Cambodia Travels: Farms in Mondulkiri

Apart from trekking the forest on elephants, we definitely enjoyed the fresh, cool air of Mondulkiri and its abundance in different types of vegetations. Most common type of farming was tapioca plantation but we met a few people experimenting different types of fruits and vegetables that don’t normally grow in Cambodia.

We met two Korean farmers living in Mondulkiri who are experimenting with strawberries from Korea. Now, I’m not really sure how I feel about this whole thing –  just because I am all about sustaining and preserving what’s natural and cultural etc. Don’t get me wrong, I completely am up for development, trying out new things and all that jazz – after all, that’s normal and that’s how things have developed in the past, right? However, the sound of having strawberries grown and sold in Cambodia – produced in Cambodia – sounds way too foreign to me. I know that they are grown in parts of Vietnam.. they have the right climate to do so. I remember buying strawberries at this shop/cafe called Nature Gardens on st.51 back in the day (now they’re gone). I didn’t complain – I loved Cambodian fruits (you know, the usual Southeast Asian fruits like durian, coconut, pineapple, jackfruit, dragon fruit – list goes on) but having access to something that doesn’t ‘belong’ in Cambodia was just as awesome!

Part of me is unsure because I’m not sure how safe it is to mix nature from one to another – I mean… if strawberries were meant to grow in Cambodia, like in Mondulkiri, wouldn’t they have grown naturally? Like they did in Korea, China and Vietnam? Isn’t that why there’s airport security telling you not to bring live plants and animals to other countries – because it’s unsafe and detrimental? I don’t know! (Keep in mind, there is no such thing as airport security and quarantine in the airports here. My dad had brought some interesting stuff back from Korea without airport security ever bothering to even stop him to check).

I’m still a little uncomfortable about the idea especially because I don’t know how I feel about it but hey, experimenting, trying new things, bringing new ideas is part of being human – right? What do you guys think? Let me know, I’m really curious!

Any how, back to my point of being in Mondulkiri and at a farm. It was beautiful. The older I get, the more I appreciate green and nature .. and just being out there in the environment. I also think it has to do with the fact that I am away in Boston and I have very limited access to sceneries and atmosphere like this. Where in Boston would I be able to just hop on a bus and travel to see manual farms? It’s rare! We had a great time (the guy whose farm we went to had 4 adorable dogs and that definitely added to the joy).

If you go to Mondulkiri, make sure to check out some farms and plants and see what cool stuff is growing out there that you wouldn’t normally see in other countries or even other provinces of Cambodia – the climate really makes a huge difference! If you want to visit the farm I went to, feel free to contact me and I can definitely hook you up with the guy who showed us around – he is awesome!

These are the dogs we got to hang out with - we were intimidated at first but these guys are just pups and adorable! Love to bark at you but it's only natural - they love to cuddle even more!

There were so many pine trees on the way - only reason you see pine trees in Mondulkiri is because the climate is cooler than other provinces - you will not see pine trees in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville or any other places but the region around Mondulkiri and Ratanakiri!

This is where we visited! He's experimenting with a lot of stuff so it wasn't just strawberries.

There were two little pigs in a pen - in the corner. They are there for fertilizers haha - sooo adorable!

These were the strawberries.

Dandelions

Muddy and Happy :)

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14 thoughts on “Cambodia Travels: Farms in Mondulkiri

    • hi i like your story can you please let me know the email or phone number of the strawberry farm i need to buy straberrys in cambodia for a new drink. to be made there thanks neil

  1. I’m Cambodian-American living in Rhode Island not too far from Boston. I’m really surprised to see a Korean girl like you interested in Cambodian culture. It’s rare to see Cambodian and Korean people interact with each other. I been to Phnom Penh, Angkor wat, Shihanoukeville, and battambang. My next trip am planning to go to Koh kong for the beaches. I heard it’s more nicer beaches there than Sihanoukeville. I’m a student at URI but I just graduated. Now am looking getting into Brown University.

    • I grew up in Cambodia so it’s definitely more of a home for me than Korea is. Really is close to my heart :) and I miss it everyday. Koh Kong is beautiful – very isolated as well. I went last year to visit a resort – it’s expensive but a great experience as well. When’s your next trip to Cambodia?

      • My next trip will be next year when I save up my money:) I can’t wait to go to the beach in Koh Kong. The beach is off limits because the road is not paved. Actually a Chinese company is building this huge Chinese gambling resort city there so I don’t know if the beach will be restricted for visitors. It touches my heart to see somebody like you appreciating the beauty of a long lost country. I respect you a lot!

  2. In the last year I have traveled extensively in Cambodia,the only region I have yet to explore is Mondulkiri.For some reason I have become very interested in getting involved in a small time agricultural project(growing fruit,vegetables..organic) I’ve had a great time exploring Cambodia and have penciled in a couple of places for my potential project but very excited about the prospect of the Mondulkiri plateau lands.Nice blog…Adrian

    • Mondulkiri is very interesting in terms of farming since the climate and the altitude is VERY different from rest of Cambodia. It’s a little cooler making it easier to farm things like strawberries. Majority of Mondulkiri is also untouched and unkept so it’s perfect for farming. There are a lot of Tapioca farms there too!

  3. Mondulkiri is the last part of Cambodia for me to explore.I am currently looking for a small time agriculture project(Fruit,Vegetable..organic)to become involved in.I will have a look at Mondulkiri this month in November..it seems unspoilt and natural there.Nice blog.. Adrian

  4. hi!
    i am a german girl living in battambang for volunteering.
    In a few days i will start supporting the farmers in the countryside with permacultur and I had the Idea to seed Strawberries because they are so popular and i think you can sell them very good especially in foreign coffees.
    but i had the same thought about the “foreign” thing and i want to be very sure that it wont destroy the ecosystem.

    i know its long ago you posted this, but if you have more information now, i would be very glad to know more :)

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