If you think that Cambodia has only few potential destinations like Siem Reap, Kompot and Phnom Penh, we kindly ask you to reconsider that statement. Let’s Join us to the northern part of Cambodia, where Stung Treng, a beautiful province, sits peacefully along the Mekong. Let’s hear the demonstration of why Stung Treng should be a target for your next trip by jumping straight to our top 15 picked spots in Stung Treng.
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15 Places in Stung Treng | Province with many cultural treasures
Geographically, Stung Treng covers 11,092 km2, making it the 8th largest of the 25 provinces and cities. Stung Treng shares an international border with Laos. Stung Treng is also surrounded by 4 other potential provinces full of tourism destinations. The province itself is blessed to be one of the five provinces in Cambodia that the mother Mekong river flows across. The presence of the mother Mekong doubles the glory of the province. On top of that, Stung Treng also formed by two other big rivers: Thnle Kong and Tonle San. The existence of the three rivers leaves hundreds of small islands stretching across the province. That territory is home to tons of biodiversity. Not only those biodiversity serves as a crucial livelihood resource for the local, but it also a hidden tourist hub as well that one should not miss. What makes Stung Treng a little standout from other provinces is the fact that there is a notice of blending between the culture of Khmer and Laos. This combination makes the way of life of the people there appealing and tempting to the outsiders.
1. Mekong River
If you know the size of the Mekong river, you probably doubt how to visit her while in Stung Treng. She is huge! There are several ways you can make out your tour on the Mekong River in Stung Treng. One of the simplest and easiest ways to do how is sightseeing the Mekong River in any possible ways such as, biking along the river or possibly going on a boat. The riverbank always welcome tourists for a perfect picnic getaway, fishing, and bird watching. It is also considered as a family-friendly activity. However, please keep the area clean if you ever opt for that choice.
2. Mekong Discovery Trail
One of the most recommended ones is to take the Mekong Discovery Trail. The trial spreads on 180 km between Kratie and the Cambodian and Laos border. By taking this trail as your destination, it means you enter the community on that river and you get assisted by the residents there to ensure you have a good time and be safe. Choices are you can either enter alone on a small boat or as a group. Either way you opt is a safe decision because the trail itself is built as a network, plus, there will be maps and transport provided. The scenery of the trail is described by most tourists as something resembling those from the Amazon-related movie. If you are lucky enough, you might spot one or two Irrawaddy dolphins.
3. Preah Rumkel
Speaking of Irrawaddy dolphins, a rare and endangered species, you can also spot them in Preah Rumkel too. Preah Rumkel is part of Thalaborivat district, just about an hour away from Stung Treng by speed boat. Irrawaddy dolphin is not the only attraction there as Preah Rumkel composed of many small villages and of course, the great Mekong waterfalls. Pack some swimsuits as you might want to plunge into the transparent cold water of the tropics. Or feel free to arrange a picnic with your family under the shade or you can squeeze yourself in one of the restaurants available there. Preah Rumkel waterfall is pretty photogenic so bring a camera. The entrance fee is as low as 0.25$ for Khmer, 2$ for foreign adults, and 1$ for the foreign children. If you plan to do bird watching and soak yourself with some more relaxation, you can ask for booking a homestay that costs you between 3$-5$ per night per person.
4. Sopheakmit Waterfall
Canada and United States of America have Niagara falls. Here in Stung Treng, we have Sopheakmit Waterfall that shared by Cambodia and Laos. Sopheakmit is another natural treasure that one shouldn’t miss when visiting Stung Treng. Its turquoise-blue stream overflowing across the limestone rocks enchants the soul of many tourists to visit and spend hours there.
It is hard to deny a swim there. Thanks to the better infrastructure from Cambodia side, tourists who wish to visit Sopheakmit don’t have to enter Laos first in order to get there. A direct visit is made possible these days with just 65km from Steung Treng town. The best time to visit Sopheakmit is between November to May as the water stays at its most crystal clear and calm.
5. Thala Barivat Resort
Another place to check out is Thala Barivat district is Thala Barivat Resort. Thala Barivat Resort is less of a relaxation resort but more of a historic resort. At Thala Barivat Resort, you will find Preah Ko temple built from red bred in the 7 or 8 century by the former King Javvarman I. In case you spot a statue of a cow there, please don’t feel strange. It is just a representative of a god that the locals there believe and worship.
6. Pream Buorn Lveng Temple
While visiting Thala Barivat Resort, you can also have a sneak peek on other dilapidated temples as well such as Pream Buorn Lveng Temple, Srey Temple, and Angkor K’mao Temple. Pream Buorn Lveng Temple is recommended because it holds such an unforgettable part in the history of the country. Besides that, it is where you get to see the real practice of the religion of the locals too. At this point, you might want to hire a guide to help you out with the historical background. It costs about 10 dollars only.
7. Mekong River Trip to Laos
Stung Treng sharing a close border with Laos makes it accessible to travel Stung Treng to Laos by boat. Whether you plan to extend your trip to Laos or just want to enjoy the beauty of the Mekong river, you should check out this activity.
