A day in Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri, Cambodia

Traveling to Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia
Market in Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia

May 2013 Sen Monorom is the capital city of the province Mondulkiri in the North-East of Cambodia, along the Vietnamese border. Although on the maps of Cambodia it is officially marked with an airport there are no commercial flights anymore since a few years. It is about 370km from Phnom Penh and the all road is in good condition at the moment of May 2013. You can take the bus from Phnom Penh, the mini-van (Cambodian style with cargo) or the mini-bus. I do prefere the mini-bus, because it are new Ford's (bigger as mini-van) and they leave on time (do not pickup people) and they do not carry cargo. Our driver was good and it took about 5hrs to get to Sen Monorom, most time lost with exiting Phnom Penh. Ask for "Kim Seng Express".

The landings strip of Sen Monorom airport
It is a quit small town at about 700m above sea-level nestled in between the hills of the once tropical forested hills .... now more rubber plantations in the direct surroundings. The area is famous for its nearby forrest and beautiful waterfalls like the "Bou Sra" waterfall about 40km from town. As the town is spread out over a big area it is best to stay in one of the guesthouses along the main-street where also the bus and mini-bus stops and leaves. And where the only few restaurants are. The "Oeun Sakona Hotel" is a good place to stay. Clean and cheap.

Theoretically there is an road going from Mondulkiri to Ratanakiri, and although the biggest part of the road is an good gravel road (at least in the dry season) another small part of the road is an jungle track at the "Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary". You could do it on a off-the-road motorbike but do NOT do it alone and NOT without knowing where you are going. The only other option is to go back the same way you did come and drive via Kratie to Ratanakiri, a full day driving as the road between Kratie and Stung Treng is in bad condition. If you do not want to travel too long in one day you could make an stop-over in Kratie and enjoy upcountry life for 1 night (or more) in Kratie. Time schedule permitting the wrong choice was the mini-van travelling to Kratie the Cambodian way in an over-crowed and over-cargo'ed trip of 5 hours to Kratie.