The province of Mondulkirri is found in the far east of Cambodia, and is often described as the ‘wild west’ (east) of the country, due to its dusty dirt roads, its position in the middle of nowhere and the surrounding nature that offers adventures by the bucket-load.
Sen Monorom is the provincial capital, and is a fairly sleepy town with one main street, a local market and a few guesthouses. Nightlife is non-existent and dining options are minimal, however, if you’ve headed this way for a taste of rural life and an outdoor exploration then you’ve come to the right place. Jungle trekking, moto riding, tribal home stays, elephant viewing and waterfall watching are all on offer here. Most guesthouses can sort out a moto or a get a driver for you, and arrange all sorts of tours.
Getting to Sen Monorom is quite simple, takes most of the day and is (whilst it was for us at least) rather uneventful. Buses run from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Kratie (and possibly other destinations) and usually require a change somewhere along the way. We came from Siem Reap, paid $18 USD and had one change in Kampong Cham – the journey took around 13 hours. Signs in Sen Monorom advertise a mini bus to Phnom Penh for $12 USD. Though it takes a while to reach, it is certainly worth the effort getting out here thanks to the stunning surroundings, and accessibility to get out and explore nature.
At present, the province seems fairly undamaged by tourism and development, but like most beautiful places in the world, it may only be a matter of time before this changes. Signs for future resorts were plentiful and a local told us how much of the forests had been burned and ruined. My advice is, for those looking to find a slice of local life and experience the truly natural beauty of Cambodia, get yourself out here quickly.