Welcome to Mondulkiri Province
Home to the hardy Bunong people and their noble elephants, this upland area is a seductive mix of grassy hills, pine groves and rainforests of jade green. Wild animals, such as bears, leopards and especially elephants, are more numerous here than elsewhere, although sightings are usually limited to birds, monkeys and the occasional wild pig. Conservationists have established several superb ecotourism projects in the province, but are facing off against loggers, poachers, plantations and well-connected speculators.
Mondulkiri means ‘Meeting of the Hills’, an apt sobriquet for a land of rolling hills. It is the most sparsely populated province in the country, with just four people per square kilometre. At an average elevation of 800m, it can get quite chilly at night, so bring something warm.