Drift away in luxury
One of the first eco-resorts in Cambodia, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge created quite a few waves when it first launched in 2008, and gives lie to the idea that ecotourism needs to be uncomfortable — by quite a long mile. With 12 canvas tents arranged on a floating marina overlooking a small river island, and surrounded on all sides by water and hills, it’s possibly one of the most unusual and lovely getaways in all of Cambodia.
Only accessible by boat, the real journey begins at the Tatai bridge where you are picked up by a motorboat that slowly chugs along the palm-fringed riverside, past tiny local villages and fishermen. As you approach a small island in the river, the boat turns to the left, and there in front of you, the gleaming tents of 4 Rivers appear: a neat, geometrical array that promises luxury and style.
This is true right down to the bone of 4 Rivers. You are certainly paying for the privilege of staying here, but the tents are spacious, decked out in lacquered water hyacinth furniture with a wide, beautifully comfortable bed and open view on to the river and island opposite. The bathroom is quite a treat — and it’s not often we get to say that — with a barrel shower piping in hot and cold water. We were preparing ourselves for cold showers all the way but that’s not how 4 Rivers operates. Everything is to hand, and not because the space is small — it’s not — but because everything seems to have been thought of.
Each tent is on its now individual jetty, together with and separate from everyone else. Each has its own deck with chairs, loungers and sun umbrellas for breaking the days in between the excursions on offer, which include kayaking, jungle trekking, boat trips, and more. Very often their guides, and staff, are former poachers whose work with 4 Rivers allows them another source of income so that they no longer need to poach.
The restaurant is a small but classy affair offering a set menu each day for the three meals. The meals are not included in the price of your room. The cooking and preparation were at the kind of standard we would expect, and the amount served is more than generous. There is also a snack and drinks menu that you can order from for consumption in your tent or on the central pontoon.
While 4 Rivers is not a budget choice, if you're visiting Cambodia for a short period or time and it fits within your budget, you could do far worst than splashing out here.
Address: Tatai River, Koh Kong
T: (023) 217 374;
Coordinates (for GPS): 103º8'40.92" E, 11º31'53" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: over $150
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Standard single room||US$187||US$220|
|Standard double room||US$220||US$259|
Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.
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