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Stung Treng Province
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General Information
Stung Treng is a beautiful province located on a high sandy bank overlooking the Mekong River. It is about 455 km from Phnom Penh and some 40 km to the Laos border. This charming city is linked to Banlung (Rattanak Kiri) and is more than just a ‘stopover’. The Sekong Bridge, itself an attraction, serves as a convenient passage to the border of Laos.

There are several noteworthy attractions in the province of Stung Treng. The incredible Sopheakmith Waterfall never ceases to mesmerise visitors, and neither does the stretch of the mighty Mekong, which is home to the incredibly rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

The Thala Barivat is only 4 kilometers from the provincial town. This is accessible by crossing the Se Kong River. Thala Barivat is the historical site where the Preah Ko, a 7th century brick temple of King Jayavarman I is located. Preah Ko is consists of six brick towers arranged in two rows of three towers each perched on a sandstone platform. This is one of the earliest temples built during the Angkor era.

Here in the vicinity are a few other small ancient temples; the Prambuon Lveng Temple, Srei Temple and the Angkor Kmao Temple. The Hang Kho Ba Pagoda, a 300 year old temple in the Hang Kho Ba Village, is also only about 6 Kilometers from the provincial town and worth the while to pay a visit. Stung Treng province is also famous for sweet tamarind Pa Si Yi fish, a local delicacy enjoyed by many tourists.
Border sign of Stung Treng Symbol of Stung treng province


Stung Treng Attraction

Lbak Khaon
Cambodian children who have finished their ninth grade studies know well the geography lesson of the mighty waterfalls Lbak Khaon in the north of Cambodia. They know that this is an area where the Mekong River tumbles down 26m of tiered rock-faces at the border of Cambodia and Laos PDR. However, most have probably never had the opportunity to visit there. In the rainy season, when the water levels of the river rise and rise to meet the top of the riverbank, the huge volume and speed of the falls create a spectacular blanket of mist; while in the dry season, when the water recedes, menacing sharp-edged rocks surface. The exposed area of the falls becomes a field of colorful rocks, of reds, blacks and whites.
Lbak khon Lbak khon


Borey O’Svay
Borey O’Svay is located in O’Savy commune of Thala Borivath district and is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations for both local Cambodians and foreign tourists wishing to experience an authentic Khmer community.

The Borey O’Svay resembles an emerald gem rising up in the heart of a green, tropical forest lying along a mighty river. It serves as a peaceful preserve for wildlife, especially birds, and also serves as a major fish breeding area along the Mekong during the rainy season. There are also lots of dolphins which are very popular with the tourists.

A white sand beach presents itself along the river when the river contracts during the dry season. Many channels form, some of them fast and some of them slow flowing. The green mango forest can then be seen form the riverside along with some natural stone outcroppings.  Along this beautiful river beaches and stunning channels, it is often possible to find the foot prints of wild animals that have been browsing for food during the nights. There are clear water rapids and a waterfall about five meters high. The rapids provide a wonderful, attractive place for everyone to bathe and swim.

Along the Mekong River in O’Svay commune, the Ramsa wetland conservation area is protected by law as a special breeding zone for spawning hundreds of special of fish, birds and other wildlife. Also included along the river are many kinds of trees, furnishing the area with a unique ecology. The roads linking once village to another are under total evergreen canopy and cross streams and channels. This jungle area is preserved as a paradise for wildlife Trekkers and bikers can hear the natural music of songbirds and sometimes can spot other wildlife along these trails.

The O’Svay commune comprises 5 villages (O’Svay village, O’Run, Koh Phnov, Koh Hib, and voeun Sien village), covers over 120,000 hectares and includes four islands. It has population of 6,581 persons, 80% of whom are farmers and fishermen. The rest are local trade’s people along the border of Cambodia and Laos. O’Svay commune is located 57 kilometers by National Road No.7, and can be rich by Mekong River to the northwest of Stung Treng town.


Koh Hib
During the rainy season, Koh Hib is one of the islands that seemingly float on the Mekong River along the Ramsa preservation area. Just opposite Borey O’Svay village, Koh Hib is one of Cambodia's many eco-tourist destination. There are many families living on the island today.


