Banlung (KHMER: បានលុង) is the CAPITAL of RATANAKIRI PROVINCE in northeastern CAMBODIA. Banlung is 636 km from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Ratanakiri province borders Vietnam and Laos. Banlung is also the capital of the BANLUNG DISTRICT. The city has a population of around 17,000 and the surrounding district has a population of 23 888. The town became the capital of Ratanakiri province in 1979, following the fall of the Khmer Rouge. The capital was moved from Voen Sai to Banlung in order to facilitate trade with Vietnam (previous to Voen Sai the capital was Lumphat). Prior to 1979 the town was known as Labansiek. It is a relatively lively commercial center; ethnic minorities from surrounding villages often come to the city market to sell their goods.
Banlung district contains 16 villages located in three communes.
This tiny lake sits about five kilometers out from Ban Lung and is believed to be the remains of an ancient meteor crater. Two large decks extend into the lake, making for easy swimming, and the entrance fee is a whopping fifty cents. Local legends tell of a monster that inhabits the lake, but it must be camera shy as I never saw it