On this comprehensive tour, you will stay in a range of environmentally responsible hotels including the Lotus Resort and Spa in Siem Reap, the 4 Rivers Floating Eco Lodge in Koh Kong and of course the ultimate in low-impact accommodation, the luxury tent in the temples.
The Lotus Resort & Spa supports the local community by encouraging guests to donate school supplies and used school uniforms to the local Chres Village School and Orphanage. The Resort staff will drive you to the school so you can deliver the goods yourself and meet the children you are helping to support. The Resort also runs a programme where guests can buy and donate first aid kits and bicycles, a crucial item to have in the poor rural communities outside Siem Reap, to donate to a randomly selected local family. The Resort staff will again drive the guest to deliver the kits and bicycles.
Both schemes ensure the benefits are directly felt by the school and/or individual families. The Resort also supports the Family Care Cambodia Campaign and the Angkor Hospital for Children, both of which aim to improve the quality of life for the children of Cambodia through medical care and education.
The 4 Rivers Floating Eco Lodge makes many efforts to be environmentally and socially responsible. The Lodge itself is made from modern, composite materials with little wood used, thus protecting the local forests. The Resort has a water treatment plant on site which treats the kitchen water and also the water from guestrooms. The Resort currently uses a low-energy generator for power but is installing a new solar power system in the near future. Also as it is a floating Resort, the Lodge can be dismantled and removed with no impact on the landscape.
The Lodge is staffed by locals, 70% of which are from the nearby village of Tatai. As this is a remote region, families can struggle to maintain a regular income so the Lodge is an important employer. The staff not only helped in the building of the Lodge itself but they are also now part of the front of house team after intensive training, thus giving them a transferrable skill which can be used elsewhere in a country which depends a lot on tourism.
The Lodge also donates part of their profits to the Wildlife Alliance, a major player in the protection of the forests and wildlife of the Cardomam Mountains. Since its inception in 1994 as the Global Survival Network, the organisation now known as Wildlife Alliance has worked with local governments, communities and other like-minded non-governmental organizations to implement cutting edge programs in Southeast Asia, Russia, South America, and the Western Pacific. These programs aim to conserve the environment and stop the illegal wildlife trade by directly protecting wildlife in the field, reducing consumer demand for wildlife and providing alternative livelihoods for local communities.
The luxury camping safari is of course the definition of low-impact - hot water is heated by solar panels and the tents are erected for the clients to stay the night and then dismantled and removed upon departure, leaving no trace of having been there.
Our ground agents only employ local guides and drivers to accompany our clients, which we feel is an important way of keeping money in the country but also in offering our clients a ‘real’ experience of Cambodia. All food in the lodges and hotels is sourced locally, helping the local rural communities wherever possible.