Discover Boeng (Lake) Yeak Laom

Have you heard about Cambodia’s serene jewel nestled in Ratanakiri Province? That’s Boeng Yeak Laom – an emerald lake cradled by a lush forest, inviting you into its tranquil embrace.

Boeng Yeak Laom isn’t your average lake; it’s a volcanic crater lake, hinting at a fiery past, now calm and composed. Imagine dipping your toes in crystal clear water, with visibility to marvel at the freshwater life beneath.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply searching for peace, Boeng Yeak Laom offers an escape into nature’s wonders. Why not take a stroll on one of its several wooden piers? Or better yet, bask in the sincerity of the serene environment and let your mind wander as freely as the gentle ripples on the lake’s surface.


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Top 3 Facts about Boeng Yeak Laom in Cambodia


Volcanic Crater Lake

Did you know that Boeng Yeak Laom is a volcanic crater lake? Formed an estimated 700,000 years ago, it is a natural marvel in the heart of the Yeak Laom Commune, Cambodia.


Round and Deep

With its diameter stretching about 800 meters, it might just be nature’s idea of a giant wishing well! The depth? A remarkable 48 meters during the dry season. It’s like peering into the deep abyss of Earth’s history!


Sacred Waters

Boeng Yeak Laom is not only a sight for sore eyes but is also considered sacred by local indigenous communities. This peaceful enclave of emerald water is a reminder of nature’s untouched beauty and the reverence it commands.


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Yeak Laom Volcanic Crater Lake


The lake itself is the primary attraction, formed within the crater of an extinct volcano. Its perfectly round shape and crystal-clear water make it a picturesque destination.

Island Temple (Wat Yeak Laom)


Located on a small island in the middle of the lake, this Buddhist temple offers a unique cultural experience. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island to explore the temple and its surroundings.

Nature Trails


Well-maintained trails around the lake offer opportunities for scenic walks and hikes through the surrounding forest. These trails allow visitors to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying the tranquility of the area.

Annual Events and Festivals


Bon Om Touk (Water Festival)

Celebrated nationwide in Cambodia, Bon Om Touk usually takes place in November and marks the reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River.

While the main festivities typically occur in larger cities like Phnom Penh, you might find local celebrations or boat races in towns near Ratanakiri Province.


T’bong Khmom Festival

This festival celebrates the cultural heritage of the indigenous Tampuan people inhabiting the Ratanakiri Province.

It usually takes place in January and features traditional music, dance, food, and rituals, providing insight into the unique traditions of the Tampuan community.


Khmer New Year

Khmer New Year, or Chol Chnam Thmey, is celebrated in April and is one of the biggest festivals in Cambodia. It’s a time of joyous celebration, with people participating in traditional games, ceremonies, and cultural performances.

While the main festivities typically happen in towns and cities, you may find local celebrations in villages around Ratanakiri Province.

Top Hiking Trails

The Crater Loop Trail

Imagine walking around a perfectly shaped volcanic crater, the trail shaded by tall, whispering trees.

The well-marked loop around Yeak Laom Lake is roughly 800 meters in diameter, welcoming newbie hikers and more experienced ones. The volcanic terrain adds a unique ruggedness to the experience.

Trek to Waterfalls

While not directly around Boeng Yeak Laom, several waterfalls in Ratanakiri Province are worth visiting and may involve short hiking trails.

For example, Taveng Waterfall and Ka Tieng Waterfall are both relatively close to Boeng Yeak Laom and offer opportunities for hiking and swimming in natural pools.

Nature Walks in Yeak Laom Commune

The Yeak Laom Commune, where Boeng Yeak Laom is located, is surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills. You can explore the area on foot, following small paths and trails that wind through the countryside.

These walks provide opportunities to immerse yourself in nature, observe local flora and fauna, and interact with friendly villagers.

Water Sports


The calm, clear waters of Boeng Yeak Laom are perfect for swimming. Whether you’re looking to cool off on a hot day or simply enjoy a relaxing dip in nature, swimming in the lake is a popular activity among visitors.

Kayaking or Canoeing

Renting a kayak or canoe is a great way to explore the lake at your own pace. Paddling around allows you to take in the serene surroundings and get closer to nature. You can rent kayaks or canoes from local vendors near the lake.


Fishing is another popular activity at Boeng Yeak Laom. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, and you can try your hand at fishing from the shore or a boat. Just make sure to follow any local regulations and obtain any necessary permits before fishing.

