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Mekong Discovery Trail

posted Aug 18, 2011, 7:47 PM by Dong Travel   [ updated Aug 18, 2011, 9:09 PM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
Mekong Discovery Trail made its debut last May with an official launch at the Mekong Tourism Forum in Pakse, Laos.

The project focuses on building tourism in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces in northeast Cambodia. SNV Cambodia, pro-poor sustainable tourism sector leader, Trevor Piper, said Stung Treng and Kratie provinces were selected for the project primarily because of their high poverty levels.

Most of the tourism assets are linked to a relatively unspoiled section of the Mekong River, home to the Irrawaddy dolphin and surrounded by forest mountain ranges, waterfalls and hill tribe villages.

The Mekong Discovery Trail is a co-operative effort with the Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism and has the support of UNWTO, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Netherlands Development Agency (SNV).

Tour operators and travellers need to contact villagers who own the products and manage them. This ensures all the revenue goes back to the communities.

The Mekong Discovery Trail stretches 190 km from the Laos-Cambodia border in Stung Treng province all the way to Kratie. Tourists can cover the whole length or selected parts of the trail.

Mekong Discovery Trail comes with several suggested sub-trails having maps with attractions marked as well as transport options, brief information of the areas, possible itineraries and contact persons for the trade to pursue business opportunities.

According to a recently published investment guide, Kratie received 13,733 visitors in 2010 up from 12,325 in 2009. Meanwhile, Stung Treng’s arrivals decreased from 10,123 to 7,799 last year over 2009, but the trend over the past five years recorded a steady improvement in travel.

Most visitors to the trail are from Europe, North America and New Zealand and are generally backpackers, well-travelled independent travellers, seniors seeking soft adventure and expatriates living in Cambodia.

Source: TTRW