Discover Ratanakiri – a lesser-known destination of Cambodia


If Phnom Penh, Siem Reap are too famous tourist destinations of Cambodia with the magnificent Royal Palace, ancient Angkor Temple Complex, Ratanakiri is considered as a “raw jewel waiting to be honed”, attracting visitors by pristine and peaceful scenery.

>>Siem Reap Pub Street – one of the best nightlife spot in Cambodia

Where is Ratanakiri?

Ratanakiri is a remote northeastern province of Cambodia, bordered by Mondulkiri Province to the south, Stung Treng to the west, Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east. The name “Ratanakiri” is derived from two words in Khmer: “ratana” (jewel) and “kiri” (mountain). The geography of Ratanakiri is quite diverse, including rolling hills, mountains, plateaus, lowlands and crater lakes. The province is characterized by thick forest with a wide range of wildlife. Ratanakiri is an ideal destination for those who love nature and discover the new things.

Ratanakiri (via

Places to see

Featuring the unique nature and rich natural resources, Ratanakiri has many potential to develop eco-tourism. Some attractive destinations tourists can visit while traveling to this province are:

Yeak Laom Lake: The most famous tourist attraction in Ratanakiri is a crater lake named Yeak Laom. The Yeak Laom is a natural lake formed in a volcanic crater and surrounded by a green forest. There is a village of local people with the same name nearby. This 700,000-year-old lake covers an area of about 800 square meters with diameter of 47 meters and is surrounded by a 2,5km long trail.

There are the piers on the two lake’s sides, visitors can swim and go picnic in there. Besides it, the Yeak Laom cultural center and shops selling handicraft products of Khmer Loeu people are also the interesting place to visit. The lake is not only the attractive destination with the picturesque scenery but also a spiritual site of Cambodian people.

Yeak Laom Lake (via Wikipedia)

Kachang Waterfall: The Kachang Waterfall is located about 6km from northwest of Banlung with the height of 12 meters. The streams erupted form above are spectacular scene that anyone who had the opportunity to see feel very excited. This is an ideal spot for picnic with your friends or family.

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary: The Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary will be an interesting destination for travelers who want to explore the wild world of animals. There are many wildlife species for visitors to explore including rare species.

Virachay National Park: Virachay is one of the largest national parks in Cambodia. For those who love adventure and exploration, Virachay National Park is an interesting stop. This national park, with a total area of 3325 square meters, is listed in the list of the most important conservation sites in Southeast Asia with the rich fauna and flora. The unspoiled Virachey will surely give you an unforgettable trip in Cambodia.

Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall: The Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall is also one of the popular stops for tourists while visiting Ratanakiri Province. The waterfall has 4 floors. Each about 4 meters high. Travelers can freely swim in the cool streams or admire the natural surroundings.

Ou’Sean Lair Waterfall is also one of the popular stops for tourists while visiting Ratanakiri Province (via Picssr)

Norng Kabat Forest: The Norng Kabat is a dense tropical jungle in Cambodia. There is a lake in the middle of the forest where many birds and animals gathering.

Eisey Patamak Mountain: is famous for the statue of Wat Rahtanharahm. About 1km east of the foot of the mountain, the statue is an ancient statue of the Buddha in a sleeping position. One of the interesting things to do when visiting the Eisey Patamak Mountain is that tourists can set up the tent and stay overnight to enjoy the tranquility of nature.

Let’s leave behind the famous destinations in Cambodia tours such as Angkor, Royal Palace,…and visit Ratanakiri. After the trip, the impression of the tourists is not only the country of temple but also the majestic natural landscape.

Read more places to visit and other travel guides in Cambodia, please visit our website. For questions or suggestions, please feel free to let us know in the comments section and we’ll do our best to reply to them as soon as possible. You can also share this article if you like it!