Relaxing light adventure on Cambodia's Tatai River

Our favourite aspect of the Tatai River area isn’t so much a specific ‘attraction’ as the entire feel of the place - its relaxed and welcoming community, superb scenery, and diverse wilderness activities that range from swimming under waterfalls to trekking in nearby nature reserves. There’s also the small matter of some very exciting accommodation, with exclusive floating safari tents and beautiful rustic lodges all set up and waiting in one of Cambodia’s loveliest landscapes.

What to expect at the Tatai River...

The Tatai River region, near Koh Kong in southwest Cambodia, is a lush but accessible wilderness; stylish eco-resorts in eyebrow-raising locations provide the perfect base for forest treks and mountain biking, river kayaking, nature-watching, and simply kicking back in a modern Eden, with forest pools to swim in, waterfalls to play in, and excellent Khmer food served up whenever it’s time for a snack.

Flanked by the Cardamom Mountains - South-East Asia’s largest surviving rainforest - and several nature reserves, the Tatai River basin is a haven for sustainable living and thoughtful community-led tourism. It’s also fantastic for outdoor thrills - after all, to keep the habitat safe there must also be income for its human inhabitants, and what better way than offering expertly guided nature treks deep into the rainforest, leading kayaking expeditions along remote backwaters, and keeping an eye out for sun bears?

There are more chilled out ways to relax, too - many stunning waterfalls can be found along the river’s tributaries, plunging into languid pools that are perfect for swimming in, and little natural jacuzzis bubbling away against the rocks. You’ll even find neck and shoulder massages on offer at some of these, so although you’ll be at one with nature, you certainly not in any danger of roughing it.

The choice of accommodation confirms this - 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, for example, is a row of twelve wooden pontoons moored along the river’s edge, each with a spacious safari tent pitched on top. Despite being miles from anywhere ‘civilised’, the level of luxury here is astonishing - tents furnished like deluxe hotel rooms, world class restaurant - but with the peace and tranquillity of a forest retreat. 

Or there’s Rainbow Lodge, with its low-key thatched cottages overlooking Peam Krasaop wildlife sanctuary, or perhaps you fancy a spot of fishing of your private balcony at the Tatai Riverfront Resort?

Or you might spend every night in a hammock slung between forest tree trunks - it’s entirely up to you! Wherever you sleep, your time along the Tatai will show you Cambodia at its absolute best.

Location: Near Koh Kong, western Cambodia

Duration: as long as you like

Accommodation: floating tents and riverside lodges

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Nick says...

'The perfect place to escape the tourist hordes that descend on the Angkor Temples on a daily basis. The Tatai River area and nearby Koh Kong present a very different Cambodia. The region is also well placed to link with the best of Cambodia’s beach options, as well as neighbour Thailand’s Koh Kong, just 2 hours away.'

Good to know...

There are activities to suit everyone but you do need to be reasonably fit to make the most of this.

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