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Full Information To Visiting Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia

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Have a detailed encounter with wildlife and expertise indigenous cultures on this distant nook of Cambodia that’s managing to carry on to some remaining pockets of forest. Right here’s our information to visiting Mondulkiri, Cambodia.


By: Paul Healy |
Revealed: 25 Mar 2024

With the development of logging in Cambodia, Mondulkiri, though not untouched, is defiantly holding on to some remaining pockets of forest.

Separated by patches of barren, typically burnt lands, these elusive patches of greenery are a sanctuary for a number of the greatest wildlife in Cambodia.

Dwelling to 1 / 4 of the nation’s wild elephants, in addition to primates and lots of of hen species, Mondulkiri has a concentrate on balancing the wants of the wildlife and indigenous communities. A number of vacationer experiences in Mondulkiri instantly assist these causes.   

This sparsely populated province was as soon as troublesome to get to, however new roads have opened up, providing some fantastic experiences in Cambodia which can be a lot simpler to get to.

aerial shot forest mondulkiri cambodiaaerial shot forest mondulkiri cambodia

WHERE IS MONDULKIRI?

Mondulkiri is a province within the distant northeast of Cambodia. Bordering Vietnam, the area is roofed in forested hills and lower by three rivers.

The world is sparsely populated and was once troublesome to succeed in. However new, paved roads have been constructed, making bus journeys from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Ratanakiri far more accessible.

The capital of Mondulkiri is the city of Sen Monorom. Nearly all excursions and excursions go away from right here, making it the very best base to discover the world.

MONDULKIRI PROVINCE MAP

Now we have included all the very best issues to do in Mondulkiri on the map under together with the completely different bus stops and all our really helpful locations to remain.

Learn how to use this map / Click on on the highest left of the map to show the record of areas, then click on on the areas to show additional data. Click on on the highest proper nook of the map to open a bigger model in a brand new tab or the star to save lots of to your Google Maps.  


WHY GO TO MONDULKIRI?

There are three nice causes to go to Mondulkiri.

Wildlife – Though Cambodia is chopping down its forests at an alarming price, the province of Mondulkiri accommodates a number of massive wildlife sanctuaries. Right here you may swim with elephants and witness endangered gibbons swing by way of the bushes whereas trekking by way of the jungle.

Waterfalls – The three rivers that meander by way of Mondulkiri tumble over magnificent waterfalls. Some are notably dramatic, offering majestic areas to swim. 

Indigenous Folks – Mondulkiri is generally populated by an indigenous group referred to as the Bunong. Assembly the folks and understanding their lifestyle is an interesting perception into Cambodia’s various tradition.

THINGS TO DO IN MONDULKIRI

1. ELEPHANT EXPERIENCE

It was only some years in the past that Cambodia’s elephant sanctuaries had a foul popularity for mistreating elephants. However issues have modified.

Vacationers have demanded higher welfare for the animals and the sanctuaries have responded. As we speak respected sanctuaries are a real refuge for beforehand mistreated elephants, whereas additionally offering an unforgettable expertise for guests. 

There are two good however completely different elephant experiences in Mondulkiri Province.

elephant in the jungle mondulkirielephant in the jungle mondulkiri

1.1 MONDULKIRI PROJECT

Managed by the Cambodia Rescue Organisation, the Mondulkiri Undertaking has 4 elephants they’ve saved from logging or using. These beforehand captive elephants are habituated to people, and the Mondulkiri Undertaking is a really hands-on expertise.

Within the morning you hand-feed the elephants bananas, and within the afternoon you may swim with them within the river. The elephants are free to roam inside the forest, however with fixed meals on provide they don’t head far, so there’s little or no climbing to see them.

Funds from vacationer visits are used to assist the indigenous Bunong neighborhood, shield the forest from logging, and buy different abused elephants.

Bookings – The 1-day elephant journey prices $50 and contains pickup and drop-off from most centrally situated guesthouses.

1.2 ELEPHANT VALLEY PROJECT

This elephant expertise is much less hands-on and costlier, but it surely’s in a extra pure setting. There isn’t any hand-feeding or swimming with the elephants. As an alternative, their 10 retired and rehabilitated elephants roam over 1,500 hectares of forest.

Excursions contain climbing out to see the elephants and watch them as they graze, play and wander by way of the forest. The size of hike relies on the place the elephants are, however sightings are assured.

Elephant Valley Undertaking Costs

  • Half-day journeys – $47.50 (requires about 3-4 kilometres of climbing).
  • Full day journeys – $100 (contains lunch and requires about 5-8 kilometres of climbing.
  • Do Gooder Expertise – $65 (features a half day elephant expertise and half-day volunteering.)

The Elephant Valley Undertaking is run by a Cambodian NGO and over 50% of funds raised go to causes exterior of elephant care. They’ve helped to guard 300,000 hectares of forest and assist over 2,000 indigenous residents.

