The River Garden Restaurant, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The River Garden (Hotel and Bar/Restaurant)

(near) River Road, Siem Reap, Cambodia

www.therivergarden.info

Open to the public 7am – late, 7 days a week

You could almost get lost trying to find The River Garden – the website gives a location but no exact address (it’s near the River Road) – but take a tuk-tuk as it only takes 5 minutes from the center of Siem Reap. We went on a Tuesday which was a stroke of luck – turns out that’s ‘Teapot Tuesday’ when the cafe serves a small selection of cocktails in pretty Khmer teapots (and only for around £5)! We daintily drank Long Island Ice Tea and their own special (i.e. strong!) Green Frog (named after a recent species discovery in the mountains) in the lovely private garden and pool setting.

Food: The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks – a mix of Khmer cuisine, Asian dishes and western comfort food. (Their chocolate brownies are named ‘the finest in Siem Reap’!). The bar serves beer, wine, cocktails, juices and smoothies.

The kitchen also runs the popular ‘Cooks in Tuk Tuks’ cooking lessons which involve a trip to the local market to source produce.

The River Garden is also a hotel with a select few chalets available (if you’ve used the accommodation, please tell us what you thought via the comments board below or send in your own blog post. Similarly, they also arrange ‘voluntourism’ packages – tell us your experience if you’ve been on one).

Recommended for… Visiting on a Tuesday if you like civilised (and cheap!) cocktails

Be aware that… If you’re walking there, be prepared to be walking along some very long roads with no signs

‘Teapot Tuesday’s at The RiverGarden

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Staff are well-paid with additional employment benefits to the Cambodian required standard
  • General rubbish is a problem in Siem Reap so The River Garden work with the local community to clean up the surrounding streets – children who bring 5 kilos of rubbish to their English or dance classes at the local pagoda, get in for free (this is popular).
  • They compost waste from the kitchen and the chickens to use in the garden – they also teach the local community how to improve their own soil through composting.
  • The River Garden staff uniforms, and any other sewing needs, are provided by a local sewing lady and her family business ‘The Tin Shed’ (which was soon to be demolished by the local government)
  • English-speaking visitors are invited to volunteer a couple of hours a time to teach English to local monks and school children

 

Date of visit: January, 2011

 

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Kerry Law

Kerry Law (Founding Editor, Goodtrippers): I'm a PR and writer living in London. Since taking my first trip aged 2yrs (all the way from from NZ to the UK) I've loved travel. As a keen advocate of ecotourism and responsible travel, I decided to start Goodtrippers...

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