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Visit Ratanakiri: Top 10 best things to do & see

Are you thinking about traveling to the remote and stunning province of Cambodia? Ratanakiri is a beautiful province of Cambodia located in the remote northeast. This picturesque location is known for its lush jungles, spectacular waterfalls, captivating indigenous culture, and breathtaking landscapes. If you want to have an unforgettable experience, keep reading this article to explore.

Visit Ratanakiri: Top 10 best things to do & see

The weather in Ratanakiri 

Top 10 best things to do in Ratanakiri

  • Virachey National Park
  • Boeng Yeak Laom
  • Waterfalls
  • Indigenous Villages
  • Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Gibbon Rehabilitation Project
  • Market Exploration
  • Camping and Trekking
  • Norng Kabat Forest in Ratanakiri
  • Eisey patamak mountain or phnom svay

The popular hotels and resorts in Ratanakiri

Top 3 best restaurants in Ratanakiri

How to get to Ratanakiri


The weather in Ratanakiri

Cambodia has several regions, one of which is called Ratanakiri Province. The region Ratanakiri has a tropical savanna climate. It is warm every month with both a wet and dry season. One thing to take into account is that on average, the temperatures are always high. The coldest month is March with an average maximum temperature of 27°C (80°F).

A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in June, July, August, September, October, and November. October is the wettest month in Ratanakiri Province. This month should be avoided if you are not a big fan of rain.

The warmest month in Ratanakiri Province is June with an average maximum temperature of 31°C (89°F). The coldest month is March with an average maximum daytime temperature of 27°C (80°F). However, March is the sunniest month in Ratanakiri Province and February is the driest month.

Therefore, the best time to visit is January and November and December. In this period you have a warm temperature and almost no precipitation. The highest average temperature in the Ratanakiri region is 98°F in March and the lowest is 87°F in July.

Top 10 best things to do in Ratanakiri

Virachey National Park

This national park in Cambodia provides trekking opportunities through dense forests, wildlife spotting, and visits to minority villages. However, it’s important to keep safety in mind when exploring the park. Hiring a local guide is highly recommended to ensure a safe and informative journey.

Boeng Yeak Laom

This is a stunning crater lake located about 5 kilometers from Banlung – the provincial capital. Once you visit Yeak Loam Natural Lake, its magnificent beauty will be hard to forget. The landscape around the lake resembles a liberal ink painting, with its blue-colored water and vast green forest. Yeak Loam was formed from a volcano in ancient times, and the surrounding village, also named Yeak Loam, is home to indigenous people who are very friendly and welcoming to tourists. Especially, you can swim in the crystal-clear water, have a picnic, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings.


Ratanakiri is home to several beautiful waterfalls. Taveng and Ka Tieng waterfalls are popular choices, and you can take a dip in their cool waters. Be prepared for some hiking to reach some of these waterfalls. The waterfall is about 10 meters high, which flows and falls throughout the year. Visitors will feel released with the huge clear waterfall and the beautiful natural landscape around the area. Around the waterfall, there is a forest full of big and small trees projecting the cool shadow suitable for resting, viewing the waterfall, and having a picnic.

waterfall in ratanakiri

Indigenous Villages

Ratanakiri is well-known for its indigenous minority groups, including the Jarai and the Tampuan. You may learn about their cultures, traditions, and daily lives by visiting these communities. Please, however, be courteous and obtain permission before taking photographs or engaging with residents.

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary

Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is made up of mountains, woods, and plains. This is intermingled with grasslands, ponds, and Tonle SrePok River water channels. Large animals like elephants, bantengs, gaurs, tigers, and wildlife buffalos, as well as bears, bovids, and other smaller carnivores and monkeys, thrive here.

Aside from housing a rich diversity of species, the Sanctuary also houses many ethnic minorities, mostly from the Phnong group. They rely exclusively on the park’s natural resources for a living, using natural resins, vines, rattans, medicinal plants, and forest goods. Coming here you can discover many things from biodiversity, and animal habits to the lives of indigenous people.


Gibbon Rehabilitation Project

Near Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, you can visit this project, which is dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing gibbons back into the wild. It’s a great opportunity to support conservation efforts and learn about these primates. Here you have a chance to go into the deep forest, help feed the apes, monitor their health, maintain facilities, or observe the apes after being returned. Some lucky people can meet the gibbons again in the natural environment they once cared for.

Market Exploration

Immerse yourself in the bustling, noisy atmosphere of local markets. This is a great place for you to both experience local culture and communicate with local people. Visit the local markets in Banlung to sample traditional Cambodian and indigenous foods, buy handicrafts, and experience daily life. Choose souvenirs here to bring back to give to friends and relatives and keep memories in this country.

Camping and Trekking

If you are an outdoor activities enthusiast, you can choose to participate in activities such as camping in the wild and embarking on multi-day trekking trips to experience and immerse yourself in nature in Ratanakiri. The nature here is still wild and unexplored, so it has a very natural beauty and there are many things yet to be discovered. This promises to be an interesting experience for those who like to explore.

