Things to See and Do - Pursat, Cambodia
Cardamom Mountains - Pursat
There are two wildlife sanctuaries in the Cardamoms, both of which were decreed by King Norodom Sihanouk in 1993 solely on the basis of aerial photographs. Mt. Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary is in the western part of the range, and Mt. Aural Wildlife Sanctuary is in the east. These are "paper"parks only: they exist only by law, with none of the active management necessary for a wildlife preserve.Khmer Rouge guerrillas retreated to the Cardamoms after losing power in 1979, and for the next twenty years, no one wanted to enter that area for fear of the KR and the mines they placed in it. As a result, the region remained untouched and undeveloped. Thousands of Cambodians left the country before and during the KR holocaust by walking over the Cardamoms into refugee camps in Thailand.Today, the Cardamom Mountains region is the largest wilderness in mainland Southeast Asia, preserving a remarkable number of species that are endangered (and in some cases extinct) elsewhere in the world. However, without proper conservation and protection, this area and its inhabitants are now at the mercy of logging interests, as well as poachers.
Densely covered with lush virgin rainforest and rising to it's highest point at over 1,770m, the Cardamoms extend over an area of 4,420,000 hectares (10,922,060 acres) covering a large portion of SouthWestern Cambodia. The Cardamoms are considered to represent Southeast Asia's greatest natural resources in terms of virgin forest and wildlife habitats that have never been fully explored and/or catalogued. In 2000, Fauna and Flora International, Conservation International, and the Cambodian Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Protection Programme conducted a joint survey that covered only a small part of the vast expanse of unexplored land. Despite the minimal area under observation the survey identified 30 large mammal species, 30 small mammal species, more than 450 birds, 64 reptiles, 30 amphibians, and many other plants and insects. To name just a few of the animals indigenous to this area would include elephants, tigers, clouded leopards and a variety of other mammals such as the Malaysian sun bear, pleated gibbons, and Siamese crocodiles all of which are high on the endangered species list and the only significant population thought to exist anywhere.
Fauna & Flora International was the first to conduct extensive field surveys in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia. These established the area as one of the last forest wilderness areas in mainland south-east Asia. Isolated by their remoteness and rugged terrain and forgotten during years of conflict in Cambodia, the Cardamoms have at their core a virtually undisturbed forest covering over 10,000 square kilometres. The Cardamom Mountain Wildlife Sanctuaries Project, a joint venture of Fauna & Flora International and Cambodia's Ministry of Environment, aims to ensure the long-term conservation of a landscape of global importance and its biodiversity while reducing poverty and ensuring essential national development. The focus is to establish and maintain management systems in two protected areas in south-west Cambodia: Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary and Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary.The Cardamom Mountains are now known to contain almost all the country's known mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. This is partly due to the very high diversity of habitats, some of which occur nowhere else in Cambodia, such as large expanses of fire-regulated ferns, upper montane forest, high elevation marshes and blackwater rivers.
Map of Cardamom Mountains
Other Attractions in Pursat
Kampong Luong is a natural site located on the Tonle Sap in Kampong Luong commune, Krakor district, about 35 kilometers east of Pursat provincial town. The site is a sand cape suitable for swimming during the dry season. During the rainy season, especially during Pchumben, many cambodians gather there to play Chaol Teuk Leak (a... read more
Phnom Ba Klas is a natural and cultural site located in Tnaot Chum Village, Tnaot Chum cmmune, Krakor district, about 20 kilometers east of the provincial town. The site affords visitors beautiful scenery and abundant fresh air. The near by mountains are filled with a small fruit trees, especially Kuy and Sei moan, which are popular... read more
Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat River, Pursat is one of the main areas of interest for the tourists arriving at Pursat to spend a day or two during the Tour of Cambodia. Counted among the popular sites it is included in a day's tour of the sites. Wat Preh S'dai and Pursat is the temple that is located to the southern bend of the river.A... read more
It is visited by both locals and foreign tourists. The scenic beauty of the Leach Village, Pursat matched with the rich rustic tradition has made it a very popular tourist spot.Travelers also undertake excursion trips to the Leach Village in Pursat. Travelers and nature lovers from all over the world visit the place to have a feel... read more
The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a very popular destination in the area and it should not be missed. The beauty of the place will surely amaze you like none else. You can reach the Bak Tra Resort, Pursat with ease as there are numerous means of transport available and you can avail hem to reach this spot.The Bak Tra Resort, Pursat is a... read more
Scenic Drive to Wat Bpahk-Dtrow a nice drive through rural farm country, followed by rolling forested hills, is what you get on the way to this hill temple area. With large boulders and trees lining the temple area, it's a favorite spot for the locals on Sundays and holidays. There are footpaths leading to the different temples and... read more
Check the Koh Kong chapter for information on the fried from Koh Kong to Pailin, which cuts through the Cardamom Mountains on the western edge of Pursat province. The Cardamom Mountains of Koh Kong and Pursat provinces are said to be the most pristine wilderness area remaining in Southeast Asia. This ride takes you through the... read more
Pnhom Baykhlor Resorts is the natural and cultural resort. It is located at Thuaut Chum village, Thnaut Chum commune, Ko Kor District in 20-Kilometer distance from the provincial town of Pursat by the National Road N0 5 then turning right more 12 Kilometers to the East. This resort consists of:- Beautiful scenery for tourists. -... read more
O'Da Rapids is a river picnic area that the locals head out to on weekends to have a swim and kick back for a while about 52 km from town. There are Thais and Khmers working on building a logging road to extract timber from the area, which is why the river is now accessible for the locals on a fairly good gravel road for much of the... read more
Floating Village of Lake Tonle Sap is heading east from Pursat town, about one-third of the way to Kampong Chhnang town is the town of Krakor. Just a few kilometers to the north are Lake Tonle Sap and the floating village of Kampong Loo-uhng. It?s a complete village on the water populated mostly by Vietnamese fishermen. You can... read more
Neak Ta Khleang Moeang is the main historical site in Cambodia and located at Snam Preah Commune, Ba Kan District, about 6 kilometers south of Pursat provincial town. The site is the sacred place prayed and worshipped by tourists who come from the near and far areas. This venerable site has a statue of Neak Ta Khleang Moeang... read more