As an easy day trip from Phnom Penh, enjoy the quietness of nature and a bit of bushwalking on the boundary of Kirirom National Park.
What to experience?
Situated next to Kirirom National Park, Chambok community-based ecotourism site has a lot to offer visitors interested in getting back to nature. The most breathtaking attraction people come to Chambok for is to swim at the base of the 40 meter high waterfall. That being said, the 3km trail hike to the waterfall is quite pleasant and takes you through a range of enjoyable scenery. Along the paths, there are several opportunities to have a picnic. Either you can rest on the stones watching the stream or, rest in one of the bamboo huts awaiting you.
Chambok offers a wide range of outdoor activities and attractions such as trekking, hiking, bird watching, swimming at the waterfall, biking etc. There are about 300 bird species native in the Chambok area and 30 different kinds of mammals. The best time to watch birds is early morning or late afternoon as the air is filled with their singing. Guided tours and binoculars are available at the site.
Homestays and meals are best booked at least 2 days in advance. Trained local guides are available to share their knowledge of nature, history and culture from the region. The site has a visitor centre and a restaurant where the local youth stage dance performances and, Khmer food is served.
How does it help?
The Chambok Ecotourism Site was established in 2002 under support from a local environment organisation, Mlup Baitong. They helped to develop the site to secure alternative incomes to improve the livelihoods of the people bordering the national park, as well as to maintain and prevent forest destruction.
The site is now serving as a demonstration centre of best practices in community-based ecotourism in Cambodia. In 2009 15,000 visitors visited the project generating US$20,000 in income to about 300 local villagers through entrance fee collection, oxcart rides, bicycle rental, food preparation service for visitors, home-stay service, souvenir vending, and transportation for visitors etc. The net income in 2009 indicated that the family income of participating villagers have increased an additional 8.5% in average, with their yearly household income estimated at around US$900.
Entrance fees and a percentage of income derived from the tourist activities goes into the community’s committee fund to pay for conservation of the area bordering on the national park. The money is divided between daily wages of the service providers, forest patrolling activities, emergency funds, community development, commune council support, pagoda support, and a community fund deposited into a local bank account.
The project has successfully reduced deforestation in the national park, including charcoal production, thanks to benefits derived from tourism and better monitoring of the area by local rangers.
You Tube VDO: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOSBDx_ska0
Kampong Speu Province
Approximately 110km de Phnom Penh on road to Sihanouk Ville, get off at Treng Trayeung
Mr. Touch Morn (khmer language)
Tel: (+855) 12 938 920/97 9717 007
Mr. Prak Thearith
Tel: 012 292 876