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Ratanakiri is in the region of 635 km from Phnom Penh and the Vietnam/Laos border. It is famous for the Ban Lung City and its all-round natural beauty where visitors get to enjoy a trek or excursion into jungle areas or Khmer Loeu villages, as well as a variety of other popular tourist sites in the local area.

Most travellers on the Cambodia travel packages to Ratanakiri head to Ban Lung City, where it is possible to signup for treks to tourist sites like the Yeak Laom volcanic lake, gem mines, waterfalls and jungle areas. Even though the actual city of Ban Lung is relatively small, there are still plenty of decent hotels and interesting shopping options.

Best time to visit

The Ratanakiri Province has three seasons, which is similar to most other areas in the country. The dry season is the best time to plan the Cambodia tour packages to Ratanakiri and lasts from November to March when the temperature is in the region of 20°C to 32°C. In the rainy season (May to October) the journey on the local roads can be quite difficult and can leave the vehicle travelling on unbelievably slippery roads and getting stuck.

The average temperature in this region of Cambodia is lower than most other areas of the country - with the exception of the Mondulkiri Province.

Check the below table for the general idea of Rattanakiri weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 30.8 27.3 22.3
Feb 32.8 28.7 23.3
Mar 34.3 30.3 25.1
Apr 34.8 30.7 25.8
May 34.8 30.5 26.2
Jun 33.9 29.8 25.8
Jul 32.9 29.2 25.2
Aug 33.1 29.1 25.2
Sep 32.2 28.6 25
Oct 31.8 28.6 25
Nov 31.4 28.5 24.6
Dec 31 27.7 23.1

Rattanakiri’s current weather and 7-day forecast

RATANAKIRI PROVINCE WEATHER

A mountainous region bordering Vietnam to the east and Laos to the north. Beautiful waterfalls, crystal rivers, virgin forests, and rolling hills make Ratanakiri a popular tourist destination. Unreached self-sufficient hill tribe communities are common- Ratanakiri is homd to most of Cambodia's ethnic minorities. Ban Lung, the provincial Capital, is quickly expanding with the influx of tourist and NGO dollars.

1. Beung Yeak Loam

Beung Yeak Loam is located in Yeak Loam commune, Ban Loung district, about 5 kilometers south of Ban Loung provincial town. A lake in the middle of a mountain, it was formed many centuries ago from a volcano. The lake is about 800 meters in diameter and 48 meters deep during the dry season. The water is clear and suitable for swimming

2. Cha Ong Waterfall

Cha Ong waterfall is in the forest in Cha Ong village, O'Chum commune, about 2 kilometers west of Ban Loung provincial town. It was given its name by the Kreung hill tribe living nearby.The waterfall gets its water from Phnom Eysei Patamak or Phnom Svay near Ban Loung provincial town. From its upper level, the water flows from a small canal before dropping 25 meters to a lower level. A mountain slop leads visitors to the bottom of the waterfall, where they can sit inside a cave and enjoy the view.

The waterfall gets its water from Phnom Eysei Patamak or Phnom Svay near Ban Loung provincial town from its upper level, the water flows from a small canal before dropping 25 meters to a lower level. A mountain slop leads visitors to the bottom of the waterfall, where they can sit inside a cave and enjoy the view.Ka Chanh waterfall is located in Ka Chanh commune, Ban Loung district, about 6 kilometers southeast of Ban Loung provincial town. The waterfall is 12 meters high and is fed year round by the OKan Teung canal.

3. Eisey Patamak Mountain or Phnom Svay

Phnom Eysei Patamak, which is also known as Phnom Svay,is about 2 kilometers west of Ban Loung provincial town. At the foot of the mountain is Wat Isana Rattanaram, where villagers living in Ban Loung come to worship. On the top of the mountain there is a large statue of the reclining Buddha reaching nirvana. It was built in 1994. The top of the mountain affords visitors a picturesque view of Ban Loung provincial town. The temperature at the top can be cool, however, even during the hot, dry season.

