Cambodia not only has Angkor Wat temple, it also has a lot of natural hidden gems for who in love with tropical life.
1. Where is Mondulkiri?
Mondulkiri is a province located on the northeastern plateau of Cambodia and being the largest region in the country. It borders Ratanakiri to the north, Kratie to the West, Stung Streng the Northwest and the East to Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong and Binh Phuoc provinces of Vietnam. Mondulkiri is famous for its primeval forests and magnificent waterfalls.
Mondulkiri is located 263km (4.5 hours by car) from Kampong Cham, 197km (4 hours by car) from Kratie, and 190km (4 hours by car) from Ratanakiri.
2. Why we should visit?
The province has 5 districts, the capital is Sen Monorom located at an altitude of 900m above sea level.
The province is mainly mountainous and being the most sparsely populated in the country (32,407 people on an area of 14,288 km²). 80% of the population of this province is Phnong ethnic group, the rest 20% are Khmer and Chinese. The
Gold mine in this province with an estimated reserve of 8.1 million tons of ore has pushed mondulkiri to the fragile line between environmental protection and economic development.
Mondulkiri is famous for elephant camp but elephant riding is forbidden from 2017.
3. Best time to visit
Mondulkiri province has a climate like the other areas in the country, there are 3 seasons:
● Rainy season: June – October (<25oc)
● Cool season: November- February (>20oc)
● Hot season: March- May : Temperature: from 20oc -30oc
Mondulkiri’s average temperature throughout the year is definitely lower than in other areas of Cambodia (except Ratanakiri Province).
Sen Monorom town is about 800m above sea level. So it’s considerably cooler than elsewhere in Cambodia throughout the year.
From December to February, Mondulkiri is in winter and it is very cool throughout the season. Prepare your warm clothes when you come here at this time of year.
From March to July, the first rains of the season cause hills and mountains to turn from yellow to green. This is a good time to visit Mondulkiri to escape the summer heat. Fresh fruits and fruits attract many colorful birds and butterflies. Most of the major festivals including Khmer New Year and the wedding season are held during this time.
From August to November, rivers are full of water and waterfalls are the strongest, along with deep green forests.
4. What to visit in Mondulkiri
● Bousra Falls: the largest waterfall in Mondulkiri which situated 38km northeast from Sen Monorom. A fullday tour package can be combined with Elephant Bunong Project.
● Elephant Valley Project https://www.mondulkiriproject.org: 1 Day Elephant Adventure Tour or 2 Day Elephant & Jungle Trek Tour
● Sen Monorom Waterfall, situated 5km to west of town.
● Dakdam Waterfall: 20 minutes by car from town, the waterfall is hidden in the forest, known by few tourists.
● Romnea Waterfall: 15km from town, the road is quite bad and a bit difficult to find.
5. What to eat?
● Passion fruit wine: made of local yellow or red passion fruit.
● Mondulkiri is the only cool place in Cambodia where avocado trees can grow. The avocado harvest starts in April or May and lasts until August of the following year. You will find avocados for sale on all major streets of Sen Monorom.
● Another local specialty is Soursop or Teap barang, which is really delicious and almost impossible to find in other parts of Cambodia. Its flavor has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple.
● Hotels in Mondulkiri are often concentrated in or around Sen Monorom town.
● Recommended hotels: Nature Lodge, Emario, Mondulkiri hotel, Long Vibol Guesthouse.