Travel Tips

The Areng Valley – adventure in the Cardamoms mountains

An hidden gem in the south of Cambodia

Areng Valley

Photo by Anthony Risse

To join the Areng Valley is already an adventure: after a few hours by bus, you must ask to the driver to stop… nowhere! It is just an intersection, with a sandy road going into the jungle.

Our motorbike drivers are already waiting for us, one motorbike per person. Then we drive across the mountains, the slippery road and the stunning landscapes of Areng Valley for almost two hours.

Areng Valley

Photo by Anthony Risse

The night is coming and we stop in the Areng riverside for our first camp: nothing luxurious, just a hammock under a plastic sheeting. Because of the rainy season, the level of the river is high, but it is still possible to take a natural shower inside.

The day after, we go again behind our motorbike drivers and stop in a local family house for breakfast. Since the foreigners are rare here the family is more than welcoming and the breakfast is transformed in a memorable exchange.

We finally say good bye to our brave motorbike drivers and start to trek. It is like entering a new world, with giant trees and wild sounds all around. After a few hours of hiking, we arrive at the camp on a big rock on the top of the mountain. The view on the valley in astonishing! We can see kilometers and kilometers of primary forest with a good chance to see wildlife in the canopy.

Areng Valley

Photo by Anthony Risse

In the morning, we are waken up by the gibbon’s call. We decide to follow the sound to have a chance to observe them. After one hour, we have a unique chance to meet two gibbons!

Later on, coming back in the valley, we walk until the riverside, where kayaks are waiting for us. One more time, the immersion is total, and we try to meet the famous Siam crocodile, until two flights of great hornbills.

Areng Valley

Photo by Anthony Risse

The Areng valley exploration is definitely one of the best adventure to do in south Cambodia!

Don’t hesitate to contact the Cambodian NGO ”Mother Nature Cambodia” and their project ”Wild Koh Kong” to organize your trip. Thanks to their work, the Areng Valley survived to a dam project.

Anthony Risse

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