Cambodia Banner 2 Logo Cambodia (1)
Back to Listing

Cardamom Mountains

Located in the Southwest region of Cambodia, The Cardamom Mountains region is a stunningly beautiful highland area of the country, largely forested and lush, much of which could be described as tropical moist broadleaf forest. It is one of the country’s largest intact areas of rainforest, but has suffered from land encroachment in recent years.

It was a stronghold of the Khmer Rouge during Cambodia’s darker years of the 70s and 80s. Today, it is largely seen as the area that has the most potential for preserving and regenerating Cambodia’s wildlife, much of which was lost during those dark days. At its highest point, the Cardamom Mountains rise to just over 1,800 metres at the country’s highest mountain, Phnom Aural.

Here, Wildlife Alliance is a non-profit organisation instrumental in preventing illegal poaching and logging. Not only are they working to preserve the flora and fauna of the Cardamom Mountains, but they are also working to regenerate and repopulate the area with native wildlife. This is still a very off-the-beaten-path destination, but as tourism becomes more important to the local economy, so the importance of protecting the forests and the wildlife that lives there carries more weight. Shinta Mani Wild is one such place where tourism is certainly helping to preserve the natural environment. Newly-founded, by the flamboyant designer Bill Bensley, the eco-friendly luxury tented camp is working in close partnership with Wildlife Alliance. As part of one’s stay, it is possible to venture out with the Alliance officers on patrol, searching for loggers, poachers or traps that may have been set. Jungle trekking and wild swimming in natural pools under high waterfalls surrounded by rainforest: Shinta Mani Wild really is the best place to experience the Cardamom Mountains.

As an emerging destination in Cambodia, the Cardamom Mountains should be experienced, and combine very well with any Cambodia itinerary. It is possible to travel there from the capital Phnom Penh in just three hours depending on road conditions, and offers a wonderful contrast to the bustling city. From the region, one can then continue onto the Cambodian coast for some well-deserved relaxation and rejuvenation on one of the islands that sit just off the mainland.

The best time of year to visit is just following the rainy season in November when the rainforest is at its most lush, and the rivers are full. The driest period is generally from November to April, but visiting in the rainy season from May to October is also a good time as the rainfall is only expected at certain times of the day, which adds a wonderful atmosphere to being in the rainforest.

Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (1).jpg Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (1).jpg
Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (7).JPG Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (7).JPG
Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (5).jpg Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (5).jpg
Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (6).jpg Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (6).jpg
Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (4).jpg Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (4).jpg
Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (3).jpg Cardamom Mountains - Shinta Mani Wild (3).jpg
I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Ampersand’s details preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet/direct booking age. Shalmali was a delight to work with – before and during our trip.
- Mr David Wallace, North India

From our Instagram

The buzzing metropolis of #Shanghai promises an unforgettable stay 🇨🇳
.
Visit this city as part of a tailor-made tour of #China with us to discover its heady mixture of impressive skyscrapers, colonial history and incredible gastronomy 🏙🥟🍜
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
There are more colours to the #PinkCity than you may think... 🌸
.
Walk the streets of #Jaipur, past the iconic #HawaMahal (Palace of the Winds), #CityPalace & #AmerFort passing a vivid spectrum of colours as you go 🌻🌹🌿
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Staying at the beautiful @GalOyaLodge means you will experience one of Sri Lanka’s lesser-known National Parks at its very best 🌿
.
Take a boat safari here to see swimming elephants and a striking sunset 🐘🌅
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Spot mighty lions in #SouthAfrica’s game reserves with the help of our expert guides 🐾 🇿🇦
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience #KrugerNationalPark #SabiSands #Madikwe
.
(📸 @chris_fischer_photography)
🇮🇳Reminiscent of a French village, with its bright Mediterranean architecture and flower-laden balconies, it’s no surprise that #Pondicherry (or #Pondi) is nicknamed the ‘Indian Côte d’Azur’ 🇫🇷
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience 
#SouthIndia
Sunsets at the @gallefacehotel are the best welcome to #Colombo, especially when watching their flag ceremony from the iconic checkerboard terrace with a G&T in hand 🌅
.
We also love the wonderful @maniumpathy_boutique_hotel, which is truly an oasis of tranquility within this city 🌿
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
‘Led by Buddhist monks, a butter lamp ceremony offers a guiding light to finding peace and harmony’ @sixsensesbhutan 🕯🕯🕯
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
✨Please vote for us!✨
*Link in Bio*
.
For the top Tour Operators & Specialists in the  #CondéNastTraveler #ReadersChoiceAwards #2019
.
Only 5 Days left!
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience
Peek into the Himalayan Kingdom of #Bhutan & discover its extraordinary natural beauty with us 🇧🇹
.
Vibrant hues compliment earthy tones at every corner, especially within the hotly-anticipated #SixSensesBhutan lodges & at the beautiful @gangteylodge 🍂✨
.
📸 captured by @jamesjayasundera along his @sixsensesbhutan journey
.
#AmpersandTravel #LuxuryIsInTheExperience

Let us keep you up to date

Sign up to our newsletter and never miss out on unmissable exclusive luxury experiences