The experience for us started with a 6 hour bus trip from Phnom Phen where we had been bombarded with the sights and sounds of Cambodia’s largest city for three days. We were well ready to leave. To us Phnom Phen was a busy, dirty and hassly place with few redeeming features. Stories of bag snatches and rip offs abound and we found ourselves, when on the street, constantly on guard. This was not the case in the rest of Cambodia.
Rainbow Lodge, as we sit and gaze across the jungle to the Kep river the stillness and happy chatter of the staff in the background is incredibly relaxing. For the first time in two weeks traveling around Cambodia we have found an oasis, a place unlike anywhere else we have experienced in this corruption and poverty ridden country.
To understand the background of Rainbow Lodge , it is probably best to check out their very detailed and informative website. In short, it is an eco lodge situated in the Cardamon Mountains, on the edge of the Kep river. The lodge is very close to the Thai border i.e far western Cambodia.
The boat trip to Rainbow Lodge, a great way to start a quiet holiday
With seven units and a large common area it has the feel of flash camping. Excellent rooms, terrific service and wonderful meals. The ambiance is relaxed and generous with delightful staff and plenty of options for those looking for jungle trekking, checking out a huge diversity of bugs, butterflies, moths and other weird creatures including some fascinating snakes. In addition, the river is great for swimming or exploring in one of the kayaks that are freely available to guests.
We enjoyed four nights at Rainbow Lodge and had some great chats with Janet and G the British couple who are both terrific hosts and very committed environmentalists and our sort of people i.e. ” greenies” .
We paid US$60 per night which included all meals. This is slightly above ” normal” Cambodian rates but worth every cent for the location, isolation and facilities. Drinks, boat trips and treks were additional. We spent about $80 over 5 days including a full day jungle trek with guide and boat trip.
This swimming hole under a small waterfall was about 30 minutes very slow paddle from the Lodge.
From the common area towards our room. We were in the “orange room”. The whole resort is about 1.5 metres off the ground.
Our friendly lizard, each room seems to have one of these beautiful creatures who’s job it is to eat the bugs!
— Up next, our jungle trek, give us a couple of days, we are off to Kep tomorrow ….