If you are looking for a spot to get away, the Koh Kong Mangroves Forest is where you want to go. The biggest mangroves forest of South East Asia is one of the most peaceful places in Cambodia.
To get there from Phnom Penh, it takes a drive of about 5 to 6 hours on a bumpy road. You can book a taxi, or take the bus from a travel agency downtown. It is located south west of the country in the Koh Kong Province, next to Thai border and the gulf of
Thailand. Once you arrive in Koh Kong City, you can take a tuk tuk to drive south to the Peam Kraso Wildlife Sanctuary.
Mangrove Forest, where the mountains meet the forest and the forest meets the sea
Away from the city, near by the sea, and next to the Cardamon Mountains, the Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary is home to animals, birds and fishing communities.
The forest is about 25 000 hectare, and you can enjoy a nice walk of one kilometer on elevated wooden platforms snaking through the mangrove forest. There are not a lot of tourists. All around is green, quite, peaceful and you barely cross anybody except the crabs. Look closer and you will see them hiding in the roots.
The entrance fees are 5 000 riels for foreigners (1,25 USD) and 3 000 riels for Cambodians (0,75 USD), and the money goes to the villagers in charge of the Koh Kong ecotourism project.
Boat Ride – Fishing villages
After walking around in the mangrove forest, you can take a boat ride for around 20 USD (for the all boat, can take up to 6 passengers) to enjoy a different view of the forest. If you are lucky, you might be able to see the famous Irrawaddy dolphins, a pug-nosed species which is one of the most protected species in the area.
There is also the opportunity to stop by the fishing villages and buy delicious fried or fresh fish, if you are feeling hungry on the way back.
Koh Kong City – Sunset by the pier
Once you are done walking around this magnificent forest, you can go back in the city, and enjoy a nice seafood meal at the Café Laurent restaurant by the pier. The salt and pepper fried squid and the sea bass taste amazing.
Remember that if you want to enjoy the sunset by the pier, you need to be there at 5:30pm during winter and at 6:30pm during summer.