3 Days 2 Nights
Beautiful panoramic views, submerge in the evergreen rain forest. Various types of forests. Small stream crossings. Watch the Great Hornbill and other majestic birds soar the skies. Hear the Gibbons call. Jungle Camping. Engaging Local Communities. Free night prior to the trek at our dormitory ‘Shangri-La‘ and experience rural village life!
In Kampong Speu ‘s Aoral district ‘Cardamom Mountains ‘, lies a thousands of hectares great nature reserve hardly visit by foreigners and unspoiled by wood logging. A 85km long journey by van, takes you from Voar Sar along extensive valleys definite with a distance sierra. Literally at the end of civilization you reach the start point of the trek. Here your adventure starts.
The evening before departure we offer you a free dormitory bed at DutchCo‘s ‘Shangri-la’. DutchCo’s ‘Shangri-La’ is tucked away in a small rural village of Voar Sar in a nice garden setting with a small café/bar. A night in our dormitory is already an unique experience itself. In Voar Sar you can experience life in the real Cambodian country side. You can explore the village and take a walk into the country site and enjoy a romantic sunset at the stung Prek Thnaot River just a 10 minute walk. The only foreigners you might run into are DutchCo’ guests. Our café offers you a basic menu with a choice of good Asian and Western dishes.
Trip lenght: 25km – Difficulty: Easy/medium
If you don’t have lots of time and you like to submerge into the jungle around noon the day after you left Phnom Penh? Than this trek is far out your best option. Voar Sar is only 45kms south of Phnom Penh on highway No 4 to Sihanoukville. From the National Airport it’s less than an hour drive. You can grab a public bus from which most of them departure from Psar They (Central market) several times a day. Your guest house is usually happy to organise a ticket for you and transport with a Motordop or tuktuk to the bus station. If you prefer to travel like the locals (cheapest option) you can grab a shared minivan. We can organise that for you.
At 8.00 am we depart from DutchCo Outdoor 'Shangri La' to Kampong Speu. A two hour adventures journey with a comfortable minivan brings you to the trekking site. We stop at a small local market. The small village were the market is located has some resemblance with on old dusty cowboy western town straight out of an old western movie. At the market you can, if required, buy some personal snacks. After we leave to Aoral district. The route is very scenic. We pas through several remote villages. At some points you see a beautiful view over the valley with a mountain range at the horizon. Literally at the end of the road in the middle of somewhere, we have reached village/community from where we start our jungle trek. At the local meeting house we can make some final preparations.
We register and pay a $5.- entrance fee for the commune (Not included in the trekking package). We enjoy an early lunch. From here we start hiking West. After 20 minutes we enter a small forest with only an area of agriculture fields separating us from the evergreen rain forest. When we reach the agriculture area, beautiful panoramic scenery reveals surrounded by mountains. Once we submerge into the jungle, we will follow small tracks winding its way through dense vegetation with giant jungle trees. A trained ear can catch the sounds of wildlife skulk in its natural habitat. Around 3pm we reach the campsite which is close to a small creek. After we prepare our hammocks we prepare dinner. For those not afraid of the darkness, we can go for a night hike armed with our torches.
If you were not already awakened by the calls of gibbons before break of dawn, we raise at 7am. We prepare breakfast and break down the campsite. We go uphill following a small track. The panoramic view gets more beautiful with each step you take. At some parts on the track your are flanked with big rocks covered with mangrove like trees of which its strong roots seems to have firm grip on the rocks. After a 2 hour hike, we arrive at a small plateau were we can rest for a while and enjoy the view.
After the break we decent downhill on the same track we came. This is absolutely not boring giving the fact that you are facing a completely different view. After lunch we follow another track which leads us through Cardamom's beautiful untouched jungle towards the campsite of the second night. Estimated arrival time at the campsite 3pm. Walking distance 10 kms.
We'll get up at 7 am. After breakfast we continue our way North following the foot hill. Once again we enjoy a beautiful rain forest. Your guide will point out and explain interesting things of the jungle. We start looping south when we eventually reach more open areas. These areas can be considered as grassy savanna with less dense growth of trees. Going south leads us to the end point of our jungle trek. We enter the village from the other side. Estimated arrival time back at Tasal village is around noon. We have lunch at the community house before we go back to Voa Sar.
Option If we are on schedule, on the way back to Voar Sar village, we can visit the sacred cave close to a pagoda. The cave is easy accessible. A steps takes you to multiple caves decorated with Buddha relics. From here a very beautiful scenery reveals. A small collective donation for the monk guiding you around is most appreciated (Not included in the trekking package). Estimated arrival time in Voa Sar 5pm.
Once back in Voar Sar you have the option to return to Phnom Penh.