Admire this cascading waterfall in Ratanakiri province .
Kachang Waterfall, also spelt Kachanh, is a 12m natural waterfall – typical of Ratanakiri province. Around 5km’s from Banlung town the Kachang Waterfall is surrounded by a mixture of large and small trees. Follow the steps down the waters edge, wander across the wooden bridge and admire the cascading water before taking a dip in the bottom pool. Face away from the waterfall and feast your eyes on rain forest flora. There are plenty of hammocks to chill out in too. Kachang Waterfall is a no-fuss waterfall of Ratanakiri province.
Kachang Waterfall became a community managed eco-tourism site in 2003. The project employs five people and 17 people from the community work as volunteers. Income supports the local community during funerals, times of hardship and for small development projects.
Veasna, village chief and father of three, spoke of the importance of the waterfall for the community.
“I am from Kachang in Ratanakiri province and work as one of the managers for the Kachang Waterfall. We receive between 500-600 foreign tourists a year. The area is also very popular for Khmer visitors too.
In the future we would like to have homestays in villages nearby, grow more trees, make the area more beautiful and learn English! I worry about the future of the water, as it is very hard to protect from pollution upstream. It is so important to keep it clean if we want tourists to keep coming. It would be great to see the area as beautiful as areas like Yeak Laom lake.
The best thing about our community is this waterfall and it supports many people. Villagers come to sell produce and drinks for free at Kachang…so it helps them earn money. In the past we have used the money from the project to supply electricity for a local school, to support poorer children with materials for school and support old members of the community when they are sick.”
Kachang Waterfall is a small community managed waterway area, and a perfect spot for relaxing or swimming. The waterfall is easily accessible along sealed roads from Banlung and is an easy two hour excursion. Spots birds and butterflies and small fish at the bottom of the waterfall. A wooden suspension bridge hangs across the river giving perfect views of the waterfall.
The ticket price ($1) directly supports the community in nearby villages. The Kachang Community is large and extremely diverse. Four villages make up the Kachang area, with over 1,500 households. The community is made up of diverse ethnic groups: Khmer, Krung Tampuan, Cham and Vietnamese. Most villagers earn an income through working on farms or as builders.
Kachang Waterfall is easily accessible via sealed roads. The waterfall area itself is unsealed, so can get a little muddy during wet season.
Head straight from the waterfall ticket entrance for parking. There is plenty of room to park cars, motorbikes or bicycles.
Cambodians are known for there long lunch breaks and afternoon naps. No surprises then that Kachang Waterfall has plenty of places to relax. Hammocks and wooden huts are spread around the area and offer ample opportunities to have some quiet moments in the shade of large tree.
There are multiple toilets at the Kachang Waterfall area. All are Khmer-style squat toilets.
A restaurant at Kachang Waterfall offers fried rice, noodles and papaya salad. Cold drinks and coffee can also be purchased here.
A small selection of souvenirs, including traditional indigenous handicrafts can be purchased at the waterfall. Or if you feel so inclined – dress up in traditional Tampuan clothing for $1.
Wander down the wooden steps and across the wooden suspension bridge and go for a dip in the waterfall. In the wet season, water is a plenty. Dry season, the waterfall still flows. Cooling off at this waterfall, or just stick your toes in.
Enjoy a Khmer style lunch of fried rice, noodles or papaya salad at the restaurant at Kachang Waterfall.
Admire the craftsmanship of local indigenous elders. To the right of the carpark, huts woven from traditional materials are on display. These designs are traditions passed down from generations. Made from bamboo and other forest materials, the huts indicate the strong indigenous heritage in the local area.
Ratanakiri, Cambodia’s North Eastern province is easily accessible by road. You can reach Banlung, Ratanakiri’s provincial capital by VIP minibus. It takes approximately 7-8.5 hours from Phnom Penh, 7 hours from Siem Reap and 2.5 hours from Mondulkiri (note from experience, the journey is always a little longer than listed by the bus companies). There are a variety of bus companies offering day and night travel to and from Banlung from which the Katieng Waterfall is only 7kms from.
For easy and hassle-free booking, we would recommend using a fantastic local online booking platform bookmebus.com,that offers good customer service and easy access to travel times and routes for your journey.
From Banlung take National Road 78 North West towards Phnom Penh. After one kilometre or so turn left when you reach Lina Petrol Sation (on your right hand side). Follow this sealed road for another 4kms and pass by the sign for Katieng Waterfall. Only a few hundred metres, take a right into the Kachang Waterfall. Follow the road straight down from the entrance to wooden steps that take you to a suspension bridge across the river. Another larger bridge to the left side leads to shaded wooden huts and hammocks for relaxing.
Bicycle, motorbike or tuk tuk are you best options and can be arrange via your accommodation in Banlung or at tour companies dotted around Banlung town.
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