Hidden gem of natural beauty and pristine forest in Battambang province
Ou Choam Ecotourism Community is a magic place where those wishing to disconnect from a busy city love to come to relax, enjoy the natural beauty of this place and enjoy the hospitality of a rural community that lives in one of the most remote parts of Cambodia. High up at 2,600m above sea level, you will be wow’d by the unspoilt virgin forests, surprisingly fresh climate and easily accessible hiking tracks that lead you further into the forest that surrounds these villages. The Ou Choam Waterfall is one of the hidden gems, waiting for you to refresh yourself after a busy day.
Ou Choam Ecotourism Community
Ou Choam village in Samlout district is a beautiful concentration of natural resources to the South West Battambang city. Here you can not only explore Ou Choam village, but go hiking to the nearlyOu Choam waterfall and go camping in the forest. Not only will you have a great time here during your visit, but you will be supporting the local Ou Choam Kandal and Ou Choam Kraom village families to protect the forest areas.
From Meng Chaeng, tour guide and Vice President of Security for the Ou Choam Community Based Ecotourism project:
” I work as a tour guide and as Vice President of Security for the protected area, its forest environment and wildlife. I am also responsible for Ou Choam waterfall and Ou Choam village (consisting of Ou Choam Kandal and Ou Choam Kraom village) in South West Battambang Province. Additionally I manage security of the community and protected forest. I chose to help my Ou Choam community and every day I can see the benefits that Ou Choam waterfall and Ou Choam homestay and the tourists bring to Ou Choam village. I hope that in the future more families in the village can open their homes to tourists as homestays increasing the number of visitors.
The Ou Choam community, were are able to provide local village homestays, bringing work for both the men and women of the village. We have run tours by local people of Ou Choam village such as a forest tour, village tour, as well as traditional wooden homestays and camping. The profit from all these services goes directly to the families and a small percentage goes to help support the community and protected forests area as part of the tourism project.
At the beginning of the project, we found it hard to run these services, but after a few months we have seen a lot of change from the Ou Choam villagers. The community no longer needs to cut down trees and instead has been helping to protect the forest since then. It has taught us to how to work together and provide a good service to visitors and get the benefits back from the activities that we have completed. We have a future provided through Ou Choam village homestays and now visitors can see how people in the local rural areas live and also learn about the lifestyle at Ou Choam village.”
All around everyone seemed to be having a great time and the experience taught us the differences of local Khmer village life. Probably the best part for me was that I got to see pigs, monkeys and other wildlife.
Many national and international visitors have been staying in the Ou Choam village homestays and camping sites, and they are able to gain an insight into the daily life of the villagers. From testing some of the fruit from the fruit farm to seeing how animals live in the forest. Not only that but the added value of having visitors means that the local forest area remains protected and it improves the living standards of local Ou Choam villagers.
The Ou Choam village community has 208 families in two villages, Ou Choam Kandal and Ou Choam Kraom. Most villagers work as small scale farmers selling their produce to their local community and to the City of Bamttambang. A small part of their income comes from homestays, camping, forest and village tours and general tourism visits.
Tourism is run on a large scale here, with a team of six employed to manage the community-based tourism project. Together they hire tractors and guides to go on hiking trips. The village also has four families who host guests. Homestays are close to the fruit farm and Ou Choam waterfall as well as the green farm and tree forests of Ou choam.
Ou Choam community was established within the soldier protected forest area and approved by the village chief and tourism authority in Battambang Province which allows tourists the chance to explore camping, hiking and have a great time. A 2600m pathway loops the entire Ou Choam village location and takes you past small Longan farm, where they also grow dragon fruit, corn and potato. All homestays have green garden that surrounds the house.
Although the staff speak only a little English, they are happy to help. Head straight from Ou Choam tourist office for directions to Ou Choam waterfall you will also see pigs, monkeys and other animals in the forest and its a great place to eat lunch. By visiting this project and booking the Ou Choam village homestay or camping, not only do you have a great experience, but you have provided some support for future village life and help protect the natural forest and wildlife.
The Ou Choam village provides you with the opportunity to discover life as a local and stay in a wooden house, or go camping, as well as taking a village tour and hiking in the forest.
