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Cambodia Escapes & Hideaways

in the bush, From £99
4 Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge

The 4 Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge is a string of super deluxe canvas tents floating on wooden platforms on a remote river in Cambodia's wild, jungle-clad western province of Koh Kong.

4 hours by road from Phnom Penh, but less than half an hour from the Thai border crossing at Koh Kong/Hat Lek, and from there an hour to Trat, the 4 Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge is remote but accessible. The final short part of the journey is by boat along the pristine Tatai River. Indeed the drive from Phnom Penh or Cambodia's beach resort town of Sihanoukville passes through some of Cambodia's most beautiful natural environments - a road that cuts straight through jungle with dramatic views of the Cardomom Mountains to the north.

The Tented Villas
With their origins in the safari veldt of Africa's game parks, each of The 4 Rivers' 12 double and twin-bed tented villas is, at 45sqm, a space age wonder combining luxury with practicality.
Cocooned in comfort and surrounded by top-quality furnishings and decoration, each villa has flat-screen television, Wi-Fi and mini-bar. Not that DVD movies, messages and recorded sound will be any match for the natural wonders you will witness from your private extra-large sun-lounger balcony where you can enjoy an afternoon snack or a sunset cocktail.

Away from the stress and pressure of everyday life, 4 Rivers is the ultimate vacation hideaway where you quickly forget where you came from.

What Cambodians don’t know about freshwater and saltwater fish could occupy a pinhead. It’s a fact recognised by top celebrity chef Rick Stein, who travelled to southeast Asia to write his Far Eastern Odyssey bestseller and make a BBC TV series about the food and culinary skills he picked up in Cambodia.

In addition to excellent seafood, the 4 Rivers offer a menu of top quality Asian and International cuisine, all prepared from the freshest ingredients purchased daily from the local markets in Koh Kong Town.

Combined with our guests origins, the result is a mix of food culture prepared and cooked with local ingredients. Western and southeast Asian food are a specialty alongside a wide selection of culinary offerings from around the world complemented by our sommelier’s choice of wines and spirits from our carefully chosen cellar of fine wines.

Start your day waking up to the sights and muted sounds of the Cardamom mountains. As the mist clears over the water, there is little to disturb the natural calm other than the plop and splash of a feeding fish, the startled cry of a far-off bird and the growl of a predator returning home after a kill.

Before the sun rises too high, try kayaking down river, with or without an experienced local guide, to explore the mangrove waterways that reach back into the jungle. Team up with some locals and try your hand at fishing for your supper.

Excursions can be arranged to the Tatai Waterfalls, further upstream, where once the torrent has been tamed in the dry season, it is possible to wade out into the gently rolling streams and dive into refreshing pools. The water is as crystal pure as nature intended.

You can also visit Koh Kong Town on the border with Thailand, local markets in nearby villages or you can discover the customs, natural cures and beliefs of the Cambodians that have lived in the Cardamom mountains and its forests for generations.

Or maybe it’s spoil-yourself time with a refreshing swim in the river at the 4 Rivers itself, or just lounge by the restaurant terasse with its amazing views of the sunset.

Nature & Wildlife
The Cardomom Mountains are recognised as the largest uninterrupted stretch of primary rainforest remaining on the South East Asia mainland, and as home to rich and varied flora and fauna.

The lush forested slopes of the Cardamoms are a perfect hiding place for the rare Javan rhinoceros, Indochinese tiger and Asian elephant. A sighting of one of these threatened species is worth 1,000 safaris anywhere else in the natural world. Gibbons sometimes serenade at sunrise and barking deer yelp at the edge of the jungle. Siamese crocodiles, once thought extinct in the wild, have also been seen in the rivers that criss-cross this magical haven.

According to the Wildlife Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and other concerned charities, this remarkable rainforest ecoregion is considered to harbour more than 100 mammal species including numerous endangered animals such as the clouded leopard, pileated gibbon and Malaysian sun bear.
The resident birdlife is estimated at a staggering 553-plus species, although in all probability many will be added after more comprehensive surveys. A veritable twitchers' paradise, waders from storks to cranes inhabit its wetlands, song birds love its wooded slopes and the brahminy kite hovers overhead on the lookout for a meal. Among the rarest of sightings are the silver oriole and the great hornbill, which are thought to be on the brink of extinction.

Getting there
The resort is situated on the Tatai River, close to the Thai border, halfway between Bangkok and Phnom Penh (via Koh Chang). Tatai village is 20 minutes by car from Koh Kong City, four hours from Phnom Penh or three hours from Sihanoukville. From here you embark at the steps of the bridge in the village for the short boat trip downstream to the 4 Rivers Floating Eco-Lodge - less than 10 minutes by speed boat or 25 minutes by the larger cruiser.

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