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Senmonorom (also romanised as Sen Monorom) is the capital of Senmonorom District and Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.
Senmonorom is the only major town in the province of Mondulkiri. With over 7000 inhabitants, 20 guesthouses, 12 restaurants, 2 bars and no post office, it is often compared to frontier towns in the old American west.
Senmonorom (and the Mondulkiri province in general) is inhabited by the indigenous Pnong people. Pnong tribesmen and tribeswomen are often seen walking along major highways. The town is popular with NGO workers, loggers, and tourists both from outside Cambodia and from Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh.
According to reports from Global Witness, the Mondulkiri province is facing a significant threat from illegal loggers attempting to exploit the area's virgin forests.
Due to rapid development, as well as mania caused by real estate speculation, land prices in Sen Monorom have boomed. Lots that cost $150 in 2008 went for three or four times as much two years later in 2010.
Sroh-Plom Mountain (translated as "Virtuous Woman's Breast Mountain") is a breast shaped hill located close to Senmonorom. Members of the Pnong ethnic group ascribe divine powers to the hill and every year hold festivals in the location.
In 1960 Mondulkiri was created out of Kratié Province by order of King Norodom Sihanouk. Sen Monorom was set up as the capital in 1962. During the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, Mondulkiri was home to three bases of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam which resulted in numerous incursions and bombings by US forces. About 1970 the area fell under Khmer Rouge domination. Subsequently much of the populace was forcibly removed to Koh Nhek (Kaoh Nheaek) district to provide labor for rice growing. Schools, hospitals, even entire villages were destroyed. As many as half of the people in the province died during the forced relocation in the 1970s.
The Bunong people appear to have lived in the provincial area for about 2000 years, but there is little documentation until France colonized Cambodia in 1864. Like other people in the province, the Bunong were displaced in the 1970s and only allowed to return to their traditional homeland in the 1980s.
Where to visit:
Boo Sra Waterfall, Sen Monorum Waterfall, Rum Near Waterfall, Chrey Thom Waterfall, Riverside, Plantation of Pinetrees.