Winter Activities

Hiking and Nature Walks

The cooler temperatures of winter make it an ideal time for hiking and exploring the surrounding forests and hills. You can take leisurely walks around Boeng Yeak Laom or venture further afield to discover other natural attractions in Ratanakiri Province.


Winter is a great time for birdwatching around Boeng Yeak Laom. Many migratory bird species visit Cambodia during this season, adding to the diversity of birdlife in the area. Bring your binoculars and explore the forests and lakeshores to spot various bird species.

Cultural Visits

Take the opportunity to visit nearby indigenous villages and learn about the traditional way of life of the local communities. Winter is a quieter time for tourism in Cambodia, allowing for more intimate cultural experiences and interactions with villagers.

Where to Eat

The Green Carrot

$$ – $$$ • European, Cambodian

Banlung Reggae Bar and Restaurant

$$ – $$$ • Asian, Pub, Cambodian

Pteas Bay Khmer

$$ – $$$ • Asian, Cambodian

Where to Shop

The Queen Shop

Gift shop

Lim Suheng Gems​ Shop

Jewelry store

Setra Supermarket


Where to Sleep

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Tips on Renting a Vacation Home on Boeng Yeak Laom

Be Flexible with Dates

You may find better deals if your travel dates are flexible. Sometimes, shifting your vacation by a day or two can save you cash!

Different Types of Accommodation

Boeng Yeak Laom offers various rental properties, from luxury villas to quaint cottages. Think outside the box—sometimes the unique spots give you the most bang for your buck!

Check Availability Immediately

Vacation rentals near Boeng Yeak Laom can go fast, especially during the peak travel season. Use trusted travel websites or reach out directly to rental property managers.

Bring a Friend

Sharing a larger vacation rental can be more budget-friendly. Plus, it’s more fun to have travel buddies with whom to dive into the famous Ratanakiri coffee, right?

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Going Deeper: History and Cultural Significance of Boeng Yeak Laom

Boeng Yeak Laom, nestled amidst the verdant forests of Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia, boasts a rich history intertwined with profound cultural significance. Formed over millennia as the result of a volcanic eruption, this pristine crater lake is a geological marvel and a sacred site revered by the indigenous communities, particularly the Tampuan people, who have inhabited the region for centuries.

Embedded within the cultural fabric of the Tampuan heritage, Boeng Yeak Laom holds deep spiritual significance and is believed to be inhabited by ancestral spirits whose benevolence sustains the community’s well-being. Rituals and ceremonies at the lake reflect the intimate connection between the Tampuan people and their natural surroundings, preserving age-old traditions passed down through generations.

As a vital source of water, sustenance, and spiritual nourishment, Boeng Yeak Laom serves as a living testament to the enduring cultural heritage of Cambodia’s indigenous communities, offering visitors a glimpse into a world where nature and spirituality intertwine in harmony.

Frequently Asked Questions about Boeng Yeak Laom

When you visit Boeng Yeak Laom, imagine yourself unwinding by the emerald waters or taking a tranquil walk along the forested path that circles the lake. Dipping in the clear waters for a refreshing swim is a favorite activity, and if you’re up for more adventure, consider renting a canoe to paddle around the serene lake.

Yeak Laom Lake is a geological marvel, formed over 700,000 years ago from volcanic activity. This crater lake has since become an oasis of tranquility, with deep cultural significance to the local indigenous people who hold the site sacred.

The Ka Chanh Waterfall, just a stone’s throw from Boeng Yeak Laom, offers a spectacular natural spectacle. Cascading waters make their dramatic descent amidst lush vegetation, providing a picturesque backdrop for visitors and a refreshing spot to cool off after exploring the area.

In Cambodian culture, ‘Yeak’ denotes something grand or giant. The term also features in local mythology and folklore, often associated with powerful spiritual beings or figures of great significance.

Boeng Yeak Laom’s depth, reaching an impressive 48 meters at its deepest point, has contributed to the lake’s clarity and stunningly rich, emerald-green color. This depth, unusual for a lake of its size, creates an exceptional habitat for various aquatic species and supports the surrounding ecosystem.

The area surrounding Boeng Yeak Laom is not known for active volcanism today. The lake itself is a testament to the region’s volcanic past, being a volcanic crater lake, but currently, there are no active or dormant volcanoes posing any known threats in the immediate vicinity.

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