Saturday, October 17, 2009


Chambok in Kampong Speu province is slowly becoming one of Cambodia's more well known waterfall destinations. The uniqueness lies not in the waterfall itself , but in the way the waterfall and surrounding forest is being managed by the community itself. Mlup Baitong, a national NGO trying to protect forests and the environment has been working for years with the local population to get up clear systems for management and the project is known as Chambok Community Based Eco-Tourism project.

One way it stands out from other waterfalls in Southeast Asia is that the entrance is nearly an hour's walk from the waterfall, visitors meant to walk or cycle to the falls. Entrance fees are paid and assist the community both in improvements and development projects. Additional services are guiding and home-stay.

From the national highway four (towards Sihanoukville) one takes the turn to Kirirom National Park in the non-descript village Treng Trayeung (approx. 2 hours from Phnom Penh. Ten kms down this bumpy tarsealed road and just before the national park entrance, an unpaved road veers off to the right. Again 10 kms further takes you to Chambok. A parking place and ticket office (entrance fee $3) are all apparent.

The walk to the falls is nice. The falls itself drop 15-20m over a cliff. Unfortunately there is no pool underneath, the falls hitting the rocks below. Further down stream there are a few smaller but deeper pools, good enough for a dip.

A warning, do not visit on national holidays as the place can become packed and noisy.

More info on Kirirom National Park in particular is to found here.

Visited 2007. An update from December 2010.

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