Stung Treng and the road to the
Cambodian and Lao border
Stung Treng is a small pleasant town located at the Sekong river, which a
few km after Stung Treng deposits its water into the Mekong. You can get your
bike and follow the river a little to explore the villages at the Mekong. These
small roads are hardly in use by more then a bicycle and an occasional motorbike.
Nothing fancy here but just pleasant.
Pream Buorn Lveng Temple Khmer temple near Stung Treng (photo from
On the other side of the river you can visit a Khmer temple. The Pream
Buorn Lveng Temple Khmer temple is by many travelers skipped because "we
have seen enough" or "we're going to Angkor anyway". Still,
the complex is worth the energy spend to go here. Interesting aspect here is
that a new temple has been erected within the old Khmer ruins. Thus the old
temple is kept very much alive.
Central market seen from my hotel room
In 1994 you could only travel to the town by boat with an armed guard.
Things have changed for the better, now it's a great bicycle ride from Siem
Reap or Phnom Penh via Kratie to Stung Treng and to Laos.
Temple in Stung Treng.
The town has several good and cheap guesthouses especially in the town center near the market. Comfortable stay should
cost no more then US $5 to max $10 but if you are in for a splurge, check the
In 1994 the riverside was very busy as at the time it
was the only safe way to get transport in and out of town, nowadays
only the local ferry to the east bank of the river is in use.
There is some decent western food in town available too but I preferred my
breakfast at one street corner near the market where I had excellent rice
with roast pork and beef/veggie soup plus a good cup of coffee.
As I spend an extra day here I took a road trip around the town. There's many
small villages along the riverside, which seem not to have seen much change for
many years. The traffic here goes mostly by bicycle and motorbike. There's not a
lot to see around the town center, it's just a pleasant bike ride. That apart of
passing a garbage belt where some locals try to scrape a living from what others
Although the town is a quite clean place,
outside in the countryside it's sometimes a different story.
Stung Treng to the border
The road to the Cambodian-Lao border is 57 km long, quiet and new. There
are a few villages on the way to buy water and some snacks.
The road starts in town center from where you can already see
the bridge (the ongoing road to Laos). Just follow the river and cross the bridge. It's 57km straight ahead
to the border. It seems this part of Cambodia is even more abandoned then other
parts of the country. The population, including that in Stung Treng, is a mix of
Cambodians and Lao.
Visa for Laos are available on the spot for
US $35 plus US$2 and $1 for "overtime" which is 24/7, 365 days a year.
To my knowledge there is no longer a boat from Stung Treng to the border
operational. I asked in the town, but was told you may be able to get a private
boat if you asked at the riverside but it might be difficult. If you come with
a backpack, there's buses to the border.
The road from the Lao-Cambodian border to Stung Treng
The next stop after the border where you can find a guesthouse is Don Det
(total distance 80km) or a little further Khong Island (total distance, 110km).