The Natural Northern Highland – Hill Tribes & Ecotourism
“Northern highland frontier with loads to explore & enjoy – deep in the jungle” – An area noted as ecotourism sites for its rugged beauty, remote hills and intriguing diversity of cultures. This region rewards those that travel here with extraordinary scenery of rolling hills, cascading waterfalls and life played out along the Mekong.
An excellent location to immerse in the culture by trekking between local communities. From indigenous hilltribe villages to faded colonial towns and horse drawn carts, a relaxed atmosphere prevails where interaction with local cultures and the chance to participate in community-based tourism projects are plentiful.
North of the Cambodian capital is the town of Kratie. This typical Khmer small town is located on the banks of the Mekong River and the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins are frequently spotted. Kratie makes a great stop on the way to Stung Treng, another rural town located on the Laos border. This beautiful riverside town does not have much in terms of sightseeing, but the town provides a relaxing atmosphere and chance to experience the local culture.
To the northeast, two provinces are worth exploring. Although the roads are not in the best conditions, the scenery is fantastic and the trip is rewarding. Ratanakiri province is located near the Vietnam and Laos borders and is home to a variety of Cambodia’s ethnic minorities. An endless amount of trekking opportunities, dozens of waterfalls, and great wildlife spotting can be done in Ratanakari. Also, the area is home to the beautiful Yeak Loam Lake, a volcanic crater whose clear waters are perfect for swimming. Mondulkiri province is further east and also showcases Cambodia’s natural beauty. Although the largest province in the country, it is one of the least populated and hill tribe trekking is the most popular activity for visitors.