Editor’s note: Below is another adventure submitted to us by Paola Vega (she’s on Instagram, too!), documenting her adventure in Mondulkiri. Follow
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The eastern region of Cambodia is a place unknown to many. Yet becoming more and more popular. Mondulkiri province is now an upcoming backpackers’ destination full of wildlife and nature.
I took a mini-van from Phnom Penh directly to the town of Sem Monorom. I then walked to the office of an Elephant Sanctuary that I contacted prior my arrival. My intended purpose of coming here was to volunteer a few days and this place offered a great deal.
The first night I had to spend it at a really nice hotel called Nature Lodge. Completely immersed in the essence of the region; wide open green spaces, beautiful sunsets and clear night skies. The next day the “Mondulkiri Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary” welcomed me with their arms open. The first two days I followed them on their trekking and elephant tour just to get to know the whole organization better and to grasp their essence. After, I spent three days helping at the sanctuary with various projects.
The place is a real paradise for the elephants, they have a massive land where they can roam freely, and the best part is: they are not chained or ridden on. They really take care of them at the sanctuary. The visitors have the chance to feed them and then bathe them. And if you do the two-day program you even get to sleep one night at the sanctuary in a nice jungle-hut. A really unique experience.
Also, the jungle trek is a great way to see more of this beautiful region. There are many waterfalls and plantations around worth seeing. And at the end of the day, you feel so accomplished for walking 20k up and down hills.
I had a great time during my stay in Mondulkiri and I will recommend it to anyone who’s in Cambodia. If you are a nature and animal lover this place is for you!
Editor’s note: Below is another article by our favorite traveler, Hugo! Check out his recount of his adventure from Phnom Penh to Koh Rong Samloem below.
I am living in Phnom Penh since 6 month now and I try to leave the capital at least once every two weeks to take some fresh air, this time: direction Koh Rong Samloem! Thus, with my friends, we left Phnom Penh with a night bus and arrived in Sihanoukville early morning. That was the 4th time I was going there, as this is really close to Phnom Penh, however I still don’t really like Sihanoukville. This city is for me neither nice nor beautiful, this is just the only way to reach the islands that are great, this is why I am not staying there, even for a night!
Once arrived we took a Angkor Speed Ferry boat with BookMeBus, the only boat company I never experienced, and it is definitely the best company to go the islands! They were exactly on time, their staff is really nice, they give you fresh water, boats are new; they have a great and clean open-rooftop, toilets and brand new life jackets for everyone. Furthermore I learned that they are the only one allowed to stop at Long Set Beach in Koh Rong, which can be really useful for those that wants to arrive directly there.
With my friends we arrived in Koh Rong Samloem and we booked at Freedom Island Bungalow for one night. Those bungalows are cheaper than many other in Saracen Beach (between 25-30USD) and are really great, big beds, clean bathroom and a nice terrace to chill with a drink at the end of the day. Those bungalows are located on the right part of the beach, so you don’t have the fits in the white sand, but place is quiet and not crowdie at all. Therefore I recommend those bungalows for people that want calm, clean and cheap place and don’t care that much on walking 3 minutes to reach the big Saracen Beach.
First day, we went to Sunset Beach on the west side of Koh Rong Samloem. To go there you need to take a tiny path that cross over the jungle and you arrived in this beach with transparent water & you are almost alone, what asking for more? After an afternoon spent there, we came back to our bungalow and spend a night drinking mojitos and playing cards, such a great time when your daily life takes place in Phnom Penh.
The second day, we had to leave our incredible bungalow because they were full… We finally ended up in the Hostel by the Sea, the worst hostel I ever experienced in Cambodia… You pay 10 USD for one bed in dorm, you have only one fan for 4 beds, a small disgusting blanket and I am not sure they ever cleaned the sheets… Showers? Can we call that a shower? I am not sure… They are located on the middle of their garbage and it’s just a narrow trickle of smelly and disgusting water not available all day… Finally, after seeing their kitchen, eating there is something you should avoid. I am used to go to hostel and guesthouses and I am never looking for high standard as I always go for the 3-6 USD dorms, but when you pay 10USD for a dorm, at least you want a fan and a proper shower, even more on the sea side. However, as everything was booked we had to stay there.
We left quickly Saracen Beach (which is a bit too big for me), to reach Lighthouse at the south of the island, the walk is a bit more that 1h but is really great and once you arrived you can reach an amazing beach where no one goes, we stayed there playing cards, fishing crabs, reading, incredible! I warmly recommend you to go there, but be careful there is nothing to eat there, we bought some water in the houses nearby but you can’t find anything else.
We finally end up this amazing weekend by a beach BBQ, costly (8USD) but really great! We came back with the same company, Angkor Speed Ferry and reached Sihanoukville, our weekend was really great and I will definitely go back to Koh Rong Samloem!
Editor’s Note: Below is the coverage of BookMeBus’ PR Guru, Tharum of the Bus5 event held last February 18, 2017.
A startup founded by a group of young Cambodians, BookMeBus takes a small pride to transform the way travellers and passengers book their bus tickets with a few clicks.
Last week’s event “Revolutionizing Cambodia’s transportation using technology,” a marriage of the best of both worlds happened when BookMeBus collaborated with pioneering mobile payment Wing to integrate the payment solution into its billing system, which aims to make it really easier for the bus companies as well as bus ticket buyers.
In her opening remarks at the event, Her Excellency Koy Sodany, under-secretary of state of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, told the invited-only participants that “moving to digital and online is crucial. It’ll take the nation to the next stage. Let’s take a look at people in our neighboring countries, they’re technology and the Internet to book tickets. It’s an advancement. I believe we’ll also adopt this new technology.”
Chea Langda, BookMeBus CEO, said that “this technology has been proudly developed by young Cambodians not to compete with bus companies, but to complement them. We want bus operators to take more advantages from the use of technology. Also, Cambodia would be well-prepared to take on the high growth of the number of tourists visiting Cambodia.”
In addition to this, BookMeBus’s Chief Technology Officer Ly Channa also demonstrated its newest brainchild, Bus5, probably the world’s last-minute bus ticketing app. Bus5 will make it possible for both bus operators and passengers to connect in real-time for booking bus tickets, even 5 minutes before departure time.
Some key points during the event:
Ministry rep stated:
The ministry of public transport embrace the use of the technology the improve its service delivery. The most recent example is vehicle registration, getting vehicle plate and license.
Wing CEO added,
Wing payment solution and BookMeBus billing system for bus operators is marriage of the best to for Cambodians.
BookMeBus also stated,
BookMeBus is here to complement, not to compete. We want to continue to make easier for anyone to access bus tickets.
Regarding Bus5: It’s like Alibaba’s real-time marketplace for bus operators and customers.