Cambodia’s remote Koh Kong province is a jungle paradise filled with endangered elephants, tigers, crocodiles, monkeys and more, plus pristine sandy beaches with nary a condo in sight.
The province is also home to some of the last remaining virgin rainforests in the country, and it is quickly becoming model of sustainable development as conservation groups and conservation-minded businesspeople partner with local villagers to build eco-friendly lodges and tourist establishments.
The increased income provided by tourism has given local villagers the incentive and the breathing room to preserve the surrounding forests. Instead of hunting, they now guide tourists. The money that visitors bring in means that families no longer have to engage in destructive practices like illegal logging or slash-and-burn farming to survive.
John Maloy, a spokesman for Wildlife Alliance, told the New York Times that the impact has been profound, especially in the village of Chi Pat:
“Chi Phat was home to the most destructive inhabitants in the whole of Koh Kong province. By participating in the eco-tourism project, community members would not only receive income that would greatly improve their situation, they would be provided with incentives to protect the forest rather than exploit it in an unsustainable manner.”
If the idea of hiking, biking and kayaking through unspoiled wilderness appeals to you, you should probably make arrangements to go as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the New York Times also notes that much of the province is being sold off to developers with a vastly different outlook on sustainability. It remains to be seen how long Chi Pat’s tranquility will last.
To visit, you’ll need a passport and a Cambodian visa. Cambodia does issue visas on arrival if you come in through Phnom Penh or Siem Reap airport, or if you enter by land at a major border crossing. You can also get a Cambodian visa in the US, before you leave for your trip, if you’d prefer not to have to go through the application process at the airport. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Cambodian visa application.
- 2 passport-sized photos.
- Your US passport. Check the expiration date as it needs to be valid for at least 6 months past the date you plan to enter Cambodia-if yours expires sooner than that, you’ll need to apply for a passport renewal before you can travel. Also, make sure there’s enough room in the back for your visa and add pages if necessary.
- A copy of your travel itinerary.
RushmyTravelVisa makes it a snap to apply for a Cambodian visa. When you apply through us, your visa specialist will help you with the paperwork, answer any questions and deliver your visa application to the appropriate embassy or consulate for the fastest possible processing.
Apply for your Cambodian visa today!