Tea growing near Pu Mat National Park at Con Cuong, Vietnam.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Con Cuong (Pu Mat National Park), Vietnam.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Our first day exploring the area...

Senmonorom is known as an "off the beaten path" destination for tourism. There sure are a lot of guest houses and hotels here, although they seem to be mostly empty. The guest house where we are staying has 10 rooms, but we were the only ones here last night. 

Our host Manel says that tourism here hasn't yet recovered from Covid. And because Cambodia charges a visa fee, most tourists who like SE Asia flocked to Thailand first. 

And when we were out wandering around yesterday, we didn't see a single western tourist during our entire outing.

We put on our hiking boots and set off just after 9:30am. Nice blue sky and a temperature of about 24C (75F), heading to a high of 28C (83F). But there was also a steady cooling breeze.

Traffic circle statue.

A new monument.

There is a lot of this.

It reminds us of when we first started touring Mexico in 2007. Lots of trash around. Eventually you get used to it, which I guess is what happens with the local population... they are just used to it so it doesn't bother them. Many areas of Mexico have improved a lot in the last 17 years, so perhaps Cambodia will eventually change as well. 

Scenery along the way.

Heading up to a viewpoint.

Looking down on Senmonorom.

More modern accommodation.

Even an apartment building going up!

Another empty resort.

Water reservoir in town.

Me, and the view.

We went and climbed a second hill nearby...

Another small pagoda on a nearby hill.

More trash. Gotta show you the good with the bad.

The hill where we had taken the previous photos.

Inside the pagoda.

And then on to a third hill and some different views.

We took one wrong turn, and passed some local homes on a dirt road. All of the kids say "hello" to us, but that's the only English word they know. 

We came back into town a different way and passed by the local government buildings. Senmonorom is the capital and largest town of the province of Mondulkiri, at 10,000 people. We noticed one important sign that was just installed...

The province of Mondulkiri has been officially declared to be "mine free" as of November 14, 2023!

They must do some kind of boat race here.

At the reservoir in town.

Daily life in Senmonorom.

Chicken anyone?

How about some seafood?

We stopped for lunch at noon.
I had a sausage and rice dish.

Ruth had the beef, but she complained that it was pretty tough!

We had done exactly 10 kms (6.2 miles) by the time we made it back to the guesthouse. We just relaxed for the afternoon. They have a couple of hammocks strung up on the back patio, so I had a snooze. 

We've got one more day to relax (today, Monday) and just wander the area, then we've booked a two day tour on Tuesday where we will spend the first day at an elephant sanctuary, and the second day doing an 18 km (11.2 miles) hike through the jungle to three different waterfalls.

Record low deal on this Crescent brand of Vice Grip Style Locking Pliers.

And in Canada...

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