No hardship can put you off dreaming of an exploring trip in to the ecotourism site of Chi Phat if it is one of the things on your bucket list.
Chi Phat is a community based – ecotourism site in Koh Kong Province which is dramatically transformed from an impoverished community for decades into an emerging tourist attractions in Cambodia, with the valuable contribution from Wildlife Alliance – a NGO, in an attempt to diversify the locals’ standard of living. On the Phipot River banks, on the foot of Cardamom Mountains, lies the community of Chi Phat composed of four small villages of over 550 households which used to be a hub of illegal lodging and wildlife smuggling in the region. Read more: tours in Cambodia
These days, along with a rise in the number of both domestic and foreign visitor to the area (not a substantial number due to its remote location), the community is supplied with adequate facilities including a visit centre, a small community centre, a dozen of guesthouse and cozy homestays. Travel to Cambodia
To get here, you need to make some attempt – getting off a bus in the middle of nowhere, taking a journey on a motorbike taxi for half an hour, crossing a river on a raft, then walking the last few hundreds of metres. Chi Phat acts as the largest rainforest in South East Asia, so its main allure is typically featured by natural beauty. If you are crazy about adventurous activities, say, hiking and trekking, Chi Phat will relieve your ennui with rivers, mountains, waterfalls, mountain bike tracks, bird watching and rolling green fields – it has it all.
Trekking in Chi Phat
Trekking ranks high among tourists’ bucket list when they arrive in Chi Phat. You also should not pass up the opportunity of having a go on this activity with a number of tour packets to opt for, ranging from 1-day trekking and mountain bike rides through to 4-day with camp experience.
Technically speaking, a tour like this may charge you a couple of hundred dollars – somehow not a low-priced trip for a small group – involving the money paid for guide, boat ride down the river and even water. However, the cost will become your tremendous impetus for the tour because it is actually your contribution to diversifying the locals’ standard of living and preserving the vulnerable ecosystem in Chi Phat.
You will be satisfied with the cooperation between Wildlife Alliance and the community members in organizing your trekking tour. Villagers who once roamed the forest, resulting in the severe biodiversity degradation now serve as professional guides, under the control of Wildlife Alliance, leading any modes of trekking tour throughout the entire surrounding wilderness. This NGO is responsible for coordinating cooking duties in the office’s restaurant for visitors, salaries, and accommodation supplies of each family to guarantee equality and transparency.
The Indochina Voyages team.