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Oddar Meanchey Tourist Attractions

Oddar Meanchey is one of the smallest provinces of Cambodia located in the far Northwest bordering with Thailand. Its name means Victory Province and the provincial capital is called Samraong. This area was formerly known as Phanomsok, a province of Thailand, which was ceded to French Indochina in 1906, and now remains a part of Cambodia. This province is also a recent creation that was carved out of Siem Reap Province, which the government did not control for much of the 1980s and 1990s.

Champei Waterfall

Champei waterfall or Laang Ta Thong waterfall is 35 kilometers northeast of Odda Meanchey provincial town. A natural site, is includes a huge boulder that measures 500 meters squar. There is also a mountain valley on both sides of the waterfall and the surrounding area is full of flowers, particulary orchids.

About 500 meters from the waterfall, there is a natural and cultural site organized by the monks who meditate at the site. Known as Ruot Champei, it has a number of statues that describe the life process from birth until death, as well as other religious and wildlife statues.

The provincial tourism office is organizing and developing other attractions in Oddar Meanchey province, including: Tonle Sar site, O'Angkrong site, Sneung temple, Tropiang Baray, Por Temple, Kuy Plantation, Beung Snor, Tumnub Thmei and Toul Kruoy, a killing field during the Khmer Rouge regime and the site of a Khmer Rouge prison.

O' Smach

O'Smach is on the Cambodian-Thai border, about 41 kilometers north of Oddar Meanchey provincial town. The town features a resort which includes a number of casinos, good restaurants and luxury hotels. The resort has been organized by the Royal Group and VIP Shop Group companies.The O Smach Resort has an impressive entry complete with a giant glowing green lotus set in a fountain. The resort has beautifully maintained grounds which feature, for some unknown reason, two military armoured vehicles decorated with Christmas lights.

The O Smach resort has a casino and 198 hotel rooms and suites. Room facilities include satellite tv, aircon, en suite, mini bar etc.The resort facilities include a restaurant, 24 hour coffee shop, swimming pool, gym, sauna and massage parlour. Across the road is the Royal Hill Resort, offering yet another casino and hotel complex. Prices and facilities are similar to those at the O Smach Resort.The gaming rooms and interior of the Royal Hill Resort are rather utilitarian, in stark contrast with the impressive entry arch way and shrine in the grounds.O Smach in Cambodia is located 100 metres over the border checkpoint at Kap Choeng, Thailand. It is 68 Km south of Surin and 440 Km from Bangkok. From O Smach it is 150 Km to the world famous Angkor Wat ruins near the town of Siem Reap.

As at 2006 the road to Siem Reap was poor and the journey can take all day by truck. A road is being constructed to Siem Reap which will improve this journey markedly.If you are entering Thailand from Cambodia at this border crossing most nationalities will be granted a visa on arrival at no cost. Entering Cambodia from Thailand you are required to pay 1000 baht for a 30 day visa. The border point re opened in 2002 after being closed for a number of years to due fighting on the Cambodian side. O Smach was the scene of heavy fighting in 1997 as the remnants of Sihanouk?s forces battled opposing forces. Peace came in 1998 and the military evicted local residents and sold off the land to the casino developers.

The border at O'smach is definetly open for foreigners. Exited Cambodia there with one Thai registered bike and one Cambodian registration. Thai 30 day visas on entry and normal customs , but quick as no one goes thru with vehicles as they park on the Thai side a walk/songtow to the casinos just across the border.On the Thai side it is called Chong Chom The border post can be found by following Higway 214 south from Surin. From the Cambodian side the road from Anlong Veng to O'smach is very good, 100-120 kmh easy, demining going on along the road.The road up the escarpment is also good.Also a good road north from the Sisophon-Siem Riep road.An alternate border post for those sick of Aranyapratet.

Also noticed new tempory export procedures at Aran, now need to stamp passport out first, then back to customs, then to immigaration again for an airline crew(yes!) list , 2 copies of everything (B50 for copies-no receipt), then exit at immigration. Takes a lot longer than the previous 5 minutes. Cambodian side, if you stop at the customs they want to see a Carnet, which of course you can't get for a Thai rego bike.After a while they just stamp the back of the Thai export paper if you agree to come back thru there on the way back, I never have because you normally can't find anyone or I'm in a hurry. Interesting to note that there was no Cambodian customs at O'smach.

Cultural Site Of Khmer Rouge

In Anlong Veng district, along Road 68, about 100 kilometers east of Oddar Meanchey provincial town, is a house once owned by former Khmer Rouge Commander Ta Mok. From 1979 until late 1997, this area was organized and controlled by the Khmer Rouge armies. Some remaining statues describe the way the rebels lived and how they arranged their troops during their bloody struggle against the government.

In additional, in the forest is a pile of tires which is believed to be the funeral pyre and burial site of Pol Pot, the leader of Khmer Rouge. Many tourists go to Anlong Veng to see and photograph the sites and activitues associated with the former regime, and the government has discussed turning this area into a historical site to attract even more tourists.

Anlong Veng

About Anlong Veng
Folks come for the Khmer Rouge history and a number of sights to that end can be found here. In town is the Ta Mok villa and on the Dangrek Escarpment, about ten kilometers to the north is Pol Pot's final home, his cremation site, and a few other items of recent Khmer Rouge history. The government is doing what it can to turn this place into a tourist attraction. Given that after ancient temples, the most popular tourist sites in Cambodia are Khmer Rouge related (Tuol Sleng, killing fields, etc), it's not such a crazy idea, but nonetheless the ambitions of the government have not produced the desired results and Anlong Veng still fails to attract very many visitors.

There are a couple of basic guesthouses and restaurants in town. The most interesting eatery would have to be the Choum No Tror Cheak Restaurant which offers an extensive menu of jungle critters whose sole qualification for landing on the menu is that they either walk, crawl, slither, swim, or fly - if they can catch it, you can eat it. Menu is in Khmer and Thai only. The restaurant is near Ta Mok's villa.

Travel to Anlong Veng

Set near the base of the Dangrek escarpment, and running around the edge of a man-made lake, Anlong Veng feels like the town Cambodia forgot about, and for a long time, that is just what it was -- it didn't really return to the government's fold till 1988.

Around 125km north of Siem Reap, this is one of the last redoubts of the Khmer Rouge, and the town was for years off limits. Today, close to an international border crossing and reached by a slowly improving road, the town is starting to develop and welcome the occasional backpacker that straggles into town.

Within the town itself there is precious little to do as the key attractions all sit atop the Dangrek range in the form of Pol Pot's grave and house along with Ta Mok's house -- the latter offers spectacular views as far as Phnom Kulen (on a very clear day).

The lake in town was caused by a small dam/spillway constructed under orders of Ta Mok. During construction they never bothered to clear all the trees from the area to be flooded and so the dead trees remain standing, creating a particularly eerie yet very photogenic scene.

Tourism is a pretty new concept here but there are a few motodops who speak a little English and will happily whiz you around to all the main sites -- the best way to see what Anlong Veng has to offer.

The area is also a popular area for dirt-bike tours (most of which run out of Siem Reap) mainly due to its rough-house roads and little-touristed feel.

If you're in a rush you could see everything Anlong Veng has to offer in a half day, but if you have time on your hands, you could easily spend day or two here.

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