Koh Phnov
Koh Phnov, which means "island of Malabar orange", is located on the Mekong River in O’Svay commune. This island village was selected as an eco-tourism community because of its natural beauty during the dry season.


Anlong Neak & Anlong Sema
There are many legends and traditions related to a dragon along the upper Mekong of Stung Treng province. Here in O'Svay commune, there is one special area that people called 'Anlong Neak', which means the 'dragon's lot area' and is a very deep area in the Mekong. For generations, people living along the Mekong River in Ramsa area believe that there are a couple of dragons living here, due to some obscure evidence.

According to many other people living in O'Svay commune, they say the dragons are well known in the 'Anlong Neak' (mean Naga’s pool) area. Their grandparents used to tell them that the dragons lived along this area, especially in the deep part.

People said that during the dry season, 'Anlong Neak' used to have strong fishy smell which would last only a few days during the full moon. And then they would see pollution on top of water that was normally clear as a mirror. Soon after the smell, the people would see blood on the normally clean water flowing along the 'Anlong Neak' area. Our people believed that it was a 82 Eco-Tourism Guide’s Stung Treng dragon giving birth.

This miraculous natural event happened every year during the dry season on up to the present. Nowadays there is less smell and blood but it continues to happen. At that time of year, local people very seldom drive their boats across that area of the river, and the boat driver must take care to be respectful of the dragon spirit.

'Anlong Neak' area is located at lower part of O'Svay commune along the Ramsa area of the Mekong. As of yet. no scientist has researched this miraculous event.

The other strange event is at 'Anlong Sema'and is well known to the people called 'Phumi Anlong Vil' who live on the upper part of the Mekong in O'Svay commune. The people living there are very respectful of the Anlong Sema area as the second miracle area after Anlong Neak.

'Anlong Sema' is a restricted area for fishing of the Ramsa area of Cambodia only. People say "we usually do not allow fishing in this area or even driving a boat across it. The miracle of the 'Anglong Sema' area is that the western side of the river always flows from north to south while the eastern half of river always flows from the south to north. Because of this unique behavior, we believe that this area is holy and we don't allow boats to cross here. That is why we set up a reserve for both large and small fish to spawn here."

'Anlong Sema' area is located at the upper part of Preah Rumkel commune along the Ramsa area of Mekong River just between Koki Thom island and the Anlong Vil (Veun Khav) village immigration police station along the Mekong River.


Preah Rumkel
In Preah Rumkel Commune, Thala borivath district, Stung Treng province, the first home stays were set up by several communities under the guidelines of a tourist expert. These home stays are idea for vistors who want to sample how local villagers live.

Visitors can spend a night with the villagers and spend the next day touring the villages and trekking through the jungle and local mountains. There are many attractive sites such as the Sopeakmith waterfall, which has extremely strong flow during the rainy season although low flow during the dry season.

Visitors can also enjoy the dolphin pool at Preah Rum Kel. In the morning and at sunset, dolphins often appear and even jump out of the water.

Tourists can reach Preah Rumkel communities’ eco-tourism area by boat, just an hour from Stung Treng town. The cost per person round trip is 50,000 riel (US$12.25). Visitors can enjoy the spectacular views of trees while floating down the river and also see many different kinds of birds.


O'Russey Kandal
The trend of the people in the world today is to travel. The number of visitors increases yearly both domestically and overseas. When people want to relax, they travel to other places especially to those with natural beauty. In order to serve the needs of these tourists, many areas are being preserved and developed in remote areas in the northeast of Cambodia.

Mr. Thok Sokhom, former acting team leader of Mekong Tourism Development Project and Deputy Director of Mekong Discovery Trail said among the eco-tourism destinations in Cambodia, Stung Treng province is one of the great potential areas, with untouched natural beauty and containing O'Russey Kandal, O'Svay and Preah Rumkel communities.

