Mondulkiri: one of the few Cambodian provinces we’d not yet visited but with new road construction easing transportation concerns we thought it was definitely about time we did check out this remote yet picturesque province in the kingdom’s northeastern highlands. The intention is to include the province in a planned, 2 week off the beaten track Cambodia tour but we liked it so much that we’re devising a stand alone, 4 day option available immediately so here’s a few photos and comments on scenic Mondulkiri.
Cambodia’s largest yet least populated province lies north of Kompong Cham and south of Rattanakiri with an eastern border along Vietnam’s southern Central Highlands and with aforementioned improvements in transport infrastructure can now be reached from Phnom Penh in a morning’s drive.
We’d heard pessimistic tales of widespread deforestation and rubber plantations stretching to the horizon and whilst such plantations were ubiquitous on the drive up through eastern Kompong Cham Province there is certainly extensive forest remaining in the region. Yes sure, with cash-strapped Cambodia’s drive for development the future is a different matter but one of the best ways to help is to visit, support Mondulkiri’s fledgling eco-tourism and show there are tourist dollars to be made from preserving the Province’s amazing flora and fauna.
The uplands are home to pine forest in the higher area’s, large stands of dry dipterocarp on hill slopes and evergreen gallery forests in the valleys. Tigers, elephants, Asian bears, gibbons and several species of hornbill are still found in the wild and we came across several commendable wildlife and birdwatching tours being proposed in protected areas.
There’s also increasingly adventure sports options with trekking, village stays, quad bikes, a spectacular zip-line set up with a collaboration between Flight of the Gibbon and Mayura Resort and of course the excellent Elephant Valley Project.
A former issue with Mondulkiri and it’s small capital town of Sen Monorom was limited accommodation options but the aforementioned, and delightful Mayura Resort makes this a thing of the past and located in lush gardens with pool and spacious chalet rooms this is an ideal getaway for anyone with a few days on their hands and looking to escape from steamy Phnom Penh. Recover from your jet-lag in the cool hills before a Cambodia tour or unwind after your Angkor temple visit. Check out all our Cambodia tour options and look out for the upcoming 4 day, 3 night Mondulkiri short tour.