Getting there & around
All buses, minibuses and share taxis travelling between Krong Koh Kong and points east, including Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, take NH48. Thanks to the efforts of environmental groups, including the Wildlife Alliance, agricultural development and land speculation along NH48 – a common sight, hundreds of metres deep, along new roads everywhere else in the country – have been strictly forbidden.
A very rough road goes north through the wild Cardamoms to Pailin and Battambang, passing by remote mountain towns such as Veal Veng, O Som (where there’s a ranger station) and Promoui (the main town in the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary). It should be attempted only in the dry season by dirt bikers with oodles of off-road experience. Near Krong Koh Kong, the turn-off is on the old road to Phnom Penh past the airport, a few hundred metres beyond the army base. There’s no public transport.
Motorcycles are loud, scaring birds and animals and making it impossible for the rider to hear their calls. By contrast, mountain bikes, which can go anywhere motorcycles can and some places they can’t, are silent, letting you hear and feel the forest as you ride. Bike tours of the Cardamoms, and local bike-rental options, are sure to sprout up over the next few years, including in Chi Phat.