Written By: Seng Sivmey, YEA: Mekong Generation 2
Publication Date: 01 March 2021
Translated and Authorized By: Young Eco Ambassador
A New Eco-Tourism Community
Everyone loves to go out, don’t you think? It would be a lie if you say you do not. Not only love, but there’s also excitement before we even get to go! Am I right? Now, let me introduce you to a new resort where my colleague and I went in October.
Here it is! This is the Eco-Tourism Community Koh Samseb.
This community is located along the Mekong River and bordered by Kratié and Steung Treng Province, 95 kilometers away from the capital of Kratié province. Koh Sam Seb was founded in 2018 with the support of NTFP-EP Cambodia and the WWF organization.
Why is it named Koh Sam Seb (30 islands)?
Some may think that there are 30 islands that makes up the name of Koh Sam Seb. However, that is not true. This beautiful site consists of hundreds of islands and is covered by an ocean of forests; yet, among all these islands, only 30 of them have incomparable white sand. That is why it is named Koh Sam Seb or Island 30. So, let’s not get it wrong anymore!
What is on the island?
Have we got your attention to keep on reading? You must wonder what is there to visit on the island. Here are a few things you should keep in mind the next time you want to visit this wonderful island.
Boat riding along the river together with the beautiful sunset
Since the eco-tourism area is an island, we can expect to ride a boat down the river; enjoy the sound of birds singing; watch sunrise and sunset, and immerse ourselves in the breathtaking scenery. As a writer of this article, my words cannot even describe the experiences. Besides riding the boat, travelers can also swim in the river. Though it is a freshwater island, it is nothing more or less fun than the salty ocean. You can expect the cold.
The Abundant Forests and Flooded Forests
Aside from the crystal-clear river, the community is full of different types of forests including sparse forests and jungles which are homes to wild animals like gaur, deer, wild boar, peacock, vulture, and White-shouldered ibis. You must wake up early if you want to see a peacock, vulture, or White-shouldered ibis. Our team woke up at 4:30 A.M. to be able to see them as they might leave to find food.
Where to sleep?
There is no hotel here, so where do we sleep then? A tent is an obvious choice, isn’t it? Tourists can either sleep in the tent on the beautiful white sand of the island or in the house of the community which is also a good opportunity to better understand their lifestyle. There is no need to worry about food because the community also accepts your food orders. Imagine starting a campfire and cooking fish in front of the tent while watching the sunset with your campmate. so refreshing. Unfortunately, during the rainy season, we must stay in the community’s homestay, and it is not possible to camp as the sand will be flooded. a little bit sad but brace yourself for next time!
The story behind this beautiful island before it gets the public attention
Did you know? Before the ecotourism area was discovered, it was severely damaged. Many species of fishes were on the brink of extinction due to overfishing; even tiny fishes were being captured to the market and there was illegal fishing which brought great harm to marine life there. Furthermore, the flooded forest, home to many fishes and birds, was destroyed to make the land for the farm during the dry season. The area was almost destroyed by the time it was founded and rescued.
According to the chief of the Koh Sam Seb ecotourism community, Khut Samoul, he stated that the villagers were in a poverty and lived their normal lives by fishing, farming, and raising livestock before the establishment of the community. The living condition of the villagers has started to get better than before.
The ecotourism community is one of the best strategies for conservation work. In addition, as we have seen the potential of this site, we strongly believe that it will play a role in improving livelihoods and conserving natural resources together.
“Koh Samseb” is one of the three blog articles written by Seng Sivmey, YEA: Mekong Generation 2.
*Youth Program: Mekong Generation2 has been trained by Wapatoa and YEA team.