Ban Lung, Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia.

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by Moto-Rex, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Moto-Rex

    Moto-Rex Ol'Timer

    As I rode into Ban Lung, I had the feeling that staying one night would be plenty, but I ended up staying 8 nights in this little town in far North East Cambodia, as it’s a great place to chill out, as well as a good town to use as a base while riding in the Ratanakiri Province.

    A few facts about Ban Lung.

    The Road from Stung Treng (hwy 203) is dirt, but in good condition. The Chinese are currently upgrading the road with a new tar surface that should be finished next year some time.

    There is plenty of accommodation in Ban Lung. Locals say it seems like a new hotel opens every week. Rooms with cable, air, hot water etc, start from $6.00.

    There is no shortage of great food in Ban Lung. Western, Indian, and Khmer to name a few.

    Plenty of Laundry services around town. Get Jeans, t-shirt, socks and jocks was for 50 cents.

    I searched many Karaoke establishments, but was unable to find one with English music. (There loss)

    There is one bank in Ban Lung, and it has the only ATM in town out the front. The ATM gives you US100 bills, and the bank will not swap them for smaller notes. (It’s there policy) So better to get $90 out at a time, because you will never get someone to change a 100 in Ban Lung.

    Eco tourism is big in Ban Lung, and there is plenty of tour operators that run treks and canoe tours in the nearby National parks.

    This town like many towns in South East Asia is booming.

    There is plenty of single tracks around Ban Lung. In fact, I reckon it would be possible to ride all day and not go more than 15kms from town.

    Photo says it all.


    Cambodian kids working hard.

    Poor young girl has to make sure they don’t lose any of there cargo.

    Ban lung has three main waterfalls.

    All three are worth having a look at. The ride out to them is pretty good too, as you pass some interesting villages.


    You can walk behind the falling water at two of them. Reminded me of the movie Elephant walk with Elizabeth Taylor.

    A little like a desert in some parts.


    One of the two volcanic lakes, not far from Ban Lung.

    You can hire these little huts at the lake, and they will bring you food and beer if you require it. This was a beautiful place, and a good spot to go for a swim.


    Classic old bridge.

    This drink seller wanted to be heard, it was deafening.

    Do your homework or paint the school.

    Just love the safety.

    After a days ride, there was plenty good restaurants for beer and a food.

    It was Christmas day, and fuel attendant was all dressed up.

    This photo was taken 2 kms out of town on the way to one of the waterfalls.

    All in all, Ban Lung in my opinion is a great little town. I meet a lot of expats there that said after visiting the place, they simply stayed.

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  3. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Wow you do get around Moto Rex !

    Great report and photos. Thanks.
  4. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Fantastic! Haven't been to Cambodia yet, but will put this town on my short list!

    Thanks for another great report!

  5. Changnoi1

    Changnoi1 Ol'Timer

    Great report, I have a fascination with Cambodia. It is a bit as Thailand 20y ago. Actually a bit worse.
    Makes me feel the urge to go back again but this time on a bike (but have the idea my Versys would not feel home on the "roads" there).

    Chang Noi
  6. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    I enjoyed your report and pix. You visited a number of area sites I failed to see when I was there 5-years ago (Feb-2007).
    Your report has encourage me to re-visit the area and better explore some of the Ban Lung's offerings! Thanks.

    And, should you return to Ban Lung, I encourage you to visit an amazing minority village and their unusual burial grounds & customs:

    The 200-km road, from Hwy-7 to Ban Lung, was dusty and desolate. We saw less than dozen homes and encountered
    less than a dozen vehicles traveling the road before reaching Ban Lung.
    All growth along the road appeared dead, except a few trees displaying bright orange flowers.
    Of the few vehicles, we had one surprising ice cream vendor in the middle of nowhere.
    Of course we stopped him and enjoyed his refreshments. With so few people residing along the long road, I wonder
    where he was going?

    The air in Ban Lung was choked with haze from dust. Looked kinda like C-Mai's currently smoke & ash filled air.

    To get to the minority village we went north from Ban Lung to Tongle San River, and rented long boat which took
    us down stream a number of km's to the minority village.
    We saw only a few small boats on the river.
    At the village, we met the Chief, who openly greeted our arrival. We never offered any money nor during our visit
    was there even a hint of wanting a contribution.
    After encountering, and taking pictures of the few village children, the Chief proudly showed us the coffins which
    have been prepared for he and his wife. Then, he lead us to the village's burial ground area

    When a village member dies, their family and friends bury the person in a temporary grave and return home.
    They do not revisit the grave site until they have saved enough money to build a monument to the deceased. This
    may take many months or more before they have sufficient funds. Once the monument is build the family, friends,
    and relatives gather at the monument for three consecutive days, mouring the deceased (lao khao?). After the third
    day they return home and never again revisit the monument.

    another temporary grave with someones finished monument in the background.

    Each monument has some representation of who the deceased was in life. This was for the village drummer,
    and the barrel-like object is a drum.
    I've no idea who he following site were for, but he last one may have been the village hottie ;-)

    Back to boat and to a nearby village which has both Lao and Khmer's residents. The village consisted of a single long
    row of houses, parallel to the river and set back about 40-meters from the river's edge. In the middle of the row of houses
    was a mini-wall, made of stones and about a foot high, which began between two houses and went to the river.
    It divided the village into the Khmer and Lao sections. Notably, the Khmer had a fair amount of litter scattered in front of
    their homes; the Lao area was pristine.
    Then we boated back, returning to Ban Lung then to onto Stoeng Treng and Laos.
  7. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sweet report Moto-Rex, you sure did get around last trip & I bet you've got a few more interesting reports up your sleeve still.
    That KLX of yours sure is another good bike after the last KLX. We will have to nickname you Mr KLX maybe?

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