Photo: Out on the river near Stung Treng.

Introduction

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Stung Treng sits on Cambodia’s northern border with Laos, at the point where the Mekong River drives into Cambodia after swirling around southern Laos’ 4,000 Islands. Originally part of its northern neighbour, it was transferred to Cambodian possession by the French but to this day, you’ll still hear a lot of Lao spoken in this extensive province. Most travellers stay in the eponymous provincial capital on the east bank of the River San, a tributary of the Mekong.


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Stung Treng however holds considerable promise for those with an adventurous spirit (and a fair amount of free time) as a number of riverine trips can be undertaken, and you can explore the western bank of the Mekong, which very few travellers bother with — motorcyclists in particular rave about the off-road opportunities in western Stung Treng en route to Preah Vihear.

Good morning Stung Treng! Photo taken in or around Stung Treng, Cambodia by Nicky Sullivan.

Good morning Stung Treng! Photo: Nicky Sullivan

And things are starting to change around here. The completion of a 1.7-kilometre bridge over the Mekong links Stung Treng with western Cambodia, and in particular Siem Reap. Already the town is seeing higher tourist numbers, though the response to that seems to be slow in taking off. That will surely change as locals start to realise the potentials.

For most travellers still Stung Treng is but a glimpse from their bus window as they’re shuttled to and from the Lao border and the larger town of Kratie to the south. Around 23 kilometres south of Stung Treng town, the road east to Banlung in Ratanakiri begins, so overlanders coming from Laos but bound for Banlung will need to pass through Stung Treng. As with many of the low-key destinations in Cambodia, the capital can be a little underwhelming, but give the place some time and you’ll find enough to keep yourself busy for at ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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