Ratanakiri Province is an administrative area located in northeast Cambodia that borders the countries of Laos and Vietnam. The area is considered a prime eco-tourism destination with many waterways, mountains, volcanic lakes, the Virachey National Park, waterfalls and more. Additionally Ratanakiri’s lowland tropical rainforest is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in Southeast Asia; it is an important site for conservation of endangered species.
Around 5 km from Banlung, in the protected area of Yeak Lom, an almost perfectly round lake fills up a 4000 year old volcanic crater. With a depth of almost 50 m and surprisingly clean and clear water the Boeng Yeak Lom is one of the most beautiful and peaceful locations Cambodia has to offer. It is belived that the lake was formed around 700,000 years ago by a meteor strike. Some consider Yeak Lom a sacred place and stories about mysterious creatures living in the water are common among older generations and indigenous minorities.
The Veun Sai-Siem Pang conservation area is home to the largest population of northern buff-cheeked crested gibbons left in the country. Additionally, the area hosts a population of Cambodia’s national bird – the giant ibis, critically endangered species due to the drainage of wetland and clear-cutting of forest.