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Banlung is a small town in the north east of Cambodia. It is the capital of Ratanakiri Province. The city has a population of 17 thousand people, but it is still growing. Its surroundings are heavily forested. The city is an important commercial center. Many people from neighboring villages sell their goods on the market of Banlung.

Banlung itself isn’t very spectacular. The town is growing however and many roads are being built. In the center there are two story buildings, a monument, a market and a few newly paved roads. Banlung is however a very good base to visit the undiscovered parts of the Ratanakiri Province. This province is heavily forested. People are active in plantation agriculture, for rubber, cashews and oil palms. There are also gem mines.

The surroundings of Banlung offer several spectacular natural attractions, including waterfalls, lakes and natural parks. Worth a visit is the 700 thousand year old Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake, 3 miles from the town centre. Spectacular waterfalls are Cha Ong, Kan Chang and Ka Tieng. You will come across rubber plantations on your way up. Active possibilities are rafting, kayaking and dirt bike rides.

Travelers to Banlung require a valid passport and visa. American citizens will receive a visa upon arrival valid for 30 days in exchange for $20.00 US. There’s also an exit fee of $25.00 US when leaving the country. Banlung and its environment is home to 12 ethnic groups. Respect their culture and remember that many taboos exist.

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