There are a few modest but picturesque waterfalls within easy reach of Banlung. The falls at Chha Ong (2000 riel) are the largest, the river flowing through lush jungle before plunging 30m into a gorge. The pool at the base is deep enough to swim in, and daring souls can climb onto a ledge behind the curtain of water. To reach the falls, head 2km west on National Route 78 to the signposted junction, then turn right (northwest) and continue 6km to the falls.
If you turn left (south) at the junction, the road runs through rubber plantations and past a rubber factory before heading downhill to a small bridge just beyond a line of food stalls and karaoke joints about 4km from the main road. Just before the bridge, a small path to the right leads into a bamboo-clad valley and down to the Ka Chhang falls, just 10m high, with a pool for taking a dip.
To get to Katieng falls, head back towards town and take the first narrow road on the left leading up a slope, then continue for about 4km until you reach a small river. Follow the path to the right on the opposite side of the river to reach the falls. Around here there’s the opportunity for an elephant ride for about $10–15 per hour, but it’s easier to make arrangements through your hotel or guesthouse. However, for a more authentic elephant-back excursion you’re better off in Mondulkiri.