Ratanakiri province is located in the remote northeast corner of Cambodia, bordering Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east. I had come to this part of the country to trek into the jungle. My goal-to get up close to a group of Northern yellow-cheeked gibbons that have been habituated to human presence. It promises to be one of the best photographic opportunities of this ape species in the world.
Before I get back on the bike though I’m taking a break from the dusty roads and joining some loals in a nice cold refreshing glass of sugar cane juice.
Veun Sai is located 38 kilometers north of Banlung, where we started the journey. It was about a 30 minute wait before we would cross the Tonle San River by ferry. Another hour ride past a Laos village then onto the camp where we’ll spend the night before trekking into the jungle early the next morning.
Ratanakiri means “hill of the precious stones”. Zircon and other semiprecious stones are mined here. The cultivation of rubber trees, cashew, and coffee crops is growing at an exceedingly fast pace. On my way to Banlung I saw many rubber tree and cashew plantations. The cost of this growth is of course loss of land and habitat for indigenous plants and wildlife.
The Gibbon Project is a very worthwhile undertaking as it not only helps to protect the gibbon but the forest and habitat as well.
Excerpts from “Swinging With The Gibbons-Jungle Of Northeastern Cambodia”.
I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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