Most travelers know of the famous Angkor temples and many have already checked these marvels off of their bucket list. But Cambodia has so much more to offer besides temples.
Every avid traveler, especially the adventurous ones, should make it a point to explore Cambodia’s amazing national parks. There are seven parks in total, each with its own biodiversity and natural beauty. Discover a wide range of flora and fauna in undisturbed rainforests, river valleys, mangroves, and plains.
You may even find some rare wildlife species!
Let’s dive into our list of seven incredible Cambodian national parks and protected sites.
7 National Parks to Explore in Cambodia
1. Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen is located about 50 km from the city of Siem Reap making it a perfect day trip option.
This area is considered to be Cambodia’s most sacred mountain and the birthplace of the Khmer Empire. Locals head to the holy mountain daily to pray, stroll through the park, and swim in the waterfall.
Kulen National Park is an interesting place to visit with beautiful natural places, historical structures, and religious sites.
The Kbal Spean archaeological site, also known as the River of a Thousand Lingas has many figures of Yoni and Linga as well as other figures carved into the riverbed rocks.
Preah Ang Thom is an eight-meter statue of the reclining Buddha reaching nirvana.
And, in June 2013, an archaeological team announced the discovery of the ancient city of Mahendraparvata using the new LIDAR technology.
- We offer tours to Kulen Mountain every day!
2. Botum Sakor National Park
Spread over 180,000 hectares, Botum Sakor National Park is an excellent place to explore. You’ll encounter a variety of exotic wildlife that you probably won’t find anywhere else. You’ll come across elephants, tortoises, tigers, and bears! Botum Sakor is also known for hosting a large selection of rare Asian birds.
Botum Sakor is situated in the Koh Kong Province and is one of the country’s largest national parks. The area is 80 percent evergreen rainforest and reaches from the Cardamom Mountains all the way to the coastal wetlands. Botum Sakor National Park has been rated as one of the world’s 32 biodiversity hotspots.
You could spend weeks trampling through the undisturbed region searching for endangered mammals like the clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear, dhole, pileated gibbon, and sun bear. This amazing area is also the southern section of the Southwest Elephant Corridor, one of the last seven elephant corridors in Asia and hosts the largest population of Asian elephants in Cambodia.
3. Virachey National Park
Virachey National Park covers an area of 3,325 square km and features semi-evergreen lowlands, cloud forests, savannas, bamboo thickets, and patches of mixed deciduous forest. The park is home to exotic species such as guar, clouded leopard cats, elephants, gibbons, sun bears, and an innumerable amount of bird species.
Actually, much of Virachey National Park remains unexplored!
Located in Ratanakiri, here you will find yourself truly in the middle of nowhere in some of the deepest and most isolated jungles of Cambodia. There are small tribes of ethnic minorities to come in contact with.
Virachey National Park is important to the Mekong region and was designated an Asean Heritage Park in 2003. It’s only possible to visit on organized treks booked through the Virachey National Park Eco-Tourism Information Centre in Ban Lung. This is one of the most unique experiences of a lifetime.
4. Ream National Park
Ream National Park is located in Sihanoukville province about 18 km away from Sihanoukville city. The park is a biological paradise housing innumerable types of flora and fauna.
The park’s wildlife is also very diverse with plenty of animals and aquatic life to discover such as turtles, the Sarus crane, mouse-deer, dolphins, dugongs, rhesus monkeys, and many more!
This is an experience that you’ll always remember as you journey through 210 square km of jungle, rivers, mangroves, and tropical islands!
5. Kirirom National Park
Located on the most southern point of the Cardamom Mountain range, Kirirom National Park is one of the higher locations and is a contrast when compared to the country’s common landscape of flat rice fields.
Being 700 meters above sea level offers cool temperatures and a natural beauty that reminds you of European forests with pine trees, mountain lakes, wildflowers, and gorgeous vistas.
The uniqueness of this area in Cambodia makes the trip well worth your time.
6. Kep National Park
Kep National Park covers an area of 5,000 hectares and includes a small mountain range with numerous tracks and trails for you to trek.
You’ll find incredible views of Phu Quoc island and the Bokor mountain ranges on the south and west sides as well as views across the Vietnamese Kiên Giang marine reserve to the east side.
7. Preah Monivong / Bokor National Park
Bokor National Park is located on a plateau at an altitude of 1,000 meters. It’s well known for the abandoned Bokor Hill Station, a remote settlement build by the French colonialists in 1920’s.
It was the site of a high-altitude French resort, consisting of the Bokor Palace Hotel and casino. After years of neglect, construction and renovations are taking place and there currently is a luxury hotel.
Located in the Dâmrei Mountains, Bokor National Park is designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park making it an unmissable trip out of Kampot.