Kirirom National Park & Chombok Waterfall Park: 17 Aug 2003


Morning Has Broken

Dawn the most a sacred time... for solitude, personal reflections and more.



Exploring the park numerous trails was limited to what the car can do... no ambitious offroading for me this time.


Traffic Circle

A huge traffic circle in the middle of nowhere! The presence of this traffic circle reflects the splendor and glory of this national park in the not so distant past. As with the rest of the country, most of the park and it's infrastructure were devastated by the Khmer Rouge. This beautiful fountain was obviously spared.


Golden Showers

The golden morning light casts a beautiful glow on the trunks of the pines.



Of typical Khmer heritage... petrified faces of Buddha on a stone stupa. 


Kirirom Waterfall No. 1

The "waterfalls" of Kirirom is a misnomer... more like a few small cascades here and there. You will be most disappointed if you go there expecting dramatic shear drops from cliffs.



The rivers of Kiriom Plateau are slow flowing and calm, but the few rapids that occur have been designated as "waterfalls" on the tourist map. There are a total of three such "waterfall" areas that are frequented by visitors.


Rickety Bridge

At "Waterfall" No. 1, there is a short 10-minutejungle walking trail that goes around the area. Early morning is the best time to explore the area, as it is still devoid of the typical crowds.


Picnic Huts

At each "waterfall" area are numerous huts serving as raised platforms for picnickers. These ubiquitous huts line the river, trails and roads on both sides. There were about a hundred of such picnic huts at Waterfall No. 1... to my opinion, the sheer number of huts was much more spectacular and interesting than the "waterfall" proper.


Park Maintenance

The trails and huts within Kirirom are well maintained. The huts are frequently repaired and are very clean. It is interesting to see the numerous "Do not litter, throw trash into bins" signs. Unfortunately the local tourists don't heed to the signs well and much litter can still be found in the rivers and about.


Checking the Catch

A young boy checking his long net in the lake from an overnight catch. Prior to him being in the water, the lake was perfectly still and it's surface gave a perfect mirror reflection. All that was lost when he jumped in. 


Kirirom Waterfall No. 3

No. 3 was the next "waterfall" visited. Another set of small cascades and water slides in a similar setting of picnic huts lining the river.


Guided Tour

This man with a heavy alcoholic breath odour was hoping to earn a quick buck by showing me around. He enthusiastically pulled my hand to showed me a huge boulder that was washed down from a previous flash flood, and where the locals would swim and slide in the river. He would direct to me where I should take photographs too. He later demanded 1 US$ for his effort... I gave him 1000 Riel (a quarter).


Pretty in Pink

An orchid? This pretty flower was seen on the forest floor by the road. It is the same flower that has been made into wreaths for sale on the roadsides.


Kirirom Waterfall No. 2

An even more pathetic set of small cascades. A 4x4 track goes through this river here... a potential for future exploration on the Landy.


River Crossing

An innovative log bridge... with handrails!


Hiking Fashion

Louis Vuitton, eat your heart out... Tomoko hiking fashion is the in thing now!


Road to Chombok

To Chombok Waterfall Park is a 9 km drive on this unsealed road.


Chombok Kids

The kids of the local drug store owner... a dispensary in a small village like Chombok is rather amazing.


Community Based Ecotourism

A better managed park with returns to the local community is the Chombok Waterfall Park. The young guide is a resident of the local village, and her responsibilities include guiding tourist and bring out the trash.


Jungle Trekking

Much of Cambodia's forests are no longer virgin. Chombok Waterfall Park is no different... the forest here consists mainly of young secondary growth like this bamboo forest.


Bamboo Tunnel

A 3.5 km walk in secondary forest to the main fall of Chombok Waterfall Park, with an elevation gain of 600 feet from the park gate to the base of the main fall. This offers a very pleasant forest walk.


First Glimpse

Peeping through the forest cover, our first glimpse of the main fall of Chombok. A sheer vertical drop of not less than 30 meters, a truly spectacular natural wonder.


Rock Climbing

To get to the base of the waterfall requires some rock climbing and pool wading.


Wet N Wild

Proximity to Phnom Penh brings in the crowds... heaps of tourist from Phnom Penh visit the falls on the weekends.


Outdoor Lunch

What better way to enjoy lunch... with a spectacular waterfall view and a cooling spray mist to caress the face.


Final Glimpse

A rare moment to photograph the waterfall without any people within.



While returning back to Phnom Penh, a thunderstorm was brewing to the east. The bright afternoon sunlight from the west cast a beautiful shine on the foreground paddy.


Back Up Next