Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eco-tour hotspots

In my efforts to promote new ecotourism projects in Cambodia, I will report back from Wildlife Alliance's Chi Phat community-based programme after the weekend. I've been told to bring leech repellant and that the mozzies have malaria, and that there will be lots of trekking (which ranks only 2nd to cycling as my most loathed pasttime). Remind me, why did I sign up for this again?
In the meantime, here's four more projects that I've just this minute heard about. They are brand new, hot off the press and have been in place for a matter of weeks. Primarily they have been flagged for local, Khmer tourists but I know barangs will be welcome too, the only downside is that the website promoting these new sites isn't working properly yet. The four community-based projects are at Kompong Khleang, Preah Net Preah, Kouk Daung and Teuk Hot. So what are they? Essentially they are taking advantage of the natural resources in these areas and giving the local community the opportunity to benefit from tourism income. Each of the four projects includes boat rides, as all three are promoted by the Community Fisheries authorities that serve the surrounds, and offer visits to local villages to see lifestyles, fishing activities, flooded forests, other scenic attractions in the locale such as mountains, lakes and pagodas, sampling the local food delicacies, buying locally-made souvenirs ...and enjoying a pedalo ride! Yes, you heard me correctly - the Khmers love them. Kompong Khleang is 12kms from Route 6 as you head towards Siem Reap. Preah Net Preah is 4kms from Route 6 and 30kms east of Sisophon. Kouk Daung is located 20kms from Battambang and 5kms from Prasat Ek Phnom. Teuk Hot is 16kms from Kompong Chhnang, very close to Route 5. The website, when its back on track, is here.


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