We choose the remote town Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri Province, as our last stop in Cambodia. The major attractions there are – besides exploring the impressive landscape by motorbike on the red dirt roads and the imposing waterfalls – the two concurring elephant-related actives: On the one hand, elephant riding in the minority villages of the indigenous Pnong people, and on the other hand the Elephant Valley Project (EVP). The EVP is dedicated to save formerly mistreated elephants and to ensure them a happy life in the wilderness. That’s why we decided to experience the big animals in their natural environment with totally NO riding at the EVP. It was amazing and breath-taking to join the elephants while taking a bath and making their way through the dense rain forest, slowly slowly. The volunteers of this project told us the story behind each and every of their grey friends with funny names like the “drunken old man” Bob and Onion. They were all beaten and tortured while they were working in the villages as Tourist Riding Elephants. And: Most importantly, riding on baskets at their backs is a threat to their relatively weak back.
We learned our lesson well and never again will think of elephant trekking for days through the jungle! Think about it!