Blogs from Ratanakiri, North, Cambodia, Asia

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Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri April 19th 2015

I've been trekking in Virachey National Park(VNP) year after year after year. This past January (2015) was my 6th trip to the park, and my fourth attempt to reach the top of the sacred Haling-Halang massif, which straddles the Cambodia-Lao border in one of the remotest corners of the Park. This time magic struck! More specifically, we had an absolutely fantastic new lead guide named Thom, a Kavet man from Voen Sai who has spent a lot of time in Virachey's backwaters. He had never actually been to Haling-Halang (HH), but he knew where it was and he was handy with a GPS, and on the morning of January 26th we left Tom-Roech Village on the Sesan River in TaVang district and we were on our way. We made it to the Veal Thom Grasslands in ... read more
Bamboo viper
meeting
Veal Thom Grasslands

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri January 30th 2015

The northeastern provinces of Kratie, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, some of the most remote areas in Cambodia, are home to much of Cambodia's vanishing wildlife and forest, and some landscapes of outstanding natural beauty. Ratanakiri, my next stop, is an isolated province in Eastern Cambodia on the border with Vietnam and home to various ethnic minorities, elephants, waterfalls and pristine jungle. The bus to Ban Lung was to leave at 1.00pm, so I made sure I was at the pickup point, Xplore Asia's office, in plenty of time. Honestly, I don't know why I bothered, the bus was an hour late. And it was a local one, not the tourist mini bus I was expecting. That explained why it was so late....local pickups. We eventually hit the road at 2.30 in a very overcrowded mini van. With ... read more
Lao Woman
The Ferry over San Tonle
Kaoh Paek Village

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri February 12th 2014

This was my fifth consecutive winter vacation trek in Cambodia's Virachey National Park. I url=http://www.amazon.com/Called-Away-Mountain-Spirit-Haling-Halang/dp/1491042443/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406803487&sr=1-1&keywords=called+away+by+a+mountain+spiritpublished a book about my first 3 treks (you can read a Taipei Times review of the book here , and bird ace Howie Nielsen who joined me for my fourth trek to the ultra-remote Yak Yeuk Grasslands on the Lao border penned a fabulous trip report on Mongabay .com. So what was this fifth trip about? Virachey NP has become part of my life, and I've established lasting friendships with the Park rangers, with the Brao, Kavet, Kreung, and Tampuan minority porters and guide... read more
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Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri February 6th 2013

Out of the jungle and onto what will some day be a proper road we start our day. Quickly the hard pack clay turns into more of a silty sand pit and we are forced to walk. The ground under our feet acts more like water, splashing into the air and over the tops of our shoes, constantly stopping to empty our shoes, eventually the road works appear again and Nathalie has logged a stellar 30km day! Never run again my arse! Finally we make it to lunch time....but along the way we see standing ponds of water around some of the construction areas. Turning one corner, we see Bunna washing the dishes in what would be a cesspool any where else, guess not so today...We were forced to fill one of our water bottles from ... read more
running
breakfast
progress

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri August 27th 2012

Disaster struck the beginning of our Cambodian adventure. We were heading to the North-East town of Ban Lung to visit a National Park and this required a change of buses in a village called Stung Treng. Lewis unfortunately disembarked the first bus leaving his wallet which included is iPhone, passport and some dollars. While we were able to contact the bus company it appears nobody was honest enough to hand it in. As we had arrived in Ban Lung we organised a day trek which was to prove one of the most challenging and exhausting treks we have attempted. The journey through the Cambodian forests and jungles lasted 7 hours and our helpful guide Jack educated us in local farm life showing us herbs such as 'sour-leaf' and pineapples that grow in the ground. We were ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri April 24th 2012

So we spent a good few days in Phnom Penh. I really loved the city, just the feel of it. We did the usual tourist stuff, killing fields etc. So much history realted to the city. We met a few lovely scottish men. Im liking bumping into scots and irishman as they make the best drinking company and are just generally chatty and approachable. We went to a club where i managed to insult some guy by telling him he looked like GOB from arrested development (i though that was a compliment). I had my card blocked but managed to unblock that after goign around the stupid woman i wa talking with to get it unblocked. Smooth sailing now (I hope). We have now headed to Ratankari. The bus journey took ages. Random roads and the ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri June 14th 2011

I've fallen in love with Ratanakiri, it is truly an amazing place. Firstly I've chosen to stay at a beautiful accommodation spot called Treetops Eco-lodge which is built on a hillside and features both rooms and bungalows. I booked ahead which means I managed to secure one of the bungalows with hot and cold water that's down the hill. Be warned that the rooms and the bungalows up the hill do not have hot water, so best to book ahead as having hot water isn't an additional cost. The bungalows are surrounded by trees which means there is a downside that you do tend to have to co-exist with the occassional spider or bug, but the rooms do have flywire on the windows and doors so that keeps the mosquitos out. My room does have a ... read more
View from a hilltop towards Vietnam
The long narrow boat - Audrey reclining
The first minority village

Asia » Cambodia » North » Ratanakiri April 2nd 2009

Hello all from Ratanakiri Province in Eastern Cambodia, I was on the fantastically long bus journey up north from Phnom Penh to the Laos border, but something kept irritating me. When we stopped halfway in Kratie I had packed my day-pack and was ready to jump off the bus but I relented. On eventual arrival in the border town, Stung Treng where 3 three major rivers converge everyone knew everyone on the bus as we were pretty much sitting on each other. Below: One of the rivers passing through Stung Treng and the bridge towards Laos Instead of going straight to Laos, I followed my irritation, deciding rightly that I hadn't seen and felt enough of authentic Cambodia yet. I joined some of the others from the previous bus journey and decided to get the bus ... read more
Answers on a Postcard
Ban Lung Market
Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake




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