Phnom Kulen National Park was recognised back in 1993. Currently, the park is under management by the Department of Environment. Phnom Kulen National Park covers five different community protected areas: Phnum Kdouchv, Klar Kmum, Po Pel, Anlong Thom and Ta Penh. There five communities rely directly on the park for their livelihoods.
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.
Come and enjoy the green village of Run Ta Ek, set in rural farmland within an hour from Siem Reap. Explore this village and learn about the farm work that happens here. Enjoy a tour on an ox cart to get to see the farmland and rice fields, and try your hand at preparing traditional Khmer snacks. After a day of exploring, relax in the restaurant over a traditional Khmer meal, and spend the night in a traditional Khmer stilted home.
Tall palm trees, luscious grass and fresh air make the Tbeng Kulen Homestay something special. A 45-minute journey from Siem Reap, Tbeng Kulen Homestay offers a little pocket of calm and a chance to experience the best of rural Khmer life. The community welcomes guests in twelve homestays cosily nestled amongst rice fields, fruit trees and palms. Locals are truly charming and there’s plenty to explore nearby including a Kbal Tuek Community Forest. Whether you are looking to relax after Angkorian temple-hopping or an active immersion into rural life – look no further than the Tbeng Kulen Homestay.
OBT Chiro Village Homestay in Kampong Cham province has an environmental and social ethos that speaks louder than words. Located just outside of Kampong Cham, OBT Chiro Village offers a peaceful escape on the edge of the Mekong River. Spend a night in a community homestay, choose a river escape in a bamboo bungalow or savour vegan and vegetarian food at the Bamboo Restaurant. The site also boasts an organic farm, bees, composting and a recycling project! All proceeds go to the Organisation for Basic Training (OBT) who provide free education for youth from Chiro Village.
7km northwest of Banlung town, Katieng Waterfall is a classic Ratanakiri favourite. The top pool of water cascades down over a rock shelf into a large pool below. Admire the forest views from the top or take the wooden stairs down for a dip at the bottom. The water is cooling, and the large rock face allows you to sit behind the waterfall as it flows from the top. Katieng Waterfall is managed by the local Indigenous community and the small entry fee supports the nearby villages.
We may be biased, but we reckon that whatever your age, whatever your life experience and whatever the purpose, duration or type of vacation you imagined, sustainable tourism in the Kingdom of Wonder might just change the way you travel forever. With a range of homestays and carefully selected ecotourism sites in beautiful locations throughout Cambodia, there is something for every style and taste.
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