These eco-communities were put in as the start of a conservation and rehabilitation campaign to enhance their natural beauty and to serve the tourist needs. Today, the Royal Government of Cambodia is concentrated on promoting Eco-tourism there. There are many linking infrastructures to those destinations.

For the purpose of developing ecotourism,  local committees in the O'Russey Kandal area and at Sopheakmith, organized their areas to become attractive destinations for both local visitors and foreign tourists.

Mlup Baitong is a non government organization have been encourages communities by providing them environmental training courses such as community leadership skills, how to protect environment, how to serve guests and food sanitation.

In order to build huts for the tourists, the community asked for money from Baitong. Mlup Baitong checked to see if this was a reasonable proposal. This NGO will provide them the money, referring to our project as the 'Micro-Project'. So far the Mlup Baitong have built eight cottages on various waterfronts. Most of Mlup Bitong projects were supported by Ministry of Tourism fund.

From the observation, most of visitors from Stung Treng province, Kratie and Phnom Penh also come daily to visit O'Russey Kandal, just 27 kilometers southern part from the town. On the weekend, around 15- 20 motorists visit here. But for national festivals like Khmer New Year, Phum Ben day or the Water Festival, there are thousands of local tourists visiting.

For guest safety, Mlup Baitong have been ; built a check points, parking shelters and information centers. There're 5,036 hectares of conservative lands and forests along the waterfall of O’Russey Kandal eco-tourism.

By seeing the potential of attracting visitors, the Ministry of Tourism is encouraging the development of this place. Even the Minister of Tourism himself has visited this area.

Before Mlup Baitong came to help the community, at every national festival, the commune chief solicited private bids for organization and control. Since Mlup Baitong has arrived to help develop eco-tourism, there is more community organization.

At the time of the tourist increase in the O'Russey Kandal area, Mlup Baitong provided English classes for young boys and girls so that they could be guides in this area.

Both government officials and the various private sectors expect that the increasing numbers of tourists will spread to their area because this place is next to the newly constructed national road 7. Besides culture, Cambodia still has many eco-tourism areas to attract domestic and foreign visitors, particularly in the Northeast.


Preah Ko Temple
Located in Thala Borivath commune, Preah Ko temple can be accessed by the confluence of the Se Kong and Mekong rivers. Preah Ko temple is an important historical site in Stung Treng province; it was built in the 6th-7th Centuries, during the reign of King Jayavarman I, in dedication to Brahmanism religion.

Preah Ko temple was built using only a few distinct materials, mostly red brick and sandstone. Today, what remains of this temple is the main tower and several temple ruins surrounding the main tower. In front of the temple is a statue of Preah Ko (sacred cow). This is the main reason why younger Cambodians called this temple 'Preah Ko'.

At the eastern site of Preah Ko statue is a 10-square meter space for Viey Khel, a traditional folk game played annually before the Khmer New Year over a period of four days and three nights. Viey Khel is also played by the ethnic Kuoy minority in their annual festivals in some provinces in the Kingdom of Cambodia, such as Stung Treng, Kampong Thom and Preah Vihear province. The Preah Ko temple site is located in Thala commune, Thala Borivath district, about  two kilometers from the provincial town.


Preah Theat Temple
Located on a hill about 3 km. away from the outskirts of Stung Treng town, the Preah Theat temple is one of the most sacred places of worship for residents and visitors alike. As such, it is an important historical site in the province. This temple was built in the 6th century during the reign of King Jayavarman I.

The temple tower no longer remains but the foundation and stair steps demonstrate that it was a single tower temple. The Yoni half for the Yoni-Linga pair remains on the central part of this temple. This 'pair' is symbolic of the God representative to whom residents and visitors pray for good luck.

Recently, the Department of Culture and Fine Arts of Stung Treng province built a new wooden roof over the Preah Theat Temple construction area to protect it from the weather. In front of the wooden building along the stairs and roadside, there are a few pieces of broken lintel. Even while broken, they retain their own unique beauty from the original architecture. These lintels are decorated by the head of Makara (a powerful sea-dragon), a horse, some flowers, as well as the icon of Brahman god Vishnu. Preah Thea temple was built using mostly red brick and sandstone. The original size of the temple is similar in dimensions to the Preah Ko temple in Thala borivat district.


