By Katie May
Set amidst the tranquil Cardamom Mountains of southwestern Cambodia, Kirirom National Park beckons you to discover its wonders! This hidden gem of nature's beauty is yet to be explored by many tourists.
Embark on a journey to this untouched paradise, where lush forests, refreshing mountain breeze, and awe-inspiring waterfalls await. With Kirirom, you can forget about the chaos of city life and immerse yourself in a rejuvenating escape that will invigorate your senses and soothe your soul.
An overview of Kirirom National Park Cambodia
Discover the fascinating history of Kirirom National Park, Cambodia's first protected national park, established in 1993. Although the park's human habitation dates back to the Neolithic period, it was also later occupied by the Khmer Empire during the Angkor era, as evidenced by archaeological discoveries. Despite being used as a base by the Khmer Rouge in the past, the park has undergone significant transformation and now boasts a diverse range of animal species, including Asian elephants, deer, Gaur, banteng, leopards, spotted linsangs, gibbons, and even tigers. With its rich history and thriving wildlife, it's no wonder that Kirirom is a beloved vacation spot for locals from Phnom Penh.
Natural the most beautiful pagoda background landscape at Kirirom National Park of Cambodia
Where is Kirirom National Park?
Located in the Cardamom mountain range in southwestern Cambodia's Kampong Speu, Kirirom National Park offers a refreshing escape from the heat with its high elevation of over 700 meters above sea level. Visitors can bask in the park's picturesque scenery of cliffs, pine trees, hills, and Buddhist shrines, with stunning views of the Cardamom mountains. Tourists, especially those visiting Phnom Penh often take day trips to Kirirom to experience its waterfalls, lakes, and diverse bird species.
Kirirom National Park is a small but precious bio reserve spanning southwestern Cambodia's Kampong Speu Province and Koh Kong Province. Established in 1993, the park covers an area of 350 sq km or 140 sq mi, featuring a network of trails with varying degrees of difficulty and accessibility. The most challenging route in Kirirom National Park is the two-hour hike to Phnom Dat Chivit, also known as End of the Life Mountain.
The name "Kirirom" means "happy mountain" in the Khmer language, and it's not hard to see why. The park's pristine forests, refreshing waterfalls, and stunning vistas are sure to bring a smile to any visitor's face.
Visitors should get to know the Kirirom National Park weather before traveling
For an unforgettable experience in Kirirom National Park, visitors should familiarize themselves with the Kirirom National Park weather before embarking on the journey. The park's weather can vary significantly depending on the season. The best time to visit Kirirom National Park is between October and February when the temperatures are mild and the humidity is manageable. However, visitors should also be prepared for occasional rain showers, particularly during the monsoon season. By understanding the weather conditions, visitors can better plan their trip and ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the park.
Visitors should get to know the Kirirom National Park weather before traveling
What Makes Kirirom National Park Special?
Kirirom National Park is a unique destination that offers a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors. The park's stunning natural beauty is unparalleled, with lush forests, cool mountain air, and breathtaking waterfalls. Additionally, Kirirom is home to diverse wildlife, including Asian elephants, deer, Gaur, banteng, leopards, spotted linsangs, gibbons, and even tigers.
But what truly sets Kirirom apart is its fascinating history. The park has been inhabited for thousands of years, and archaeological evidence suggests that it was occupied during the Neolithic period and later by the Khmer Empire during the Angkor era. Despite being used as a base by the Khmer Rouge in the past, Kirirom has undergone significant transformation and is now a protected national park, providing a safe haven for the region's flora and fauna.
What To Do In Kirirom National Park?
There is no shortage of things to see and do in Kirirom National Park. Whether you're looking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, there is something for everyone here. Here are some of the most popular activities and attractions:
Kirirom has several hiking trails that range from easy walks to challenging treks. One of the most popular routes is the trail to Chambok Waterfall, a stunning 40-meter (130-foot) cascade that is surrounded by lush forests. The trek to the summit of Phnom Dat Chivit is also a popular choice, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests.
Enjoy stunning views and picturesque scenery in Kirirom National Park.
2. Wildlife Spotting
Kirirom National Park is an ideal destination for wildlife enthusiasts, offering a range of opportunities to spot unique species. The park is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare birds, reptiles, and mammals such as banteng, macaques, and pangolins. Visitors may have a chance to spot some of the park's shy inhabitants, such as clouded leopards and sun bears, with some fortune and patience.
Camping in Kirirom National Park is famous for visitors who want to immerse themselves in nature and enjoy a peaceful getaway. The park offers several campsites, including those near Chambok and Leach Village. Camping in Kirirom National Park allows visitors to experience the park's stunning beauty and its wildlife, including birds, monkeys, and deer, up close and personal. There are also opportunities for hiking, swimming, and other outdoor activities during your camping trip.
4. Kirirom Waterfalls
Swimming in the crystal-clear pools is a popular activity and a perfect way to beat the heat while enjoying the beauty of the park's natural landscapes. With several waterfalls to choose from, each with its unique features and surroundings, visitors can explore and find their perfect spot to take a dip.
Waterfall in Kirirom National Park in Cambodia
How To Get To Kirirom National Park?
Embark on a thrilling adventure to Kirirom Mountain! Take a bus from Phnom Penh to Koh Kong, Kampot/Kep, or Sihanoukville, and hop off at Treng Trayeng. The journey takes just over two hours, but factor in an extra hour for potential traffic around the airport. Upon arrival, hail a moto for $7 to Chambok or up the mountain - no need to worry about finding a driver as plenty of them are waiting at the major junction opposite Kirirom. Keep in mind that an extra $5 park entry fee is required for Kirirom Mountain Lodge or Kirirom Pine Resort.
Traveling to Kirirom National Park by taxi is a convenient option for those who prefer a more comfortable and private mode of transportation. From Phnom Penh, the cost of a taxi ride to Kirirom National Park is around $70, while from Treng Trayeng it should be around $30.
In summary, Kirirom National Park is a must-see destination for anyone exploring Cambodia's natural and cultural beauty and diversity. With its awe-inspiring landscapes, abundant flora and fauna, and diverse range of activities, the park is the perfect place to relax, unwind, and connect with nature. Whether you're a nature enthusiast, thrill-seeker, or simply looking for a tranquil retreat, Kirirom National Park is guaranteed to create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.
If you're planning a trip to Cambodia, keep in mind that visitors from certain countries will need a visa to enter the country. But don't let that discourage you! The tourist visa process has become much easier and smoother in recent years. With the help of Cambodia Immigration Services, you can quickly obtain a Cambodia e-Visa for your journey. Say goodbye to the hassle and long waiting times. Let us help you make the most of your adventure in Cambodia!