Test Terres Rouges Lodge, Labansiek, Ratanakiri, Cambodia

The hikes

Tour IA - One day hike

One day hike (6 to 7 hours walk), back the same day.

We leave the hotel by car in the morning towards the south of Banlung, after about half a dozen kilometers we reach the Okatieng waterfall, where all elephant related activities in Ratanakiri start. We begin the hike on a wide path going through cashew and rubber plantations to the O Sin El waterfall. We then go down the steep slope leading to the bottom of the waterfall and the bravest people can freshen up under the cascading water. We start wading in the stream of the water that can be fresh, this part lasts about 3 hours & 1/2 in the middle of rocks and bamboo forest, hence the interest of having good shoes with a decent grip. We picnic in the shade before heading west towards the dense forest.
We first cross some slash and burn fields before entering clear forest then bamboo forest again. The terrain becomes more hilly as we approach the dense forest with superb trees measuring 20 to 30 meters.
It is the hilly nature of the terrain that so far protected the forest, loggers are lazy people… In this area we walk mostly in the shade. Time permitting we shall go through the old Vietnamese gold mine whose miners were chased by local machete wielding villagers.
Back in the middle or the end of the afternoon.

Tour IB - Hike and waterfalls

Half a day’s walk & waterfalls

A short trip through fields, orchards & rubber plantations will take you to the waterfalls, we then reach the Okatieng waterfall, where all elephant related activities in Ratanakiri start.
We begin the hike along the track that borders the forest to the west, then we enter directly the heart of the forest. The terrain is hilly with superb trees of 20 to 30 meters high.
It is the hilly nature of the terrain that so far protected the forest, loggers are lazy people… We walk mostly in the shade, we shall go through the old Vietnamese gold mine whose miners were chased by local machete wielding villagers then we carry on north towards a plateau which we have to climb before we arrive. We picnic in the forest.
On the way back we shall stop by Lake Yalaom, a round lake surrounded by the forest, to have a swim.
Back to the lodge at the end of the afternoon.

Tour IC - Easy walk and waterfalls

Half a day’s EASY walk for seniors and children & waterfalls

A short trip through fields, orchards & rubber plantations will take you to the waterfalls, we then reach the Okatieng waterfall, where all elephant related activities in Ratanakiri start. We begin the hike along the track that borders the forest to the west before directly entering the heart of the forest. The terrain is hilly with superb trees of 20 to 30 meters high.
It is the hilly nature of the terrain that so far protected the forest, loggers are lazy people… We walk mostly in the shade, we shall go through the old Vietnamese gold mine whose miners were chased by local machete wielding villagers.
During this hike our guide will systematically look for the easiest and flatest path available but it doesn’t mean it’s always a piece of cake…
We picnic in the forest.
On the way back we shall stop by Lake Yalaom, a round lake surrounded by the forest, to have a swim.
Back to the lodge at the end of the afternoon.

Tour II - 2 days hike

Two days hike, overnight in the forest.

We leave the hotel by car in the morning or early afternoon towards the south, after about half a dozen kilometers we reach the Okatieng waterfall, where all elephant related activities in Ratanakiri start.
We begin the hike along the track that borders the forest to the west, then we enter directly the heart of the forest. The terrain is hilly with superb trees of 20 to 30 meters high.
It is the hilly nature of the terrain that so far protected the forest, loggers are lazy people… We walk mostly in the shade, we shall go through the old Vietnamese gold mine whose miners were chased by local machete wielding villagers then we pause for lunch.
At 2PM we start the hike again and by 5PM we reach a small stream, we shall camp there for the night. We sleep in our hammocks close to a good camp fire.
The following morning we have breakfast then leave by foot towards the bigger O Sin El stream. We have lunch in the shade and rest till about 2PM.
We resume the hike, this time we shall wade in the stream. The water can be fresh and the stream is dotted with rocks and boulders which makes it important to have good shoes !
The stream is lined by bamboo forest which provides shade but also makes our progression more difficult as we often have to crawl below or step over fallen bamboo. We finally reach the O Sin El waterfall where the car comes to fetch us at the end of the afternoon. Back to the lodge at around 5.30 PM.

Tour III - Hike and "Mahouting"

One day hike, overnight in the forest & «mahout for day» program.

We leave the hotel by car in the morning towards the south, after about half a dozen kilometers we reach the Okatieng waterfall, where all elephant related activities in Ratanakiri start. We begin the hike on a wide path going through cashew and rubber plantations to the O Sin El waterfall. We then go down the steep slope leading to the bottom of the waterfall and the bravest people can freshen up under the cascading water. We start wading in the stream of the water that can be fresh, this part lasts about 3 hours 1/2 in the middle of rocks and bamboo forest, hence the interest of having good shoes with a decent grip. We picnic in the shade before heading west towards the dense forest.
We first cross some slash and burn fields before entering clear forest then bamboo forest again. The terrain becomes more hilly as we approach the dense forest with superb trees of 20 to 30 meters high.
It is the hilly nature of the terrain that so far protected the forest, loggers are lazy people… In this area we walk mostly in the shade.
Time permitting we shall go through the old Vietnamese gold mine whose miners were chased by local machete wielding villagers. We choose a place to hang our hammocks and spend the night in the forest by a good campfire or we decide to sleep in one of the huts of the Aïravata foundation.
The following morning we have breakfast then join the mahouts as they go to fetch the elephants in the forest. Once this delicate operation is completedwe go back to the camp where we shall learn the basic words and commands allowing the man-elephant relationship. Some words coming from the Lao language are quite difficult to master… We carry on our apprenticeship by climbing on the elephants’ necks to implement the theory we just learnt.
Lunch followed by a nap then we undertake a long forest ride
(about 2h 1/2) to master the commands we learnt in the morning.
As we come back from the forest we take our animals to the stream for a much needed shower & spa before saying goodbye with a farewell treat of fruits.
Back to the lodge around the end of the afternoon.