Brambei Lveng temple
Just located in the jungle about 2 km. south of Preah Ko temple is another temple ruin called 'Brambei Lveng' temple which has been rapidly deteriorating for almost three decades, due to many years of war and neglect. These temple ruins were further damaged by nature and looting. Today, there are a few beautiful lintels and bas-reliefs remaining. One beautiful lintel is decorated by the image of Rehoo; Rehoo is the God of Time in the believed of Khmer traditional and culture.

The Brambei Lveng temple is located in Thala commune, Thala Borivath district, six kilometer distance from the provincial town. The temple was built in the reign of King Jayavarman I, during the 6-7th century by King Jayavarman I, also in dedication to Brahmanism. Most of construction material is red brick and mixed some sandstone.


Badoeum Temple
The ruins of the Badoeum Temple are located in Sam Khuoy commune, Se San district. The temple was built in the reign of King Jayavarman I during the 6-7th centuries, in dedication to Brahmanism, with most of the construction material being either brick or sandstone.

This temple is one of the oldest temples of Stung Treng province; however, because of old age and its remote location, the temple's tower has collapsed a long time ago. But there are still some beautiful and interesting lintels and bas-reliefs remaining, one of the most important being a complete piece of stone inscription in the Khmer language.

For a long time, few visitors went to the temple because of the bad road conditions; however, a recently constructed red-soil road has made the temple more easily accessible for tourists.


Prasat Kou & Andong Boran
The 'Prasat Kou', which means the 'twin temple', is one of the oldest temple ruins of Stung Treng province, located in the heart of the jungle of Kam Phun commune, Se San district. It is approximately 5 km. away from the Badeoum temple and about 25 km. east of Stung Treng's provincial town.

The Prasat Kou temple may have been erected during the 6-7th centuries. Because of its old age and remote location away from the heritage protection authorities, this tower temple collapsed as a result of looters and natural causes.

One the mysterious features of the surrounding temple is that it contains many huge ancient black stone pieces that are unique to this area, seemingly ancient concrete and cement materials. Strangely, these types of stone have not been found in other areas. These two enormous peculiar pieces of black stone are why local people call the temple 'Prasat Kou’.

Next to the Prasat Kou and the two stone pieces there is another large piece of stone measuring about 7 meters in diameter, called the 'Andong Boran' which means the ‘ancient drill', located on the surface of the stone. This ancient drill is about 1 meter in diameter and about 1 meter deep over the stone; it is perpetually full of water even during the dry season. The local people believe that the water of this ancient drill is sacred water that can induce good fortune and good health.


O'Chab water rapids
The O'Chab water rapids are a popular place for taking a bath or swimming during the dry season. The beautiful green plantation foliage provides ample shade in the water rapids area making it more pleasant to bathe or swim in the cool and clear water.

Usually, visitors can link their trip to O'Chab water rapids after they visit the Badoeum and Prasat Kou temple area by taking a bath at O'Chab for refreshing relaxation and restoring lost energy. O'Chab is the only place among the three mentioned that have vendors selling soft-drinks and local food, with many temporary kiosks set up under the trees shade along the river. O'Chab is located in Kam Phun commune, Se San district about 22 km. away from Stung Treng provincial town.


Koh Khsach
Koh Khsach is a favorite among tourists during the dry season, especially during Khmer New Year and Chinese New Year. The 0.5 Kilometers wide and 2 km long island has beautiful sandy riverbanks and a water surface dappled with sunlight. Foreigners enjoy taking time out and relaxing on the sand. Additionally, this sand island provides a good place for take a bath, swimming and fishing. Koh Khsach is located on Se Kong River, about 5 kilometers eastern direction from Stung Treng town.


Anlong Svay Thom's Dolphin pool
Anlong Svay Thom's Dolphin pool or Preah Romkel Dolphin pool is one of the most cherished sites of  Mekong mammal wildlife preservation area in southeast Asia. The area is one of the few places in Asia where exotic mammals can still be seen in the wild. This lot is located along the Mekong River in Preah Romkel commune, Thala Boriwath district, Stung Treng province..


