Diethelm Travel Cambodia’s Managing Director, Ronni Dalhoff, and Country Manager, Marek Lenarcik, recently went for an inspection trip to Koh Kong to explore the island’s range of accommodation, Chi Phat, 4 Rivers Floating Lodge and Rainbow Lodge. Here is their report in detail:
We left Phnom Penh at 8:00 hrs and it took about five hours to drive to Chi Phat. We took a break for lunch at “The Stop” – a relatively new western-style pit stop, which should satisfy all clients. We took Road No. 4, which is known for being pretty narrow and has a lot of traffic. The traffic gets significantly sparse after the fork for Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. The roads in Koh Kong are nicely maintained and much more pleasant to drive than Road No. 4. Two kilometres before Andoeung Tuek we turned right onto a clearly marked dirt road leading to Chi Phat. Chi Phat has changed over the years and now offers plenty of homestays, bungalows, guesthouses, local-style shops and restaurants. Given that it was a low season, it was surprisingly busy. More than 20 people attended the communal dinner in the evening.
We stayed in new, simple bungalows with a fan, no electric sockets and cold shower. We went for a walk to a nearby waterfall. There are plenty of other activities, which can be organised on the spot.
In the morning we drove to Koh Kong town, took a stroll around the mangrove forest and discovered a new resort located just next to Mangrove forest. It’s named Mangrove Sanctuary Resort and is pretty simple (2-star). Please contact us for the rates as we already have them.
After lunch we drove to the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge’s reception and took a boat to the resort. 4 Rivers Lodge is a 3- 4-star place, which falls into a category of “experiential luxury”.
On the next day we took a boat to the Tatai Waterfall and continued on to the Rainbow Lodge. On one hand Rainbow Lodge is much simpler than 4 Rivers, which is also reflected in the lower rates. On the other it’s much more authentic and doesn’t pretend to be anything more than very natural, eco-friendly simple bungalows in the middle of the jungle.
The type of clients that would enjoy this place the most are adventurous people and families with children who want to disconnect from civilisation and spend time surrounded by a tropical rainforest. Rainbow Lodge offers a number of activities in the area comprising mostly of trekking and boat trips.
The lodge is undergoing a massive renovation with a substantial bungalows upgrade. We should hear about it more in the coming months.
It took us about six hours to come back from Rainbow Lodge to Phnom Penh. We stopped on the way for lunch at Picnic Resort, which has a nice ambience with very local food. The menu requires an update as it should say “Chicken bones with traces of chicken in a curry sauce” instead of “Hot & Spicy Chicken”
To sum up, we loved our trip to Koh Kong and believe that the province has a huge potential for all the off-the-beaten path adventure lovers. If jungle, mangrove forests, river, nature and mountains are your thing then Koh Kong is for you!
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