Perfect for families or groups of friends, Kirirom National Park in Kampong Speu province of Cambodia promises a fun-filled day trip that brings memories, water fights and flower crowns. Kirirom National Park is a 2 hour drive from Phnom Penh or a 1 hour drive from nearby Sihanoukville that can be organised through a minibus or tour company. The trip is made best with a group of friends or family, shared with Khmer food and drinks. For tourists, the entry fee into Kirirom National Park is 20,000 KHR (5 USD) with all Khmer nationals granted free entry. It’s recommended, though not essential, to bring a swimsuit, a change of clothes and a towel with you should you venture to the waterfall itself.
Approaching the waterfall Khmer style
After taking the 30 minute undulating ascent on a dirt track to the main attraction of Kirirom National Park, the beautiful waterfall, unload and head to one of the picnic areas that cost 20,000 (5 USD) to hire for the day. From the picnic areas, wooden huts with blankets and stilts built above the water, you can walk down to the rivers and streams from beyond the waterfall. This is when your swimsuit comes in handy as within minutes, friends or family will run to soak you in water and push you down the waterfall! In the sweltering Cambodian heat, it’s the time to have funny moments with your friends and investigate Kirirom’s beauty for yourself.
Scramble up to the best views of the waterfall
As a source of natural beauty, Kirirom has several sights to explore beyond the waterfall itself. Many areas can be walked to but selected sites can only be reached for those that can scramble up the rocks and jump across boulders. The sights at the bottom of the waterfall are a must-see, though do be careful of the slippery and moss-covered rocks when you climb, as many slips and falls take place here. Should you slip on the rocks, you’ll end up in the mass pools below and drench your clothes: not nice for those that want to keep dry, funny for those that don’t mind. Many ladies and children will flock to sell you flower crowns at various sites, costing between 2000 – 3000 KHR (0.50 – 0.75 USD); these are both fun and lovely to wear for photos in the water overlooking the waterfall.
Bask in Kirirom's beauty at its peak
After eating copious amounts of food, swimming in the crisp, clean water, exploring the areas of natural beauty and taking photos to share with your friends, there’s the chance to drive to the top of the Kirirom Mountain. From the mountain’s peak, you can see the views of the forest and the overlooking river in all its beauty. You can also take a look at the history of Kirirom and how much the national park covers in Cambodia, with it covering two different provinces in the country and hailed as the first national park in Cambodia. As you take a deep breath to look at the vast area of Kirirom, it feels like entering a new world with the noises of nature, monkeys and birds in the distance.
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Tick jumping into a waterfall off your to-do list!
Kirirom National Park favours both the leisure seekers and the fun-filled adventurers. With it only being 2 hours away from Phnom Penh and an hour away from Sihanoukville, Kirirom allows you to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the cities and take in the clean air of the forest. Costing around 10 USD for the day, it bodes good value for money along with beautiful sights and fantastic views. Be sure to bring swimming gear with you if you fancy a swim around the waterfall and enough food and drinks to share!
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