My husband and I are in Phnom Penh at the moment and will go to Siem Reap then are thinking about going to Ratanakiri before crossing the border into Laos. It sounds like a nice place to relax and escape the tourists.
Please could you help with the following:
- Is it possible to get a bus from Siem Reap to Ratanakiri? Or will we have to back track to PP?
- I realise that Ratanakiri is the province, can anyone suggest any particular places within the province that are worth visiting i.e. interesting villages and spots of natural beauty?
- Can anyone recommend any accommodation options?
Sorry for the questions but our Lonely Planet SE Asia on a Shoestring has limited info on this place!
Thanks very much!
My partner and I are also looking at going to the same area when we are there in January. From what I have read Ban Lung is the main town you stay in in the Ratanakiri Province.
As for transport, I have read of flights from Siem Reap to Ratanakiri but any links to the airlines websites seem to be corrupted. I also have posted questions on the best way to get there and got no replies, I'm guessing not many people head up into that region.
Check out this link, it has a bit about the area and how to get there..
I went up to Ratankiri in 2005 - a long old journey for little reward to be honest.
i can't remember exactly the name of the place but we travelled by bus to where you can see irawaddy dolphins, spent the night there and then the following day took a taxi up to ban lung. the taxi was an old knackered toyota camry and myself and my 2 mates shared it with a family of four and the driver. Plus backpacks. The roads were shite and it took about 8 hours. it was a tiring journey to say the least.
In Ban Lung we were the only westerners in town - we spent three days there and went swimming in an old lake. The trekking that we went up there for was massively expensive and very hard to arrange through various local forestry people. I'm sure the infrastructure is different now but it was quite hard work up there - the market is fun and so much poorer than most other parts of se asia.
we flew back to phnom penh with PMT air (great name) for around US$ 75 one way.
I think Mondulkiri is a bit more worthy of a visit. Ratankiri is quite cool if you like remote, rough and ready places where the people are a bit surprised to see you. lack of actual sights but the market is pretty cool for a wander around.
I hope this helps. Cambodia is a wicked country!!
yes, u can make the trip from Siem Reap to Ratanakiri by bus...but u have to break journey at Kratie, or u can also proceed to Stung Treng, and take another bus/van to Ban Lung, Ratanakiri's capital. The road to Ban Lung is in better condition now...If you are still in Siem Reap, you could get loads of advice from yaklom angkor lodge (see oraphin, whose husband runs a beautiful eco-lodge, abotu 10km from the "red city" of ban lung. there are, however, other guesthouses just walking distance from the bus terminal
Ratanakiri is a haven for the more discerning traveller....and among the must see places, Yaklom crater lake, tempuan tribal villages, zircon mining area...it is also a paradise for trekkers - mountains, rivers,etc.
if u want additional details, u can msg me...
I wonder if Danalasta is questioning my discernment? I hope not. I am pretty widely travelled and feel that I am a sensitive and reasonably well-informed sort of chap.
I am aware that my info is likely out of date but I was just trying to give you some info on my experience of travelling to the area albeit 4 years ago.
I'm sure that the road has improved and if it is now easier to arrange trekking in the area I have no doubt it is very good.
Happy New Year!