If you wish to explore rich culture, immerse yourself in breathtaking scenery, encounter wonderful people, then Mondulkiri is the ideal destination for you.
Mondulkiri is the largest province of Cambodia but sparsely populated: about 40,000 people are living here.
Mondulkiri is located in eastern Cambodia, with scenery and a climate quite unlike anywhere else in the country. In the dry season the weather is 23-29 ºC with sunshine; in summer the temperatures vary between 27 and 31ºC. There are endless grassy hills, rivers and jungle. At an average elevation of 800m, it can get quite chilly at night. Mondulkiri has numerous tourist attractions such as waterfalls, indigenous culture, national parks and elephant trekking.
Generally good road
It’s 370 km from Phnom Penh to Sen Monorom. The trip takes between 6-8 hours, depending on the speed of your car. Most of the road is perfect, with the Phnom Penh to Kompong Cham (paved but potholed) and the Snoul to Kev Seima (bumpy dirt track) parts being in the worst condition.
Any visit to this province will require basing oneself in Sen Monorom, the tiny provincial capital. There are a few places to stay and eat here, with the Pich Kiri Guesthouse the most popular. There are beautiful views of the surrounding area.
80 percent of the Mondulkiri’s population is made up of ten tribal minorities, with the majority if them being Phnong. The remaining 20 percent are Khmer, Chinese and Muslim Cham.
The population lives off the land, planting rice, fruit trees and a variety of vegetables. Others grow strawberries, coffee, rubber and cashew nuts.
Although more and more houses are built in ‘Khmer style’, you still can find the traditional Phnong houses. In the houses you’ll find big jars, which are said to be more than a thousand years old, and traditional gongs. There are various sorts of gongs used at different occasions. Jars and gongs are among the most valuable possessions of indigenous communities both in traditional and spiritual as well as material terms. During the times of Pol Pot those objects were buried in hidden places in the jungle and in many cases they still wait in the ground.
Mondulkiri has numerous waterfalls. Not all of them spectacular, but riding around in the beautiful countryside is a gem in itself.
Bou Sra Waterfall
Located at Pich Chinda District, 43 kilometers from Sen Monorom by a very difficult road (to be upgraded this year). Bou Sra is the most beautiful waterfall in Mondulkiri and has three stages.
Sen Monorom Waterfall
Located 5 kilometers from the provincial town by red soil trail. Along both sides of the trail are industrial plantations: rubber, coffee and cashew. Local people usually meet each other at Sen Monorom waterfall during holidays and national festivals.
Rum Near Waterfall
10 kilometers from Sen Monorom, located near rubber, coffee, cashew, mango and avocado plantations. At the waterfall, there are many big trees projecting a cool shadow to the area.
Chrey Thom Waterfall
43 kilometers from Sen Monorom. The provincial Tourist Office promotes this waterfall as the top tourist site instead of Bou Sra which is inaccessible during the rainy season.