Early on the 26th of December, we departed with several good friends to enjoy a four-day trip to the beautiful province of Mondulkiri–approximately 5-hours from Phnom Penh, bordering Vietnam. As we left the congestion and chaos of the city and entered the tranquil landscape of the countryside, I found myself quietly gasping at the remarkable similarities between this part of Cambodia and my home state of California–rolling hills with trees scattered throughout–and trees other than palm trees! (I do enjoy palm trees, but it’s nice to see other varieties!). I felt a wave of joy pass over me as I took it all in, peering out of the window with a grateful heart. I hadn’t realized how much I was missing this familiar site until I saw it once again (Phnom Penh is very flat, and the surrounding rice fields, while lovely in their own right, are still foreign). We stayed at a wonderful place, called the Nature Lodge, and it would best be described as glorified camping (though they describe themselves as an “eco-tourism bungalow retreat” :)). We slept in wooden cabins, and while the massive black ants took over our bathroom (see pic below) and the kids were definitely more dirty than normal, we also enjoyed the luxury of warm showers (heated with propane tanks in the bathroom) and delicious meals at the Lodge restaurant. I’ll have to admit the food was probably one of my favorite aspects of the trip—besides all of the lovely surrounding nature…and the cold weather! We rarely feel “cold” in Phnom Penh (perhaps twice a year?) so to wear sweatshirts and fleece pajamas to bed (the kids) was truly a highlight of the trip. I’m fairly certain that I didn’t sweat once the entire time that we were there! We took several little day trips with Sarah, John and their two little gals, Vivienne and Tessa. Both of their kids are slightly older than our two, so we had lots of fun with our little bunch of kiddos. Sarah is a friend from our Friday play group, and it’s been a blessing to know her these last three years. When they asked us to join them on this trip to Mondulkiri, we decided that we couldn’t refuse, despite all of the traveling in December (and the $20/night accommodations definitely made the decision easier!). We had such a wonderful time getting to know them better, in addition to the several other friends that happened to be at the Nature Lodge during our time there (apparently, it’s a very popular destination with the missionary community in Phnom Penh). We will definitely be returning to this beautiful location!

One thought on “Mondulkiri

  • February 18, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Such a nice place Christiana!! So sad I never got to visit that part o Cambodia! Hope I can go visit sometime ! THanks for sharing!


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