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[[Chambok Ecotourism Site]] is just next to the Kirirom National Park. Be prepared for some exercise about 4 kilometers trek, interaction with local villagers, and discovery of Cambodia’s unique natural biodiversity, visitors will enjoy with other activities such as hiking, ox-cart riding, renting bicycles, picnicking, bird watching, bathing at the stream and the waterfall, and visiting a bat -cave. Furthermore, visitors can possibly have a lunch in a villager’s house prepared by local women, including fruit and coconut at the waterfall.
The Chambok Community-based Ecotourism site lies at the border of Kirirom National Park in Kompong Speu province. It boasts a beautiful 40-meter high waterfall, which can be reached via a 3 km nature trail. The site serves as a model for best practice in communitybased ecotourism in Cambodia.
The Chambok site is an initiative developed in 2001 by a local environment organization Mlup Baitong, in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment. the aim was to address the issues of deforestation and community livelihoods for villagers in the area, who depend on the forests to produce charcoal to make a living. Through community education programs, they were shown the benefits of protecting the forests for future generations.
Since then, the Chambok ecotourism project was developed to provide an alternative income to the villagers. Managed by the villagers of Chambok commune, all revenues from tourism stay in the community and help them to protect the forest and manage it in a sustainable way. Trained local guides are available to share their knowledge of the nature, history and cultural aspects of the area. The site also has a visitor centre and a restaurant where the local youth stage dance performances and Khmer food is served.
Chambok Eco-tourism Resort, around 70km from Phnom Penh in Kampong Spue province, is just a few kilometres away from Kirirom Hillside resort. But while Kirirom is an upscale luxury retreat, Chambok is successful and sustainable community project. Unlike many similar schemes, Chambok is run with definite and realistic aims in mind conservation that benefits local communities through tourism. Ecotourism is very important for community development, explained Chan Sokha, KCD’s director. Chambok is managed by the community, but benefits from it. The project supports families and the community.
Situated next to Kirirom National Park, Chambok has a lot of attractions and activities to offer to both local and international tourists who are strongly interested in nature. It is well known for its three streams, including the biggest with over 40 meters of beautiful waterfall. Tourists can take guided tours to one of those streams and enjoy the views while hiking through the forest. The English speaking guides will tell a lot about both animals living in the forests and plants growing there. Beside these three waterfalls there is a unique opportunity of experimenting a bat cave and its hundreds of inhabitants.
Next to Chambok ecotourism site the Kirirom National Park is situated with a basic guesthouse and restaurant inside. The Kirirom Hillside resort is a hotel containing several bungalows, a restaurant, theme park and swimming pool at the border of Kirirom National Park. The small town of Treng Trayeung with its market and restaurants is close to Chambok as well.