Banlung – The hidden germ of Cambodia
A travel to a remote area in northern Cambodia as the town of Banlung is entirely worthwhile and differs from that to other reputable destinations of the country.
Banlung is the provincial capital of the scarcely peopled RatanakiriProvince situated atop the northwestern plateau, bodering Vietnam to the east and Laos to the north. The so-called “city in forest” or “forest in city” is probably used to refer to Banlung, owing to its forest cover varying from area to area, from the impenetrable jungle in the north to the drier and sparser one in the southwest, and pristine forests scattering within the town centre. Banlung as well as RatanakiriProvince, with its physical and environmental characteristics, shows considerable promise as an ecotourism destination in Cambodia. Read more tours in Cambodia
Every traveler is advised staying here for at least three nights, exploring most of the town’s places of interest, comprising crater lakes, plentiful waterfalls, and doing an overnight trip into the vast national park.
Of magnificent volcanic lakes in Banlung, Yeak Laom is the most outstanding. Yeak Laom, located at the heart of the same name preserved area, is a gorgeous emerald lake right amid the vivid greens of the towering jungle. It is acknowledged to have lied there for approximately 700,000 years in the shape of an incredibly perfect circle.
In the indigenous minority people’s spirit, Yeak Laom is a sacred place; therefore, water in this spiritual lake has always been keep extremely clean for thousands of years, especially when visitors arrive here more than ever today. However, you still can have a swim in YeakLaomLake as long as you do not use any kinds of bathing chemicals.
Covered by the sprawling plantations just west of Banlung are three waterfalls worth visiting: Chaa Ong, Ka Tieng and Kinchaan. Chaa Ong is the highest and most spectacular at a height of 25 metres. For a powerful shower, you should clamber behind or venture underneath the waterfall. Ka Tieng is the most pleasurable as it drops over a rock edge enabling you to approach all the way behind. You can get to the three waterfalls all year round, but think twice about your driving motorbikes on rainy season because the red-clays access roads are exceedingly slippery when wet.
For recreation, elephant ride in the village of Kateung near the Ka Tieng waterfall is a unique experience you should try once. Adorable elephants will carry you within a small patch of jungle in one hour at the charge of 15-20 USD per elephant for one or two rider.
After partaking in elephant ride activity, you can consider going on a trip into the largest National Park in Cambodia, Virachey, which is 50 kilometres away from Banlung. It is home to incredible varieties of endangered wildlife, consisting of gaur, jungle cat, gibbon, Samba deer, Asiatic elephant and etc. Visitors can participate in one of the following, based on their time and interest: 1-day trek, the 3-day trek to VealPhnomYakKongKreavMountain or the 7-day trek to Veal Thom Grasslands.
The Indochina Voyages team.
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