In Mondulkiri province’s Phnom Nam Lyr Wildlife Sanctuary near the Cambodia-Vietnam border sits Nam Lyr Mountain – also known as Phnom Lu Bran – a giant, imposing peak formed of smooth grey rock.
Jutting out of the rich green forest, from its summit you can see miles and miles of greenery and rubber plantations. If you are lucky enough, you will also see a prayer ceremony by the Bunong minority ethnic group indigenous to the area.
Both local and international tourists flock to visit the huge mountain each day, with the site becoming especially busy during Vietnamese and Khmer new years.
This smooth, rounded rock face is also home to apricot blossom trees, the flowers from which will be used for home decorations in the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations next week.
The wildlife reserve that plays home to Nam Lyr Mountain is located at an altitude of 1,300m, sitting adjacent to Vietnam’s Daklak province. It is home to a rich variety of local bird, animal and plant species.
However, the sanctuary’s glorious natural splendour is under constant threat from illegal logging.
The excitement starts when you first step on the steep, smooth rock, looking ahead into the endlessly rolling countryside.
“It’s a really exhilarating experience, because it’s not only steep but also has a very smooth surface,” said a local tourist at Nam Lyr Mountain.
The nearest village is Bou Sra commune’s Village I near the Pichinda district border. It is advisable that you find a village guide to help you reach the summit if you are an inexperienced trekker.