Monkey Pod Treehouse

Phnom Tnout Wildlife Sanctuary

Forget jostling with sharp-elbowed crowds to get that perfect sunrise snap of Angkor Wat. What if you could explore 800-year-old cave temples with only silver langur, barking deer and pileated gibbons for company?

With a conservation area of 420 sq km in Cambodia’s dry northern plains, most of it old growth dipterocarp forest, (which basically means awesome, ancient tropical trees – Google it!) Phnom Tnout is a small but uplifting example of a conservation project fighting back against the illegal logging and plantation development that threaten so many of Cambodia’s rainforests.

Ben and Sharon Davis have led this fight since they set up their ecotourism project, BeTreed Adventures, in Phnom Tnout in 2013. At BeTreed, you can sleep in a treehouse and wake up to the sounds of hooting gibbons and the pig-like snorting and rustling of silver langurs. The family tailor adventure activities to your interests, so birdwatchers can be up early for the dawn chorus, wildlife enthusiasts can help check camera traps for sightings of rare mammals, hikers can trek for miles through the jungle to Angkorian cave temples, and adrenaline junkies can soar 300 metres through the canopy on their heart-pumping zipline.

Ecotourism is an incredibly important part of conservation in Cambodia, providing an alternative income to communities who would otherwise have to turn to logging and poaching to survive. BeTreed is foreign-run but firmly community-orientated, providing alternative income for locals who would otherwise have no choice but to turn to logging, and channelling funds they raise into local development initiatives. In short, this is a wonderful way for you to experience Cambodia’s precious natural environment while at the same time contributing to its protection.

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