Nature trips are vital to your mental and metabolic health. I’ve made it my hobby to take weekly nature days or weekend trips to Cambodia’s countryside, mountains, lakes, and beaches.
I suggest you should too — wherever you live.
Cambodia is a much underrated and often neglected travel destination in Southeast Asia.
Thailand is the hot ticket to visit — next comes Bali, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia on the tail-end of travelers’ agendas, if at all.
The 4 countries mentioned all have their unique characteristics and beauty.
However, Cambodia offers far more for travelers, working ex-pats, or retirees in terms of:
- Cost of living
- Laid-back & hassle-free lifestyle
- Inexpensive yearly resident visa and work permit
- Work and self-employment options
- Every nationality is welcome to live and work
- Endless exploration and adventure options
- Easy and affordable internal travel
- Easily accessible internationally via Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports
- Extraordinarily friendly and helpful locals
My 1-year living and life experiences in Cambodia with the people, cities, beaches, mountains, countryside, and temples have been nothing short of amazing.
I’ve never felt as welcome and at home in any other country I’ve lived.
Note: My ex-pat life started when I was 7, in 1976 when my family moved to Austria, and I became a professional skier.
Since then, I’ve lived in 7 countries on 3 continents — my experiences and life adventures have taught me a lot about life, people, the countries I lived in, and myself.
I’ve traveled almost everywhere in the world. As a result, my travel, work, and life experiences are vast. Thankfully, this gave me a broader worldview and an open mind.
The beauty and wonders of Kulen Mountain, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia
The drive to Kulen from Siem Reap takes 2.5 hours if you drive fast on a motorbike as I do.
We decided to break up the driving time and overnight in a beautiful resort halfway there.
Enjoying the old wooden resort. Photo by Rob Hourmont
My girlfriend sitting in the old-fashioned restaurant. Photo by Rob Hourmont
It was a good choice — the drive up Kulen Mountain is rigorously challenging on body and mind.
You face steep, windy roads, and muddy dirt and gravel parts along the way. None are easy to navigate — it was a slippery affair.
1:45 hours after leaving the resort, we reached the spectacular river and waterfall atop Kulen Mountain.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it — and I’ve visited many waterfalls in the past.
There’s a small village with neat wooden huts perched along the gently flowing river, which leads to a sudden dramatic waterfall. You can rent the cabins per hour or by the day.
Khmer families mostly hang out all day, relaxing, eating, and swimming. It’s like a day on the beach, but on a river, on the top of a mountain.
That’s special and unique — it got me very excited, as you see in the photos.
Feeling powerful and happy at the Kulen Waterfall. Photo by Rob Hourmont
Only 100 yards from the drop-off, you have kids and families joyfully swimming and playing in the water.
I’m an action man who can’t sit still for long.
So we trekked around the waterfalls and took in the scenery and fresh air while happily watching the butterflies and dragonflies dance around in the air.
My better half enjoying the spectacular scenery. Photo by Rob Hourmont
Then we snapped some photos and I sprinted back up the super-steep and tricky steps.
Then we visited the Pagodas — Places of Buddhist Worship
I learned Kulen Mountain used to be the original Kingdom and capital of Cambodia before it was moved to Angkor in Siem Reap and then Phnom Penh.
There are around 50 ancient temples strewn all over the top of Kulen Mountain — it’s fantastic and impressive to see.
Imagine how hard that must have been — they built the Padogas in the 1400s — on top of a 500-yard and baking hot mountain.
We found the most valued Pagoda area off the beaten path for tourists — a great surprise and experience that was.
You can see – we were all alone!
Loving the moment at one of the Kulen Mountain Pagoda.
We enjoyed the views, let the moment sink in, meditated a little, and sent positive affirmations to the Universe and the Buddha.
That was a special moment. It’s something I’ve not done anywhere else. I felt comfortable sitting here in Cambodia, on top of this special mountain, sending my gratitude and wishes to the skies.
Both experiences, on top of Kulen, were magical.
Next, we rode our bike back to Bong Thom Forest Resort. 3 hours of relaxation time by their beautiful and amazing 35-yard pool. Next— a delicious local roasted chicken dinner and wine.
The huge pool at the “Big Brother” resort, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Rob Hourmont
That wrapped up our day trip and another incredible Cambodia venture and experience.
Please also read this Cambodia travel story:
If Cambodia isn’t on your travel bucket list, I suggest adding it ASAP.
Are you considering a change of country, work, a new life, or retirement? Then Cambodia is a great place to be.
In Cambodia, you can work where you want or set up any business you like — hassle-free.