Cardamom MountainsBesides multiple farms, fields, and plantations in Cambodia, one such wonderful site that you must visit is the Cardamom Mountains. It is a place where elephants still roam free. The vast wildlife, fun trekking, and everything there will make your visit worth.
About the Cardamom MountainsSprawling over an area of more than 4.4 million hectares, the Cardamom Mountains is the home to the largest rainforest of Southeast Asia. You will come across a diverse range of endangered flora and fauna in this region. There are about 4,000 species of birds chirping in the forests. Endangered and majestic animals like the pileated gibbon, wild cat, clouded leopard, Indochinese tiger, and Malayan sun bear roam freely in these dense rainforests. The emerald river water flowing across the jungle is full of Siam crocodiles. Over 25,000 people, including several ethnic minorities, inhabit the Cardamom Mountains. Because the jungles are so dense, research scientists are still unsure about what else could there be inside the vast forest area.
History of Cardamom MountainsJust like the rest of Cambodia, this place, too, has survived a bitter history. Khmer Rouge soldiers tried their best until 1994 to fight for maintaining their strongholds. But finally, they gave up. With this, came another problem. The lush green rainforests become a thriving ground for the illegal poachers and hunters. Also, the local community survived on the wood and other forest products. But with time, the Cambodian government could administer control over these illegal activities too. Now the place is popular as a favorite tourist spot, offering facilities like guesthouses and homestays. Together, the Cambodian people are trying to preserve the splendid flora and fauna of the land.
Adventurous Activities Which You Can Indulge in Once You Are in the Cardamom MountainsIf you truly love to be in proximity to nature, then there is perhaps a no better place on the earth than the Cardamom Mountains. Let's have a look at all the action-packed and adventurous activities that you can enjoy in this place:
• You can get close and personal with the wild animals of the jungle. The Wildlife Alliance or WA will provide you with this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The main job of WA is to protect these endangered animals from the clutches of the poachers and keep them in Tamao Rescue Centre. After a while, these animals return to the wildlife release stations, and the travelers can witness the entire mission.
• Chi Phat or the area's first community-based tourism project allows the tourists to lodge in the homestays and guesthouses within the dense forests and soak in the rural Cambodian life.
• Travelers can also participate in other adventurous and fun-filled activities like swimming, mountain biking, kayaking, trekking, and learning to cook traditional and homely Cambodian dishes, and so on.
• Travelers can also experience the fun of camping as they lodge in any of the nine eco-camp tents that come under the authority of Cardamom Tented Camp. Tourists can join in some adrenaline-pumping activities here like accompanying the rangers during patrolling, hiking, checking of camera traps for animal sightings, etc. Travelers can also witness the magical beauty of the star-studded night sky as they lie down at night, glancing towards the clear night sky.
Things That You Need to Pack in Case You Are Planning a Trip to the Cardamom MountainsDo not forget that this is a jungle, and you need to pack accordingly.
• Sturdy hiking boots for all the walking you need to do in the jungle.
• A dry bag that will keep your clothes and electronic gadgets safe.
• Daypack to carry all your necessary belongings like food and water and medicines, etc.
• A portable charger to charge your camera, laptop, and phone.
• Camera: This will capture some of the best views that you witness in this amazing jungle.
• A waterproof jacket will keep you dry and safe from rain, rivers, and streams.
• A reusable water bottle will purify and filter river water and make it suitable for drinking purposes.
• DEET spray to keep away the creepy-crawly insects.
• Torch to light up your way since you will be right in the middle of the jungle with no electricity.
• A warm blanket to keep you warm at night.
• Some eatables which you can munch on.
• Lots of toilet paper because there is no toilet and basic facilities in the jungle.
• Wet wipes to clear all the dust and keep yourself fresh and clean.
Till now you might have made up your mind about visiting this mysterious Cardamom Mountains. So here we go with further more details:
How to Reach the Cardamom Mountains?From Sihanoukville International airport, you will have to get into a bus for a 6-hour journey, costing you around $25.
If you are lodging in a hotel of Phnom Penh, then you have to take buses to reach the largest town of the Cardamom Mountains, and it will cost you around $8. From there, you can reach within the jungle area using motorbikes, costing you around $10. From Koh Kong, you need to book a cab that will charge you $50 for a one-way trip to the mountains.
However, the best route to reach the Cardamom Mountains is the bus and air route that connects Pattaya City to the Cardamoms. It will take around 6 hours 42 minutes to reach, costing you around $150.
Where to Stay?You can choose from among the homestays run by locals and the ecotourism retreats like Chi phat or Steung Areng according to your budget.
Now that you are fully aware of all the details of the exquisite jungles of the Cambodian Mountains do not delay and book your tickets so that you can explore this stunning jungle in your next vacation.