The Eisey Patamak Mountain, Ratanakiri is one of the popular Tourist Attractions in Ratanakiri, a small province in northeast Cambodia. The Eisey Patamak Mountain, Ratanakiri is where the famous Wat Rah-Tahn-Ah-Rahm (Reclining Buddha), is located. This is an ancient statue of the Lord Buddha in a laid back posture, to have withstood the ravages of time. The Eisey Patamak Mountain in Ratanakiri is also known as the Phnom Svay. This statue has lain undisturbed down the years.

4. Ka Chanh Waterfall

Ka Chanh waterfall is located in Ka Chanh commune, Ban Loung district, about 6 kilometers southeast of Ban Loung provincial town. The waterfall is 12 meters high and is fed year round by the Kan Teung canal. From the waterfall the water flows into Sre Pork River in Lum Phat district. The waterfall was given its name by the Kreung ethnic minority in Ka Chanh village. There are a number of scenic rubber plantations along the canal leading to the waterfall. The base of the waterfall, which is a lovely place for picnics, can be reached by climbing down a 72-step wooden staircase. Elephant rides to the site are also available.

5. Ka Tieng Waterfall

We went to see 3 waterfalls in total, visiting Ka Tieng, Kinchaan and Chaa Ong. To get to Ka Tieng. we had to go through a small river with the bike, which was pretty nerve racking, but worth the effort. On to Kinchaan, where we met some local guys keen to show off their cliff jumping skills, although i was happy to remain dry after my last cliff jumping experience ended in hospitalisation, with a torn medial knee ligament. I was happier to get wet at Chaa Ong, where Julia and I took a dip in the powerful spray dropping around 10 metres. We headed back to Ban Lung at sunset, impressed by the waterfalls and happy i had coped on the motorbike.Ka Tieng waterfall is located in Labang I commune, Lum Phat district, about 7 kilometers southeast of Ban Loung provincial town. Ka Tieng is below Ka Chanh waterfall and about 3 kilometers from it.

6. Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 37km. south of Banlung. With a total land area of 250,000 ha. there are special kinds of animals and birds like tigers, elephants, red-headed vultures.Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Ratanakiri is one of the must-see places in the colorful Cambodia. The province of Ratanakiri is located in the northeastern part of the country. The word Ratanakiri is derived from the Sanskrit words Ratna and Giri, which combine to mean a mountain of gems . Countless tourists throng this place every year to experience and enjoy the rich wildlife, ecotourism prospects and remote tribal villages. If you want to tour this province extensively, make it a point to include Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, Ratanakiri in your itinerary.

7. Norng Kabat Forest

This place has a pond. the visitors can go there to see the animals and birds which comes to at the pond .Beside this the tourists can go visit the ethnic villages, ethnic culture (tradition belief, festival, dancing, music).

The Norng Kabat Forest, Ratanakiri is one of the splendid tourist attractions in Ratanakiri, which attracts tens of thousands of travelers throughout the year. The Norng Kabat Forest, Ratanakiri is located about 23 kilometers to the north of Banlung in Ratanakiri. The Norng Kabat Forest in Ratanakiri houses a beautiful pond, which is frequented by many birds and animals. Visitors who come to the Ratanakiri Norng Kabat Forest can also enjoy the wonderful opportunity of watching the beautiful animals and birds that frequent the pond.

8. Ou'Chaloy

Ou'Chaloy is located in the Sre Pok river It is situated 34km. south - west of Banlung. The tourist recreation in Ou'Chaloy is only during the dry season.Ou’Chaloy, Ratanakiri is a popular tourist attraction in this colorful region of Cambodia. The province of Ratanakiri lies in northeastern Cambodia. It is a picturesque destination that abounds with tourist attractions. Innumerable travelers visit this place every year, drawn by the remote tribal villages, lush wildlife and ecotourism. The name of the province is a combination of the 2 Sanskrit words Ratna or gems and Giri meaning mountains. Most of the people here are ethnic minorities and the major occupation here is farming. It is no wonder that farming and tourism are the 2 major industries of the beautiful province. Backpackers come here all throughout the year. If you are interested in an extensive tour of this place, you should check out the Ou’Chaloy, Ratanakiri.

9. Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall

Ou'Sean Lair Waterfall is situated 26 km, South of Banlung. This Waterfall has 4 floors and the height of each floor is 4 m. The water flows throughout the year. Around the Waterfall are beautiful natural landscapes and the visitors can go take a bath if they wish.

Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall is one of the popular waterfalls of this area. It can be counted among the top tourist attractions in Ratanakiri. A large number of travel enthusiasts visit Ratanakiri each year. The province is located in Northeastern Cambodia.

10. Ou'Sensranoh Waterfall

Ou'Sensranoh Waterfall is situated 9 km. south of Banlung. The height of it is 18m. and the water flows and falls all the time. The visitors can go there rest and enjoy the fresh air, or to se the forest and listen to the birds ' cries.Ou’Sensranoh Waterfall, Ratanakiri is one of the popular waterfalls of this colorful province. The province of Ratanakiri is located in Northeastern Cambodia. Banlung is the capital of the province. The word Ratanakiri means a mountain of gems and is derived from the 2 Sanskrit words Ratna and Giri. Ecotourism in Ratanakiri draws numerous visitors each year. Nature enthusiasts throng this place to experience the lush wildlife and remote tribal villages. There are countless tourist attractions in Ratanakiri including mountains, mines, natural landscapes and waterfalls. There are numerous waterfalls present in this area. Ou Sensranoh Waterfall, Ratanakiri is one of the most visited waterfalls of this region.

11. Viel Rum Plong

Viel Rom Plong is a huge granite terrace in the forest in O'Chum commune, O'chum district, about 14 kilometers northest of Ban Loung provincial town. The site is a popular place for picnic.

According to the Kreung legend, there once was a boy named Rom Plong who flew his kite on this terrace. Unfortunately, the kite got stuck in a tree. Rom Plong climbed the tree to retrieve his kite, but fell from the tree and died. His body was buried in the forest. Since then, members of the Kreung hill tribe, who live in nearby village, believe that Rom Plong's spirit is protect the forest surrounding the terrace, so they dare not cut it down, even to plant crops. That is how the site came to be known as Viel Rom Plong.

12. Virochey National Park, Tonle San River & Beyond

To get to the various sights in this area, head west from Banlung to a big fork in the road that has a large painted sign in English (the fork is 8 km from the Independence Monument). The sign says that the road to the right takes you to Taveng, 67 km away (that?s from town, not from the sign). Following this road for a few kilometers brings you to a large clearing on both sides of the road. You soon notice that this is an ancient lava field where the flow followed the down ward slope of the area and left the cooled volcanic rock in its wake. The forest surrounding the entire area is honeycombed with footpaths that the hill tribe people of the area use to gather their various bounties from the jungle. It’s possible to hike off onto these trails and come upon individual hill tribe homes scattered about.

13. Wat Rah-Tahn-Ah-Rahm(Reclining Buddha)

From the American Restaurant, follow the road toward Stung just over half a kilometer and turn right on the dirt road that goes to a temple area. The main temple is on this level. If you continue on the road that goes upward behind the temple for just over another half a kilometer you come to the hilltop area. There is a reclining Buddha resting and enjoying the nice view of the countryside and the mountains off in the distance.

The Wat Rah-Tahn-Ah-Rahm (Reclining Buddha), Ratanakiri is a well known spot for travelers coming to this northeastern Cambodian province. This is one of the noted Tourist Attractions in Ratanakiri that attracts hordes of visitors every year. The Wat Rah-Tahn-Ah-Rahm (Reclining Buddha), Ratanakiri.

