We are travelling two weeks in Cambodia with my girlfriend. I'm nature geek so we would like to do some trekking in nature park near Kampot. I have read that best nature attraction there is Bokor National park. Where should I ask for guide to Bokor? Any additional tips of Kambot nature attractions and Bokor would be greatly appreciated.
Sorry to disappoint you, but now there's a big road going up to Bokor Mountain and there's the hotel and "things" up there. Nothing for hiking really. You could go up by car and enjoy the view, though. If you go to Kampot, stay at "Les Manguiers", which is very pretty and green. You can borrow bicycles there for free and rent kayaks rather inexpensively. They also advise you on day tours. Best other possible hike is in Kep along the ridge of the hills of "Kep National Park" (actually it's a 3h walk).
If you want more of a hike you need to make a booking, head towards Koh Kong; and go to Chi Phat.
If you want more advise, send me a private message or write to me: maierstill1 (at) netscape.net
Oh no. Doesn't sound good. Is Bokor mountain still interesting place to visit? Despite it's full of casino's and other buildings nowadays?
We are going next week from Phnom Penh somewhere to the west Cambodia's west coast and I'm bit puzzled here where should we go. What nature park or other nature attractions would you recommend between Phnom Penh and west coast? We are travelling to Koh Rong island for new year in the end of our trip so would be great if nature destination could be somewhat near Kampot or Sihanoukville. Les Manguiers sounds nice so we check that place too.
Thanks in advance for tips
I was up Bokor Mountain about three weeks ago. Yes, there's a road to the top and construction, but there's still abandoned buildings to explore and a small waterfall to visit. I walked up the hill a few years ago with a great guide called Mr Chean Try. He runs a small tour company called Tree Tours and is worth having a chat with.
As well as Les Mangiers, check out the Greenhouse - we just reviewed it on the site. You'll need to book ahead and if you have the cash, try for one of the deluxe bungalows right next to the river. Amazing view from your bed out of the window! There's several other places on that side of the river, including Bodhi Villa and Samon's Village. And the Teuk Chou rapids are just another few kilometres up the road.
From Kampot, you can cycle around the countryside and see pepper and durian plantations. The back roads are very quiet and beautiful. At Kep you can take walks in Kep National Park (http://www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/cambodia/southern_cambodia/kampot/kep/753)
Then there's Ream National Park with walking options too: http://www.travelfish.org/location/cambodia/southern_cambodia/sihanoukville/ream_national_park
Once you're on Koh Rong, there's a few treks across the island (from Koh Touch beach to 7km beach, for example) - very peaceful!
Enjoy your trip!
Hm... Cambodia is perhaps not your first choice for nature. Where there's still some primary forest left there are land mines, illegal logging, dam construction and animal trade. All of which don't go very well with tourism.
I agree that you can do all that AbigailatPenhandInk mentions. For me Cambodia is more about it's people, society, chaotic/charming life plus the warm weather/water and landscapes.
Sometimes visibility and plastic polution is ok in the sea and you could snorkel around the islands, which is nice.
About the islands it's very difficult to say what you'll find. Before there were a few very basic huts, which people just set up on their own initiative, without any legal papers. Then the islands were very peaceful, but only offered extremely basic services. About two years ago all islands were leased out to private investors for a 100 years or so. They promised to do eco-tourism resorts, but of course this isn't working out. Eco is very difficult to achieve on an island with no infrastructure and would turn out to be extremely pricey, with no way of getting this sort of guests who pay 100$+ a night. Now there is a lot of building activity, but no one is sure how their investments will work out, which type of tourists they would attract, etc. Nothing has established itself yet, and I hear that on the main beach of Koh Rong, there's a lot of noise already and parties during the night.
Off of S'ville perhaps best to go to Kaoh Rong Samoloem Island and there to "Lazy Beach". Any resort or accommodation you consider to pick, try to google it for very recent comments.
Again, with more nature and peaceful would be Koh Kong Island, but it's farther away.
If you want to experience the country and people much more personally, again, please write me a mail to maierstill1 (at) netscape.net