Norng Kabat Forest in Ratanakiri

The Norng Kabat Forest, Ratanakiri is one of the splendid tourist attractions in Ratanakiri, which attracts tens of thousands of travelers throughout the year.

It is located about 23 kilometers to the north of Banlung in Ratanakiri. The Norng Kabat Forest in Ratanakiri houses a beautiful pond, which is frequented by many birds and animals. Besides this, the tourists can go visit the ethnic villages, and ethnic culture (traditional beliefs, festivals, dancing, music). Visitors who come to the Ratanakiri Norng Kabat Forest can also enjoy the wonderful opportunity of watching the beautiful animals and birds that frequent the pond.

Eisey patamak mountain or phnom svay

The Eisey Patamak Mountain, Ratanakiri is the favorite haunt for lovers of adventure sports as well as trekkers. The hilly terrain of the topography is bound to impress you. The place is one where you can pitch tents and stay overnight.

Phnom Svay and the Reclining Buddha Wat Rahtanharahm (Wat Arun) sit at the base of Eisey Patamak Mountain about 1 km east of town. Follow the road past the wat and up the mountain. Just below the crest, a large reclining Buddha sits amongst a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. Full-day visit at Ratanakiri Province which includes Phnom Eisey Patamak, at the top of Phnom Svay is the statue of a reclining Buddha, situated 2.5 km.

Visit Kreng Ethic villa, a strange grave of Tompoun ethic, Kachang Waterfall. There you can see a magnificent landscape and huge amounts of fresh mist surrounding the waterfall. The visitors can swim and sit to look at the waterfall and other natural scenic beauties, the visitors can also go around to view other natural sights on foot or take elephants to ride).

The popular hotels and resorts in Ratanakiri

Yeak Loam Hotel

Located in BanLung, Yeak Loam Hotel is within a 5-minute drive of BanLung Market and Eisan Ratanaram Pagoda. This hotel is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Yeak Laom Lake and 3.8 mi (6.1 km) from Boeng Yeak Lom. Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as an outdoor pool or take in the view from a rooftop terrace and a garden. Grab a bite at one of the hotel’s 2 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of the room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at the bar/lounge. Make yourself at home in one of the 70 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and LED televisions. Conveniences include phones, as well as safes and desks. 

Ratanakiri - Boutique Hotel

The Ratanakiri – Boutique Hotel’s goal is to make you feel as if you are returning home with amenities that help you relax and enjoy. This place is surrounded by a green garden overlooking the lake. At the hotel’s restaurant, you can sample new scents and take home a new favorite after your trip to Ratanakiri. Feel the summer days, the rays of the sun shining on you at the swimming pool to enjoy the freedom of your dream vacation. At the end of the day, everyone will relax at the spa or sauna to take care of themselves. Especially the massage service with a floral scent in a quiet space with a strong Cambodian flavor.

Ratanak Resort Hotel

Ratanak Resort Hotel is a 3-star hotel located within 1.6 km of Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake. The hotel is located in a detached building. The property offers a sundeck, an indoor swimming pool, a library, and rooms with garden views. Each comfortable room has free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and seating area, and a bathroom with a hairdryer, towels, and slippers. All 16 guestrooms at Ratanak Resort include down pillows and down blankets. All amenities are guaranteed to bring customers the most comfortable and satisfying service during their trip to Cambodia.

Top 3 best restaurants in Ratanakiri

Chico's Bistro

This is a restaurant whose area is not too large, but in return, they have a very beautiful decoration and interior. Especially the atmosphere and delicious food. The lemon soup here is a best seller as most diners think it is the best lemon soup they have ever eaten. If you’re lucky, you may have the opportunity to go to the kitchen and learn how to prepare dishes with the owner. This is also a great place to relax, drink beer, entertain, or even rent a car because the owner here is very friendly and enthusiastic.


This is a very good restaurant, most guests who come here once will come back again when they have the opportunity to come to Cambodia. There is a rooftop dining area with a direct view of the lake. The food here is considered delicious and reasonably priced. Furthermore, the restaurant also has a billiard table so customers can have fun right here. Thus, if you have the opportunity to come to Cambodia, please visit Pteas Bay Khmer to experience it.


If you are a vegetarian or like to eat vegetarian food, this is the perfect choice for you. Even the burger and the Laklok are available with Tofu or “vegetarian meat” (a combo of Tofu and Mushrooms). People should try the Laklok and the Amok with Tofu and the “meat”. The dishes here are served with rice and are all considered delicious. Moreover, the service quality is also very good, the food is served quickly, and the owner and staff are also very friendly.

How to get to Ratanakiri

From Phnom Penh – Doing this in a single day is now possible, with three ‘large’ buses and numerous minivans servicing the route on a daily basis, departing between 6 and 7:30 a.m. The minivans are speedier, but the free pickup and dropoff can add another 2-3 hours to the eight-hour journey.

Share/Private Taxi
A private taxi from Phnom Penh to Banlung costs about 120 USD, which is more expensive than using the bus. It’s a 5-6 hour trip to the junction near Stung Treng, then another 2 hours to Banlung, with food breaks along the way. Your hotel or guesthouse will most likely be able to assist you in locating taxi drivers in Phnom Penh who specialize in this journey.

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