Welcome to Virachey National Park, Cambodia!

By: gregmccann

Jul 04 2012

Category: Uncategorized

1 Comment

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Virachey National Park is a 3, 325 square Kilometer wilderness of jungle and grasslands that spans Ratanakiri and Stung Treng Provinces. The park is also bordered by a large protected area to the north in Laos, making Virachey and the surrounding region one of the last great wild places of Indochina. Virachey is also an ASEAN Heritage Site, and is home to an incredible variety of endangered wildlife, including gaur, clouded leopard, jungle cat, Asiatic elephants, gibbons, douc langurs, Sambar deer, barking deer, several species of hornbills. Numerous recent unconfirmed reports also indicate that Indochinese tigers persist in the remote canyons deep within the park. A trek inside of Virachey -be it one day, three, or seven- will take you back to a time “when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were  kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest” -to use Conrad’s words. Those with the time and the stamina to trek to the Veal Thom Grasslands (the 7-day trek) will be rewarded with  jaw-dropping vistas of a huge inexplicable golden savanna  ringed by dark, elephantine jungle.

Visitors can do: 1. A day trek  2. The 3-day trek to Veal Phnom Yak Kong Kreav Mountain, which includes a river journey, community guesthouse, overnight camping, mountain hike, indigenous guide, and a visit to the Yak Kae Waterfall. 3. The 7-day trek (6 if you are very fit) to the Veal Thom Grasslands -a.k.a. the “Cambodian Annapurna.” This trek involves a river journey, community guesthouse, several nights in the jungle, and another river journey which will include the (free) option of stopping off at the Tampuan Cemetary on the Sesan River en route to Voen Sai. More info on the trek to the Veal Thom Grasslands here on Soukhon’s blog.

Contact Info:

Park Director: Chou Sophark, email: sopharkchou@yahoo.com, phone number 012363689

Rangers:

Soukhon: soukhon07@yahoo.com, +855976999579

Vuykeo: vuykeo.n@gmail.com, +855975750227

Kuen: 011675330, 0889260160

*note that if you are calling within Cambodia, you drop the +855 and add a “0” before the “9” in the phone numbers above (for example, Soukhon’s # becomes: 0976999579

tourists drink in honor of a spirit mountain deep within Virachey National Park the night before they set off on their expedition

Treks to the Veal Thom Grasslands begin with a boat ride to Tom Roech Village in Ta Vang District on the Sesan River

spend time in the highlanders villages along the Sesan River, where you will learn about local animist culture

learn about the rich local ecology of the area

Take in the sublime beauty of the remote Veal Thom Grasslands

the savanna hills of the Veal Thom are a hidden world of golden light in the middle of the evergreen jungle near the border with Laos

your indigenous guide is capable of finding edible food in the jungle

community guesthouses are simple, rustic, and memorable

you will learn about the highlander’s unique animist culture from your guides on treks into Virachey NP

Despite the illegal logging for rosewood that is occurring in some areas of the park, Virachey remains a wilderness of discovery. Here, Brao villagers hold up a water dragon that got caught in their fishing net. The lizard was soon released back into the O-Pong River

the views from the center of Virachey National Park are outstanding

fresh Clouded leopard dung on the trail to Veal Thom. Biodiversity is high in Virachey

a waterfall on the Tak Mak River. Virachey contains many rivers that are great for swimming

All treks into Virachey require the accompaniment of an indigenous guide/porter. When you trek in Virachey, you are directly helping highlander communities

A Kreung village girl on the Sesan River

There are still many areas of Virachey that have not been explored by outsiders.

Come out to Virachey for the trek of a lifetime!

this is where Virachey is located, on a little-known and mysterious southern branch of the great Annamite Range

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One comment on “Welcome to Virachey National Park, Cambodia!”

  1. it looks very nice, what is the price for a hike like this.
    I,m especially interested in 3-day hike.


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