Eco-friendly adventure Chi Phat (Cardamom Mountains)
Deep within the stunning Cardamom Mountains, the Chi Phat eco-tourism community project provides an ideal stop-off for travellers between Tatai and Phnom Penh. Whether you fit in a mid-journey trek to stretch your legs, or treat yourself to a few days of total immersion, take your pick from activities that range from easy nature walks and kayaking to nights spent camping with forest rangers (former poachers) - all with the chance to spot Koh Kong’s renowned wildlife around you.
What to expect at Chi Phat...
The Chi Phat community and their ancestors have used the Cardamom Mountain forest to survive for hundreds of years, but these days their focus is on protecting this rare habitat and the animals that survive there. You’re most likely to see (and hear) the mountain birdlife, but several activities are designed to maximise the chance to see mammals - for example, the three to five day camping trek with ex-poachers who now rely solely on the forest ranger income they earn from Chi Phat.
This is a magical and sometimes eerie landscape, peppered with swimmable waterfalls, shadowy bat-caves and 500 year old burial jars, all within reach of the centre. Some treks last a matter of hours, while others require a night spent in a mosquito-netted hammock by the river, with fireflies overhead and stupendous birdwatching at sunrise.
Activities are themed around all manner of interests, from adventure-lovers’ treks, kayaking and cycling, to hardcore wildlife camping and considerably more genteel tree-planting for nature fans. Trips to local villages are also on offer, and guests learn to cook Khmer recipes in the centre’s clay pots - having shopped in the market for ingredients, and maybe even caught a lobster or two.
The centre is also excellent for youngsters, with several suitable activities - especially the bat-caves and easier kayaking trips.
Accommodation is simple but comfortable and welcoming, with a variety of local homestays, bungalows and forest camps on offer, depending on your chosen activities.
Location: Chi Phat, western Cambodia
Duration: as long (or short) as you like
Accommodation: bungalows, village homestays, forest camps
Discover your Asia
Call us on 01273 670 001
'The Cardamom Mountains are known for their natural beauty, and the Chi Phat community's endeavour will show you what I love about Cambodia - it's fair, friendly, down-to-earth, forward-thinking - and a great deal of fun...'
Important to note...
Chi Phat is unsuitable for wheelchair users.