Cambodia has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in South East Asia, an explosion that has necessitate the development of ecotourism sites to help maintain the stunning environment that attracts people to the nation.
Cambodia boasts more than 60 species of rare and endangered wildlife, with many of these having reached extinction in other South East Asian nations. The extinction of species in neighbouring countries has heightened the need for action in Cambodia, with both the tourism industry and the natural environment relying on a plan to protect the country’s diverse and unique ecosystem.
The country now has 23 designated protected areas, with a range that proves the diversity of Cambodia as a destination for a traveller with a keen sense of adventure. This includes glorious beaches and coral reefs dotted along Cambodia’s coastline and also inland, forested areas where the majority of the country’s fascinating wildlife can be discovered.
With a history bound up with isolation and war, Cambodia has only recently opened up as a viable tourist destination, with much of the country’s rural heart still largely untouched by mass travel. Sustainable ventures now allow for guided trekking tours within the Cambodian forests, with the remote village of Chi Phat emerging as a favourite destination for those looking to head into the wilderness.
Tourism in Chi Phat has developed along two lines of sustainability, with community values at the heart of all authorised excursions to the area. A degree of cooperation between local villagers and visitors has been encouraged, with responsible tourists in Chi Phat having the opportunity to discover and experience the life of local people, far removed from their own.
Indeed, excursions simply focused on the village and exploring the immediate surroundings have become particularly popular, but the opportunity to tread further into the Cambodian wilderness remains enticing.
There are a variety of specialist tours in the region that allow visitors to experience elements of Cambodian rural life that have, for so long, been off limits. This includes the opportunity to patrol with the Forest Rangers, who ensure that poachers, as well as other human activity, do not endanger the natural environment and the rare species that call it their home.
This acts as not only an educational experience, with visitors able to learn what Cambodia is doing to protect its unique natural habitats, but also hands the opportunity to view some of the world’s most astonishing and endangered species in a safe environment for both human and animal.
Photos: [all via Bigstockphoto.com].