Stung Treng activities
Lots on the river
What we say:
First and foremost there is the San River (Tonle San) which runs right in front of town. It's often also referred to as the Kong and Sekong, but we'll stick with San. The Kong flows into the San river a few kilometres to the east of Stung Treng (hence the confusion with the aforementioned Kong and Sekong Rivers). The Mekong River, which the San flows into around one kilometre to the west of town runs north to the border with Laos and south to Phnom Penh.
There are a few activities on the river. You can do a boat trip from Stung Treng up to the Lao border where you can see some waterfalls and, if lucky, some dolphins. Expect to pay between $30 and $40 for the half-day trip -- it should include lunch. The trip involves some quite rough rapids and the scenery is terrific.
A second option is to hire a smaller boat in Stung Treng and head up the San River to its confluence with the Kong River. The scenery is pleasant and relaxing. It is possible to continue up the Kong all the way to Siem Pang from where you can then travel overland to Banlung -- ask around in Stung Treng about this as there are no regular passenger boats.
A third option is kayaking trips north of Stung Treng to two sets of flooded forest. The larger stretch is at O'Svay near the Lao border and the closer set between Koh Ky and Stung Treng. The latter can be combined with a bicycle ride through rural areas, while the former is far further and requires a minibus ride. Contact Xplore Asia (http://www.xplore-cambodia.com T: (074) 973 456 ) for more details -- their office is on the river road just to the east of town.
Prices are moderate to high, especially for single travellers. Sample prices include: full day trip to O'Svay US$144 for a single traveller ($81 per person for a group of three) and to the closer submerged forest, $55 for one person or $30 per person for a group of three. There are never all that many travellers in Stung Treng, so if you plan to rustle up a group here, you'll have your work cut out.
Stung Treng enjoys some brilliant sunsets, and what better spot to enjoy the sunset than from the river. Ask around at the dock for details, but a one-hour trip should set you back around $10-$15 -- be sure they take you down to the confluence with the Mekong. If you'd prefer to see the sight for free, ride west of town for a couple of kilometres and you'll reach a terrific vantage point at the confluence of the two rivers where you can enjoy the view.
On the west bank of the Mekong, near Thala Barivat, there is a pre-Angkor site, Prasat Preah Srey, which dates back to the 7th century. Very little of it remains today, but a visit here can be combined with a visit to the village itself. Regular boats run from Stung Treng to Thala Barivat throughout the day (look for the ferry sign at the port reading Thala), and while you could walk around once there, if you've got a bicycle, you could better explore some of the surrounding countryside.
To the east of town you'll find Mekong Blue -- run by the Stung Treng Women's Development Centre. Among other things it is a weaving centre and a cafe (though the latter isn't always open). Scarves and other fabrics are for sale through the Centre. For more information, see their website www.mekongblue.com.
Lastly, the Mekong Discovery Trail has a range of suggested itineraries available via their website -- if you've got a fair amount of time up your sleeve, they could be well worth consideration, though some are exceptionally ambitious. www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com. Their fancy, well-produced brochure is available at guesthouses in Stung Treng.
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