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Botum Sakor National Park is a national park of Cambodia. Situated on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Botum Sakor is a peninsula projecting southwest from the Cardamom Mountains. The National Park comprises 183,408 hectares of designated park land and spans three districts of Koh Kong Province: Kiri Sakor, Botum Sakor and Koh Kong. The park is under the administration of the Cambodian Ministry of Environment.
The majority of Botum Sakor’s area comprises gently sloping lowland and flood plains. The climate is characterized by a tropical monsoon and the area has two high tides per day with a range of approximately 1.5 m. The human population of Botum Sakor National Park is unknown. Disturbance is however known to be extremely high with an estimated 229 km² (~30 km²/year) of evergreen forest lost from 1997 – 2002 through illegal logging2. Although this large scale illegal logging has been halted in the last few years, the area is now under extreme threat of destruction under the pretext of so-called development1. A Chinese company named “Chinese Development Group Co” started the clearing of around 36.000 hectares of land in the district of Kiri Sakor in August 2010. This project, situated to the east of the peninsula, is officially worth US$5 billion and will include the construction of new roads, an airport, a port, a golf course, an ecotourism site and a large commercial area with residential living, hotels, restaurants and retail stores. There are serious concerns in the conservation community as well as in the local population that little, if any, international-standard environmental impact assessments were made prior to the approval of this massive development project, which is expected to last up to 25 years.
Botum Sakor National Park lies to the southwest of the Cardamom mountains occupying 1,834 square kilometers of mangroves, beaches and hills. Part of the biodiverse Koh Kong Conservation corridor and home to an extraordinary wildlife such as elephants, deers, tigers, leopards and sun bears, Botum Sakor National Park is a Koh Kong tourist attraction not to be missed by the nature enthusiasts.
How to get there
It is possible to reach the park either by road (it is actually being built) or by boat, although the latter is a better option to access to the flood plains, thick mangroves and the deserted beaches of the park. Boats can be taken from Andong tuek, Sihanoukville, Koh Sdach or Kron Koh Kong. Do not miss the fishing village Preak Khsach or the mangrove lined streams.
How much does a cost for visit Botum Sakor National Park?
The entrance to the park is free of charge but once there you will need to pay a ranger about US$5 per day.
When should I go, and how long do I need?
It is strongly advisable to arrive to the park early in the morning ir travelling from Koh Kong, as there is so much to see and travelling there and back will take an entire day to see the most important parts.