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After boiling and baking myself for a month and a half all around Cambodia, I'm wondering about places I could go up in the mountains in the country.

Specifically I'm wondering what the highest settled place in Cambodia is.

I know there are some places that still have danger from land mines, and there are probably some places that don't have any accommodation options.

I don't care where in the country it is. I have camping gear but would at least need somewhere to buy food and water.

  • 2
    Phnom Aural is the highest point, so I'm guessing somewhere near there... – Mark Mayo Mar 5 '15 at 5:59
  • It looks like there's not even any roads within about 20km of it though, let alone settlements I can see on Google Maps. – hippietrail Mar 5 '15 at 6:02
  • Some contradiction, you said in the title "with accommodation" and then you said you don't care and you have camping gear.. so which one? – Nean Der Thal Mar 5 '15 at 21:03
  • @MeNoTalk: I have basic camping gear if there's a campground and shops. I don't have enough to be in the middle of nowhere. For instance I don't have cooking gear and I won't be carrying supplies. – hippietrail Mar 6 '15 at 10:49
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    I had a bit of a browse around elevationmap.net/… and nothing above 200m or so leaped out at me. Towns look to be surrounded by the mountains rather than on them. – dlanod Mar 9 '15 at 5:19
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+50

It is difficult to answer accurately as I do not know exactly what level of accommodation is required. Also the definition of a "settled place" place is unclear to me. However I will give it a go and provide different options.

The highest place with a proper hotel accommodation is the Bokor Hill in Kampot province, altitude a bit over 1 km. The hotel is expensive and luxurious, just recently built. I believe it would be easily possible to do camping at Bokor Hill area as well. However it is not really a proper town or village where local folks would live. When I went there several years ago it was quite an empty place but since then they have upgraded the road and built the hotel etc. so I do not have current first-hand information.

Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province, altitude about 700 m, is the highest provincial capital. It is a small peaceful town. It feels different there compared to the rest of Cambodia. There are several hotels and other kinds of accommodation available. It is quite cold at night there (cold by Cambodian standards).

It looks like some (western) tourists have gone camping at Aoral/Aural mountain area. I have never been there myself, so I do not really know about that area. I found photos at http://www.tourismcambodia.com/photozone/main.php/aural-mountain/ and some description of a hike at http://distantpeak.blogspot.fi/2011/01/phnom-aural.html.

It seems silly to carry camping gear in Cambodia, as basic accommodation is available everywhere usually starting from 5 USD/night/room and you want to minimize the amount of stuff you carry there. It is hot, troublesome and inconvenient to travel in Cambodia with a lot of stuff to carry. Also even in places which do not have hotels/guesthouses you will easily find families who will accommodate you for a night, if you decide to go really off the beaten path. Just ask around and someone will offer you a place to stay for a night. Basic local food is available at any populated place for 1-2 USD/portion.

There is no such thing as "campground" in Cambodia.

If you want to be able to stay overnight in uninhabited jungle, just buy a hammock with a mosquito net from any town market and carry that. Of course then you would need trees which might not be available at the highest possible places.

  • This is a very good answer because it covers all of the few possibilities. For me it sounds like Sen Monorom would've fit my needs best but somehow it escaped by notice when I was in Cambodia looking where to go next. (I just left today after two months there.) – hippietrail Mar 19 '15 at 17:43
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There is a very good article in the PPP about Kirirom Mountain; "Magic lives on at old royal retreat". Probably one of the few places in the kingdom to find pine forests.

"On top of Kirirom Mountain are the 1960s-era ruins of a once grand getaway for the royalty and urban elite of pre-war Cambodia. Now, four decades after it was abandoned, life is returning to the settlement"

http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/magic-lives-old-royal-retreat

I see that you already left but maybe next time.

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