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Glamping | 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, Cambodia

September 20, 2011

Gently bobbing on its pontoon platform in the Tatai River, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge is Cambodia’s and possibly the world’s first floating tent resort. Surrounded by lush jungle, elegantly hip decor and a laidback atmosphere, this unique escape is the perfect new Southeast Asian holiday bolthole.

4 Rivers’ Floating Lodge are tucked along a quiet meander, hugging a curve of the Tatai River. Located four hours drive from the capital Phnom Penh and one hour from the Thai border crossing of Khlong Yai, the resort is remote. Accessible only by boat, the entire resort is waterborne, with floating walkways joining the 12 individual tents to a central pontoon housing a bar, restaurant and library.

The authentic safari-style tents are imported from South Africa, and are most definitely at the luxurious end of the glamping spectrum. Inside, modern tropical decor mixes local sugar palm wood finishes with tableware from Denmark, silk rugs from Vietnam and wooden tub showers, whilst woven white rattan-style furniture graces each individual sundeck. The perfect spot to sunbathe in the daytime and stargaze at night, gated steps from the decks allow easy access to the river; proximity to the Tatai River estuary into the Gulf of Thailand means the water is part-fresh, part-saline and as a result surprisingly clear and safe to swim in.

The 4 Rivers Floating Lodge resort also employs chiefly from the local Khmer community, buying the produce for its contemporary fusion food from passing fishermen. 

The lush forested slopes of the immediate surrounding area are a perfect hiding place for the rare Javan rhinoceros, Indochinese tiger and Asian elephant. Gibbons sometimes serenade at sunrise and barking deer yelp at the edge of the jungle. Siamese crocodiles, once thought extinct, 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.

Plump skewered king prawns, fresh chilli and peanut Pomello and chicken salad, and sweet stewed bananas in coconut broth make the most of delicious Asian flavours as well as a French culinary experience.

Surrounded by unspoiled nature, 4 Rivers is an idyllic spot with all the hallmarks of a truly unique luxury destination. Rates start at around $120per night and include accommodations, breakfast and boat transfers to the resort.

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