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An update from Evaneos

Refreshing Sen Monorom, perched on its plateau...

Because there are two lakes in the middle of Sen Monorom, the city is nicknamed the "Switzerland of Cambodia," which lacks no imagination...

Mountain village

Sen Monorom sits at an elevation of nearly 3000 feet, making it one of the country's extraordinary places. Another feature is its red volatile soil, which will definitely give you a healthy glow, as an ochre complexion is a sign of good health. To get there, just hang on and buckle up, and in the rainy season a pick up will be the most appropriate means of transport. And as the road is being improved, it's now possible to reach Sen Monorom by minibus in the dry season.

The city is small and dominated by a few hills. In direct access, a former airstrip, also red, where children fly their makeshift kites made of plastic bags. The wind is constant in Sen Monorom, and it cools the air nicely while on a trip to Cambodia.

Children of the village

Visit to Phnong villages

Perhaps you'll pass through the villages of Phulung or Putang, while riding on the back of an elephant. You can also combine a longer trek on foot with staying the night in a native's home in a Phnong village. The inhabitants are hunters, ranchers and farmers, including rice, fruit, coffee, cashews, etc. When you pass through their villages, you will admire their traditional houses, where almost systematically there are large jars and traditional gongs. The Phnongs are animists and respect nature because of this. You'll rarely have the opportunity during your stay in Cambodia to be as close to a tribal culture, and live alongside them; a few days is a unique experience in humility.

Waterfalls surrounding the city

There's no need for transport to get to the waterfall nearest to the city centre, which is located just an hour's walk away. It is a hot spot for Cambodians who come there to picnic with their families on weekends. It serves as somewhat of a public swimming hole for locals. You won’t get lost; simply ask for the "teuk thlea." You can swim there, and the nature is rich in tropical vegetation.

Further away, the Bousra waterfall is about 20 miles Sen Monorom. You'll probably want to choose a motorised method of transport. It is quite spectacular: it is a double-drop waterfall, consisting of an upper 30-foot waterfall and a lower 65-foot waterfall. You can swim there. Depending on the season, it will be more or less impressive. You can normally access the lower fall on foot in about 20 minutes. Like everywhere in Cambodia, you'll find some food and drinks, and even some souvenirs at the edge of the waterfall.

Two other waterfalls are worth a side trip: Romanear waterfall, about 11 miles south of Sen Monorom, and Dak Dam waterfall, about 15 miles east. You may want to hire the services of a guide, because they are difficult to find, and this will allow you to spend a nice day visiting the various nearby falls.

Lorette Vinet
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