Living in Phnom Penh: A Day Trip to Kirirom National Park
Last Sunday, Hi-ace got a call from his best friend inviting us to spend the day at Kirirom National Park. Chinkee was ecstatic coz she misses playing with N, their 2-year old son. So we set off for the 3 hour drive at around 8 am.
This is actually my second trip to Kirirom, though last time we went there it was raining hard, so no good photos and I also forgot to write about it. This time though the weather was awesome so I have plenty of photos. If you’re living in Phnom Penh, this is one of the places to escape to if the chaos of Phnom Penh gets a little unbearable.
Ok, so what’s with Kirirom? Its a National park located about 112 km from Phnom Penh, with a lush forest and pine trees. If you’re from the Philippines just imagine the place to be a little similar to Baguio or Tagaytay but with a lot less people around . It’s a very popular picnic area for Khmers as it allows them to escape the hustle and bustle plus the heat of Phnom Penh. Most Khmers go to several waterfalls near the area and these usually have picnic huts you can rent. I noticed though that the streams were a little dried out so swimming is a little out of the question. Must be because its summer time.
Going there by public transpo is a bit hard I was told but its still possible. I saw some foreigners there too and they hired motorbikes to get there. The best way still is to have your own transportation. National Highway 4 (NH4) is pretty scenic but I was very much on my toes as there are lots of cars, taxis with kamikaze drivers. And not only that, there plenty of cows roaming around the highway so things are interesting. Once you turn towards the National Park, there are less cars, more greens…
We reached the place around 11 am, picked a picnic hut near the stream. Khmer picnic huts are usually elevated, with some nipa thatch for roofing, and mats for lounging around. Khmers love eating sitting lotus-style so its hard to find huts with tables in their picnic places. You can bring your own food or you can order from the resto there. They serve Khmer food only. After a hearty lunch, we lounged around for a bit, while the kids where playing around and wading on the stream.
About 2 pm we set off towards Kirirom Hillside Resort a few kilometers down from the picnic area. Nice place though it seemed a bit empty and the facilities not maintained. They also have a swimming pool (which I think was tad small and too pricey!) a cafe, and cottages for rent. They also have a mini zoo, but it was those dinosaur statues that were a big hit with the kids..
All in all, it was a very hot, tiring but really enjoyable day. Especially for the kids…And oh, check out Kirirom Hillside Resort website too.