Cambodia - Getting to know Koh Kong & the Cardamom Mountains
The south-western corner of Cambodia is a nature lover's paradise. To reach the region, you have to drive south-west from Phnom Penh, then up along the Koh Kong Conservation Corridor. This area is rich in nature and bio-diversity, thankfully protected by the Cambodian government. The stunning Cardamom Mountain range makes an impressive backdrop to much of the drive, and can be reached by a small detour from the main road south.
What to do in Koh Kong and the Cardamom Mountains
- Visit the remote village of Chi Pat, only accessible by dusty track, has joined forces with several neighbouring settlements to form a community-based eco-tourism project. Founded by the Wildlife Alliance, the project consists of a few basic guesthouses and homestays. The villagers also participating in administration, cooking and guiding. Activities on offer range from relaxed cycling, close to the villages, to overnight camping in the hills and full-on five day treks. Mountain biking and boating are both available, and your programme will be arranged to suit your preferences. Your stay can range from an afternoon to a few days.
- Relax at the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, just five minutes by boat from Tatai Bridge, and 30 minutes to north of Koh Kong itself. The Lodge, whose luxurious African-safari style tents sit on connected platforms that float on the Tatai River, is located on a quiet stretch of water, well away from the disturbances of modern day life and nestled amongst pristine mangrove forest. It's ideal for a range of light adventure activities such as kayaking and trekking, or just to find a quiet spot just chill out, enjoy each others’ company or read a good book.
- Travelling further south, across the Tatai Bridge and through the small town of Koh Kong, there are a number of interesting spots to explore, the most popular probably being the Peam Krasaop Mangrove Forest and the town itself.
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Back to nature
The Cardamom Mountains are home to gibbons and monkeys, amongst other primates, and a wide variety of birdlife, such as hornbills. You may even spot an elephant if you are very lucky.