If you want to escape from the crowds in some Cambodia attractions, maybe Mondulkiri is the best alternative choice. Here, you have a chance to climb gradually through some of Cambodia’s most beautiful countryside, watch high waterfalls, river gorges, pristine jungle, pretty fruit and vegetable orchards, and immerse yourself in the fresh atmosphere.
1. Where is Mondulkiri
Mondulkiri is an eastern province of Cambodia. This hilly province is relatively undeveloped and low populated province in the whole country. Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri, is the perfect off-the-beaten-track destination. Due to lying at an altitude of nearly 800m, Sen Monorom is possible to get a pleasant break from the intense heat noticed on the lower plains.
Mondulkiri province has a climate like the other areas in the country. There are two main seasons: dry season and rainy season. The weather throughout the dry season is in the region of 23 to 29°C with plenty of sunshine. In the summer the temperature can increase slightly, and range from 27 to 31°C. However, in general, Mondulkiri’s average temperature throughout the year is definitely lower than in other areas of Cambodia. The best time to visit Mondulkiri is in the dry season when the climate is dry and dusty but still pleasant enough to experience the local area.
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2. What to do in Mondulkiri
2.1 Bou Sra Waterfall
Bou Sra Waterfall is the largest, highest and most stunning in Cambodia. This waterfall is relatively easy to travel to by road, bus or car. The journey gives a perfect opportunity to admire the beautiful local scenery that consists of the ethnic Phnong villages, paper plantations, rubber plantations, coffee farms and rice fields.
The Bou Sra waterfall is split over three levels with the top level having the fast flowing water. The second level is the favoured destination for the tourists that wish to bath and relax in the cool waters and natural surroundings. Also on this level, there are plenty of locals with stands set up to sell a variety of Phnong products such as agricultural products (honey, potatoes, beans and bananas) as well as scarves and clothes. The third level is out of bounds to travelers because it is very dangerous.
2.2 Pahlung Village
A visit to Pahlung Village in the northern part of Sen Monorom is a popular destination within a one-hour drive of the provincial capital. It is the diverse regional culture and the scenic rustic setting. This helps to attract the attention of the tourists. This village is great for experiencing an elephant trekking trip.
Pahlung Village is rich in scenic spots as well as the local houses and huts that are wonderfully designed. The surrounding forest area has many kinds of fauna and flora. You can take a half or full day tour in the surrounding area. For those travelers planning to stay the full day, there is the possibility of camping overnight in the village.
2.3 Chrey Thom Waterfall
The Chrey Thom Waterfall is easily found in the Sen Monorum district. During the dry season, the waterfall has 15m height and 2m diameter. While in the rainy season, this can be changed to 11m height and 8m diameter. Unlike the Boo Sra waterfall which becomes inaccessible in the wet season, Chrey Thom Waterfall can be accessible all-year-round. Here, tourists have a chance to see the plantation of Sro Lou around the waterfall. Especially, there is the huge brandy tree of Chrey which is standing there for quite a long time.
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