Trekking in Cambodia

Cambodia, a country located in South-East Asia, next to the Gulf of Thailand, is well-known for its magnificent beaches, tiny deserted islands, majestic temples, and amicable people.

If you are a nature and exploration lover, may you should add in your itinerary a wilder side of Cambodia by adding some trekking days here. There are still many parts of the country are covered in dense jungle where wild animals reign, powerful waterfalls pour down, and humans are so small.

Trekking in Cambodia is very different from what you did before, so this article is a guideline for your trekking adventure in this holly country. Here’s everything you need to know, including where to go, what to pack, and how to make the trekking/ hiking in Cambodia.

Best time to plan a hiking/ trekking

Since hiking is an outdoor activity, this is really important to have a favorable climate and weather. Trekking/ hiking in a good weather, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape as well as the hiking experience itself.

Months between November to March is the best time for hiking activity. The weather in Cambodia is ideal with cool winds and little rain. Hikers around the world crowd here to follow the trails and see the scenic beauty wrapping the trail pathways. It is highly recommended to book in advance, because this is also high time of peak season in Cambodia.

Months of March, April, June, and September are not recommended to do the hiking. The reason is the temperature reaches its peak in these months, make hikers dehydrate and lose stamina.

On the monsoon season (months of June, July & August), it is also not a right time to have hiking. All though hiking trails are in one of their best forms with lush greenery, due to the high humidity in the atmosphere, the hiking is still doable but it makes hiker feel very uncomfortable.

Ideal places to have a hiking

In every corner of Cambodia, there are plenty of places where you can do the trekking, from Kulen National Park – about 40km far from Siem Reap Province in the North,  Kirirom National Park – located at Kampong Speu Province in the South-East part, Bokor Mountain, located in Kampot Province in the South, … to Banlung in Ratanakiri Province or and Cardamom Mountains.  Depending on your fitness and professional level you are, after reading below recommendations, you can find the best suitable for you.

Kulen Mountain

Located at about 40km from Siem Reap, Kulen Mountain is, at the same time, a national park and also an important religious venue amongst the Khmer people in Cambodia. This is one of the easiest hiking you can reach; you can combine it right before or after some days visiting Angkor Temples.

The primitive tropical jungle combined with the sacred mountain and Linga River Carvings, make Kulen Mountain is on the top favorite hiking destination.

This place is ideal for both novices and professionals who prefer the off-the-beaten-track route and also nature. Along the trails, you can discover exotic floras and faunas, as well as the natural attractions of waterfalls, streams.

Especially, you can see on top of the mountain, a big reclining Buddha statue, in the area of an antique pagoda. From the top, you get the panoramic view of the stunning landscape that is hard to find elsewhere.

Mondulkiri

Situated in the North-East of Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri is a Cambodia’s least inhabited mountainous province with abundant hiking opportunities. Hiking in Mondulkiri is a big recommendation to all who admire Cambodia’s rustic charm and wild nature.

This hiking spot remains peaceful and untouched, with primeval forests, grandiose mountains, powerful stunning waterfalls (Bou Sra Waterfall, Chrey Thom Waterfall, and Lak Pok Bras Waterfall), green rolling hills, and traditional Khmer ethnic villages.  This is also the region with the largest population of elephants of the country. Mondulkiri offers its visitors refreshments and closest to Nature.

Further more, the majestic and pristine scenery here also inspires you to take outstanding shoots on your hiking route.

Ratanakiri

Ratanakiri Province, a mountainous province in the North-East of Cambodia, sharing border with Vietnam and Laos, having the most varied trails offers the experience of best hiking route in Cambodia. This province is also famous for being home of the biggest park in Southeast Asia - Virachey National Park.

The trails here are various levels to choose, from the easiest to the hardest level, response to beginner hikers to professional advanced hikers. You can choose to experience from one-day hiking to multi-days hiking with overnight in tents or truly remote homestays.

Cardamom Mountains Trekking

This spectacular wilderness locates between Koh Kong and Pursat Provinces, in the Southwest corner of Cambodia makes a great escape from civilization. This is one of Southeast Asia’s biggest rainforest, owns the vast forests that abound with the endangered or rare flora and fauna, will offers the fantastic hiking trails.

Once decided to have trekking in Cardamom, please well prepare for a step backward of modern facility, only you in the middle of pristine rainforest...

We can say that, the mountains and forests of Cardamom is an existing paradise that trekkers want to find in this earth. Magnificent waterfalls, hill-tribe villages, and rare wildlife ... are waiting for your exploration.

Thank to the development of the eco and community based tourism, your trekking tours are normally guided by the locals. So, it makes your trek more meaningful, by interact with local people and get to know more about them, admire the breathtaking nature, and conquer the challenging hiking routes.

Kep Mountains

Kep Province has not only famous beach with white sand and transparent water, but also Kep National Park with luscious and dense forest, where offers you nice trekking routes.

The hiking trails in this area are not difficult and you can easy do it by yourself. It is much more worth your steps, during the sunny days, with wonderful landscapes. Hiking trails here could satisfy both nature lover with the luscious jungles and also pilgrims, who find themselves happy with the spectacular scenery and the charming pagodas on the top of mountains.

Ream National Park

Located only about 30km far from downtown Sihanoukville, the capital of this region, Ream National Park is one of the most spectacular to visit, an untouched corner in the world. There were no hotels, no factories, no fishing vessels scarring this area.

There are lots of great things to discover here. On your hiking trails, you will see and feel the diversity of flora and fauna, many species of plants and animals you won't find anywhere else. Ream National Park has been recognized for the mangrove forests, estuaries, freshwater marshes, beaches, islands, and coral reefs.

It is not a difficult level of the hiking trails in Ream National Park but very enjoyable, even you are novice or professional one; so you should not skip it in your trip.

In conclusion, the trekking adventure in Cambodia will never be boring. With those top trails mentioned above, it is worth for you to dig your heels into discovering the nature and off-beaten-track routes.

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