First of all, there are some strict rules regarding your stay at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge. This may be frustrating at first (it was for me since I wasn’t used to having restrictions in Cambodia) but after giving it a lot of thoughts, it actually isn’t too bad.
There are scheduled boat trips in and out of the hotel. For check in, it’s usually 2p.m. and 5 p.m. For check out, it’s 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. Apart from these travels, there is an additional cost for those who want to do a day trip in and around Koh Kong city and the beach.
Here’s my recommendation. If you want to explore Koh Kong, the beach and the rain forest, do not stay at 4 Rivers. What you can do is stay at a cheap hotel in the area, travel around. There are two options for this.. you can either stay a night or two at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, check out, and find a place to stay in Koh Kong city (Not difficult at all since all you have to do is cross the last bridge – there are plenty of hotels/guest houses around) or you could do exactly that the other way around – explore Koh Kong and end your trip with a relaxing time at 4 Rivers Floating Lodge.
Going into the resort, you really have to let yourself relax and enjoy the quiet isolation. There is no signal – meaning no phone calls or messages from the outside world to distract you and the wifi is REALLY SLOW so you will get frustrated and ignore your computer altogether. It’s really great to just focus on being there and enjoy the surroundings.
So, when you are ready to completely disconnect yourself from your daily life, what can you do?
1) RELAX – Sit on the balcony, sit on the couch, lie on the balcony, lie on the couch, stare into the water, stare into the sky, stare into the forest… stare. Seriously – this was actually the best part of my stay there. I had NOTHING to worry about and all I had to do was be awe-struck by the beauty. There’s nothing but water and green.
2) Swim – What my sister and I did was jump off straight into the river from our room and swim to my parents room, which was actually on the other side of the lobby. We didn’t have to walk! We just checked-in, put on our bikinis, jumped into the water and swam. The water was cool and clean! We just floated around the whole time.
3) Fish – I used to hate fishing. When we were little, dad used to drag us to go on fishing trips and we’d even have to stay up with him for night fishing. Naturally, I hated it. But now that I’ve grown older and learned to appreciate stillness (haha), I’ve been wanting to go fishing for a while. This was the perfect place to do so!
4) Eat & Drink – This is a little annoying. You are not allowed to bring outside food/drinks into the resort. We had two bottles of our favorite wine which we brought from home but found out there was a corkage fee ($15 per bottle). It’s still cheaper than the wine they sell there ($30+) but including the fee we paid for the bottle, it’s still not pleasant. The manager was nice to charge us only $15 for two bottles – since we had no idea. It makes sense but being in Cambodia, we’re not used to abiding to rules like that. The food is good – no complaints there. Price is a little off the chart but hey, so is the resort. Like I said, if you are not looking to relax and splurge, why stay at a resort? I think it was all worth the experience and the stay though.
5) Kayaking – They had kayaks for rent. You could ride for free. Just tell the front desk and they’ll have it ready for you!
6) Movies, Books & Board Games – After dinner, head to the tent next to the restaurant where they have all the entertainment you need. There is no cable in the room so the TV is no good unless you are watching DVDs. They have a few selections but you might have to settle for something they had. I say bring your own DVDs and books. At night, it’s very quiet and peaceful – nothing too much to do.
When we were there, it was raining at night so that might have limited our options but sitting outside staring into the darkness is an option too! haha
Would I recommend it? Yes, I would. If you would love to relax and try something new, go for it! But go with an open mind (crucial for traveling).
Would I stay for more than a day? Maybe two days but nothing more.
Is it a good place to stay if you want to travel Koh Kong? No. You will stay at this resort for the sake of staying at this resort (as part of an experience). If you would like to go outside and travel Koh Kong (there is a lot to do/see), check out from the resort, cross the 4th bridge and stay at a cheaper option. I would say though.. do it the other way around where you travel Koh Kong, and then check into the resort to end your travel with a relaxing stay.
Check out the NYtimes article on Koh Kong and Eco-tourism here.
Have more questions? Feel free to leave comments!