24 Nov 2017
From May to October, rice fields in every province of Cambodia transform into lush, green landscapes soaking in the daily deluge of rain. Some of the Kingdom’s provinces stay this way year-round, especially those in the north such as Tbong Khmum, Kratie, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng. No matter where you are in Mondulkiri, the sprawling hills and forests are always an emerald green.
Banteay Prey Nokor site:
In the 16th century, Loung Preah Sdech Kan, officially known as King Srey Chetha Thireach, decided to build a new capital city in the eastern section of the country. He based its design on the Angkor Thom master plan.
A clever and mysterious man, King Kan started at the bottom and worked his way up to the position of senior soldier before overthrowing the king and taking power.
“During the reign of King Kan from 1514 to 1529, the country was peaceful, the people were living in a healthy civilisation and the country reopened trade with western businesses,” according to Sek Yee, a Cambodian historian who died in 2001.
The remains of King Kan’s palace are well known in Banteay Prey Nokor and can be found easily by researchers and tourists. One of the tower walls of his palace stretches about 2 kilometres north to south. The 4-to-7-metre-high walls were around 15-to-25-metres thick and surrounded by a 100-metre-wide moat.
In the central part of Banteay Prey Nokor, there are also the remains of temples built during the reign of King Bhavaraman 1, during the Funan regime. Some temples were built in the ninth century during the reign of King Jayavaraman II.
Today, the Banteay Prey Nokor site is in TbongKhmum province and is undergoing renovations to turn it into an agro-tourism site.
Banteay Prey Nokor is along National Road 7 near ThnalBek Market in PunheaKrek district, about 8 kilometres from a new town being built in TbongKhmum.
Bokor National Park
Near the southern coastline is Bokor National Park. During the French colonial period and the Sangkum Reastr Niyum era (1960-1970), it was a popular holiday town that had a number of large casinos. After the ravages of weather, war and vandalism decimated the area, it became a shell of itself.
But today, Bokor is being redeveloped by Sokha Hotel into Thansur Bokor resort, which is a huge development project consisting of a resort, hotel and casino. The government designated Bokor a national park due to its beautiful views, lush forest and abundant wildlife.
Experience the elephant trekking in nature
Elephant Trekking is an amazing experience for any interested in eco-tourism in Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri. For more intrepid travellers, Pou Tang and Pou Loung village have elephant treks through villages, jungles and up mountains.
They take you to an ethnic minority village where you spend the night and learn about their traditional way of life, customs and relationship to the natural resources of the area.
The picturesque tropical forests, diverse wildlife, stunning mountains, valleys and channels display some of Cambodia’s greatest natural treasures.