Ou Choam homestays
Local homestays are in a traditional Khmer house. Each house is elevated on stilts and has wooden stairs to the entrance. Private rooms with a bed, mattress, blankets and mosquito net are available for overnight stays, and some houses have indoor bathrooms, others outside the house.
A variety of Camping options are offered with private room accommodation and sleep up to 2 people. Each tent has a khmer mattress and pillows and blankets are available for overnight stays. There are 8 bathrooms some khmer style, and some western style.
Rented places for camping
Guests can rent a place for camping and are available for overnight stays.
The Ou Choam village offer you an opportunity to live like locals and experience and have great time with hiking of Ou Choam Waterfall, What is on offer:
Ou Choam village Homestays
Experience life on the local rural area and support the local community through an overnight stay in homestay at the Ou Choam Kandal and Ou Choam Kraom village. Four local families offer private or share rooms in a Wood house in amongst the buzzing village. From here, explore the village by Tractor guide you to visit style living of villager and taste delicious chef office-cooked meals.
Ou Choam Camping
Experience life on the camping rural forest area and support the local community through an overnight stay in camping safety at the mountain leg lacal Ou Choam office community protected area, Ou Choam member office will offer private camping in the area close to community office. From here, explore the by you have great time to see light of small insect and and sound as song come from in forest and you will cool from the air forest and taste delicious chef office-cooked meals.
Rent a place for camping
you can rent place for Camping by your Experience life on the camping rural forest area and support the local community through an overnight stay in camping safety at the mountain leg local Ou Choam office community protected area. Ou Choam member office will offer private camping in the area close to community office. From here, explore the by you have great time to see light of small insect and and sound as song come from in forest and you will cool from the air forest and taste delicious chef office-cooked meals.
Village tour (2 hours)
The best way to experience the most of village tour can be arranged to visit the local living standard of village and how they do in their living Cambodian village. Tours run for two hour and take you past the green farm and fruit and corn farm. Explore colourful houses, chicken and cow and smiling children waving back at you, especially you can taste delicious chef office-cooked meals.
Forest tour (9am-4pm)
For forest tour, Hiking with tour guide from Ou Choam office community local protected area to Ou Choam waterfall enjoy walking and swimming with type of 5 waterfall and see small and big animal in Ou Choam waterfall and have taste delicious lunch in middle forest by chef office-cooked meals.
Ou Choam village is in Battambang province, Samlout district. The actual place is very close to the meeting point of 3 provinces Battambang, Pursat and Koh Kong. So, if you have your own private transport it can easily be reached from all the provinces.
- The road from Pursat town is mostly a dust road, so you will need a 4×4 to travel on this road comfortably, be aware that in the middle of the rainy season many local cars get stuck and you might be detained due to the blocked road.
- Coming from Koh Kong town, you will reach the community through a relatively easily accessible road that goes to Osoam – most of the road has been paved by the Chinese company that runs the hydropower plant in the local area. From Osoam the road is mostly a dust road, again often getting very muddy and slippery during the heavy rainy season.
Battambang to Ou Choam village
If you are coming by public transport, your only option is to come via Battambang town. There are several local shared taxis that connect the Ou Choam community to Battambang. They normally leave he village in the morning around 7-9am, depending on number of people leaving and how full the car gets, and coming back from Battambang in the afternoon around 1-2pm. Outside of these times, you will need to hire a private car to take you to the community. If you are travelling across Cambodia, and have a limited time it is good to have these times in mind, so you can schedule your other transport and activities around the arrival and departure to time from/to Battambang.
It takes approximately 1.5 – 2 hours from Battambang to reach Ou Choam village.
Getting to Ou Choam waterfall office community (camping place)
When you reach the Ou Choam village, you will see the Ou Choam community sign poster, and both from Ou Choam Kandal and Ou Choam Kraom village it is 5 minutes to the Ou Choam waterfall office. There should be someone there expecting you.
Online booking platform bookmebus.com offers good customer service and easy access to travel times and routes for your journey.
OU CHOAM ECOTOURISM COMMUNITY, BATTAMBANG
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