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Cambodia, land of temples and tropical beaches, is increasingly drawing visitors who are keen to learn about Cambodian history, shop in vibrant markets, and try the delicious, fresh local food. The idea of travelling sustainably is also growing in popularity, particularly among backpackers who prefer to minimise their carbon footprint as much as possible while on holiday. These days there are plenty of activitiesfor eco-conscious travellers in Cambodia, so if you’re interested in travelling sustainably in this picturesque South East Asian country, don’t miss these eco-tourism experiences:
Trekking through a remote forest
In the province of Koh Kong, you’ll find Chi Phat Community-Based Ecotourism, a company that caters to tourists who wish to experience a remote village and all it has to offer. Visitors can visit majestic waterfalls, see animals that have been rescued from illegal operations, and even take multi-day journeys through the nearby forest with experienced guides. With options for travellers of all ages and temperaments, and a range of accommodation in traditional Cambodian houses or with a local family, Chi Phat is a great way to experience the magic that Cambodia has to offer outside of mass tourism.
Taking a scooter trip
If you want to travel as the locals do, enjoy seeing things off the beaten track, and are up for an adventure, a scooter tour might be the perfect thing for you. Based in Siem Reap, Moto Adventures Day Tours aims to give tourists an authentic Cambodian experience by showing them hidden villages, temples, and incredible views while they learn about the history of the area. Run by locals, the tours are a great way to learn about life in Cambodia while respecting the environment and local culture.
Image Source: Pexels
Eating sustainable vegetarian food
Vegans and omnnivores alike won’t want to miss Chamkar in Siem Reap, a vegetarian restaurant with two locations in Cambodia. Chamkar aims to provide traditional food to visitors without harming the earth. Set among plenty of greenery, the restaurants, whose name means ‘the vegetable garden’ in the Cambodian language of Khmer, create delicious meals made with local vegetables, many of which are also organic. The creative menu, which offers decadent cocktails and desserts alongside delicious mains, will keep you coming back during your stay in Siem Reap.
Staying in eco-friendly accommodation
Eco-friendly hotels and other types of accommodation are designed to minimizetheir impacts on the environment: typically using renewable energy sources, non-toxic cleaning products, and minimal plastic. They might also grow their own food and encourage guests to recycle wherever possible.
But what benefits can you expect while staying in eco-friendly accommodation? For one thing, it’ll help you to have a guilt-free trip. Many travellers worry about the amount of waste they leave behind on their travels, so staying in the most sustainable accommodation may help relieve any unease you feel about your environmental impact. Additionally, staying in eco-friendly accommodation may give you a chance to meet like-minded people with similar values, and you’ll be giving money to a worthy accommodation provider – often, eco-friendly hotels are locally owned – instead of a worldwide hotel chain.
Travelling in an eco-friendly manner may feel difficult tobegin with, but if you try to seek out sustainable activities and avoid mass tourism, you’ll be able to look back at your time away knowing that you did your best to travel sustainably. You’ll be able to better connect with the locals, too, which is what travelling is all about!
Harper is a freelance writer from New Zealand who especially enjoys writing about travel and lifestyle topics. She is hugely passionate about sustainable living and always tries her best to choose eco-friendly accommodation options during her travels. See more of Harper’s work here.