• How to get there
550 Km from Siem Reap and 375 Km from Phnom Penh, Sen Monorom the provincial capitol is a long way from the main cities in Cambodia. Best reached by bus or taxi, the trip time can be unpredictable depending on road conditions, however in the last few years the road has been improved dramatically.
You can also cross to Mondulkiri from Vietnam. The closest border crossing to Mondulkiri is located in Snoul along National Highway 7, and deposits travelers into Loc Ninh in Vietnam. Although it is little used by foreign travellers due to its remote location compared to other crossings, this one seems relatively hassle-free.
Located in the east, Mondulkiri province is the most sparsely populated province in the whole country despite being the largest. The province has abundant natural beauty, with thickly forested mountains, powerful waterfalls and the lush green rolling hills of the western side.
Like its neighbouring Ratanakiri, the deforestation and illegal logging are a serious problem
Sen Monorom is the provincial capital, a relatively small town despite being the capital. For accommodation etc. this is the only real choice for the visitor, and as such is a popular base for visitors.
• Where to go
EVP – Elephant Valley Project: This is an amazing sanctuary for elephants, whose priority is to allow elephants to just be elephants again. Most are rescued from a life of work, supplying elephant rides on large wooden seats, or logging.
You can volunteer here or even stay and look after the elephant for 1 day, 5 days or more. Accommodation and meals are included.
EVP is just 5 Km from Sen Monorom town.
Like the other more remote and hilly parts of Cambodia there is no shortage of spectacular waterfalls to visit, most within easy reach of Sen Monorom.
The mornings are the best time to hit the markets. Hill tribe people come from their village to buy and sell, and it’s a great opportunity to see their traditional costumes. It’s best to ask permission first of course.
• Food and accommodation
If you visit the EVP project, food and accommodation is included. However Sen Monorom is not far away (although in wet season the road is challenging).
More and more ‘resort’ hotels have been opened in and around Sen Monorom in the last few years. There are still plenty of mid-range, basic and eco places to stay.
Similarly as tourism has grown in this more remote area, so have the number of restaurants catering for western tastes. There is even a pizza place now.
Very remote with a small population so again insurance is a must, and should include repatriation or transfer to Thailand or elsewhere.
Very quiet and very rural, but common sense still needs applied.
• Entertainment and Shopping
The closeness to Vietnam here influences the goods on sale at the market. You can also pick up some nice hand crafted goods, made by the hill tribes.