Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Youths fuel ecotourism surge

Youths fuel ecotourism surge

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Young women go hiking in an ecotourism area in Kampong Speu province. SUPPLIED

Youths fuel ecotourism surge

Ecotourism destinations have become a significant attraction for domestic tourists. This trend took off in popularity during the global Covid-19 outbreak, which prevented Cambodians from travelling abroad and encouraged them to stay away from crowded urban centres. Now, even though flights have resumed and overseas trips are possible, hiking and camping are maintaining their popularity with Cambodians.

San Sreynich, a student at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC) who enjoys hiking, said that her interest in the activity was linked to her childhood because she grew up in a remote area surrounded by nature. While it is necessary for her to live and study in Phnom Penh where development is thriving, she considers trips to ecotourism destinations as a way to recall her childhood memories.

Sreynich said that as a young woman she used to hike in the forests for many kilometres carrying her own pack admits that “fatigue is always a factor, but once you reach the beautiful tourist destinations where there are forests, wildlife and green landscapes that cannot be found in the city, the weariness suddenly disappears.”

“Camping and sleeping in hammocks or reading books while disconnected from mobile phone service and the world make hiking to ecotourism destinations an exciting adventure. Even though it’s a bit exhausting it helps to refresh our minds,” she said.

Rachana, another young woman who also likes hiking, has been visiting ecotourism destinations since 2015. Back then visiting the great outdoors wasn’t yet a popular trend. She said she started out in the Areng area of Koh Kong province and that she loves adventure travel and spending a lot of time in nature.

In the remote forests far away from the vibrant city, Rachana’s favorite activities are sleeping on hammocks under the trees, reading books, listening to the sounds of wildlife, watching the sun rise, exploring the forests, fishing with the community and then cooking what they catch on a campfire and looking at the stars at night.

In the past, Rachana mostly visited the Areng area of Koh Kong province and the Thmor Loy area of Kirirom mountain as well as the Khnong Phsar area. For her next destination, Rachana wants to visit some other ecotourism sites like Oral Mountain or Veal Thom.

She said that for her the experience of hiking and camping is a trip that not only provides an adventure travel experience for city-dwellers, but also helps people stay close to nature and learn to love nature and protect it, while also helping provide livelihoods for the rural and remote local communities.

Another young woman, Meng, started hiking when she joined a trip to Prey Lang forest organised by an NGO in 2015. Then in 2019 after she decided to quit her full-time job, Meng had more time to travel and most of the time she prefers visiting remote ecotourism destinations to explore nature in places where few people have been.

Meng considers hiking, which sometimes requires walking anywhere from 10 km to 50 km, as a test of her physical and mental endurance that requires patience and perseverance. Having visited many ecotourism destinations, Meng suggests that tourists should be well-prepared and know what items to bring along, but especially they need to have good hiking shoes.

Due to environmental concerns, Meng also suggests that all tourists should bring reusable items with them and avoid the use of plastic items that can be left behind as garbage that pollutes the environment and destroys the beauty of the ecotourism destinations.

“We should preserve the pristine and untouched natural environments wherever we visit. Ideally, the only new things we should take with us from there are our memories and we should leave nothing but footprints behind us,” Meng advised.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • New int’l airport nearly half complete as travel industry returns to life

    Construction of a new airport that is slated to serve the capital has passed the 43 per cent completion mark, raising prospects for a proper recovery in the civil aviation and tourism sectors as international travellers return to the Kingdom in increasingly large numbers. The figure

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,