With backing from USAID Greening Prey Lang, an initial assessment has been carried out for a new trail at Phnom Tbeng in Preah Vihear province. This is an initiative by three communities seeking to enhance visitor appeal.

USAID Greening Prey Lang disclosed on social media that the trail is designed to link the Chak Angre, Tang Yu and Dataveuk community-based ecotourism (CBETs) sites.

The communities employed skills and expertise acquired from a trail development programme in Siem Reap, a World Bank-backed initiative under the Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project (CSLEP) supervised by the Ministry of Environment.

They announced that the forthcoming ecotourism trail will stretch over 20km, commencing with an ascent up Phnom Tbeng via new wooden steps at Chak Angre. The trail will traverse Phnom Tbeng’s landscape, taking in valleys, hills and various sites of interest while offering facilities for hikers. Distinct features will include streams, waterfalls, ancient trees, and wildlife and bird habitats. Visitors can enjoy sunrise and sunset views, pagodas and shrines.

The halfway point of the trail is the Tang Yu community campground, a spot for overnight stays beside a mountain stream. The trail ends at Dataveuk, where hikers will descend Phnom Tbeng via another set of wooden steps. Furthermore, the trail will cater to mountain biking enthusiasts, with bike rental services available at Phnom Tbeng's peak.

The development of the trail is crucial to the growth and sustainability of the ecotourism site. A well-maintained trail maximises visitor experience while minimising environmental impact. Nature trails can meet diverse visitor needs and boost CBETs visitation.

Upon completing environmental assessment for the new Phnom Tbeng trail, the communities will seek co-financing support from commune authorities, the UN Development Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).