Ideal getaways for Covid-19 fearful travellers

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The Phnom Tbeng waterfall is 600m abive the Tbeng Meanchey Mountain and some 35km from Preah Vihear town. Yousos Apdoulrashim

WITH over 90 people in the Kingdom infected with Covid-19, there are now fewer people in pubs and resorts, compared to the insane crowds that previously used to throng such places, especially the popular ones.

People are very cautious about travelling, and while staying at home is preferable under the circumstances, the government has not ordered a lockdown as of writing so there are still untouched places one can visit, especially if you are a tourist caught up by travel bans abroad.

Just for you and Cambodians who need a break to distress from all the fear surrounding the novel coronavirus, The Post introduces you to three natural resorts that are an ideal getaway for those who want to get cool in our hot weather and remain socially distanced.

Three-hour-trekking to Oryas Waterfall in Ratanakkiri

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The Oryas Waterfall is isolated, untouched, and unexplored. Yousos Apdoulrashim

The Oryas Waterfall is located in the Lam Av village of Koh Pang commune, Veun Sai district, Ratanakkiri province. Perfectly isolated, untouched and unexplored, it has waterfalls that cascade down 40m into the Sesan river.

Chab Vael, 27, a Kachak ethnic minority, is a local guide in the village. He takes tourists by boat for one hour to adventure along the Sesan River, docking at the Koh Peak commune.

Going ashore, tourists will be greeted by the indigenous peoples and the rice fields of Koh Peak’s Tumpoun village.

They then embark on a three-hour hike through the forest of the nearby Koh Pang commune before catching a glimpse of the Oryas Waterfall.

On the way to the forest, tourists spend an hour walking in the Tumpoun village. Vael ensures they have a chance to soak up the landscape and observe the peoples’ way of life.

After two hours of trekking through the forest, visitors get to hear the faint sounds of the waterfall. Then a huge wooden hut comes into view. Visitors can relax and have a meal before heading to the falls of Koh Pang’s Lam Av village.

Travellers can head directly to Kachak village’s dock by contacting Vael on 0978292413 or through Green Jungle Trekking Tours-Cambodia which organises the trip to the attraction at 088 454 6466.

Two-hour trekking to Stung Ta Sok waterfall in Pursat

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Drinking from vines at the Stung Ta Sok waterfall. Post staff

Stung Ta Sok waterfall, lies between Phnom Samkoh Wildlife Sanctuary and the Cardamom Mountains. Here again, visitors need to trek for two hours to reach the untapped natural area.

Local guide Korng Noy is ready to take visitors on an experience of a lifetime. Relax, picnic and swim in very cold water to re-energise after your two-hour trek. But it’s not all sweat though, as the trekking becomes an adventure to enjoy nature.

Visitors, who are expected to use their own vehicles to avoid shared taxis can park at Seng Meng Kry’s home. After a stop for refreshments about 30km from Osoam Community Centre, visitors start off again on foot to the 50m-high Chhay Broy waterfall which is just a 10-minute walk along a creek to the jungle.

Since the trail is complicated, visitors must not forget to hire a local guide, otherwise, they might just lose their way. People can enjoy the experience of drinking wild water wine that Noy is expert at preparing.

Enjoy the fresh, cool breeze blowing from the north as you reach the Stung Ta Sok waterfall. At 10m-high, it flows into a huge pool below the clear water, which exhausted visitors can swim in before having a sumptuous lunch.

Trekking between Chhay Broy waterfall and Stung Ta Sok waterfall takes between 90 minutes to two hours. The trek begins near Veal Veng district’s Chhay Louk village in Pursat province.

For more information, contact local guide, Mr. Korng Noy via his number 081 667 407.

Two-hour hiking to enjoy stunning Phnom Tbeng waterfall

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The Phnom Tbeng waterfall is 600m abive the Tbeng Meanchey Mountain and some 35km from Preah Vihear town. Yousos Apdoulrashim

And finally, we have the Phnom Tbeng waterfall. It is 600m above the Tbeng Meanchey Mountain and some 35km from Preah Vihear town. Visitors pass by Phnom Tbeng from the foot through the 1,345 steps leading up to the mountain and to Dombouk Khmao pagoda after around 1km.

The white cascade of water against the backdrop of green vegetation covering the cliff walls make this the ideal spot for avid photographs.

Khek Thuon, who can be hired to carry people’s things to the peak of the mountain, says most people can’t carry heavy loads as they hike up the mountain, “so they hire me to do it for them, especially since some parts of the stairs are very steep”.

“From the foot of the mountain to the top involves climbing the 1,092 steps, with three stops along the way to visit. Once at the top, there are another 253 steps to reach the Tbeng, or Dombouk Khmao, pagoda,” says Thuon, who charges 30,000 riel for his services.

Around 280km from Phnom Penh, Phnom Tbeng waterfall is reached by taking National Road 6, before turning north onto National Road 62 in Kampong Thom’s province’s Trapaing Russey commune.

When you reach the foot of the mountain, local guides will welcome you, but you can decide who you want to carry your luggage up the mountain top. The service costs between 30,000 riel ($7.50) and 50,000 riel ($12.50) when you hire a guide.