Tmatboey

The land of the Giant Ibis & White-shouldered Ibis

Why visit Tmatboey

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Tmatboey (TB) is a flagship birding site, situated in the Northern Plains, within the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. It is approximately 200 km northeast of Siem Reap. This area is one of the key sites for the critically endangered Giant Ibis and the White-shouldered Ibis. The conservation project at Tmatboey was set up by the Cambodian Ministry of Environment, conservation NGOs, and the community itself.
Tmatboey is one of the best birding places in Cambodia. It has an bundant of DDF bird species of over 200 species in the area.
The video shows the best result achieved in May 2020), after the pond modification project started in May 2019 in Tmatboey. Many species of birds, including the Giant Ibis and White-shouldered Ibis, came to the pond for feeding during the dry season.

Culture & Local Life

Tmatboey is the village of indigenous Kuay who are the expert of blacksmith of Angkor Empire. The people continue living in this remote village from many centuries till Khmer Rouge time and development was brought in early 2008. The conservation effort began in 2006 by Ministry of Environment and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in partnership with local government and villagers.

The main economy of this village is agriculture with organic method enforced by Ibis Rice project under WCS. These farmers inherited the way of life from their ancestors e.g. let their livestock foraging the forest in dry season, using plants as home remedy and medicines, collection of wild mushroom and other non timber forest products, fishing from wild natural pond called Trapeang. Modern Health Care Center is about 15 km from the village with good access but people rarely go for this service because of their strong belief in their culture.

Kids goes to schools in the village for free and there are primary school and secondary school in this village. CBGA conduct environmental education program with schools in this village to promote the climate change adaptation and care of environment and wildlife to school kids every year with funding from ecotourism project it generates.

Giant Ibis - photo by Troy Shortell

Getting there

In term of visitor limitation, it is recommended to contact Cambodia Bird Guide Association (CBGA) before the arrival or in the office in Siem Reap for logistics and preparation.
Giant Ibis at Trapeang, Tmatboey

Getting around

Birdwatching in this area will use 4×4 vehicles to get around with maximum walk of 3 km through Dry Dipterocarp Forest.

Nature Experience

Tmatboey is famous for the critically endangered species of White-shouldered Ibis and Giant Ibis - a national bird of Cambodia. This is the only village you may see both species while others can only see one of the two. The village guides can also show many other species e.g. at least 7 species of Woodpeckers and 3 species of Owls in the day time.

There are around 300 visitors visiting this place every year including the professional birding tour companies across continents with around 30K of income generated from this ecotourism project for the village with 40 people directly benefited from service provision and 250 households indirectly benefited from the project.

Bird Watching

Sustainability

Since 2007, Tmatboey’s community started an ecotourism project with the aim of conserving the natural heritage through education and training. They are committed to change people’s behaviour and abolish hunting and tree cutting in return of introducing ecotourism in the area. The project is owned and managed by the community, and the benefits are directly spent to improve their life quality and protect these fragile habitats and species.
Rufous-bellied-Woodpecker

Health & Safety

Visitors are informed to bring the field wears, sunscreen, insect repellent, etc. before their arrival in the country. All beds are equipped with mosquito nets even without malaria within this area. For pandemic, this site is completely closed down because the health care system is limited within this province.

Travel tips from our editors

Best way to enjoy the destination

Book a 3-day 2-night trip to Tmatboey from Siem Reap with professional bird guide from Cambodia Bird Guide Association.

Help the community

Volunteers can help schools for English class, planting rice, cleaning lodge, deepening forest pond and forest patrolling with community members.
White-shoulder Ibis

Leave no trace

Be respectful of nature and local & leave no trace. Do not try to get too close to the birds & respect your guides. Bring your own water bottle from home.

Sustainability Recognitions

Top100 2019
Tmatboey has been awarded with the
2019 Sustainable Top 100 Destinations
Tmatboey received the Wild Asia's
Responsible Tourism Award in 2007