Friday, December 19, 2008
My blog postings will be quiet for the next four days as I venture into the Cardamom Mountains for the first time with a visit to Chi Phat in the southern foothills of the area. Chi Phat is the location for a community-based tourism initiative by Wildlife Alliance, Live & Learn and the local community. They're putting on a FAM trip for a handful of local tour companies and the press so that we can see what they are offering. They are pretty well organized and though trekking will be the main feature of this trip, it'll also give us a good view of the homestay and community facilities that they have installed in Chi Phat commune. Hiking, mountainbike tours, river cruises and bird-watching are the main areas where this ecotourism project hopes to make their killing (in terms of providing sustainable livelihoods for the locals), in an area that is still rich in animal and plant life and where few people have really ventured. We're not breaking new ground as such but this project is in its infancy so our feedback and promotion is designed to help the community and ourselves. I leave on Friday morning at first light (that's 8am for me!).
As a reminder, I still have some photos to post from my visit to the south coast a few week ago, this is one taken from Independence Beach in Sihanoukville, more to follow upon my return