Cambodia is a country that is famous for its ancient temples, but it also has a rich and diverse natural heritage that is worth exploring. Cambodia has a system of national parks and protected areas that cover around 40% of the country’s territory and provide a vital habitat for many wildlife species. Here is a summary of some of the best national parks in Cambodia:
- Phnom Kulen National Park: This park is located on the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, which was the birthplace of the Khmer Empire. The park has many historical and religious attractions, such as the River of a Thousand Lingas, the reclining Buddha of Preah Ang Thom, and the ruins of the lost city of Mahendraparvata. The park also has a beautiful waterfall that featured in the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, and a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
- Botum Sakor National Park: This park is one of the largest and most biodiverse in Cambodia, with over 45 species of mammals, including Asian elephants, sun bears, gibbons, and pangolins. The park also has more than 100 species of birds, some of which are rare and endangered. The park’s landscape consists of evergreen forests, woodlands, swamps, and mangroves.
- Virachey National Park: This park is one of the most protected and isolated in Cambodia, as it forms part of the ASEAN Heritage Parks. The park has an extensive forest area that is largely unexplored and untouched by human activities. The park is home to many wildlife species, such as tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, dholes, bantengs, gaurs, and hornbills.
- Ream National Park: This park is located on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, and has a diverse ecosystem that includes mangrove forests, coral reefs, islands, beaches, and mountains. The park is a popular destination for ecotourism activities, such as hiking, boating, birdwatching, and snorkeling. The park has many wildlife species, such as dolphins, dugongs, monkeys, turtles, eagles, and pelicans.
- Kirirom National Park: This park is situated on a high plateau that offers a cool and refreshing climate. The park has pine forests, waterfalls, cliffs, and scenic views of the Cardamom Mountains. The park is ideal for trekking, camping, mountain biking, and picnicking. The park also has some wildlife species, such as deer, wild pigs, civets, and birds.
- Kep National Park: This park is located on a small peninsula that overlooks the sea. The park has a circular trail that goes around the hill and offers panoramic views of the coast and the islands. The park also has some caves that contain Buddhist shrines and statues. The park is a good place for hiking, cycling, and relaxing.
- Preah Monivong National Park: This park is also known as Bokor National Park, as it encompasses the Bokor Hill Station, which was a former French colonial resort. The park has many historical buildings that are now abandoned and haunted by ghosts. The park also has some natural attractions, such as waterfalls, lakes, streams, and forests. The park is home to some wildlife species, such as elephants, tigers, leopards, bears, gibbons.