat across the river to visit Hang Khone, which is the southernmost tip of Laos. The French used this as a ferry port where goods were then transferred back to the ferry by train before they continued their travel by river. Tonight, you will have an overnight stay in a traditional Cambodian home under mosquito net at one of the local family who live on the bank of the Mekong River; experience bucket shower like Khmer people and only a few hours generator run for own electricity. (B,L,D)
Preah Rumkel Community Homestay
Day 11: Mekong Wetlands Kayaking.
After breakfast, we enjoy a short boat trip down to O’Svay where we will start our paddling tours to explore the remote flooded forests of the Mekong, Ramsa wetlands. It stretches south along the Mekong River from the border with Laos to Stung Treng. Only accessible by boat, it is a haven for critically endangered mammals, birds and fish and a unique riverine flooded forest system that is a photographer’s dream. With only birdcalls announcing our presence, we maneuvered our way leisurely downstream for a couple of hours before reaching the only village on that stretch of the the river, Veun Sien, where we beached our kayak for lunch break and wandered around the village. Our paddling tour of the forest continue until one point that you feel enough, we will travel by boat which follow us back to O’Svay and travel with our van back to Stung Treng. We might arrive on time to view beautiful sunset over the river on Chinese-Cambodian Friendship Sekong Bridge. (B,L)
Overnight Standard Hotel in Stung Treng
Day 12: Departure for Phnom Penh.
Before leaving behind the remote Stung Treng, we might visit Stung Treng Women’s Development Center (open Monday to Friday). STWC or Mekong Blue is where the project focuses on developing life skills that assist in breaking the cycle of poverty and illiteracy for vulnerable people, especially women in their region. You will learn about Cambodian silk weaving and their production, which allows not only preservation but also cultivation of the hundred-year old tradition of silk-weaving. At the end you can shop for souvenirs. Have lunch on the road, returning to your Phnom Penh hotel between 5 and 6:30pm, depending on weather and traffic. (B)