Virakchey National Park - The different hikes
Virachey National Park
The Biodiversity and Protected Areas Management Project (BPAMP) and the Ministry of Environment are in the second year of developing an ecotourism program in Virachey National Park. It is intended that this program will eventually serve as a model for socially and environmentally responsible tourism development in the national parks of Cambodia.
Presently we are offering the following products based out of Banlung town in Ratanakiri Province. Every tour is accompanied by a park ranger guide and indigenous, community guide.
Kalang Chhouy Sacred Mountain Trek / 2 or 3 Days, Veunsai District: This tour departs from Banlung and involves a journey by motorbike and then by foot to the edge of the national park. Visitors trek to a waterfall inside the park and spend the first night in the forest. It is optional to return to Banlung on the second day on a loop trail from the waterfall or to continue trekking to a second campsite beside rapids on the scenic O’lalay river before returning to Banlung on the third day. This trek requires only average fitness and is suitable for families.
We are in the process of further developing this tour to include return mountain biking to the park boundary, accommodation in a traditional, community long house on the river bank and an interpretive self guided or guided half day walk inside the park. These improvements are planned for completion by late 2006.
Maximum Group Size: 8
O’Lapeung River Valley and Kayaking Tour / 4 days, Taveng District: This trip departs from Banlung and involves a 4 hour river journey up a tributary of the Se San river to a village on the border of the park, a village home stay with a Brau family and an over night trek up a river valley inside the park which traverses sections of the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail. On day 4 visitors return to the Se San river by inflatable kayak and then onto Banlung by motor boat and motor bike. This trek involves 2 days of trekking for 6 hours and an additional 4 hours of kayaking - visitors need to be reasonably fit.
By late 2006 this tour will also include accommodation in a traditionally designed community guesthouse on the banks of river overlooking the park.
Maximum Group Size: 6
Extended Wilderness Trek / 7 - 8 Days, Taveng District : This trip visits Phnom Veal Thom, a natural, montane grassland deep in the park. It departs from Banlung and takes 7-8 days return and is only for fit clients. This is the only trip we are currently offering which takes visitors into relatively undisturbed forests and which provides the best chance of seeing wildlife.
Maximum Group Size: 8
Se Kong - Dry Forest Trek - 3 days
This trek is under development and will depart from Siem Pang District in Stung Treng Province. It is planned for completion by September 2006
Please note that the parks infrastructure, facilities and trails are in the process of development and so are presently at a basic level. Our guides too are new to their profession and are in the process of training. Visitors will need to have a sense of adventure, be able to endure the discomforts of trekking and basic village living and have a capacity for patience and tolerance when everything does not go according to plan, as sometimes it does not. Visitors with the right expectations and frame of mind however are certain to enjoy themselves immensely and share the feeling that they are pioneers in this new ecotourism program, the first of its kind in Cambodia.
Currently we are charging US $10 per person per day to visit the Park. This pays for all National Park fees including: a daily per diem for the ecotourism ranger guide, a daily per diem for the community guide, a community development levy (to benefit communities around the park) and the Ministry of Environment National Park entry fee. This daily rate does not include the cost of transport and food. Park staff will assist with arranging all transport and in buying food for the trek. All visitors are required to purchase sufficient food also for their guides.
Private companies which send clients to the park are permitted to send one of their own guides free of charge but will still be required to take a park ranger guide and a local community guide and abide by all regulations and codes of conduct.
We are presently in the process of developing lump sum prices for the products offered which will include all food and transport arrangements and introduce a sliding price scale that will result in cheaper prices for larger group sizes. These developments however have still to be completed. Until they are the US $10 per day per person rate will apply.
Presently the park provides cooking and eating equipment, a basic first aid kit, tent flys for camping and fauna field guides. Hammocks (with built in mosquito nets and rain flys), leech socks and blankets can be hired out for a small fee from the Park. Visitors will need to supply their own tents (if they prefer them to hammocks), personal first aid and medical supplies, insect repellent, packs, boots and clothing.
1) Before entering the Park every visitor is required to come personally to the Virachey National Park Headquarters in Banlung in Ratanakiri Province to register, pay park fees and obtain a park entry permit and (accurate) tour information. The park will not issue entry tickets without obtaining the signature and other important details from each visitor. It is illegal to enter the park without an entry permit. Presently the park headquarters is open between 8.30am – 12.00pm and from 2.30pm to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday. To find the park headquarters follow the street signs or view the street map on the web site (see address at the end of this sheet).The headquarters is based at the provincial Department of Environment.
The Stung Treng visitor information office is planned to be open in late 2006 for booking treks to Siem Pang District. Look for the directional street signs in Stung Treng town.
2) Every group entering the park is required to take a licensed, national park ranger guide and a local guide from the participating community. A group that is larger than 5 people is required to take two ranger guides for safety purposes.
3) Presently we have introduced a maximum group size of 8 visitors in the interest of maintaining the quality of the ecotourism experience and minimising impacts in the communities. In the future we will introduce a minimum group size of 3 people at standard pricing with single visitors and couples being required to pay higher prices in the interest of business viability.
4) Eating and purchasing of wildlife products is prohibited while participating in the ecotourism program.
5) Purchasing village artefacts and heirlooms is prohibited in all communities while participating in the national park ecotourism program. Visitors are encouraged to buy handicrafts that are made for sale or which are in daily use.
6) All non-biodegradable rubbish must be carried out of the park and deposited responsibly in the nearest town.
Additionally all visitors and accompanying private guides are expected to abide by the codes of conduct that have been developed to minimize environmental and cultural impacts while trekking in the Park and when staying in local villages. These codes of conduct will be provided to all visitors before entering the park.
Please contact the Virachey National Park Ecotourism Unit on:
phone : +855 (0)75 974013
e mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit our web site : www.bpamp.org.kh
If you wish to book in advance to trek in the national park please do so with at least 1 weeks notice. Thank you.
Creation date : 10/10/2006 @ 03:31
Last update : 10/10/2006 @ 03:52
Category : Virakchey National Park
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Virakchey National Park