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Located in the province of Ratanakiri, Lake Yeak Laom is a geological marvel on an ancient volcano. The lake is formed on a crater of a 700,000-year-old volcanic eruption and has a perfect circular shape with tropical forests as its background. With its breathtaking view, Lake Yeak Laom attracts tourists from all over the world to experience its tranquillity and mesmerising aura. The lake has crystal clear waters due to the sustainable ecosystem managed by the indigenous community. Visit this nature’s untouched beauty to get a glimpse of the harmony between the communities and nature.

Yeak Laom Lake History

Scenic view of surrounded by lush greenery.

Image Credit: Jensre for Wikimedia Commons

Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake, also called Boeng Yeak Laom, was formed thousands of years ago due to a volcanic eruption. The lake has crystal clear water set against the contrasting lush green forest. Lake Yeak Laom holds an essential position in Cambodian life’s cultural and spiritual aspects. This perfect circular lake is a popular tourist attraction and a sacred lake for the indigenous Tampuan community, which considers it to have been created for their protection from evil. Rituals or ceremonies are carried out to show the significance of human-nature relationships.

Must Read: Waterfalls In Cambodia

Facts About Yeak Laom Lake In Cambodia

Seating area along the Lake Yeak Laom Cambodia.

Image Credit: Jensre for Wikipedia

  • Volcanic Crater Lake: Boeng Yeak Laom has been formed on an ancient volcanic mountain. The crater was then filled with water.
  • Round and Deep: The lake is perfectly round, 164 feet deep, and 720 metres in diameter. During the dry season, the lake’s depth decreases to 155 feet, but it is equally soothing and tranquil.
  • Sacred Waters: The Tampuan community considers Lake Yeak Laom their holy water and preserves it from any ecological disturbances. They perform rituals and reside in the areas near the lake. The water is relatively cleaner due to the community effort and its unique location setting it apart from the world.

Suggested Read: Monuments In Cambodia

Places To Visit Near Yeak Laom Lake

Lake Yeak Laom is a popular tourist place and its beauty certainly is worth all the travel. If you have some time in hand, here are some more places you can visit to get more out of your day:

1. Katieng Waterfall

Cascading Katieng Waterfall

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Located 7 km away from Lake Yeak Laom, you will see a gushing cascade of water amidst the forest and its fauna. Being a heaven for nature lovers, this hidden gem offers scenic views and a lot of adventure. Apart from swimming and relaxing in the clear waters, you can gear up and set out on the wild nature trails of the forest and explore the Katieng Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also take an elephant ride around the area. Sit back in this idyllic spot and absorb the beauty of nature.

Entry fees: Zero
Timings: Open 24 Hours

2. Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary

Sun Bear at Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary, a must-see place near Lake Yeak Laom.

Image Credit: Grendelkhan for Wikimedia Commons

Located 40 km away from Lake, Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary is the best way to explore nature. It is adorned with different ecosystems like dense forests and grasslands over a vast area of 250,000 hectares. With the river Tonle SrePok beautifying the ecosystem, the sanctuary houses endangered animals like wild oxs and mammals like tigers, elephants, bears and much more. You can camp around in this rich ecosystem for a few days and enjoy the sounds of nature. Trek around as per your difficulty levels and admire the sanctuary’s flora.

Entry fees: USD 10 to USD 15 (foreigners)
Timings: 6 AM to 6 PM

Suggested Read: Monuments In Cambodia

3. Phnom Svay

Hiking trails of Phnom Svay

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Located 8 km from Lake Yeak Laom, this panoramic hill will give you a glimpse of Cambodia’s cultural and traditional life. You can join a hiking group and hike up the relatively easy trail. The top of the mountain is bejewelled with a large reclining Buddha statue. The length of the statue is 65 feet and its height is 26 feet, it is a major pilgrim shrine attracting tourists and local Cambodians. It is the home of several Buddhist monks who pray and meditate as well as the centre of rituals for all the Cambodian Buddhists.

Places To Stay Near Yeak Laom Lake

Resorts located along a river, near Lake Yeak Laom.

Image Credit: Dnrallis for Wikimedia Commons

1. Yeak Laom Hotel
Located at the centre of Banlung, this highly-rated hotel is a luxury stay with an array of services like none other. The hotel offers a spa, free wifi, and classy modern rooms with an amazing view of Lake Yeak Laom from the window. With two types of accommodation, you can choose the one as per your requirement. The hotel has a swimming pool as well as a rooftop lounge bar to enjoy your nights with friends and close ones. With top-notch ambience and management, you will have an amazing time at this hotel.

