Going Again: Cambodia, Jungle Hike

I’m supposed to be in training for a hike this fall, but this trip to Cambodia has meant a lot of sitting, and only a few walks around the city markets. Every day my activity app messages me “I see you have not met your daily activity goal…”. Okay, so quit it! I’m going for a walk in the jungle.

View up mountain from Secret Restaurant, Veranda Natural Resort
View down to the coast at Kep, from Veranda Natural Resort

Veranda Natural Resort is built on the slope of a mountain, as it rises from the coast. Behind the resort the mountain continues to rise and it becomes Kep National Park. The trail entering the park is wide enough to be called a road, although at some points it only allows a moto to pass. The entrance is guarded by a “ranger” in a small hut who collects a dollar from me and returns to his mat to lie down. I head out, armed with a bottle of water and my phone (with only half battery life, oh no…).

Park pass with a purpose – “contripution health take care of environment Kep National Park”

I have gone only a few steps when I come to a restaurant! Who would expect to find Breton Pancakes and homemade ice cream up here? The Cambodians are opportunists. But I do not stop.

small symbols on the sides of signs are squirrels – you’ll see why

The trail is shady and the grade is gradual so it is very comfortable walking. I do have to watch my feet though because there are rocky areas and tripping or turning an ankle is a possibility.  I stop whenever I have to take in the view or read a sign, like this one telling me what lives along this jungle trail.

I don’t know if this was informational only, or a warning. Have to watch out for those durian “smelly fruit”.


I’m  not sure how national parks in Cambodia compare to ones in the U.S. but I am pleased to see that they do have markers on the trail telling me how far I have gone, and the elevation. And as the trail climbs there are benches at scenic overlooks with the name of what I’m seeing painted on the back of the bench.


I’m trying hard to stay in the middle of the trail and look out for things hanging from the trees (insects). There is a pleasant breeze up the side of the mountain and as the trail winds steadily upward, around clefts and ravines there are a lot of unfamiliar noises. I recognize bird calls, an insect noise almost like a fire alarm, and something that could be a monkey, or maybe just a large lizard.

Thank you Squirrel Association! Heading off to find the Remarkable Tree.

At 2.5 kilometers I find that the trail is maintained by a number of organizations and clubs, including the Squirrel Association. I conclude that they don’t hunt for fancy names for their groups here. I decide to continue on, hoping to get to the Remarkable Tree in 690 meters.

View of Butterfly Valley

But I don’t make it. I do cross over the summit and find another valley, and as the road descends there are a lot of remarkable trees but I’m not sure which one is actually named that – unless it is this one with a sign I can’t read.

Are you the Remarkable Tree?
Also remarkable.
Quite remarkable as well.

I did only a short portion of this trail, since I didn’t have enough time to complete the loop. But now that I know it’s here, maybe next time!


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