Banteay Meanchey translated “The Fortress of Victory” is in the north-west area of Cambodia which borders SiemReap to the east. It represents also one of the biggest checkpoints for tourists and transportation as it is very close to the Thai border and famous places (in 2015, 14% of the tourist activity went through the whole area of Banteay Meanchey).
Despite whole Cambodia’s history, Banteay Meanchey does not have a lot of historical monument except the Banteay Chhmar Temple which is not well conserved because of the wars. UNESCO is attempting to restore it and keep it as a world heritage.
After leaving the Siem Reap area which gave us a warmful goodbye breakfast, we headed to one of the most important natural reservation. Or at least what remained of it.
The forest which used fully green and shades to hide from heating sun was left with nothing but ashes and broken trees. We crossed the forest which was actually not that big, we didn’t have the time to visit the whole area. It was possible to feel the emptiness left after trees got turned to smokes: our path was too huge for small visitors like us but we could still imagine how it would be. And this area plays an important role economically speaking, as it is one of the only passage for transportation as it is surrounded by small moutains where no way has been constructed.
Map of the area
After walking for about 40mn through the ashes path, we met most of the forest team with NGO’s members that was here to secure the area and inform the population that would cross the forest during the dry season which is not only more dangerous but longer than the rainy season (from 6 to 7 months).
CWF and the forest teams agreed on many points concerning the safety of this natural reservation where we could still hear many birds despite the only few trees remaining, and as many projects it is in a matter of new conservation techniques but also in the advertisement that CWF will help, in the aim to let the population know how important the forest is for economical reason but also for natural diversity.
Finishing a cheerful and shared meal, CWF team was ready to move and check the next project related to 1001 funtains project in one of most important school which acts as a hall of residence to many orphans.