Eastern Cambodia is a region of Cambodia and includes the following provinces: Kratie to the east of the Mekong, Mondulkiri (Mundulkiri), Rattanakiri (Ratanakiri) and Stoeng Treng (Stung Treng) to the east of the Mekong.
Eastern Cambodia is an up and coming eco-tourist destination, with rugged green mountains, waterfalls, lakes and the meandering Mekong river as the perfect playground. Bordering Vietnam, the eastern region of Cambodia is scattered with small hill tribe villages. Eastern Cambodia offers hikers and climbers a rugged playground, with waterfalls, caves and forests.
Eastern Cambodia Highlights
Highlights include spotting the ever more rare Irawaddy dolphin near Kratie, taking a refreshing dive in the crystal-clear crater lake Boeng Yeak Lom and visiting the Elephant Valley Project near Mondulkiri. You can also volunteer at this wonderful place. Don’t expect any elephant rides, as this project is focused entirely on letting elephants be elephants again!
Mondulkiri is home to a unique indigineous people : The Bunong. The vast rolling hills in Eastern Cambodia are not only home to many different ethnic minorities (Khmer Leu or ‘Upper Khmer’), but also to rare wildlife such as elephants, leopards and even tigers.
Eastern Cambodia: Stung Treng & the Mighty Mekong
The town of Stung Treng, located in the western part of the Virachey National Park, is also a good place to relax. The city is located on a high sandy bank overlooking the Mekong River.
The mighty Mekong River splits Eastern Cambodia in half and travelling by boat is a great way to reach many of the area’s towns and cities. You will never forget the wonderful scenery you pass by on a slow boat, nor the pain in your backside if the boatride takes long.
Ratanakiri: Cambodia’s Wild East
Ratanakiri is the heart of Cambodia’s Wild east, with a particularly remote national park, a crater lake, trekking, boat trips and even a new border crossing leading to neighbouring Vietnam. The provincial capital Banlung is a good starting point to explore the region, with plenty of accommodation and transportation. The Yak Lom crater lake with its infamous Yak Lom monster, are within walking distance. Be aware that roads in this very remote corner of Cambodia vary from bumpy to virtually non-existent. Especially in the wet season, the dirt tracks turn into a red muddy mess.
The region’s proximity to Vietnam and Laos means that visitors will discover an interesting blend of Khmer, Lao and Vietnamese architecture, clothing styles and ethnicities. This can for example be seen in the designs of the temples, clothing styles and dishes you come accross. Eastern Cambodia shows travelers an entirely different side of life off the beaten tourist trail.