Bou Sra waterfall needs to be developed for more tourists

By Sun Narin

Sound of water falling and flowing on the rock is very attractive to the visitors. Bou Sra waterfall is a Mondulkiri provincial ecotourism attraction site where the visitors can enjoy swimming and seeing view of dense forests and water falling from the mountain.

It is located 43 kilometers from the downtown on the way to the mountain in Pich Chenda district.  Previously, the road to the site was rough and difficult to travel, but now it is adequately-good to get into the area since the authority has been repairing the road to facilitate the travelling.

According to Bou Sra waterfall official, from 70 to 80 percent of some 40, 000 tourists coming to Mondulkiri went to visit Bou Sra waterfall this year. A thousand tourists came to the area every day during Khmer New Year this year – an increase of 15 to 20 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

However, the visitors have been complaining about the non-development and poor management of this beautiful natural tourist site.

Song Kim Sour, a student from Royal University of Phnom Penh who visited there, said that this tourist site was very popular with beautiful Bou Sra waterfall, but it has not been adequately-developed yet.

“I think all the visitors want to see and enjoy there, but there are no suitable places for eating, restroom and food and material selling yet,” adding that the authority should develop the area, maintaining the environment and organize it orderly to attract more tourists to visit.

Doung Vatey, a visitor from Phnom Penh, said that Bou Sra is a nice natural tourist site, but the management there is not good and it seems that the authority does not care about this.

“They allow people to eat near the water and there are no signs of not throwing rubbish. They take money of 1000 Riel from each visitor, but there is less development,” she said.

In 2009, Sar Lar Investment Co authorized by Tourism Ministry to own the 99-year lease on the Mondulkiri site, was set to develop the Bou Sra Waterfall Resort with 6 million dollars budget, a complex of 40 hotels, restaurants, and shops surrounding the well-known attraction and the development would sell souvenirs produced by Mondulkiri’s ethnic minorities, benefiting them economically. However, the plan was cancelled due to the capital concerns of the company.

Since then, the company gave this area to the Tourism Ministry’s control and Ministry allowed the provincial authority to contemporarily control.

Ngin Sovimean, director of Mondulkiri’s tourism department, said that the authority was aware that people are not satisfied with the service and management there and it has been working to deal with the issue, but is facing financial problem.

“We have our development project and design already, but we are lacking finance. We are finding budget and asking for company’s investment,” revealing that the first project will cost around 700,000 dollars and need several million dollars more.

The first project will cover eating place, playing place, art site, souvenir gallery, guesthouses, swaying String Bridge and many other interesting things, according to Sovimean.

“To date, we have not benefited from that yet. Money that we get from selling the ticket just pays for the caretakers there,” said Ngin Sovimean, adding that he has created commission and work team to manage and develop the area.

“I hope that if the project happens, it [Bou Sra] will attract more tourists and fulfill tourist demand for accommodation and indigenous people can get great benefits from that,” he said.

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