Distance from Lake Yeak Laom: 3 km

2. Terres Rouge Lodge
A unique boutique hotel set in the province of Ratanakiri, Terres Rouge Lodge offers villas and bungalows full of opulence set amidst gardens and waterfalls. With multiple staying options, the hotel boasts of its high-quality ambience and management, making your stay memorable. The garden has three elephants who would take you on a lodge tour. You can relax and unwind in the spa and swimming pool after a tiring journey. Rejuvenate yourself and enjoy the exotic food served at the restaurant. The hotel also offers guided tours for mountain biking, hiking and temples.

Distance from Lake Yeak Laom: 3.8km

3. Treetop EcoLodge
If you are looking for a budget-friendly and quality stay, Treetop EcoLodge should be your choice. Built on the lines of sustainability focused on minimum wastage and nature’s luxury, this hotel is set up as a small eco-camp. Consisting of three tented jungle chalets, a mud hut cafe and waterpots for animals and birds, you will get the true nature experience here like none other. Set on 25-acre forest land, you can explore the wild. There are multiple safari guided tours, treks and hikes organised by the hotel as well.

Distance from Lake Yeak Laom: 2.6 km

Suggested Read: Temples In Cambodia

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit Lake Yeak Lake is during the winter months of November to March.

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The best time to visit Lake Yeak Lake is during the winter months of November to March. Cambodia experiences a tropical climate with hot and humid summers. Hence, the winter season is the best time to experience the beauty of Cambodia, with low humidity, minimal rainfall and temperatures in the range of 20 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius. The roadways are certainly better in this season and you can reach the Yeak Laom Volcanic Lake comfortably.

The wet season extending from May to October experiences hot summers with high humidity and sudden rainfall. The temperature is in the range of 24 degrees to 32 degrees Celsius. The western season is filled with torrential rainfalls which can be sometimes intense too. The wet season is a great opportunity to explore the natural beauty of Cambodia as the mountains are coated with lush green forests.

How To Reach Yeak Laom Lake

You can take a bus or a minivan from Phnom Penh to reach Sihanoukville

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By Bus: Several bus companies offer trips to Bnalung, the capital of Rattanak Kiri from Phnom Penh. Being the cheapest mode of transport, it costs around USD 15 to USD 20 depending on the bus type and accommodation facilities. The journey takes around 8 to 9 hours. After reaching the bus stop, you must cover 5 kilometres more to reach Lake Yeak Laom. The remaining journey can be covered by a tuk-tuk or taxi within 15 to 20 minutes. You can also opt for minivans instead of buses depending on your budget.

By Car: You can hire a private cab to take you from your location to Lake Yeak Laom. Although on the costlier side, the trip would take you through the countryside views of Cambodia. You would reach the destination in 5 to 6 hours. The roads are not smooth but the bumpy ride will be worth it when you reach Lake Yeak Laom.

Further Read: Places To Visit In Siem Reap

Lake Yeak Laom is a symbol of Cambodia’s natural beauty and cultural values. The emerald lake of Ratanakiri has been preserved by the Tampuana community for future generations to witness its beauty. Despite being a tourist spot, the clean environment results from sustainable tourism. If this guide about Lake Yeak Laom motivates you to visit it, then here are some of the best packages for a trip to Cambodia. Visit Cambodia and expand your horizons with nature, people and cultures.

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Cover Image Source: Ethan Crowley for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Lake Yeak Laom

Can I swim in Lake Yeak Laom?

Yes, you can swim in the sapphire waters of Lake Yeak Laom. Lifejackets are also available near the lake.

How much time is required for a trip to Lake Yeak Laom?

Around 2 to 3 hours is enough to savour the beauty of Lake Yeak Laom. You can extend your stay as per your visit to admire the lake.

Are there restaurants near Lake Yeak Laom?

Yes, there are a few restaurants where you savour freshly prepared authentic dishes and replenish yourself for the journey.

Which other lakes around Lake Yeak Laom are famous?

Here are some of the famous lakes of Cambodia: Lake Tonle Sap, Lake Boeung Krom and Chnok Trou.

Where is Yeak Laom Lake located?

The mesmerising lake of Yeak Laom is located about 5 km from central Banlung and is fairly easy to reach. There is also a walkway that takes visitors around the lake.

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Category: Cambodia, Lakes, Places To Visit

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