For those looking to experience the rainforests and highlands of Cambodia, the Mondulkiri Province is a must-see place to include in your itinerary. Located an approximately 5 hours drive to the northeast of Phnom Penh, it also offers respite from the tropical heat, and the nights can actually be quite chilly, so pack some warmer clothing.
Although it is the largest province in Cambodia, it is also the most sparsely populated, being home to the hardy Bunong people.
It is a place of mystery, with the potential to see wild animals such as bears, leopards and elephants. Hidden within the beautiful rainforests are amazing waterfalls, and there are a number of options for trekking both for single days and for extended periods too.
No trip to Mondulkiri would be complete without a visit to the Elephant Valley Project, where you can observe elephants in their natural habitat, and interact with them in a sustainable way.
Green Cultural Travel also recommends you visit the Romnea and Pu Long waterfalls along with the SEIMA protected forest, which is a vast 3,000 km² area rich in diversity. A visit to Phnom Dos Kromom mountains and the Mondulkiri Ethnic Project is also a must-do. The Mondulkiri Ethnic project will give you an insight into the culture of the Bunong people as well as help to assist in the protection and rehabilitation of domesticated elephants.
The provincial capital of Mondulkiri is Sen Monorom, a small village with a population of around 8,000. Accommodation choices are limited, and our preferred place to stay is Nature Lodge. It’s a family-friendly resort featuring simple bungalow accommodation set in a natural-landscape environment.
The area around Sen Monorom is peppered with minority villages and picturesque waterfalls. We also recommend you visit a coffee plantation, as Mondulkiri coffee has a good reputation with Cambodian locals, although it is an acquired taste for tourists.
The best time to visit Mondulkiri is after the rainy season from October onwards. The landscape is a lush green and the waterfalls are impressive. During the rainy season, some areas become difficult to access because a lot of roads are unsealed.
If you are a nature lover, you will want to interact with elephants; if you want to discover an authentic Cambodia, then you have to go; you will not be disappointed!
Talk to a Green Cultural Travel advisor to plan either a guided or self-guided tour of this amazing province.