Bou Sra

Quiet Bunong village with appealing wooden archite

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What we say: 4 stars

This quiet village is home to a large number of Mondulkiri's Bunong minority, who can also be found across the nearby border in Vietnam's highlands.

This small town isn't exactly a tourist mecca, but it's pleasant to walk around and see how these people live in a rather remote slice of Cambodia. Some traditional Bunong straw huts are still in existence, while most people reside in large, stilted wooden houses, with higher ceilings than lowland Cambodian dwellings. The Bunong weaving center employs women making traditional shawls – an art almost lost after the murderous Khmer Rouge era – and these attractive cotton weavings can be purchased on-site for the princely sum of $4 or $5 each. The people of Bou Sra are currently facing slow cultural destruction, as foreign rubber plantations cut down the forests from which they used to forage. These slash-and-burn plantations can be viewed from the road on the way into town—a not-so-heartening look at Cambodia's possible economic future.

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