On a lazy Saturday afternoon, you swim up to the edge of the infinity pool and look out over a garden of fresh vegetables at a farmer washing his buffalo in the Mekong River. A wine bottle pops, you take a glass, and then a sip, and somehow, from somewhere, a rare breeze of country air blows the heat off you.
At the other end of the pool, a giant, crispy pizza drips and bubbles with cheese in a wood fired, garden oven. You savour it in a banana chair by the pool, with your fine French wine, as the sun settles through the banana leaves and lights up intricate hand-made tiles on the roof next door. You’re everywhere and nowhere. Lost in a slow-moving and magical mix of French summer garden and the classic Cambodian countryside of Koh Dach, a short journey from Phnom Penh.
Also known as Silk Island, Koh Dach is known for its village weavers and pastoral tranquility - well removed from the excitement of the city. This island nestled in the middle of the Mekong is accessible only by small ferries that run from morning to evening from several ports within Phnom Penh. Once night falls though, you’re blissfully cut off from the world.
Le Kroma Villa is family to its core. Do and Robert, the French-Cambodian couple running Le Kroma Villa, packed up their lives in France to create this oasis. The country breeze blows through simple, clean rooms, with comfortable quality beds and luxe cotton sheets. Children play in the garden by afternoon and quiet laughter floats across the pool by night.
An easy hour’s journey from central Phnom Penh, across the Tonle Sap and through the Silk Island countryside, and you are in another world, another time. A different Cambodia. Palms, cassava fields, buffalo, mules, children riding bicycles taller than they are - it’s a wonderful place to soak in the often forgotten side of the Kingdom of Wonder. A hidden little gem providing respite to city-dwellers in these, the warmest months.