Cambodia heartland

  • Cœur du Cambodge
  • Cœur du Cambodge
  • Cœur du Cambodge
  • Cœur du Cambodge
  • Cœur du Cambodge
5 days


- A beautiful immersion in the culture and traditions of Cambodia
- The joy and good humor of the Cambodian population
- The many discoveries that will punctuate this 5-day circuit


Ratanakiri is one of Cambodia’s North East Provinces, the country’s mountainous wild east, home to many ethnic minority groups. Heavily jungled with rain forests, the land has a real edge-of-the-world feel to it.

Ratanakiri, renowned for its natural beauty and its important natural resources, is also a place famous for its wildlife with some rare tigers and elephants, not to mention the “kouprey”, a mysterious jungle cow. The hill tribe people are still practicing many of their traditional ways including slash and burn agriculture, worship the spirits of their land and of their ancestors who lived the same life far back into the past, beyond memory. Ratanakiri is ideal for eco-tourism fans!

Day 1: Phnom Penh - Kratie

Pick up you from hotel in Phnom Penh and overland drive with guide to Kratie province (about 289 km via Kampong Cham province).

En route, in Kampong Cham town you will take a short visit Cheung Kok Village which is supported by AMICA, a non-profit, apolitical & religionless association. Nice little village to wander around and see a more rustic side of Cambodian life, also visit the gift shop has many handmade products made entirely by the villagers.

You will also stop at Chhup rubber plantation established by the French tire maker Michelin in the early 20th century. The road follows the Sam Leng Logging track and gradually rises from the Tonle Sap basin into the hill country.

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.

Arrival in Kratie town, is sleepy where you will be on a trip seeing the river towns along the Mekong or taking a full circuit trip around the east and northeast. There are some nice-looking homes of French and Khmer style scattered about, adding to the pleasant feel of the place where you will have a short city tour.

On touring, you will taste sticky rice (Krolan) is mixed by sticky rice with coconut, beans and be cooked into bamboo tubes. It is the Kratie famous for. 

In the afternoon, take a hotel’s boat (sometimes sharing with other passengers who will also stay at Rajabori Villars) to Koh Trong island only a short 15 minutes boat ride away from Kratie.
Upon arrival, you will be transferred by motor or tuk tuk to hotel for check-in.

In the late afternoon, take the biking tour for exploring the island of Koh Trong. The narrow roads are perfectly designed for cycling with plenty of shade while simultaneously allowing visitors to pass close to people’s homes without intruding too much on their privacy. This allows visitors a more in-depth look into the lives of the local people of Koh Trong. Renowned throughout the region for its grapefruit (a type of citrus fruit), Koh Trong is a self-sustaining community that produces a variety of fruits and agricultural products such as rice, soy beans, milk fruit, coconuts and a range of vegetables for sale in the town of Kratie.

You may be lucky to see the spectacular sunset over the Mekong that Kratie is famous for.
Overnight at your hotel.

Day 2: Kratie - Rattanakiri

You will be transferred to the dock then take a hotel’s boat (sometimes sharing with other passengers who also stayed at Rajabori Villars) to Kratie town. Then continue on drive to Rattankiri 275km (Approx. 4 hour drive).

Lunch will be served at local restaurant.
On the way about 11km of the town, first visiting waterfall of Ka Tieng, we drive through a small river, you will enjoy a beautiful natural landscape and take a break to take pictures of the birds and then continue to the waterfall.

From here, you will trek into jungle where you will enjoy breathtaking scenery along the trail. Return to your vehicle and continue towards Banlung is the town, nicknamed the “Red City” because of the omnipresent laterite.
We end up with a detour to Yeak Laom lake, a beautiful and perfectly-round stretch of water, surrounded by forest for a late afternoon swim.

Continue to hotel for check-in, free at leisure from the rest of balance day.
Overnight at your hotel in Banlung.

Day 3: The Tampoum totems

First head northwest, we cross bamboo forests before reaching the village of Voeune Saï located on the left bank of the Sé San river; the view on the Chinese village on the other side of the river is quite pretty. Besides, this place is nearly a Chinese enclave in Cambodian territory, most villagers, who are there the thirties, don't even speak Khmer.

Embark on wooden boat drive upstream of the Se San is Kaoh Peak, a village of the Kachok minority that practices funeral statuary.
Picnic packed lunch during visit.

Return hotel in the afternoon and free at leisure.
Overnight at your hotel in Banlung.

Day 4: The Kroeun territory

We’re going north today, heading towards Laos and the village of Taveng. We first cross Vealrum Plang, a round lava field in the forest; a few steps away you can find a small waterfall (in the rainy season only) surrounded by tigers caves. Later on, we stop at some beautiful Kroeung villages located in the forest on both sides of the road.

The more north we go the more beautiful the forest is. In some Kroeung villages, depending on the season, we might discover impressive bachelor houses built on very high stilts. When the young man has become head of a family, these houses are destroyed before being raised again by younger men in the following season.

Depending on the time and the state of the dirt road, we will choose a location for a picnic before exploring the nearby villages.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon and free at leisure.
Overnight at your hotel in Banlung.

Day 5: Rattanakiri – Kratie – Phnom Penh

You will overland drive back to Phnom Penh 499km (Approx. 8 hour drive).
On the mid in north of Kratie town, you will take a boat at Kampi town in order to visit Mekong River Dolphins. Jump on a local boat to catch glimpses of Mekong River Dolphins. If you’re very lucky you may spot a dolphin trail. They spend the dry season in deep pool refuges north of Kratie. Jump on a boat that will take you closer to these shy, sensitive mammals.

Note: DO NOT DISTURB. Make sure your river guide turns off the motor when you get within 100m of the dolphins – they will appreciate the quiet. If you listen carefully you might hear a dolphin breathe through the blowhole on the top of its head.

Now it is time drive south via Chhlong (Road No 73), stop to visit a tiny town with many beautiful French colonial houses and also Khmer architecture.
Still drives along the river road where you still enjoy the countryside life alone the river.

Stop en route for an optional visit of the Skuon market. Taste a favorite snack of many Cambodians many buses and pick-ups stop at the market to buy a bag of tasty spiders which are caught in the soft ground of the surrounding countryside and dug out of their burrows.

Then, continue to Phnom Penh on upon arrival directly to your hotel for check in.

All our tours are customizable.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you wish to discover Cambodia


- Transportation in air-conditioned car / minibus / coach
- Transportation from/to your accommodation
- All entrance fees to visits
- Guide
- Double room with air conditioning in selected or similar rooms
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Not included:

- Personal expenses
- Gratuity

Useful information:

- Please contact us by email via the contact form if you wish to get more information about this tour

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