Getting to know Mondulkiri
Mondulkiri, seven hours northeast of Phnom Penh is situated along the border with Vietnam, is the country’s biggest yet least populated province. The population is barely at 40,000 residents and consists of Banong, Phnong, and other minorities, several of whom have retained their way of life for centuries in the province’s hills and forests.
The trip from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri’s tiny capital, Sen Monorom, ascends slowly through some of the country’s most scenic countryside, renowned for the towering waterfalls, river gorges, pristine forests, abundant vegetable and fruit orchards, and energizing micro-weather, are a much needed change to Cambodia’s hotter regions. Visitor numbers here are really low, and the province is home to a varied range of wildlife such as tigers, elephants, and leopards. There is hearsay that rhinoceros live in the region’s remotest areas.
Highlights of a trip to Mondulkiri include the towering: two-tiered Bou Sraa Waterfall, the highest in the country, the stunning views of the Sea Forest, and a trip to Baong villages with their unique turtle houses. Mountain biking, elephant treks, and trekking can easily be squeezed into your itinerary. The quaint town of Sen Monorom is worth a visit. The best of the country’s coffee is grown in the region, and coffee lovers will definitely enjoy a visit to the plantations.
Travel around Mondulkiri is troublesome in the dry season and almost impossible during wet season. Russian motorcycles and jeeps are the preferred forms of transport, and the paths and tracks are quite rough. But despite all of these, a trip to Mondulkiri provides intrepid visitors the opportunity to discover one of Cambodia’s last frontiers and experience the wilderness.