The landscape of Mondulkiri is a seductive mix of pine clumps, grassy hills and windswept valleys that fade beguilingly into forests of jade green and hidden waterfalls.
Situated in the east of Cambodia, Mondulkiri is the largest province but the most sparsely populated province in the whole country. The province borders the provinces of Kratie to the west, Stung Treng to the northwest, Ratanakiri to the north and Vietnam to the east and south.
History and Culture
Mondulkiri province was created in 1961 from the eastern part of Kratie Province. The capital is the town of Sen Monorom. Almost half the inhabitants come from the Bunong minority group, with other minorities making up much of the rest of the population. Home to the hardy Bunong (Pnong) people and their noble elephants, it is possible to visit traditional villages and learn about elephants in their element at the Elephant Valley Project.
The Elephant Valley Project in Mondulkiri
80 percent of the population in Mondulkiri is made up of 10 tribal minorities, including the majority of the Chunchiet from the tribe of the Phnong. The remaining 20 percent are Khmer, Chinese and Muslim Cham. There’s a variety of languages being used in Mondulkiri, like Khmer, hill tribe languages, Vietnamese and Lao.
Despite the growing deforestation, especially due to the valuable minerals remaining in the deep red, fertile ground, Mondulkiri has still one of the biggest successional woodlands of Cambodia. Except being in Sen Monorom, you'll find deep pure jungle, with a huge variety of flora and fauna. You may also find gigantic and beautiful waterfalls, where you can take an empowering shower, such as the impressive Bou Sraa.
Natural landscapes in Mondulkiri
The Mondulkiri Province is enormously rich in various natural resources to be explored, such as majestic mountains, rainforest, indigenous wildlife, pine plantation, impressive waterfalls, small rivers, waterfront parks… It is now the intended eco-tourism destination for eco-tourists and adventurous travelers. They can travel and discover the wildlife in the remote parts of the province, trek up hills and mountains, ride elephants, visit the Bou Sra Waterfall and other waterfalls, and learn about the daily life of the ethnic minorities. They can also savour the famous local wine called “Sra Peang”.
The Mondulkiri province is the land of forested mountains, hidden waterfalls, lush grassy hills and windswept valleys. Beside natural beauty, Mondulkiri is home to great diversity of wild animals, such as bears, leopards, birds, monkeys, wild pigs and especially elephants
Phnom Nam Lear Sanctuary: Located in Pichinda District border of Daklak Province in Vietnam, Phnom Nam Lear Sanctuary is known for beautiful scenery and idyllic surroundings. This is one of the main natures and wildlife preserves in the province, which is home to wide range of flora and fauna. Here, you can contemplate the biodiversity, go trekking, camping or stay in small cottages. Also, the sanctuary is full of stunning cliffs, small waterfalls, streams and sprawling greenery.
Phnom Nam Lear Sanctuary
Bou Sra Waterfall: Possessing the scenic beauty, Bou Sra Fall is one of the popular tourist attractions in Mondulkiri. The waterfall is nestled in the midst of an impressive forest and mesmerizing tracking routes. This is an ideal place for swimming, picnics, recreation, and trekking destination for adventure lovers.
Bou Sra Waterfall in Mondulkiri
The Yok Sros Phnom or Phnom Dos Kramom Resort: Managed by the Department of Culture and Fine Arts, the resort is situated in Dos Kramom Village, Sokhdom Commune, Sèn Monorom District. Tourists can behold the beautiful landscape and majestic natural mountainous forest covered by grass from the foot to the top.
Hill Tribe Markets: The market life of hill tribe people begins in the early morning, when people from different area hill tribe communities come to the market to sell their wares and purchase supplies. It’s best to hit the town and stroll around to observe their attire and get snapshots of their daily business at the market.
The Mondulkiri province, at an average elevation of 800m above the sea level, has different climates compared to the other parts of Cambodia. It may get warm in daytime, and it turns chilly at night-time. There are 3 seasons, consisting of rainy season from June to October (<25oC), cool season from November to February (>20oC) and hot season from March to May (20oC – 30oC). Mondulkiri’s average temperature throughout the year is relatively lower than in other areas of Cambodia.
There’re various options including bus, minivan, private taxi, shared taxi and car rental to travel to Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri. The road from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri is in good condition and it takes around 6 hours to drive. You can choose between night bus and day bus, which both offer air condition and reasonable prices.