Explore Cambodia: Part-1 of Sen Monorom, home to Indigenous Heritage

╫ City no.56 ╫ 100 Paintings from 100 cities

Sen Monorom is one of the places you will find with dense forest while exploring Cambodia. Cambodia is a tropical country. Rainy season, not particularly favored by tourists, starts from the month of May and ends in November. My opinion is a little bit different about travel to such exotic countries. I dared to explore Cambodia in its base weather. Such journey of mine started in May month and ended in mid-June. Through the unique essence of each city, I have painted series of paintings.

Being a popular spot for foreign and local tourists, Sen Monorom attracts many people. To experience ethnicity, I had booked a very different kind of accommodation.  Indigenous people lodge was founded by a tribal woman with collaboration of local tribes. 

Tribal Stay at Sen Monorom

Living same as local tribesman, with some additional amenities is a very attractive thought and so I booked there. Receptionist had sent a welcome email before my journey even started, offering a free pick-up ride to the hotel.
I reached mid-day nearby the city center by travel van. Indians are known to take life a little more casually, and so after informing the lodge for pick up, I expected someone to arrive not so quickly. I looked around where I was standing, near a restaurant and saw small shack of coffee/ smoothie place. I ordered an Ice coffee. Couple who owned the shop were very meticulous and clean. Just as I was admiring their symphonies work, lodge guy was already there with his tuk-tuk.
Enjoying my refreshing coffee with friendly conversation I reached at the lodge.   There were different types of huts, one I got was in the corner and on a little wooden base. Surrounding was lush green.

Beauty of the hut was like experiencing an enigma of unseen world. It started raining rapidly outside. I stared through little opening of my door trying to understand myself and my purpose for this journey.

Kind people of Sen Monorom

Sen Monorom is a center of business for surrounding villages and tribes in Mondulkiri province. Mondulkiri means meeting of two hills. It’s capital Sen Monorom means ‘delightful city’. Lodge guy who gave me ride to hotel was very helping, my plans were already set for next day. He seemed ambitious and hopeful about getting ahead in his life. We talked about life in general and he was curious to know about my job. With useful details of the places around he also told me about the Tokaye gecko. Till now I had just heard it’s sound and then as I saw one while conversing with him on the wall. It is large one-foot-long scaly gecko. He informed they are usually mild but if bothered they can bite hard.

Why people would want to bother these beasties I wondered!

A Cambodian couple with their grand family was also staying at lodge. They were welcoming and curious to know about me to my surprise. Later at dinner they told me they had Indian friends and bosses. Their curiousness suddenly made sense. We also talked about politics. I was informed that king is always selected from the blood line of existing king but also, he is supposed be very well educated and with substantial experience in specific field. Cambodia is an excellent example of elective monarchial government.


Walk in the rain


Lodge was a little outside of the town. It was surrounded by pepper and Durian fruit farms. In day light you could appreciate the beauty. I could see nothing now. It was drizzling on me while I was strolling. Living so close to nature, made me feel exhilarated.   Though existence of fear still remained in me, I could overcome it easily. Closeness to nature makes you do extraordinary things. It makes you converse with god. I was ready for adventure tomorrow.

Stay tuned for part-2 of Sen Monorom, where I venture to ziplining over a waterfall. Also find reasons for making the art- Realms of order, a painting by me based on this town.

Manali Bonde

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have an unique eye to see, understand beauty in things around me. I collect lot of stories in my travels around the world , not just that but also I love to tell those stories and curious things. Go through various other articles on the website, I hope you find them amusing. To know more about me click below.

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