First published on 13 Aug 2012. Updated on 11 May 2013.
RIVER KWAI JUNGLE RAFT FLOATING HOTEL, KANCHANABURI, THAILAND
Less than three hours from Bangkok, this is one of the region’s original floating hotels, having been around since 1976. The bamboo rooms are small and basic, but there’s a free-and-easy charm about the hammocks by the river, the daytime swimming and the lack of electricity at night. Rooms from THB$2,350/$94 a night, including meals and boat transfers. See www.riverkwaijunglerafts.com.
4 RIVERS FLOATING LODGE, KOH KONH, CAMBODIA
For a higher-end floatel experience in Cambodia’s hot-right-now Koh Kong, the gorgeous Rivers Floating Lodge has 12 elegant luxury yurts floating on the Mekong – all with Wi-Fi, outdoor loungers and ladders into the river. Activities at the eco-conscious resort include fishing, kayaking and getting hydro massages from the nearby Tatai Waterfalls. Double rooms from US$135/S$171 per night. See www.ecolodges.asia.
SHWE INN THA FLOATING RESORT, INLE LAKE, MYANMAR
Inle Lake is a must on any Myanmar itinerary, and though this one is the rickety side of luxe, it’s hard to beat waking up on stilts over a tranquil lake. This is basically a series of thatched wooden villas over the lake, with 40 rooms and a central swimming pool. Go in October if you want to see the renowned Inle Lake boat races. Double rooms from US$145++/S$183 per night. See www.inlefloatingresort.com.