One of the northeastern provinces in Cambodia, Mondulkiri is really famous for its indigenous ethnic minority groups, distinctive hilly landscape and charming, if disappearing, wildlife corridors. Compared to a decade ago when the trip could take more than a day, the trip from Phnom Penh to Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri province, with relatively little traffic and smooth, paved roads, is a dream. These days, it takes less than 6 hours get to Sen Monorom. Let’s see how to get to Mondulkiri from Phnom Penh. Visit Cambodia through Indochina travel
Express vans to Mondulkiri
Depending on traffic, the express vans (aka mini-buses) normally complete your journey to Mondulkiri in about 5 – 6 hours, letting you get settled in Sen Monorom and admire gorgeous sunset on your first day. To avoid congestion in the capital, it is highly recommended to return to Phnom Penh on the morning vans.
Generally, express vans seat from 9 to 15 people (one or two in the front with the driver, three in each of the middle two or three rows and four in the back), so, compared with the local vans that pack passengers in like sardines, it is a reasonable amount of personal space, although it is advisable to avoid the back row which can be a little bit crowded. Travel to Cambodia
Book your tickets and make a seat reservation in advance with TCT Mondulkiri Express for a small additional fee, usually less than $1 per ticket if you would like a window or aisle for motion sickness issues or legroom. Even though the other companies do not offer real-time seat selection, it is still possible to make seat requests and get them confirmed in advance.
Virak Buntham has mini-buses that leave at 7AM and 1:30 PM and Kim Seng Express and TCT Mondulkiri Express have buses that leave Phnom Penh at 7 AM and 1 PM with the same schedule as going from Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh.
Even though there are also these companies advertising later morning buses (at 8AM or 9Am), be warned that they are not always run and generally only available during high season when at least two vans’ worth of people have booked in advance.
It is possible to book express buses online with advance seat reservations from Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh and vice-versa. It costs each traveler between $11 and $15 plus a small service charge for credit card service (or, you can pay in cash if you are in Phnom Penh). It is a good idea to book in advance, especially during high season.
Nature Lodge is about 3 km away meanwhile most of the guesthouses are walking distance from the center of Sen Monorom where all of the vans drop off, so take them up on their pick-up services if you are staying there. If you have not booked your bus ticket in advance, this also makes it convenient — you might make it on the van leaving from next door if one company’s van is full!
With Kim Seng’s being distinctive for their violet accents, the express vans are generally pretty new and in good repair. Some mild Cambodian music to keep your driver alert on the way, not a full surround karaoke session is the worst case scenario as they do not usually have video capabilities.
Taxis to Mondulkiri
You can also take a taxi to travel from Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri. The trip takes about 5 hours and costs from $80 to $100. Cars are typically Toyota Camrys which have the capacity of five travelers, but because there is usually a large propane tank in there, the trunk will have limited space. It is possible to book a taxi through your guesthouse or hotel or ask a local tuk tuk driver, who usually knows, or is related to these taxi drivers. Be sure to book at least a day in advance for your return taxi back to Phnom Penh.
TCT Mondulkiri Express
- Address: 132 Street 125, Psar Depo, Phnom Penh; opposite Sen Monorom Market, near Prasac Bank, Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri
- Telephone number: 017 73 78 78; 081 65 96 66; 097 90 07 878
Kim Seng Express
- Address: 1 Street 336 (behind the Sokimex), Phnom Penh; Road 76, Near Acleda Bank, Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri
- Telephone number: 012 78 60 00 (Phnom Penh); 097 57 86 00 (Sen Monorom)
Virak Buntham Mondulkiri Express
- Address: Street 199, Olympic Market, Phnom Penh; Street 76, next to Peace Cafe, Sen Monorom, Mondulkiri
- Telephone number: 017 333 594
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