Day 1 – Phnom Penh to Kompong Cham
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive out of Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham, the third largest town of Cambodia, located on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, North of Phnom Penh. We will visit Wat Nokor. a temple built from sandstone and laterite in the 11th century which was a Mahayana Buddhist shrine. It was rebuilt and dedicated to Theravada Buddhism in the 15th century and today there are still many Buddha images scattered throughout the complex. There is a small contemporary Wat located within its walls. We will continue with the visit ofPhnom Pros and Phnom Srei (“Man and Woman Hill”). This location takes its name from a legend of the competition between the town’s men and women as to who could finish the building of a stupa on the hilltop in one night. The women won and have not had to propose to men anymore, breaking like this an old tradition.
We will have lunch at Hao An restaurant and before check in at Mekong hotel. In the afternoon we will ride bicycles to the Koh Pean Island to meet children of these poor villages and give them some school supplies, toothbrushes, food and little joy. On the way, you will be able to see the activities of the locals at the paddy field and inside the village. This type of real life experience in Cambodia will allow you to share some vibrant moments with people. During the dry season, we will reach the island by crossing the bamboo bridge (which is rebuilt every year) and during the wet season, a ferry will take us to other side.
Overnight in Kampong Cham. Accomodation at Mekong Hotel.
Day 2 - Kompong Cham to Mondulkiri - (B / D)
We will have an early breakfast at the hotel before travelling to the province of Mondulkiri by public bus. Mondulkiri is one of the largest province of Cambodia but it is the most sparsely inhabited, with approximately one person per 2 sq km. It is a mountainous region with a beautiful nature mostly dominated by midst virgin jungle, home to some of the country’s most unique flora and fauna as well as many ethnic minority people.
The journey will take around five hours and will provide you a real life experience as local people share sometimes their seat with their farm-animals. In case no chicken would be present for resonant entertainment, you can be quite sure that silence will be ruined with a video of local karaoke or a thai romantic movie. We will pass along many rubber plantations including the biggest one of the country at Chhup. Our journey will continue to the village of Snoul, which is famous for its fruits cultivation. This town has a rather large market where we will stop for lunch and to taste some of their delicious fruits.
On arrival at Sen Monorom, the quite provincial captial city of Mondulkiri, we will meet our host family and have a rest in their house, then we will help the farmer to cook our dinner before sharing a friendly meal all together.
Overnight in homestay, Mondulkiri province.
Day 3 - Mondulkiri - (B / L / D)
Mondul Kiri mean “meeting of the hills” a suitable name for such a hilly province, also this province is an isolated forest area on Cambodia’s eastern border with Vietnam. A road flanked by elephant grass winds through communities that prosperity has passed by. This is another Cambodia. Its scenery and climate are quite unlike the rest of the country, here there are endless grassy hills and clumps of pines huddled together against the wind. At an elevation of 800m, it is chilly at night, almost half the 30,000 inhabitants are from the Phnong minority group with the Chunchiet people making up most of the remaining population.
Today we will enjoy an elephant trek from one of the minority ethnic villages. It will give you the opportunity to explore surrounding jungle, habitat and ethnic minority villages and will be for sure a memorable experience. These trekking are an important income base for the villagers.
Tonight, we will join our hosts for another friendly dinner and evening.
Overnight at homestay, Mondulkiri province.
Day 4 - Mondulkiri to Kratie - (B)
After an early breakfast with our host family, we will say goodbye and travel to the province of Kratie by local transport, such as bus, pick-up truck or van. The journey will take about five hours including a break stop for rest and drink at the village of Snoul where you will be able to buy another delicious fruits.
We will arrive in Kratie in the beginning of the afternoon. This city is quite well-preserved and still has some good examples of shophouse architecture as well as some old Khmer wooden house but is mostly the best place in Cambodia to see the freshwater Irrawady dolphins.
The freshwater Irrawady dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) occurs in coastal waters from the Bay of Bengal to New Guinea and northern Australia and ascends far up the Ganges, Irrawaddy, Mekong, and other rivers. Orcaella lives in the coastal warm, tropical and silty waters but regularly enters rivers; he can live permanently in fresh water. It breathes at intervals of 70-150 seconds, the head appears first and then disappears, and then the back emerges, but the tail is rarely seen.
The Mekong population of Orcaella is in urgent need of conservation as its population now numbers only 80-100 individuals.
After check-in at the hotel, we will go to the office of the Cambodian Rural Development Team project to learn more about what is being done to support dolphin conservation efforts and see some demonstration activities, before driving 15km north of the town to enjoy a boat trip onto the Mekong to glimpse these rare and timid creatures at sunrise.
Dinner at a local restaurant in town.
Overnight in Kratie. Accommodation at Sante Pheap hotel
Day 5 - Kratie to Phnom Penh - (B)
After an early breakfast, we will leave Kratie for an overland journey of about 7 hours by public bus. On the way we will stop for lunch at the village Skun. If you are still hungry after your meal and looking for a dessert, you will get the chance to taste the local speciality, the delicious famous fried spiders (Tarantula called A ping in Khmer). Never try, never know, that’s our motto! We will arrive at Phnom Penh in the beginning of the afternoon where the tour ends. Finish Ratanakiri Excursions
Price of Tour Includes:
Accommodation on twin sharing basis and meals as stated in the itinerary
Entrance fees and sightseeing tours by boat, tuktuk and motodop.
An experienced English-speaking local leader
Transportation by public bus, minibus and pick-up truck
NOT Included in Tour Price:
Personal travel insurance (compulsory!)
Expenditure of a personal nature
Drinks & tips