Koh Kong is a region close to the Thai border, the halfway point on the southern Bangkok to Phnom Penh route. It is where Highway 48 cuts straight through the jungle, under the shadow of the Cardamom Mountains – an area which remains ecologically-sound, largely down to its remoteness. This is one of the last remaining habitats for Asian elephants, bears, tigers and the Siamese crocodile.
The lowland virgin rainforest, lying the shadow of the mountains, is made up of deserted river islands and beaches, thundering waterfalls and mangrove-lined tributaries. Much of the area is recognised as protected forest and many NGOs work to secure the area’s distinct eco-systems from loggers and poachers. Koh Kong is now emerging as a new centre for ecotourism, with several community tourism projects established in the area.
Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary is set within dense mangroves and has within a wooden walkway to explore the bird and sea life. The nearby village of Koh Kapi has stilted houses built over the tidal flats of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Kong Island is the largest of Cambodia’s off-shore islands and the west coast is flanked by beautiful white sand beaches. Inland, there are two major waterfalls, including Tatai waterfall which is within walking distance of the 4 Rivers Ecolodge.
A few days at the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge offers insight into Cambodia’s natural beauty with opportunities to kayak amongst pristine mangrove forest, swim in waterfalls and visit remote fishing communities.