Ou Svay is a little village about 11km from the Laos / Cambodian border and about 46km from Stung Treng. The village can be reached by taxi or motorbike and makes for an excellent starting point to see the Irrawaddy Dolphins.
From Oh Svay there are two routes you can explore along the river one is North and the other is South and they offer very different experiences
North to Preah Rumkel
Take a boat ride with the villagers to see the Anlung Cheuteal dolphin pool. One of the last pools of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mekong there are estimated to be only about 64 currently remaining. The boat driver will switch off his engine about 100m from the dolphins as so not to disturb them. After watching the dolphins stop of at the mainland which is the start of the trek up Vouen Nhang hill. The climb up the hill takes about an hour and is gentle, passing through forest which makes excellent shade.
At the top the views become clear, enjoy the views over the Si Pan Don area in Laos and see the lower Mekong. This area is right on the Laos / Cambodian border, many people would have heard of this waterfall from Don Khone but approaching from the Cambodian side is an awesome experience, and shows the other side of the waterfall created by the water eroding the softer rock basin downstream.
Take in the views, on one side of the hill you will have views of endless forests into Cambodia while on the other side you will have views over the Mekong making its way up north through fabulous rock formations in the Mekong that stopped the French from transporting their goods within the Indochina region.
After enjoying your picnic lunch start your return trip down the hill again. Going back is easy and you can continue to Preah Rumkel an Ecotourism Site which has been setup to promote sustainable tourism. Have dinner with the local community and spend the night in one of the homestays, the generators normally go out at 9pm so you can have a good nights sleep!
South to Stung Treng
The following day you can return to Stung Treng via Veun Kham the Laos / Cambodian border town or continue your adventure with a kayaking trip along the Mekong from Oh Svay.
Kayaking along this stretch of the river provides a unique experience unrivalled to any other trip, the experience is not difficult and they are no real rapids but the birdlife sustained by the Flooded forest is delightful.
Starting the trip at Oh Svay kayak down river and you will soon find yourself in the shaded flooded forests of the Ramsar wetlands, the trees are huge and there roots all appear out of the water, the water here supports a large variety of fish and is oxygentated by the waterfalls upstream which supports the whole ecosystem. Listen and watch the birdlife while you float downstream. A tranquil day not to be forgotten. After kayaking through the forest you will arrive at Koh Ky where you can then transfer to Stung Treng by vehicle ending the day with a shower at a nice hotel or for the more adventurous enjoy camping on a sandy island or stay at a nature lodge on the Mekong.
A keen traveller and adventurer, has explored over 20 countries, including Nepal, India, China, South America and Southeast Asia. On a recent trip to Laos and Cambodia I enjoyed the pleasure of scouting this trip for Xplore-Asia http://www.xplore-asia.com who is working with the Mekong Discovery Trail http://www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com/ in developing ecotours in Northern Cambodia.