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Romance strikes on a floating Cambodian river lodge


The wedding seems all a blur to me. I guess that’s what most people say. Now I’m grateful to that annoying photographer for taking so many photos. I might be able to look back and remember what happened. It was pouring rain on our wedding day. My future wife swore this was a good sign according to the Chinese tradition…it means good luck will pour down upon our life together.

When I allowed my future bride to give me some honeymoon ideas, I’m sure, she had no idea what she was going to get herself into. Her two requirements – stay on the water and have a private pool. So several months before the wedding I set about making her dreams come true.

The honeymoon was off to a great start until I told my fairy princess she had to sleep in a tent on the water and catch her own fish for dinner. However, I promised her “you’ll get your private pool right outside the tent flap by jumping into the river.”

We flew into Bangkok and connected to a regional carrier that flew to a small airport in Trat, a small town in southern Thailand. Bangkok Airways offers two daily non stop flights for around $200 USD roundtrip.

We were greeted by our private driver who drove us to the Cambodian border, about a 90-minute drive. Be prepared when you reach the border to be bombarded by cart pullers offering to take your luggage across the border. They are helpful to have, since it is a bumpy dirt road you walk for about 4 minutes to reach the Cambodian border. There is no charge for them to take your luggage but expect to be harassed if you don’t offer them a tip of about $1-2 USD per bag.

Depending on your citizenship, you may need a Visa to enter Cambodia. You can easily secure one online. The cost is about $25. You will need to upload a digital photo and fill out a very short application form. Your Visa will arrive via email, which you can print out and show at the border.

The drive from the border to the resort embarkation point is only about 25 minutes.

As we boarded a rustic dugout thatched roof canoe with a motor on the back and headed up river, I think my wife began to think I was serious about this camping thing. As we cruised along the quiet smooth river among trees, searing blue sky and only the sound of singing birds for the next 20 minutes, we were transformed into a natural rain forest wonderland.

Rounding a corner my bride said, “I think I see it”. There floating on the river were 12 tents dotting the dock split in half with the restaurant in the middle. When we pulled up to the landing, there was staff there to welcome us with a cool towel and a cold drink. As we leisurely checked in and were escorted to our tent, I could see my brides worry fade into inquisitive excitement about what this beautiful place held for us over the next four days.

The tents were far from rustic, much like I imagine the luxury safari tents are in Africa. The only thing now for us to do was sink into the quiet, absorb the beauty, and breathe the fresh air that in most cities is only a distant memory.

There were no horns honking, people screaming or rushing about. The water was like glass reflecting the tree top mountains in the water. And as we lounged on our private patio overlooking the river, a waiter brought us a martini to sip along with some fresh seafood appetizers.

Three filling gourmet meals await you daily in the waterfront restaurant. At night, you sit under a romantic diamond dotted sky full of stars that you forget exist in the white light of our cities. And as I walk back to the tent each night with my lovely new wife on my arm, I knew I had made the right decision in coming here.

During the day, you cruise up river about an hour to a natural waterfall Jacuzzi. The boat stops a short distance away and you kayak into the rocks. You can plunge into the deep pool of clear water or just sit on a rock and let the falling water relax your muscles. Before departing a romantic picnic lunch is served with nature as the tablecloth.

The next day the boat goes down river to a local Cambodian fishing village. You can watch as the men chisel out a canoe from a tree or buy fresh crabs that the resort will cook for you.

Before dinner one night, I took my bride on a relaxing romantic sunset cruise. Sipping wine in one hand and my other arm around my wife I marvel at the beauty of life as the sun dips sizzling all the way into the sea. After dinner, we took a short boat ride up river to see a sparkling spectacular tree on the water’s edge full of fireflies that make it look like a Christmas tree.

After four relaxing days, we boarded the thatched roof dug out motored canoe and sailed back to civilization, at least third world style. I think this man wowed his fairy princess.

You can do the same by checking out the Four Rivers Floating Lodge in Cambodia. Rates are around $159 (double occupancy), include breakfast and motor boat transfers. It’s a relaxing romantic adventure you won’t soon forget.

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