A remote region of Cambodia northeast, Ratanakiri is unique. Its characteristic red earth lines roads and paths bordered with lush greenery and rolling hills. Life is simple, farmers till the earth and work the rice paddies with hand tools. Villagers live in hand-built stilt wooden houses. At night, closely knit village communities gather around the fire and share a warm meal and homemade rice wine. Ratanakiri became a province of Kingdom of Cambodia in 1960 under King Norodom Sihanouk's reign.
Ratanakiri is situated on the north - east plateau , 636 Km from Phnom Penh. It is bordering Vietnam on the east, Laos PDR on the North, Steung Treng on the West and Mondul Kiri on the South. There are two rivers crossing the province ( Sre Pork and Sresan River )
A sparsely populated province, it is renowned for its unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristic of the province forms an impressive range including undulating hills and mountains, a level plateau, watershed lowlands, crater lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Forest cover varies from area to area, from the dense impenetrable forest in the northern reaches, which are still rich in wildlife, to the drier and sparser forest, found in the southwest. Similarly, the soil types present range from rich volcanic soil to the sandy soil found near rivers.
Ratanakiri keeps many secrets. Its primordial forests bordering Vietnam, are also home to 12 highland tribes the Khmer Loeu. These tribes people have often had little contact with the rest of the world, and have maintained much of their traditions. In Ratanakiri hills, the Tampuan, Krung, Jarai and Brou tribes farm with the slash and burn method, hunt with crossbows and poison darts, practice animism. Krung women, often bare-breasted, wear sarongs, while Brou women tattoo their faces and wear heavy ivory tusk earrings.
Thus Ratanakiri province offers wonderful opportunities for Eco-tourism in Cambodia.
Yeak Loam Lake
Yeak Loam Lake is situated 5 km. south - east of Banlung. The Yeak Loam lake (volcanic crater) is the most beautiful lake of Ratanakiri formed by a volcanic eruption almost 4,000 years ago with 50 m. deep, 800 m. diameter and a walking path around the lake of 2,500 m. Two hundred meters of the track is a quaint wooden building housing tribal handicraft, the Crafts Museum.
Eisey Patamak Mountain
At the top of Phnom Svay is the statue of a reclining Buddha, situated 2.5 km. Awesome and peaceful, it has lain undisturbed throughout the years. Cast your eye outwards to glimpse Laos in the north and Vietnam in the east, and enjoy the spellbinding serenity of the surrounding countryside.
Kachang Waterfall is situated 6km. north - west of Banlung. This Waterfall is located in the Kontung stream and flows into the Sre Pok River. The height of it is 12 m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. A beautiful or magnificent landscape and huge amounts of fresh mist surround the waterfall. The visitors can take a bath and sit to look at the waterfall and other natural scenic beauties. or the visitors can also go around to view other natural sights on foot or take an elephants ride.
Katieng Waterfall is situated 7 km. north - west of Banlung. It is also located in the Koutung Stream, below the Kachang Waterfall, 3 km. The height of it is 10m. and the water flows and falls throughout the year. The visitors can see a beautiful natural landscape and take a break to take pictures of the birds and then continue to the waterfall.
Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall:
Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall is situated 26 km, South of Banlung. This Waterfall has 4 floors and the height of each floor is 4 m. The water flows throughout the year. Around the Waterfall are beautiful natural landscapes and the visitors can go take a bath if they wish.
Ou'Sensranoh Waterfall is situated 9 km. south of Banlung. The height of it is 18m. and the water flows and falls all the time. The visitors can go there rest and enjoy the fresh air, or to se the forest and listen to the birds ' cries.
Cha Ung Waterfall
Cha Ung Waterfall is situated 8 km. west of Banlung and it flows throughout the year. The source of water creating this Waterfall flowed from Eisey Patamak Mountain ( Svay Mountain ) . Below this Waterfall is a big hole, visitors can stand or sit to watch the waterfall from behind, and inhale he cool fresh air stemming from it .
Veal Rum Plan (stone field)
Veal rum Plan (stone field ) is situated 14 km. North of Banlung. Stones cover the surface of this place and a dense around it. The visitors can go there and discover its beautiful attraction
Virachay National Park
Virachay National Park is situated 45 km. north of Banlung. With a tota l land area of 332,500 ha. It has varieties of plants and trees in the forest and many different kinds of animals and birds.
Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary
Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 37km. south of Banlung. With a total land area of 250,000 ha. there are special kinds of animals and birds like tigers, elephants, red-headed vultures.