Getting to know Ratanakiri
Intrepid travelers who truly want to get on the off the beaten path and away from the crowds in Angkor Wat should travel northeast. The region has recently opened its doors to tourists. While roads remain poorly maintained in some parts, the trip can be long, but the rewards far outweigh the trepidation of the trip.
Banlung is the base to discover the hidden gems of Ratanakiri. Reachable only via road, there are a number of day excursions that can be made from this provincial capital. There are several activities available in the surrounding areas like camping safaris, elephant trekking, a trip to Kroung tribal villages, and relaxing along the banks of Cambodia’s biggest swimming pool and crater-lake, Boeng Yeak Loam.
One of the highlights of visitors is a trip to the quaint village of Kachon, where strange ‘commemorations’ take place in the forests. Visitors that arrive after the wet season are treated to a sight of the stunning waterfalls throughout their trip.
There are also quite a number of Vietnamese, Lao, and Chinese settlements near the province. It is also possible to head into Laos at the border of Don Kralor or into Central Vietnam eastward. This remote region is rural and the majority of residents are farmers. Local produce such as cashew nuts and pepper and several rubber plantations are the regions primary products.