- Encounters with locals
- Hiking / Trekking
- Sustainable Tourism
- Off the beaten track
Mondolkiri province was one of the places I fell in love with in Cambodia. I come from a hilly area, so was really pleased to finally find some hills in a country that is almost entirely flat. (Could Cambodia be the Norfolk of Asia?) I also saw the Cambodian jungle here for the first time. Despite rampant deforestation, Mondolkiri still has areas of immense forests where there are gigantic waterfalls, one of the principal attractions of the region.
If you like walking, the are some beautiful forest treks in the region, through the villages of the different ethnic minorities who live there. If you are too tired to go walking, you can also visit the area on the back of an elephant...
When I came to the region during my first trip to Cambodia, Mondulkiri had already begun its sad transformation. Just a few years ago, Mondulkiri was a genuine province covered with forests. The wild beauty of nature in all its splendor.
Unfortunately, rather than preserve its undeniable asset, Mondulkiri took a sad turn. Deforestation took place at an exponential rate. What a waste! By giving in to the siren calls of mass tourism, Mondulkiri is losing all its charm.
As for the day spent with the elephants, if it remains a lasting memory, I had a seemingly unique experience. While the mahout gave me his spot and I learned how to guide the elephant, I ended up being confident and feeling very comfortable. A real pride in "driving" such an animal. At one point, I felt it jerk and I barely had time to catch the rope around his neck before he ran at full speed, totally unstoppable. He finished his mad dash by hiding in the forest, with me still on his back. All's well that ends well, the story made the whole village laugh when we returned.