Bird Watching, Kayaking and Cycling in Chi Phat, Cambodia

August 8, 2013 by | Filed Under: Adventure Travel, Cambodia, News, Responsible Tourism

990 Chi phat

Situated in Cambodia’s southwestern Cardamom Mountains, the Chi Phat area is abundant in nature and wildlife. Clear rivers filled with a rich aquamarine ecosystem, a large colony of birds, and a green mountain jungle mark this seldom-visited area.

There’s a wide range of unusual activities to undertake from bird watching, to kayaking and from lobster catching to cycling through an ancient jar site.

Boat Trip and Bird Watching
The day starts with a boat trip to enjoy the spectacular sunrise on the Stoeng Prat River. We do a kind of a picnic breakfast on the water. The birdlife along the river is prolific, so binoculars will be provided. If lucky we are able to spot hornbills and even monkeys. In a rowing boat we’re allowed to enjoy the nature and wildlife in silent tranquility. Around 9 am we arrive at Domnak Khos, a wildlife observation post. Here we spot more birdlife and take a rest before we tour back to Chi Phat.


Biking to Ancient Jar Site
A bike tour of about 41 kilometers takes us to an ancient jar site, crossing several rapids and biking along the jungle. Whenever we spot monkeys or rare birds, we stop to get a closer look. We explore the ancient jar site to find hundreds of burial jars. We bike back to Chi Phat along small jungle paths. We break at places like Teuk Vet (Curve River) Waterfall, O’spott (Dragonfish) River, and a bat cave. In the late afternoon venture out to Stung Prat River to see a great sunset while kayaking.


Explore Prek Chi Phat by Kayak
On this tour, we all gather at a meeting point and from there it’s a short walk to Chi Phat pier. Along the way those interested can visit Chi Phat market to take a look around and see local people selling their products. Our kayaking trip goes from the pier to Sothun Bungalow. Along the way we see birds and a few local houses along the riverbank. Enjoy the nature on the calm water. A nice freshwater beach makes for a great stop for swimming or relaxing. When Sothun Bungalow shows up in the distance, we can already smell the freshly prepared lunch. At the bungalow, spend time to relax, read a book, or take a swim. In the late afternoon kayak back to Chi Phat. Travelers having a hard time getting out their relax-mode can choose to walk back to the village.


Lobster Catching in the Stung Prat
When dusk falls, we head out by boat on the Stung Prat River to go lobster catching. The water is calm and quiet and fireflies light the trees along the riverbank, marking the course of the river. Once we arrive at the place where the lobsters usually gather, the boat driver stops the engine. He will show how to use a stick with steel to catch the lobster. Of course clients can also try to do it by themselves. Most of the villagers support their families with the earnings from the lobster catching. In complete darkness we return to our accommodation.

Lobster catching is a seasonal activity, the best time being between October and May.

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