Ancient Pagodas of Stung Treng
Both the Hang Kho Ba pagoda, which is over 300 years old, and the Hang Savat pagoda are of cultural and historical interest. The majority of the people there speak Lao. Steung Treng province, in which Hang Kho Ba resides, is famed for two local specialties - sweet tamarind fruit and Pa Si Y fish (Pava fish).

Hang Kho Ba pagoda is in Hang Kho commune of Steung Treng district. To get there, travel 6 kilometers on the airport road out of town, then turn left and cross the Se Kong River.


O'Pong Mohn Site
The O'Pong Mohn Resort attracts visitors to its natural, small river setting. The spring water, which rises far away in a jungle plateau area, flows all year long and once provided ideal swimming in the past. Today, the flow is restricted due to a partially dammed pond by national road 7. Beside the river, there are additional facilities for leisure and resting up after the hundred kilometer trip from Kratie to Stung Treng province.


Stung Treng's Silk weaving Center
Many tourists know that Stung Treng, the northeastern province of Cambodia, is rich in nature tourism sites. The province also has a big silk center for training and handicraft products.

In order to satisfy the demand of an increasing tourist and overseas market, the silk and weaving center was established to generate jobs for local people. The weaving house was established in 2002 with funding from the Allen Foundation.


Ramsar Of Cambodia's Mekong River
Ramsar is a word meaning ‘wetland Rconservation area’. In the Kingdom of Cambodia, there is a Ramsar area along the Mekong River extending from upper Stung Treng town until just below the border of Lao PDR.

Mr. Eng Phirun, director of Department of Environment of Stung Treng province said that there was great eco-diversity in this Ramsar area. The Royal Government of Cambodia classified this upper Mekong River area as a Ramsar conservation area of the kingdom in 1999. It covers 14,600 hectares of the surrounding river area.

"Our Ramsar is one of the most beautiful nature areas. During the dry season, many white sand beaches a rise along the river while this mighty Mekong River splits into many small channels of clear water flowing in the gaps." Phirun said.

This wetland area has become most important for biological diversity. This Cambodian Ramsar has much potential as an eco-tourist destination given the natural resources of mangrove forest, surrounding jungle, wildlife, fish and especially the river dolphin, all protected very well by rangers.

"We can see most of the mangrove trees along the river have many roots with some trees having roots far up the side of the tree. As the water level goes down, the roots appear to climb up a higher portion of the tree. But during the rainy season, most of the tree is under water. These trees are very tall and some can reach 20 meters in height."

Mr. Phirun said, "There are over 200 species of birds living along our Ramsar area. Some endangered species of birds surviving here represent half of their respective species for the whole world. An example of this is the species of bird called ‘Kngor-kao-sor’ which has only about 200 surviving in the world and we found about 100 of them living here."

"During the dry season we can also see large groups of vultures," Phirun said. "Beside the birds, there are many kinds of reptiles such as snakes, turtles and crocodiles found there as well as many kinds of fish."

H.E. Doctor Touch Seang Tana, a Khmer fishery expert said, "If we talk about fish in Cambodia, we should consider the Ramsar area because this zone provides some of the best ecology of the Mekong River, namely clear water, many mangrove forests and stony river bottoms with many very deep areas where fish can spawn. Those are the best places for the many kinds for big fish to spawn. Then later all the fish fry swim up to the lower part of the Mekong River and reach the Tonle Sap lake."

"With my ten years experience in fishery, found the Ramsar area to be the best place for the very rare Pasa-ee fish, which is the tastiest fish in the Mekong," Seang Tana said.

"One of the highlights of the Ramsar area is the Mekong dolphin. There is a large group of dolphins living along this conservation zone," Seang Tana said. "The Royal Government of Cambodia has set up a Dolphin Authority to protect this very rare mammal"

"Ramsar really has the same meaning as national park’ but to avoid confusion, think of it as a national park for rivers and water," Seang Tana said.