Living in the wilderness

By Sun Narin, Phnom Penh Post

Are you planning a trip to the countryside? Do you wish you were? Either way, I had the good fortune last weekend to go on a trip far from Phnom Penh to see the serene beauty of Mondulkiri, and it was sweet. If you do go, I would feel guilty if I failed to tell you about the place where we stayed. Between teachers, students and staff, about 100 people from the Department of Media and Communication at the Royal University of Phnom Penh went on the trip to Mondulkiri, and I think everyone was happy with the Angkor Forest guesthouse. As we drove through the forest, my friends and I complained about how far away our hotel was from the centre of town, but we changed our tune when we approached our guest house and saw the strangely-stylish houses and the view surrounding the area, which immediately inspired people to pull out their cameras. Angkor Forest was big enough for our group, but would be fun with just two people as well. Positioned on the side of a mountain, the guest house is comprised of 20 houses, with capacity from 2 to 10, spread out over 16 hectares. The place is spacious and, since it has only been open for three months, everything looks fairly new as well. The rooms are sizeable as well, and they all had comfortable beds, additional chairs and, in case you were worried that you would have to disconnect from pop culture for a few days, they even have cable TVs. One thing they don’t have is an AC or a fan, but spend one night there and you will understand that there is no need for cooling during the chilly mountain nights. If you don’t want to pay $18 for a room, you can choose the tent option and pay only $8. There is a big restaurant on the premises, and once again, when we realised how far it was from our huts, we started to grumble, but the walks turned out to be endurable. The restaurant itself is well designed aesthetically, but it has a way to go in terms of service and the food. While we all agreed on this point, we also decided to give them a free pass since they have only been open for a few months. The highlight of our time at Angkor Forest was a dance party. We all got down listening to great music with bright lights shining on us. You can imagine how fantastic it was. Another extraordinary moment was the early morning view of the mountain scenery, something that your friends, family, and even your pets, would surely enjoy.

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