The places to stay in Ratanakiri and especially in Ban Lung town have seen a noticeable improvement in recent years with plenty of well maintained hotels and guesthouses. The most attractive prices are certain to be available out of the busy tourist season on the Cambodia travel packages when there are a lot less travelling in the region.

The local hotels include the small and modern Phnom Pich Hotel that is located about 200 m from the main bridge. Most of the rooms are spacious with air-con, satellite TV and Western style bathroom. Plus, it has a very nice attached restaurant. The cost to stay is $6 to $15 per night. For the budget traveller, the Vimean Sourkear Hotel is certain to appeal and still includes rooms with hot water and air-con.

Other places to stay include the Thmar Keo Guesthouse, Hotel Orchidee, Hotel T’mei and Hotel Than Sour. Whether you are looking for the jungle or urban styled accommodation, there are plenty of choices here that can range in price from about $2 to $160.

The traditional foods of Ratanakiri Province centre on what is grown or readily available to source here. The diet of indigenous tribes is largely focused on rice and fish, while fruits grown in the province are widely eaten, including bananas, mangoes, papayas and jackfruit.

If you manage to take a guided tour to an indigenous village, or even stay overnight in a homestay, you’ll enjoy some traditional provincial foods, which usually includes fish steamed in bamboo, rice, vegetables and a healthy tipple of rice wine.

The options for dining out in Ratanakiri Province mainly centre on the town of Banlung, where there are some good options for trying a range of cuisines. Café Alee is a popular choice, serving a range of Khmer and western foods, and a range of drinks into the small hours of the morning. The restaurant is socially conscious too, as they run a scholarship programme for the education of local indigenous children.

For the traditional Cambodian fish of banh chav, head to Rith Any Banh Chav. Banh chav is an egg pancake wrapped in lettuce, filled with meat, shrimps, bean sprouts and local vegetables. Another local staple is noodle soup, and Ta Nam is one of the most popular spots in Banlung to get it.

There are some pretty dining options surrounding Kan Seng Lake on the edge of town too. For low-key coconut milkshakes and noodles, Coconut Shake Restaurant is the place to go. Chanang Blue Moon and Pteas Bay Khmer are also worth a visit for a mixture of Cambodian and international flavours.

For evenings out, Buffalo Cowboys is a place to have a drink and listen to live music, while Apple Club is a nightclub popular with both locals and international visitors.

Ratanakiri is one of Cambodia’s finest provinces, but one that is quite a distance from anywhere else. However, making the journey to this region is certain to be worthwhile on any Cambodia Adventure Tour. Tucked away in a north-eastern area of Cambodia, it is possible to travel from Phnom Penh in about 6-7 hours.

The bus service is the preferred option to travel to this province and travels direct from Phnom Penh to Ban Lung, with a single stop at Kratie. The cost is in the region of $12-$13 per person, but the price can increase throughout the busy tourist period. Most of the road leading to town is smooth and paved to give the most comfortable journey.

We recommend you check the latest bus schedule and price via rome2rio.com

Other options include the shared taxis that are picked up in the central market of Phnom Penh, but the vehicles are quite packed and can get uncomfortable on longer journeys. Although, it is possible to pay double the rate to get your own seat. The trip by minibus or taxis is the fastest options, but there is a greater risk of an accident with the drivers often swerving around cows and trucks.

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A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.

The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, it is said that it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed Cambodia’s independence from Java.

Additionally, it is a very sacred site with multiple temples easily accessible. Two sites most noted are the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, within the Kulen National Park site and Preah Ang Thom pagoda with its giant reclining Buddha. The area is a magnet to “kru khmer” (natural medicine doctors), and attracts people seeking blessings from its holy waters, particularly the potent life-giving waters at Kbal Spean, that are said to help couples conceive.

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Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

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Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

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Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.

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Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 

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