BookingsElephant Valley Undertaking

2. JUNGLE TREK

Mondulkiri is surrounded by wildlife sanctuaries which attempt to steadiness the wants of the indigenous folks with these of the wildlife. It’s a relentless battle between defending animal habitats in opposition to unlawful logging which sells wooden in Vietnam, but additionally helps increase farmland.

Though Cambodia has lower down loads of forest, there are nonetheless some glorious pockets of nature. One of many largest is the Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary and a terrific factor to do in Mondulkiri is to hitch a guided trek.

The sanctuary is dwelling to the very best variety of species in any protected space in Cambodia. Inside its boundaries are 350 hen species, 1 / 4 of the nation’s wild elephants, and primates together with monkeys, lesser apes and lorises.

On the whole, these animals are exhausting to see, and a trek is generally about experiencing the forest and studying concerning the Bunong folks. Most excursions embody climbing by way of the forest, visiting a Bunong village, consuming a conventional Bunong lunch and swimming in a waterfall.

Mondulkiri Undertaking provides a preferred 1.5- or 2-day tour. After spending the primary day with the elephants, you sleep in hammocks in a single day, after which full a half or full-day hike.

3. JAHOO GIBBON EXPERIENCE

The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary is dwelling to 25% of the world’s yellow-cheeked crested gibbons. These magnificent-looking lesser apes, reside excessive up within the bushes, swinging from department to department to seek out meals.

Jahoo is a neighborhood ecotourism enterprise owned by the native Bunong neighborhood. They mix analysis on the gibbons with sustainable improvement utilizing a mixture of cash from wildlife experiences and donations.

For vacationers they supply a chance to see these outstanding and endangered animals.

Excursions start earlier than daybreak and contain a brief stroll into the forest. After a brief wait, the gibbons start to sing. It’s a outstanding sound that reverberates all through the cover. 

The guides then observe down the gibbons and also you spend two hours following them by way of the forest. One of many household of gibbons has turn out to be habituated to people, and from December to March seeing them is nearly assured (98%).

Nevertheless, they’re nonetheless excessive up within the bushes, so discovering that good viewpoint might be difficult. Binoculars are equipped.

The Bunong guides prepare dinner a conventional lunch in a chunk of bamboo over a hearth, which is a spotlight of the expertise.

Within the afternoon you trek deeper into the forest the place you would possibly spot the critically endangered, black-shanked douc langur. We bought fortunate and noticed 4 of them in addition to one other household of gibbons.

jahoo gibbon experience cambodiajahoo gibbon experience cambodia

IS IT WORTH IT?

It’s a novel wildlife expertise, which is fairly costly in the event you’re by yourself, however turns into progressively cheaper as your group will get greater.

In 2024 the costs for the day trek have been as follows:

  • $350 for 1 particular person.
  • $350 for two folks.
  • $360 for 3 folks.
  • $460 for 4,5 or 6 folks.

So, if in case you have a bunch of three or extra, the worth turns into far more affordable. A considerable a part of the ticket worth goes in the direction of gibbon analysis and the Bunong neighborhood.

E-bookJahoo Gibbon Expertise

In a single day Stays – It’s additionally attainable to spend the night time in one among their three huts and go on an evening stroll into the forest searching for all kinds of creepy crawlies.

4. TUK-TUK TOUR TO BOU SRA WATERFALL

Bour Sra is probably the most spectacular waterfall in Mondulkiri Province. Dropping in two phases, the highest cascade is about 10 metres excessive and 15 metres large, the underside cascade is 20 metres excessive and 20 metres large.

There are swimming pools to swim in and a café and restaurant on web site. The waterfall can get busy with locals, particularly on the weekend.

A tuk-tuk tour from Sen Monorom is a well-liked strategy to see Bou Sra. Excursions cease at a pepper and occasional plantations on the best way to Bou Sra with an elective cease to attempt domestically grown tea overlooking the hills.

The ultimate cease is the Sea Forest, a viewpoint with bars overlooking the encircling panorama.

Price – The tuk-tuk prices about $35. Ask your guesthouse to organise an English-speaking driver keen to clarify the sights. It’s an additional $2.50 US for entrance to the waterfall and 50 cents for the Sea Forest.

How lengthy – It’s round a 1-hour drive from Sen Monorom to Bou Sra and about 1 hour, 20 minutes to get again with stops. Excursions final 4-7 hours relying on how a lot you do and the way lengthy you cease for. The tuk-tuk driver will usually maintain issues versatile for you.

5. SWIM AT LENG KHIN WATERFALL

For those who fancy avoiding the crowds of Bou Sra, then head to Leng Khin. This 22-28-metre-high waterfall (relying on the season) drops right into a cavernous gully making a pool that’s glorious for a dip.

