The plan for today is ride to ride on motos from Banlung to Voen Sai at the edge of Virachey National Park (Virochey, Virachay), which is about 35km northwest from here at the banks of the Tonle San River. From there we will take a boat and follow the San River to the east to Ta Veang (Taveng, Taveaeng), taking in a Tompuon cemetary at Kachon village on the way. In Ta Veang we change transportation again and return to Banlung by moto. We travel with Lim and Loth, two great and capable chaps we met during our working days in Banlung. Lim and Lot work part time as guides in and around Rattanakiri.
If you require a guide in Rattanakiri just call Lim: 012517418.
On the way to Virachey.
Lot and his motorbike. Lot tells me that the spot in the background is used to burry the bodies of criminals.
When we reach Voen Sai at the southern bank of the San River.
Arranging a long boat does not take long and a few minutes later we head east on the San River.
Kachon village. We stop here to visit the village’s cemetery. This destination is mentioned in various guidebooks and villagers seem to encourage visitors and also benefit from contributions. I tend to think that visiting cemeteries of most other indigenous villages in Cambodia is not encouraged by the community and would be very insensitive.
We are told that an old widower in the village has already built his own coffin, which is stored under his house.
This is on the cemetery.
The man buried here seemingly was with the police or military. The statue has a uniform including sunglasses and a cell phone that makes my co-travelers envious.
We talk to an elderly man who is member of the local Commune Council and tells us about developments in the village. After some time we continue.
This is when we reach Ta Veang. We walk around the village for some time before heading back to Banlung.
Looks as though the local CPP branch is not particularly active.
Local woman. We have a break and some coffee (from Laos) before we continue.
We come across the headquarters of Virachey National Park. The logos of Ministry of Environment, Worldbank and Global Environment Facility are on the signboard.
Lim and Phal.
Lot and Phal
On the way we visit two villages inhabited by indigenous people. Villagers prefer not being photographed. We spend some time walking around in the village, talking with people and observing laid back village life.
From left to right: Phal, moto driver whose name I forgot, Lim, and Lot. Then we get started again to ride to Banlung.
It is dark by the time we reach Banlung and all of us are very dusty. We have diner after a thorough shower.