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Cardamom Mountains

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Best Time: October - February Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 Days

Nearest Airport: Sihanoukville International Airport Check Flights

"Mountains and Wildlife"

Cardamom Mountains Tourism

The Cardamom Mountains are a mountain range located in southwest Cambodia and eastern Thailand and covers the provinces including   Kampot, Kep, Battambang, Sihanoukville, Koh Kong, Pursat, Kampong Speu and Pailin. It is one of the largest mountain areas and is home to Cambodia's vibrant ecosystem comprising of deep jungles, valleys, rivers, wildlife, marshlands, coastline. It inhabits hundreds of thousands of people depending on these. 

Travelers exploring Cambodia can experience Cardamom mountains through one of the many wildlife conservation projects located in many cities, signing up for guided hikes in the region and also biking. 

The Cardamom mountains were home to ancient Cambodia tribal life between the 15th and 17th century, confirmed by the remains including many porcelain jars, burial mounts and coffins. In the 19th century, due to the presence of the Khmer Rouge and also hundreds of landmines, the mountains remained inaccessible to the outside world. It was only after the government started establishing wildlife conservation projects clearing mines, tourism began to develop here.

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Places to Visit

Wildlife sanctuaries - There are two wildlife sanctuaries, which were commissioned by King Nordok project in 1993. Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary located, which is located on the west side of the mountains. And the other is Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary on the eastern Cardamom mountains. Both of these are open for tourists to explore the wilderness.

National Parks - Preah Monivong National Park located in Kampot province is an ASEAN heritage park covering the western end of Cardamom mountains. Botum-Sakor National Park is located on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and covers southwest of the Cardamom in the district of Botum. Southern Cardamom National Park is another noteworthy attraction for tourists located on the southern end.

Wildlife Conservation Projects - Chi Phat is the most popular of all the conservation projects in the Cardamom province, which takes about a day to visit. The Wild KK Project is another social enterprise in the Areng Valley, which focuses on preserving the ecosystem and wildlife.

Geography

The Cardamom Mountains are known for their rugged wilderness, but the regions between Koh Kong and Pursat provinces are the most secluded thick rainforests in Southeast Asia. The mountain spreads over a vast area of more than 4 million hectares, covering a large portion of South West Cambodia.

This land is home to hundreds of endangered species of wildlife, flora and birds. The highest mountain in Cambodia, Mount Aural is present in the region. Five main rivers run through the Cardamoms, which in turn has created dozens of waterfalls. Some of the wildlife that tourists can spot include elephants, leopards, Siamese crocodiles, gibbons, bears and tigers.

Tips

  • It is recommended to carry essential items like medicines, toiletries, good trekking shoes, umbrellas, sunscreen, cap, and other things.
  • Accommodation options get booked quickly, so it's better to book lodging well in advance and plan accordingly.
  • There are no ATMs here, and all transactions are carried out only in cash. Carry sufficient cash while travelling.
  • If you are travelling in a group, getting around by car is economical as well as comfortable.

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FAQs on Cardamom Mountains

What is the best time to visit Cardamom mountains?

The best time to visit the Cardamom mountains is between October to February, when the weather is not hot, and the humidity is manageable. It is a great time to hike in the mountains, spot wildlife and enjoy nature at its best, after heavy downpours in the monsoons.
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Who should visit Cardamom mountains?

People who love spending time in the mountains amidst nature would enjoy their time in the Cardamom mountains hiking, walking and experience ecotourism projects.

What is the best way to reach Cardamom mountains?

  • The nearest town to get to this region is to travel to Chi Phat. Chi Phat is located about 20 km upstream from Andong Teuk village, the closest settlement. 
  • There are plenty of buses and minibuses available from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Koh Kong, Sihanoukville and other cities to Andong Teuk.
  • From this village, you can either reach Chi Phat by boat, which is a scenic journey passing through dense forests and mountains.
  • Alternatively, you can also rent a motorbike or a Tuk Tuk to get to Chi Phat from Andong Teuk village.
  • The total journey costs about 8 USD from the town either way.
  • You can also get here by arriving at Koh Kong. Regular buses are leaving to Koh Kong from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and other cities.
  • From Koh Kong, you need to book a cab costing about 50 USD for a one-way trip.

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What is not so good about Cardamom mountains?

The remote location combined with limited amenities and connectivity might discourage people from exploring the Cardamom Mountains, mainly if you are used to travelling in comfort.

What is famous about Cardamom mountains?

An excellent place to experience mountain life by involving in all sorts of outdoor activities from biking to hiking amidst the dense forests attracts nature lovers to the Cardamom mountains.

What are the places near Cardamom mountains?

The top places near to Cardamom mountains are Phnom penh which is 31 km from Cardamom mountains, Kep which is located 155 km from Cardamom mountains, Siem reap which is located 207 km from Cardamom mountains, Sihanoukville which is located 28 km from Cardamom mountains, Kirirom national park which is located 20 km from Cardamom mountains

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