There’s no quick way to get to Banlung; since flights stopped in 2006 the only way is along National Route 78, a 150-kilometre stretch of (currently) dirt road, from O’Bpong Mawn (20km south of Stung Treng). The transport stop is next to the market, just south of the Independence Monument – in the centre of the traffic circle on the main road. The area between the market and the Independence Monument is the nearest the town gets to a centre and is home to an assortment of gem dealers, pharmacies, mobile phone shops and other amenities.
Staff at the town’s tourist office (Mon–Fri 8–11am & 2–5pm), located behind the “Welcome to Rattanakiri Province” billboard near the overgrown airstrip, do their best to be helpful, and have a few leaflets. But your best bet for local advice remains the hotels and guesthouses; Tree Top and Lake View Lodge are particularly helpful.