Tour IV - The north of Taveng

The north of Taveng, 3 days & 2 nights adventurous jungle trek

On this trek our guides will take you to one of the most remote areas of Cambodia close to the borders of Laos and Vietnam. Due to its remote location this place it is rarely visited by tourists, therefore the chances of seeing wildlife are more important. The area is also the habitat of several hill tribes where families live in small settlements. During our trek we have lunch in a Brao village and will spend one night with a local family. We will quite likely experience the fishing and hunting techniques of the local people. Please note that we do not accept any kind of hunting on protected animals for tourists entertainment nor consumption !
Landscapes are very diverse, with wide views contrasting with the dense jungle. You will pass small villages flanked by rice fields while some parts of the trek are cross country. This means that our way is cut through the dense jungle. Small streams have to be crossed. The Steung Khampha is not so easy to cross as it is too deep. Therefore we look for a small boat, or resort to building our own raft.
We spend two nights during this trek. One night in the jungle and one with a tribal family. One thing they have in common: pitch black skies with countless stars. The sounds of insects and animals completes the blend of life in the jungle.

Tour V - The Katcha mountain 2/3

3 days & 2 nights adventure trek

Beauty is waiting to be discovered! A wonderful area with breath-taking remote views, a superb waterfall and areas of untouched primary forest. The three steps waterfall measures at least 40 meters and the pool at the bottom is awaiting you for a welcome swim !
Landscapes encountered are very diverse. Experience a boat trip on the Tonle San river, spot rare birds on its shores, locals fishermen, water buffaloes cooling off with white egrets on their back. The Se San river unwinds ahead of you revealing the breathtaking scenery of majestic mountains in the distance.
Nature on this three day trek is anything but boring. Remote views contrasting with the enclosed jungle. Bamboo forests, rocky hills, mountains, small streams*. The huge trees of the primary forest makes us feel very small. The trek through the primary forest is really off the beaten track. In some areas, wildlife tracks are the only paths available. Your foot prints might mix with the foot prints of the giant gaur: a wild buffalo.
The Kacha people are very friendly and will often invite you in to their homes. According to the season you can watch their daily activities.
Khmer rouge
During the Khmer Rouge regime, Kacha people were closely involved. Many villagers were forced to hard labour. Men were forced to join the armed forces. People were executed. An attempt to mass murder the whole village was about to be a fact. For uncertain reasons they were kept alive. The mass grave dug by the villagers for this purpose can still be seen. A dam complex was build in order to gain two rice crops each year. Remnants of this structure are silence witnesses today.
We spend two nights during this trek. One night near the waterfall and one at a tribal family. Each has its own charm. *some streams run out of water in the late dry season.
What’s included?
• Professional English speaking guide. • Indigenous ranger expert tracker. • Save transport by car • Boat trip on Sesan River 24km two way • All necessary equipment like backpacks, hammocks, blankets and rain ponchos • Breakfast, lunch and diner • Water, coffee and/or tea • Entrance fees

Tour VI - The Katcha mountain 4/3

4 days & 3 nights adventure trek

Beauty is waiting to be discovered! A wonderful area with breath-taking remote views, a superb waterfall and areas of untouched primary forest . The three steps waterfall measures at least 40 meters and the pool at the bottom is awaiting you for a welcome swim ! Landscapes encountered are very diverse. Experience a boat trip on the Tonle San river, spot rare birds on its shores, locals fishermen, water buffaloes cooling off with white egrets on their back. The Se San river unwinds ahead of you revealing the breathtaking scenery of majestic mountains in the distance. 
Nature on this three day trek is anything but boring. Remote views contrasting with the enclosed jungle. Bamboo forests, rocky hills, mountains, small streams*. The huge trees of the primary forest makes us feel very small. The trek through the primary forest is really off the beaten track. In some areas, wildlife tracks are the only paths available. Your foot prints might mix with the foot prints of the giant Gaur: a wild buffalo.
The Kacha people are very friendly and will often invite you in to their homes. According to the season you can watch their daily activities. The additional day, comparing to our 3 day track, the compass needle points to the North. This day you get the opportunity to experience the feeling of discovering new areas like the first explorers did. There is no fixed track, so your guide and ranger find passages that leads you further to north. The guide and ranger always know their way back to the village so no need to worry they might loose the way ! But they need to find a suitable place to make a proper campsite. This is what makes the four-day trek even more adventurous!
Khmer rouge
During the Khmer Rouge regime, Kacha people were closely involved. Many villagers were forced to hard labour, men had to join the armed forces, people were executed. An attempt to mass murder the whole village was about to be a fact yet for unknown reasons they were kept alive. The mass grave dug by the villagers for this purpose can still be seen. A dam complex was built in order to obtain two rice crops each year. Remnants of this structure are silence witnesses today.
We spend three nights during this trek. One night near the waterfall, one night in remote jungle and one at a tribal family. Each has its own charm. *some streams run out of water in the late dry season.
What’s included?
• Professional English speaking guide. • Indigenous ranger expert tracker. • Transport by car • Boat trip on Sesan River 24km two way • All necessary equipment like backpacks, hammocks, blankets and rain ponchos • Breakfast, lunch and dinner • Water coffee and/or tea • Entrance fees