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.

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

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.

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

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…

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

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.

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

Kirirom National Park, Cambodia 2010

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.

9 Comments

  1. SuperAnny

    February 27, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    i love your writing style and blog 😉

  2. Emm

    February 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    What a lovely post! I would love to visit Cambodia one day as it looks like a really beautiful place.  Did the national park have any interesting wildlife or animals (apart from dinosaurs!)

  3. Jude

    March 1, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Thanks so much for visiting me and taking the time to comment.
    I really enjoyed your photos and sharing your picnic thanks so much for giving me the chance to share part of your country.

  4. Josiet

    March 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I would like to explore that part of the town one of these days….buti pa kayo, naikot nyo na ata buong Cambodia =)

  5. Lui

    March 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    its a very ‘khmer place’  and could get a bit crowded but still nice to see how they do picnics. lapit din lang sya.. maganda yung kirirom hillside nice for a short stay..

    lots of places to go pa. dream place to go ko is preah vihear and ratanakiri. pero mukhang malabo pa coz medyo hard ang byahe kawawa naman si chinks

     

     

  6. motocross clothing

    March 2, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I just love to travel and this place look awesome….  really wanna go there as soon as possible…

  7. Sreisaat

    March 2, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Lui, thank you for reminding me of Kirirom! It’s one of the  most beautiful spots in Cambodia, in my opinion. The pine-tree lined road is reminiscent of Baguio City. We used to have a community-based eco-tourism project in Chambok district, about 20kms away from the national park, featuring a waterfalls, hike and bike trails, and a Visitor Information Center Sus, it’s been years since I last visited the place. I’ll make sure we visit it this year!

  8. Lui

    March 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    z, =) i love going there if only to sleep on those huts and watch Khmers picnic and for the cool weather. The only thing that saddens me about the place are those young children begging along the way, they even kneel down and do the ‘sompiah’ whenever a vehicle approaches and theres a whole lot of them.really sad.

    you should visit again..

  9. Slava

    September 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Beautiful place!

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