Stung Treng province, located in the north east of the country, was one of the first parts of Cambodia to fall under the Khmer Rouge control whose influence continued in certain areas until 1999. Stung Treng is now a peaceful town rebuilding itself, the beauty of this province can be breathtaking and surprising. Located near where the Sekong River meets the Mekong, this is traditionally a fishing and farming region, as well as a port and gateway to the Lao border.
An easy bike ride just outside the town can take you into peaceful farming and fishing villages, with rice fields, old bamboo huts and a vision of how much of Cambodia would have been. A slow boat up the Mekong River can take you to a 3km waterfall that stretches across the span of the Mekong at the Lao border. The size and power of this waterfall does not deter local fishermen from living there perched on rocks, making outstandingly engineered fishing traps out of bamboo and fallen timber. On return you may be fortunate enough to see one of the last of the protected Mekong River Dolphins.
As a Buddhist country there are many old Pagodas (temples) in Stung Treng housing beautiful old art work depicting Buddha's story, they hold many celebrations and festivals. Stung Treng is a gateway to seeing the jungle animals, mountains and tribes of Ratanakiri, the Ho Chi Min Trail, or even experiencing a fishing trip on the Mekong. The people of Stung Treng are warm and friendly, the children extremely sociable, many still curious when seeing a foreigner. The food is rural and Lao influenced, as much of this region holds local people who are both Lao and Khmer. The market is an adventure, many of the local villages bring their catch of the day or unusual vegetables or plants to sell. The many animals that use the roads are amusing and caution must be taken getting around!
By traveling within the rural areas of Cambodia you can experience the spirit and innovation of the Khmer people. If you wish to know the best way to travel to Stung Treng, please feel free to email us here at SWDC for some local knowledge at firstname.lastname@example.org.