Located in the Eastern part of Cambodia, Mondulkiri is a province that stands out from most of the provinces with its rolling hills filled with short green grasses juxtaposed with its thick forest lined with waterfalls.
Mondulkiri is the largest province in Cambodia, bordering the province of Ratanakiri to the North, Kratie to the West, Stung Treng to the North-West and Vietnam to the East. Despite being the largest, Mondulkiri is the most sparsely populated of all the provinces. The quiet town of Sen Monorom is the capital of Mondulkiri, located in the South East of the province. Despite being the capital, Sen Monorom only has a population of around 7,500 but the size allows for the town to still co-exist with the beauty of Mondulkiri.
Outside the town, nature flourishes everywhere. The terrain is very mountainous; the lushful grasslands accommodate parts of the land, allowing for the shape of the mountain to stand out while the dense forest takes over the rest of the area, hiding amongst it are some of the best waterfalls in Cambodia. In the province, only about 20% of the population is Khmer while the rest are made up of tribal minorities with the “Pnongs” making up the largest of them. Besides the incredible scenery, untamed nature and culturally diverse people, the province is also known to be a great place for camping.
Getting to Mondulkiri
The only way to get to the province is by land, either on your motorcycle, car, bus or rental van. As of now, an airport is currently being built meaning there is no option to fly by air. Sen Monorom is about 390 km from Phnom Penh, making the trip about 7 hours long.
The trip can be made with your motorcycle or car but alternatively, you can also rent a van or take a bus, which are all reasonably priced. There are plenty of companies that operates to Mondulkiri such as:
- Virak Buntham
- TCT Mondulkiri Express
- Rithya Mondulkiri Express
- Kim Seng Express
- Ratanak Sambath Express
You can go straight to these companies location to get a bus or you can use apps such as BookMeBus to book yourself a bus.
Getting around Mondulkiri
Unlike the capital, Mondulkiri doesn’t have the pleasure of public transportation or tuk-tuks running around everywhere. There are tuk-tuks that hang around in Sen Monorom that will take you around and you can rent motorcycles so that you can travel on your own. But to truly experience the forest and the waterfalls, walking will be the main mode of transportation for you.
- Try Mondulkiri Passion Fruit Wine if you are there on a visit.
- Read more about coffee in Cambodia, which also grows well in the province.
Other Mondulkiri Highlights
One of the highlights of Mondulkiri is the opportunity to see majestic elephants in their natural habitat. The province is home to several elephant sanctuaries and conservation centers, where visitors can learn about these magnificent creatures and observe them up close. The Mondulkiri Project is one such sanctuary, which offers visitors a chance to ride, feed, and bathe the elephants in a humane and responsible way. The sanctuary is committed to the welfare of the elephants and the preservation of the local forest ecosystem.
Apart from elephant experiences, Mondulkiri also offers a variety of tours for visitors to explore the region. The tours vary from one day to several days and can include activities such as trekking, camping, and visiting local indigenous communities. These tours are a great way to discover the hidden gems of Mondulkiri, from breathtaking waterfalls to lush jungles and pristine lakes. Some popular tours include the 2-day Jungle Trek and the 3-day Waterfall Trek.
For those who are interested in trekking, Mondulkiri has several trekking trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. Trekking is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the region and discover the local flora and fauna. Some of the popular trekking routes include the Dak Dam Trek, the Elephant Trek, and the Sen Monorom Trek. These treks can take from a few hours to several days, depending on the chosen route and level of difficulty.
Aside from outdoor activities, Mondulkiri is also known for its coffee production. The region’s cool climate and fertile soil make it an ideal location for growing high-quality coffee beans. Visitors can learn about the coffee-making process, taste different types of coffee, and purchase locally sourced beans to take home.
In conclusion, Mondulkiri offers a unique experience for travelers looking to discover the natural beauty and cultural richness of Cambodia. Whether you want to ride elephants, explore the jungle on foot, or taste some of the region’s finest coffee, Mondulkiri has something to offer for everyone. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget!