Or Angkal waterfall: overlooked hidden gem in scenic Mondulkiri

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A view of the Or Angkal waterfall in Pich Chreda district, Mondulkiri province. Hong Menea

In a country where the tropical weather has caused Cambodians to prefer chilling in the water on weekends or during holidays, the waterfall is one of their most favourite destinations.

However, in Mondulkiri, the famous Bou Sra waterfall is often crammed to capacity. So travellers who wish to escape the crowd and enjoy quiet moments can drop by Or Angkal waterfall on the road to Bou Sra.

Here, the monsoon rains ensure that water flows from higher grounds into canals and basins, creating a waterfall near the road.

As the seven-meter high waterfall flows, it brings with it a creamy, coffee-coloured water that separates into two and falls into a big hole which is about 10 metres deep and under the shade of large trees. Visitors run and play as they chase one another along the route downstream.

The Or Angkal waterfall is located in a yet-to-be-named village in Am Poum commune, Pich Chreada district, in Mondulkiri province. It is 10km from the Koh Nhek crossroad en route to the Bou Sra waterfall, or 20km from downtown Mondulkiri province.

It exemplifies the beauty of nature and is nearer than the Bou Sra waterfall which is popular for tourists travelling from Sen Monorom town. Unfortunately, despite its beauty, the Or Angkal waterfall is not well known or popular among tourists travelling to the famous Bou Sra waterfall, and hence, they often bypass it.

This is despite the fact that it is located only some 100 meters from the Bou Sra road and the Ou Fly resort where tourists in their vicinity can get down from their vehicles and walk just a few minutes before coming to it.

Ou Fly resort manager Ieng Sithol, 46, who lives near Or Angkal said travellers are unaware that the area has beautiful nature, that’s not inferior to the Bou Sra waterfall. Only people living near the area visit it. But even they just spend a short time there before leaving.

Cheang Ra, 54, has a daughter who operates the Mak Meng Heng shop that sells groceries and food. It is located in the area leading to the waterfall. He says that mostly ethnic people visit the waterfall. “Tourists don’t know the place because there is no signboard to show its entry. The route to the waterfall is on private property too,” he says.

Ra says he plans to build a resting hut near the waterfall but is worried about the rapidly rising water when it rains. In the dry season, there is little water but even then, it is more than 10 meters deep.

With regards to the promotion and development of the Or Angkal waterfall as a resort to attract tourists now going to the Bou Sra waterfall, Ngin Sovimean, the director of Mondulkiri Provincial Department of Tourism tells The Post that there are plans afoot to do this.

“While Or Angkal is not the only the waterfall in the area, the fact is that while we have plans to develop it, we lack the necessary funds to do so. We need investors to cooperate and develop such tourist sites,” he says.

He adds: “We are happy and welcome any investor who wishes to help develop the tourism sector. We are not just thinking of resorts but even guesthouses and hotels.