There are many things to see and do in Siem Reap, Cambodia but most tourists fly in and out only to see the temples. It is a shame as there are plenty of just off the beaten path attractions well worth the time and energy to see. Beong Pearaing Conservancy and bird sanctuary is one of those places worth a visit.
In Chreav village not that far from the city center Pearaing is 250 hectares of land protected and overseen by community volunteers. They have banded together to oversee this unique eco system which consists of lake, forest, rice fields and birds. The staff of only volunteers has a three-prong mission: to protect the mother fish, the forest surrounding the lake and the birds that call this area home for part of the year.
This very diverse area is home to nearly ninety species of birds during the dry season. Painted Storks, Herons, Pelicans, ducks and some endangered species of birds feed off the protected fish and utilize the trees of the forest to breed. You do not have to be a bird enthusiast to appreciate the beauty of the waterfowl making their home here when the water levels are low. The leisurely boat ride provides a unique look through the habitats and to view a wide variety of birds. You may also witness some flying fish all of which makes for an enjoyable afternoon.
This area is well worth all the efforts being made to protect it for future generations to visit and study. The flora and fauna that have made this land their home and breeding grounds during the dry season is testament to the adaptability of nature and the importance to conserve so the endangered species that reside here can survive.
If you are in Siem Reap taking a short ride to visit the lake area of Beong Pearaing is well worth the time. Bring your binoculars and camera and enjoy, where birds are KING!