The waterfall is a 45-minute drive from Sen Monorom after which a 1-kilometre uphill hike. On the hike you’ll move one other smaller cascade referred to as Leng Orng. Its only one metre excessive however has a fairly pool for swimming and picket tables for a picnic.

6. EXPLORE THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES MARKET

Tucked off the principle street in Sen Monorom is the Indigenous Folks’s Markets. This native market, stretched alongside both aspect of the road, is a vibrant hub the place indigenous communities collect to promote and commerce items.

There are conventional crafts, textiles, and all kinds of contemporary produce. It’s greatest to go to within the early morning. Deliver your digicam because it’s one of the vital photogenic areas in Mondulkiri.  

7. TRY BUNONG FOOD

Nearly all of Mondulkiri residents belong to an indigenous group and the most important is the Bunong. Studying about their tradition is a spotlight of visiting the province.

Lots of the excursions are owned and run by Bunong folks and embody visits to Bunong villages. However one other good factor to do is attempt their meals.

One conventional dish is Samlor Prong, a thick soup cooked in a chunk of bamboo. The soup broth is poured into a protracted part of bamboo which rests over the fireplace. As soon as the broth begins cooking, the opposite substances, often pork, eggplant, chillies and garlic are added.

As soon as it’s all cooked, the soup is bashed within the bamboo with one other piece of wooden and a hearty soup is poured out.

It’s scrumptious and is served on many day excursions and jungle treks.

An alternative choice is to move to Manel’s Guesthouse for dinner. The household has a popularity for high quality conventional Bunong and sometimes host faculty teams the place youngsters from Phnom Penh can be taught their tradition.  

8. PHEA’S TREATS

Simply off the principle street in Sen Monorom, Phea’s Treats is a small café with a terrific brunch menu comprising a mixture of western and Khmer dishes.

The wonderful espresso is produced from domestically grown Mondulkiri beans, and the each day made cake is an excellent deal with. It’s a pleasant different to Khmer meals. 

9. LAZE BY THE POOL AT PIDOMA

Pidoma is a luxurious resort on the outskirts of city. Perched within the hills it has fairly views over Sen Monorom and the encircling forest. Guests can use Pidoma’s swimming pool so long as they eat on the restaurant.

Come for lunch and relax for the afternoon. It’s a good way to chill out after trekking within the jungle.

PLAN YOUR TRIP

HOW TO GET TO MONDULKIRI?

With no close by airport and painfully gradual roads, Mondulkiri was as soon as a troublesome place to succeed in. However within the final decade, new highways and a daily bus timetable have put it on the vacationer map.

It nonetheless takes a lot of the day to succeed in, but it surely’s a cushty journey on an air-conditioned bus or minivan. Most guests come from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, or Ratanakiri.

  • Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri – 6 hours quarter-hour (a number of buses a day, plus 1 night time bus).
  • Siem Reap to Mondulkiri – 11 hours (2 minivans per day).
  • Ratanakiri to Mondulkiri – 3 hours (1 bus each day).

There are three good bus corporations to select from: Vireak Buntham, Kim Seng Specific, and Rithya Specific.

We used Vireak Buntham for nearly all our bus journeys in Cambodia they usually have been glorious. Each journey was on time and the bigger buses included a espresso and lunch service.

HOW MANY DAYS IN MONDULKIRI?

We advocate spending 2 to 4 full days in Mondulkiri. Here’s a prompt itinerary.

  • Day 1 – Be part of one of many elephant experiences.
  • Day 2 – Head to one of many waterfalls, both on a jungle trek or a tuk-tuk tour.
  • Day 3 – Rise up earlier than daybreak to see and listen to the gibbons at Jahoo.
  • Day 4 – Discover the indigenous folks’s market, get espresso at Phea’s Treats, and relax by the pool at Pidoma.

WHERE TO STAY IN MONDULKIRI

The perfect place to remain in Mondulkiri Province is the city of Sen Monorom. There are many lodging choices from funds backpacker lodges to luxurious motels.

At each ends of the market, costs are usually very reasonably priced. Guesthouses might be as little as $10, with luxurious lodging out there for simply $70.

Listed here are a number of suggestions from us.

OUR PICK

GUESTHOUSE | $

MANEL’S GUESTHOUSE

Glorious worth visitor home with air-conditioned rooms run by a pleasant household who will assist organize actions. They concentrate on Khmer and Bunong cooking. It’s a 20-minute stroll or $2 tuk-tuk experience into city.


BUNGALOWS | $$

MONDULKIRI PIZZA BUNGALOWS

Air-conditioned family-run bungalows overlooking a pool with fireplace pit and swing seat. There are widespread areas for chilling out and occasional film nights. It’s a few minutes’ stroll from the centre of city.


LUXURY | $$$

PIDOMA RESORT

Luxurious 5-star resort within the hills on the outskirts of city. The out of doors swimming pool, restaurant, and terrace have pretty views over the countryside. There’s a selection of deluxe rooms or villas with a non-public pool.


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