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This Ratanakiri Stung Treng Explorer Tour will give you the chance to discover the beautiful province of Ratanakiri, the "wild East" of Cambodia. You will hike through lush, remote jungle, explore dozens of hidden waterfalls and meet ethnic minorities. Then, we travel to Stung Treng, the gateway to mighty Mekong river. Board a boat to observe Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins, witness the stunning waterfalls and kayak through flooded forests of Mekong Ramsar Wetlands. We also stop to visit Kratie town, cycle around Koh Trong Island, visit villages, meet friendly locals and get to know their lifestyle.
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Day 01: Ratanakiri - Banlung - Virachey National Park
The tour starts in Banlung. We drive north to Kachon village which takes approximately 45 minutes. In Kachon, we will take a scenic boat ride for about one hour upstream the Sesan river to a small village Kachock people which is located at the edge of Virachey National Park. Upon arrival to the village, we will meet our local indigenous ranger, make some final adjustments for our trek.
From village, we start our trekking tour to Virachey National Park, one of the most important wildlife and forest preservation areas in the whole of South East Asia. Soon we leave civilization behind and trek through bamboo forest, rocky hills, streams and tropical jungle. Along the trails, our guide is very pleasant to give you information about plants and animals which are living in Virachey National Park. Keep an eye out and you might spot wild animals and birds. If you are lucky, you could see a clouded leopard, elephants or a tiger. During the trek we take regular breaks to enjoy beautiful scenery and to rest a little bit. After 4 hours of trekking, we will arrive at our campsite which is near a waterfall.
While the guide and ranger setting up shelters and preparing food for dinner, you can refresh in the nearby waterfall. Sitting around campfire and enjoy your simple but tasty dinner.
Overnight in tents
Day 02: Trekking – Return to Banlung
In early morning, our guide and ranger will get up to prepare hot coffee, tea and breakfast for you. Today’s trek is on a loop back to Koh Piek village. After breakfast, trek back through the beaten tracks of the forest. While we take a rest in the jungle, the guide will explain the natural resource as well as you will learn about Kachock people’s way of life. We will reach the village’s fields after 3 hours of trek. Have your lunch at a local house in village. In the afternoon, we continue further south of village where we will visit the sacred cemetery of Kachock indigenous group. It house ancient graves and authentic wooden carving representing the dead people. Carved wooden statues such as the pregnant woman, soldier and elephant tusk are placed around the grave. Our guide will tell you about the animist belief of Kachock hill tribe and how they bury their deceased with a great ceremony.
After the visit, we will walk along Sesan river, and take a boat back to Kachon village. The driver will wait at Kachon to provide a transfer back to Ban Lung then take a visit to Yeak Laom lake, which was formed many centuries ago from a volcano. Swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy the beautiful scenery of this Volcanic lake. Overnight in Banlung hotel.
Meet up with the guide and take a transfer to Preah Rumkel, a small village alongside the Mekong River, has quiet, beautiful places for watching Irrawaddy dolphins. The drive takes about 4 hours (200km). Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a traditional lunch in a local family house. In the afternoon, we will board a local boat which will take us into mighty Mekong river to look for dolphins. As soon as we have spotted the first dolphin, our boatmen will follows the dolphin watching guidelines provided and only use oars when near the dolphins. Afterwards, we head north to the incredible Sopheakmit Waterfall to see the beautiful natural scenery and the stretch of the amazing Mekong.
(Note: During the rainy season, we will travel by road instead because the current of the waterfall is too strong to board boat here.).
If time is available we will take the boat across the river to visit small, picturesque village of Hang Khone which is situated in southern end of Laos. Paddle through tranquil waters and channels in order to spot more dolphins. Tonight, we will camp on a sandy beach and enjoy sunset before dinner around a campfire.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight in camps
Day 04: Stung Treng – Kayaking through Flooded Forests
This morning, we will take a kayaking tour down river through the remote flooded forests of the Mekong Ramsar Wetland which stretches south along the Mekong River from the border with Laos to Stung Treng. It is one of four bio diverse river regions in Cambodia, with a surface area of 14,642 hectares. This Ramsar Wetland area has become most important for biological diversity and is a haven for critically endangered mammals, birds and fish including the critically endangered Giant Mekong Catfish and the vulnerable Irrawaddy Dolphin. Our paddling tour of the forest continue until one point that you feel enough, then we return back to O’Svay before traveling by road to the province capital of Stung Treng.
Overnight in Stung Treng hotel.
Golden River Hotel
Day 05: Stung Treng – Kratie
After breakfast, our guide will come to pick up then take you to Krong Kracheh, the capital of Kratie Province in eastern Cambodia. On the way, we will stop at to Kampi village which is 15 km from Kratie town center. This village is the home of 80 of the dwindling population of Mekong Irrawaddy dolphins and is one of the best places to observe the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins along the Mekong. Afterwards, we continue to proceed to Kratie town. Have lunch and take a short rest at your hotel in Kratie.
In the afternoon, join with us in a kayaking trip to big islands with white sand beaches within the Mekong. After an hour of kayaking, we disembark on Koh Trong Island, a beautiful quiet island opposite the riverfront of Kratie Town. Here, you would have opportunities to meet friendly locals and get to know their lifestyle, or simply chill at the beach and swim on the beautiful Mekong river. A 9 kilometers (6 miles) loop road around the island's perimeter provides the perfect opportunity to discover villages on this island. Along the way, we could stop for rest in a village, enjoy local fruit while observing the daily rituals and routines of the traditional village life. At the end of day, watch the sunset from the island’s western banks. Then be transferred back to your hotel.
In the morning, we will drive to the capital of Phnom Penh via Kampong Cham city which is quaint and charming with its bustling morning river scene and wide boulevard streets beside the river. Arrive Phnom Penh at noon, you will be transferred to the hotel for check in.
After a short rest, start our half day tour of Phnom Penh. First, we visit the Cambodia's Royal Palace built in 1866 by King Norodom. It serves as the King's residence and is used as a venue for court ceremony. Then we move to Silver Pagoda which is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. The pagoda houses large collection of Buddha images crafted from gold, silver, jade or wood and stone including the "Emerald Buddha", which sits atop throne in the center of the pagoda. Afterwards, we go to visit the National Museum, Cambodia’s largest museum of cultural history and is the country’s leading historical and archaeological museum.
In the late afternoon, take a walk along the riverside promenade, filled with food stalls, people exercising and courting couples. Have dinner and overnight in Phnom Penh hotel.
VMansion Boutique Hotel
Day 07: Phnom Penh Departure
Depend on your actual departure time, some soft sightseeing for an orientation tour of Phnom Penh will be suggested. Or free at leisure before you are transferred to Phnom Penh International Airport for your onward flight.
Private Tour Price (2 Pax Up)
Tour Price Includes
06 hotel night accommodation.
Local English speaking guides.
Meals as mentioned.
Kayak in Kratie, Stung Treng.
All sightseeing as specified and entrance fees included.
Bottled drinking water per touring days.
Tour Price Excludes
Visas if required.
Other meals not mentioned in the program.
Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, etc.
Tips for your guide and driver (discretionary).
Any camera or video fees at any sites.
When to Go
See estimated monthly temperature and rainfall for this itinerary