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Rattanakiri Province

Located far away at the northeastern corner of Cambodia, this mysterious yet intriguing frontier is bordered by Laos across the mountains of the Annamite Range through a hilly plateau between the Se San River and Srepok River to the north and Vietnam to the east.

The Annamite Range is home to rare creatures such as the recently-discovered Annamite Rabbit and the antelope-like Saola, the large gaur and the Indochinese Tiger. According to a new report from WWF, in the past decade, more than 1,000 previously unknown species have been discovered in the Greater Mekong region that includes Cambodia.

Rattanak Kiri has long been occupied by many separate highland Khmer Loeu hill tribes; some of which has little contact with the rest of the world and still maintaining much of their own traditions. Overall, this frontier province is renowned for her unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristics form an impressive range of intriguing destinations for eco-tourism; they include undulating hills and mountains, a level plateau, watershed lowlands, clear crater lakes, rivers and beautiful waterfalls.

Today, although rapid development in the province has altered some traditional ways of life, this remains a very interesting destination for the adventurous and eco-tourism travellers.

Places of Interest:

Beung Yeak Laom
Beung Yeak Laom is located in Yeak Loam commune, Ban Loung district, about 5 kilometers south of Ban Loung provincial town. A lake in the middle of a mountain, it was formed many centuries ago from a volcano. The lake is about 800 meters in diameter and 48 meters deep during the dry season. The water is clear and suitable for swimming.

There are two places along the bank where visitors can relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the lake and the flora and fauna. A tourist information center is on the west bank, and handicrasfts made by hill tribes living nearby are available for sale.

Beung Yeak Laom is a place of worship for the hill tribes. They believe there is a powerful spirit who owns the surrounding land and forest. Beung Yeak Laom is popular with tourists who like to swim or hike in the forest surrounding the lake. Because there are no vendors, visitors should bring along their own food and beverages.

Ka Chanh Waterfall
Ka Chanh waterfall is located in Ka Chanh commune, Ban Loung district, about 6 kilometers southeast of Ban Loung provincial town. The waterfall is 12 meters high and is fed year round by the O’kan Teung canal.

From the waterfall the water flows into Sre Pork River in Lum Phat district. The waterfall was given its name by the Kreung ethnic minority in Ka Chanh village. There are a number of scenic rubber plantations along the canal leading to the waterfall. The base of the waterfall, which is a lovely place for picnics, can be reached by climbing down a 72-step wooden staircase. Elephant rides to the site are also available.

Ka Tieng Waterfall
Ka Tieng waterfall is located in Labang I commune, Lumphat district, about 7 kilometers southeast of Ban Loung provincial town. Ka Tieng is below Ka Chanh waterfall and about 3 kilometers from it.

Ka Tieng waterfall, located in the middle of lush forest, gets its name from the Kreung hill tribe in ka Tieng village. The waterfall is about 10 meters high. There is no access to the bottom, because it is too steep.

Cha Ong Waterfall
Cha Ong waterfall is in the forest in Cha Ong village, O’Chum commune, about 2 kilometers west of Ban Loung provincial town. It was given its name by the Kreung hill tribe living nearby.

The waterfall gets its water from Phnom Eysei Patamak or Phnom Svay near Ban Loung provincial town. From its upper level, the water flows from a small canal before dropping 25 meters to a lower level. A mountain slop leads visitors to the bottom of the waterfall, where they can sit inside a cave and enjoy the view.

Phnom Eysei Patamak or Phnom Svay
Phnom Eysei Patamak, which is also known as Phnom Svay, is about 2 kilometers west of Ban Loung provincial town. At the foot of the mountain is Wat Isana Rattanaram, where villagers living in Ban Loung come to worship. On the top of the mountain there is a a large statue of the reclining Buddha reaching nirvana. It was built in 1994. The top of the mountain affords visitors a picturesque view of Ban Loung provincial town. The temperature at the top can be cool, however, even during the hot, dry season.

Viel Rom Plong
Viel Rom Plong is a huge granite terrace in the forest in O’chum commune, O’Chum district, about 14 kilometers northeast of Ban Loung provincial town. The site is a popular place to picnic.

According to Kreung legend, there once was a boy named Rom Plong who flew his kite on this terrace. Unfortunately, the kite got stuck in a tree. Rom Plong climbed the tree to retrieved his kite, but fell from the tree and died. His body was buried in the forest. Since then, members of the Kreung hill tribe, who live in the nearby village, believed that Rom Plong’s spirit is protecting the forest surrounding the terrace, so they dare not cut it down, even to plant crops. That is how the site came to be known as Viel Rom Plong.