To make this trip, you need to go to the riverbank area in Stung Treng town to discuss directly the arrangement of your trip on the small freight boat. It usually costs about 15,000 riels. Beware that the duration of the trip equals hours not minutes, so be sure you have some light snacks with you. If you think it is too long, you splash your 20$-25$ on a one-way trip on a small fiberglass boat that takes only 1 hour.
8. Koh Han
Koh Han, one of the scattered islands across the Mekong River in Stung Treng, has recently become a spotlight for many tourists. To get to Koh Han, you have to first hop on a tuk-tuk or motorbike for 45 minutes from Stung Treng town then you will be welcomed by a ferry await at the end of that dusty road. The trip costs about $10, it will take you to the heart of the island where you meet with a bunch of locals. If you have never experience spending a night in the floating house before, this is your chance to. Homestay hosts by the local open it door every day of the week. The price could be as low as 10$. Besides staying with locals getting the first-hand experience and trying out the authentic food, you can also rent a kayak or boat to continue your exploration on the Mekong River.
9. Koh Ksach Resort
There are many rivers met in Stung Treng. If you wish to visit one that doesn’t locate that far from town, Se Kong river is perhaps your best choice among all. SeKong river in just a 5-kilometer distance from the provincial town. It is home to a stunning place name Koh Ksach Resort. Similar to Koh Han, homestay and a number of outdoor adventure activities are also available there. Local recommends visiting Koh Ksach during the dry season or during Khmer New Year if possible. The weather is perfect for some outdoor activities such as swimming, sunbathing on the beautiful sandy beach, or watching the best of sunset. Additionally, if you are a huge fan of fish, this is also where you can drown into the delicious taste of dishes featured fish.
10. Virachey National Park
Sick of water yet? Let’s venture straight to somewhere with more land, somewhere called Virachey National Park. Being the largest National Park among seven other National Parks in Cambodia, Virachey National Park is about to surprise you with what it has to offer. The majority of 3.325 square kilometers of the national park is blanketed with greenness and sea of forest. The best part about its geography facts is that it allows people to enter from both Stung Treng and Ratanakiri too since the park lies on the border between the two. This contributes to the incredibility of the existing wilderness and wildlife in Cambodia. The area is perfect for trekking, camping, and sightseeing. Trekking is a talk of the area with a number of tour companies starting to invest in the area. The three most popular mountains for trekking are Phnom Veal Thom, Kalang Chhouy Sacred Mountain, and the O’lapeung trek. Beware that the shortest time of each trekking starts from two days.
11. Phnom Preah Theat
Phnom Preah Theat has held its position as the top must-visit places in Stung Treng for years. No other attraction has beat it yet. All thanks to the dense forest that creates such an environment that is gentle for humans and other species like animals and plants. Tourist describes it as “into the jungle” as the forest is so thick that the sun rays can penetrate through at all. This natural sanctuary, there are high chances that you will come across wildlife. That is also the reason why tourists are not allowed to enter the area alone.
12. Hang Kho Ba Pagoda
It is hard to avoid cultural spots when you are in a place rich in the culture itself. Hang Kho Ba Pagoda is the cultural and historical site standing strong in Hang Kho Ba Village despite being over 300 years. Though the pagoda is old in age, there are still artificial of the buddha statue and the architecture for you to admire.
If you visit this pagoda, you might also want to explore the rest of the village a bit too. There you will find the majority of local people there speak Lao. Don’t forget to taste out their famous fruit, Sweet Tamarind.
13. KANTUY KO
Situated just 4km away from Stung Treng’s provincial town, there is another sanctuary similar to Phnom Preah Theat named Kantuy Ko (the cow tail). This area is home to many endangered species such as the Indochinese Tiger. Will you spot a tiger there? Good luck with that. Be sure to follow the instructions of the authority there for safety reasons. Kantuy Ko still reminds under a condition that most zoologists tag as “unspoiled” and “fresh”. If you have been in the hustle bustle of the city for awhile, you might need some fresh air at Kantuy Ko. It works like charms putting you at the best relaxation.
14. Wat Phnom
Stung Treng also has Wat Phnom but this Wat Phnom is far different from the one in Phnom Penh. Wat Phnom to most people is a perfect viewpoint of Stung Treng Province due to its height. Standing on top of this mountain, you will get to see the magnificent river scene. Wat Phnom is also famous among its locals. Every day in the morning and before the sun goes down, local is spotted to be hanging out around the area. Although there is not much to see from the way to the top, please be patient. The best is await on the top.
15. Stung Treng Town
After all those long tiring journeys you make, it is always wise to come back to Stung Treng Town and get recharged. Stung Treng Town is a melting pot of food, pub, restaurants, market, and accommodation. This is also where a lot deal of your travel is made as well. You can find anything from grilled river fish to boat tickets and many more.
Stung Treng overall is truly a hidden treasure that every nature lover shouldn’t miss this province. Its river scene, mountain view, historical temples, the food, and the people are what makes it worth visiting. We hope you find your way out to Stung Treng based on those 15 places we recommend. Last but not least, please enter the province with this awareness and respect that “there is conservative area”. Thus, please pay extra care so that those places will still be around for our generation to witness its beauty too.