Looking to get well off the beaten track in Cambodia? Travelfish (and Cambodia) regular Greg McCann reports on a fascinating trek into a little-known national park set in the far northeast of this ravaged country. McCann is so fond of the park in fact that together with some friends he formed Habitat ID, which works to garner more attention for paper parks -- those that are parks in name but get ... Read more about Trekking in Virachey National Park .
Believed to be around 700,000 years old, this crater lake is about 50 metres deep at the deepest point and around 800 metres across. Aside from the trail around the lake, another 850-metre path takes you up into the forested hill beside the lake and leads to the road from the main entrance. On the way around there are wide wooden docks to stop off and jump in for a cooling swim. The lake is ... Read more about Yak Lom Lake .
While they're probably outnumbered now by mobile phone shops (who does buy all these phones?!), those that remain offer a dazzling array of colourful precious stones from the surrounding hills and, unexpectedly, from far flung places such as Sri Lanka. You really need to know your stuff to pick up a bargain, but browsing is fun and in the market itself you can watch the gems being fashioned ... Read more about Gem shopping .
Set atop the hill is a small but active temple. Pass that by and continue up the hill for perhaps another 500 metres and you'll reach a small reclining Buddha. While the Buddha itself isn't all that unremarkable, the views are, offering expansive views over the surrounds. Both from behind the reclining Buddha and half way between it and the temple are panoramic views of Banlung. If you ... Read more about Reclining Buddha .
Cha Ong waterfall Head two kilometres west on National Road 78 until you reach a four-way intersection. Turn right and follow the road for about six kilometres to reach Cha Ong. This is the largest of three waterfalls within close distance to Banlung town and purportedly the tallest in the province. It's 30 metres high and surging in the rainy season. Aside from the peaceful setting, the ... Read more about Waterfalls around Banlung .
You can pay extra and have your guesthouse or tour company arrange this, or you can go to the office and arrange the trip directly with the rangers. The Office of Virachey National Park Headquarters is located three blocks north of the post office, only a few minutes from the centre of town. The most popular trek is the three-day, two-night trip that includes sleeping one night inside a hut ... Read more about Virachey National Park .