A spectacular limestone mountain covered in lush greenery is attracting tourists near and far because of improved accessibility from a new road to a dam.
The Damrei Mountain, or Elephant Mountain as it’s often called, is located in Kampot province’s Damnak Kantuot commune, in Kampong Trach district.
Despite its 7km proximity from Kampong Trach Mountain Resort, a historic tourist attraction, the Damrei Mountain has remained relatively unknown – until recently.
The Damrei Mountain quickly gained popularity after the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology unveiled a 1.2-km dam road built around the mountain, thus opening the site to tourist access.
The photos of the newly-built road posted on the ministry’s Facebook page have garnered praise from the public, with it gaining more than 1,000 likes and 700 shares from social media users.
Bearch Srey Oun, a social media user and resident from a nearby village, says she had not even heard of the ministry’s project until she saw the pictures.
“I live nearby but I did not even know that a road had been built around the foot of the mountain. Since seeing it on Facebook, I have already gone to the mountain twice,” says 19-year-old Srey Oun, who has visited the site with her sister and niece.
“After posting our photos on Facebook, several friends asked me where they were taken.
“I recommend they visit the mountain by late afternoon because that’s when they can see their reflection in the water, where the water lilies and water mimosa flowers are beautifully blooming,” she says.
With the potential of the new attraction, the Kampot provincial Department of Tourism has been working with local authorities and relevant parties to establish a natural resort in the area.
Department director Soy Sinol says: “We’re in the middle of studying the project and working with the community so we can assess how best to set up the project. Since we now have two roads available, we’re considering which of the two would be more accessible to tourists.
“We’re trying to discern the steps that we should take to make this possible. When we’ve completed this, then we could start promoting it.”
Asked about the historical background of the mountain, Sinol says: “I don’t know much about the mountain. Regardless, when we’re done with the project, we’ll make sure it takes their breath away.”
The ministry’s Facebook post, says: “The provincial department’s engineers built the road spanning 1.2km in Kampong Trach district’s Damnak Kantuot commune.”
Despite the recent road accessibility, there are no nearby accommodations for tourists who are looking for more than just a day’s visit on the mountain. Tourists would have to travel to Kampot town for food and accommodation.
Visitors can travel via National Roads No 3 or No 41, which traverses through the districts of Chhuk and Dang Tong; or via National Road No 31, which passes through Angkor Chey district and Kampong Trach Mountain Resort.