Mondulkiri is an eastern province of Cambodia, which is the most sparsely populated province in the whole country although being the largest province in Cambodia. The province is chock full of natural beauty, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side. 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.
Mondulkiri Introduction, Cambodia
Mondulkiri is an eastern province of Cambodia, which is the most sparsely populated province in the whole country although being the largest province in Cambodia. The province is chock full of natural beauty, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side.
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.
Sen Monorom is the provincial capital and doesn't show up as a typical Cambodian town, while it is the only town the province has to speak of. With approx. 7500 inhabitants, 20 guesthouses, 12 restaurants, 3 bars and no post office it is often compared to American Wild West frontier towns. Concerning the quietness and beauty of Sen Monorom people from other parts of the ...
Mundolkiri Geography, Cambodia
Mondulkiri province is situated on the South - East plateau (approx. altitude around 200-1000 metres), it's capital Sen Monorom is about 375 Km from Phnom Penh. It is bordering Vietnam to the East and South, Ratanakiri to the North, and Kratie province to the West. Beside a bunch of smaller rivers, which grow quite big during the rainy season, there are two bigger rivers crossing the province ( the Preaek Chhbaar and the Preaek Te River ). The total area of Mondulkiri is about 14,288 square kilometres.
Mundolkiri Climate, Cambodia
Mondulkiri province has a climate like the other areas in the country, there are 3 seasons:
- Rainy season: June - October (<25c)
- Cool season: November- February (>20c)
- Hot season: March- May : Temperature: from 20c -30c
Mondulkiri's average temperature throughout the year is definitely lower than in other areas of Cambodia (except Ratanakiri Province).
Mundolkiri Population, Cambodia
80 percent of the population in Mondulkiri is made up of ten tribal minorities, with the majority of them being the Chunchiet from the tribe of the Phnong. The remaining 20 percent are Khmer, Chinese and Muslim Cham. Most of the population lives off the land, planting rice, fruit trees and a variety of vegetables. Others grow, coffee, strawberries, rubber and cashew nuts.
Usually they make their living through traditional ways of cultivation (shifting agriculture), hunting and collecting fruits from the forest is a must. These old cultures believe in spirits, derived from their animism beliefs. The population density has a total of 44,913 inhabitants (22,890 male and 22,023 female). This is 3,14 inhabitants/sq km.
Mundolkiri Economy, Cambodia
The vast majority of the indigenous peoples living in Mondulkiri are subsistence farmers, who are planting some rice and other vegetables, more or less to feet themselves. There is also a quite common production of the famous rice wine here, which is one of the best in the country. Additionally the indigenous people are selling handmade products such as bracelets, necklaces, scarfs, Kramas etc. to the few visiting tourists.
Mondulkiri has a quite big influence from Vietnam, which shows you the marked in Sen Monorom. Lots of Vietnamese products are sold here.
Unfortunately in the past 2 years the selling of real estate became a big source of income due to the fact, that international mining companies are buying land to find bauxite (a very valuable mineral). The worst are instances of dispossession of indigenous lands, which are occurring in some parts of the province and also in the adjacent province of Ratanakiri.
Anyhow Mondulkiri is so sparsely populated that the provincial capital does not have an adequate market compete to other provinces of Cambodia. But ...
How to get to Mundolkiri, Cambodia
The road from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri are in good condition for this year 2012, and it will take about 7-8 hours drive. There are many taxi and private transfers available.
Coming from Phnom Penh it will at least take a whole day to manage the trip to Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri. Mostly there are only small buses during the dry season, as the road gets slippery and impassable for buses.
By pick up:
This is definitely the easiest and fastest method to go to Mondulkiri. There is quite a lot of pick up's leaving Phnom Penh near the Sorya bus station (street #80) to go to Mondulkiri. As they mostly overload the pick up's, make sure you'll have a seat inside or you'll have to join the windy and quite incomfortable loading area. The average price is about US$10-14 for the whole ride.
Actually there aren't any regular commercial flights to ...
What to see in Mundolkiri, Cambodia
This province is chock full of natural beauty, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side. Add to that the communities of hill tribe people who are not affected by mass-tourism, as they are in neighboring Thailand, and you have an area that is very attractive to the adventure traveler. The town of Sen Monorom is the best base camp for travelers who want to explore the surrounding areas.
A quiet but beautiful town nestled into the hills; it has a lot of potential to develop into a center for non-intrusive eco-tourism. At present, it’s very undeveloped, which gives you a feeling of going somewhere off the beaten tourist trail. Also interesting is the variety of languages being used: Khmer, hill tribe languages, Vietnamese and Laos.
Boo Sra Waterfall:
Locates at Pich Chinda District in 43 kilometer distance from the provincial town by red soil road. Boo Sra is the most beautiful waterfall in Modulkiri and shared into ...
Where to eat in Mundolkiri, Cambodia
Because this is a small and little developed tourist destination, the restaurants don't think about serving tourists. There just haven't been many coming to Sen Monorom. And with the locals usually eating at home, the restaurants don't stock much food. The procedure here is to go one our before to the restaurant you would like to eat and tell them what you would like to eat. You can leave then, while they go to the market to buy the ingredients and return to the restaurant to prepare the dishes. An alternative would be to stop by in the morning and tell them what you want for lunch or evening meal. It's certainly not the norm at destinations around Cambodia, but here it seems to work out okay. Anyhow there are more restaurants opening during the last 2 years, which serve mostly Khmer or Vietnamese food. You might ask them to combine something for a more European style.
Chom Nor Mondulkiri restaurant is the biggest in town and serving asian and european foods.
Where to stay in Mundolkiri, Cambodia
Mondulkiri Hotel & Restaurant: The biggest hotel in town (855 (0) 12 777 057, 11/12 22 99 82)
This hotel, with its hill top views, offers 50 rooms including 2 luxurious bungalows. Air-conditioning is available in 16 of the rooms, the rest are provided with fans. There are 23 doubles ranging from $15 to $20 and 27 twin rooms starting at $25 up to $35, alas single rooms are not available. The hotels’ restaurant, located along the river, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Prices for breakfast are approximately $3 and lunch and dinner start at $3 up to $10. There is also a meeting room, with many facilities available. Other services include laundry, car rental and internet. English speaking staff is available.
Oeun Sakona Hotel & Restaurant : (855 (0) 12 950 680, 11 270 026, 17 472 747)
Centrally located the Oeun Sakona offers 47 rooms with hot water along with 12 air-conditioned rooms at $20 while the remaining rooms are provided with fans for $12. There are 4 single rooms, all with fans, that cost $5.50. For large families there is one room containing four beds. The hotel also offers discounts to groups that occupy 10 or more rooms. The restaurant serves Asian and Western meals ...
Shopping in Mundolkiri, Cambodia
Many of the goods in the market are from nearby Vietnam, It's an all-purpose market, but it doesn't have the feel of the typical Cambodian market, which is probably again due to the closeness of Vietnam and the hill tribe people who come here. There are definitely some nice bracelets, adornments or Kramas made by the hill tribes acquirable. You'll find noodle, dessert and fruit stalls at the font end of the market and the moneychangers are in front as well. They change dollars, riel and the Vietnamese dong.