The never-ending adventures of a travel writer in Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Adventures of Adam Bray & The Sacred Waters of Ratanakiri

Ratanakiri Province is located in northeastern Cambodia, bordering Laos and Vietnam. It has some of the loveliest natural scenery in the country. Below are photos from my explorations this month.

Yeak Laom is a volcanic crater lake. The waters were considered sacred by Kreung and Tampuan villagers. Much of the geology in Ratanakiri is influenced by volcanos. This has resulted in large deposits of gem stones, including zircon, peridot, amethyst, gem-quality quartz and other things like gold and petrified wood. Extinct and dormant volcanos are located throughout the region. There are also volcanic crater lakes on the other side of the border, near Pleiku, Vietnam.

An orgy of daddy-long-legs (arachnids)

Bamboo forests at Yeak Laom

Gourds decorated by ethnic Tampuan villagers. After they are dried they are used to hold rice wine or water. Souvenir rice wine is often sold in ceramic jugs shaped like these gourds. The curves are also said to resemble a woman.

Cha Ong Waterfall

Kachang Waterfall

Jungle flowers

Jungle fungus

I arrived at the Ton Le San River, which flows from Kon Tum, Vietnam, all the way to the Mekong River. It is one of only a few rivers that flow west from the mountains to the Mekong. Tall mountains loomed in the distance at Virachey National Park, and small sampan boats lurked under water.

If he can do it, so can I... right? This is one of the longest wooden suspension bridges that I have encountered in my local travels. I did indeed cross it... twice. I was 'thrilled' to find several broken planks as I drove across.

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