On Friday evening, you come home exhausted but also happy that the weekend is finally here. After days of back-breaking work, you deserve a good rest on the couch in front of your TV, but instead, as an outdoors person, you want to go somewhere and enjoy yourself to the fullest extent. But, where? You don’t have time for a holiday at the beach or a hiking trip and to matters worse, you are already tired of the same old place near the city. Fret not, because Taing Rinith is bringing you to a relaxing farm not too far from the city centre. It is not an ordinary farm but one that will rejuvenate your mind, body and soul, he writes.
Just last week I was on my way back to Phnom Penh from a mission in the Sa’ang district of Kandal province. By midday, I reached the Koh Krobey village of Chbar Ampov district, about 15 km from the centre of the Phnom Penh. Hungry and tired from my long trip, I took out my phone to look up a nearby place on Google Maps. Then a place called Amarak Farm appeared on the screen.
The pictures on the map displayed eye-catching features such as natural ponds, a picnic area decorated with tropical trees, flowers and a western café and restaurant.
I was reluctant at first because it looked expensive but I eventually gave in to my curiosity. It was also wondering how such a place could be just a stone’s throw away from the noisy and crowded Phnom Penh.
Off a dirt path branching from National Road Number 21B and going past a main gate of Kol Tor Teng Pagoda, you will see signs pointing towards Amarak Farm.
Keep following the sign and you will arrive at the front of the farm in less than five minutes. Just near the entrance is a big space for free parking.
Once you go past the entrance, you will notice the freshness and fragrance from the blooming flowers in the air, the first difference from the outside world.
Greenery could be seen everywhere in the peaceful and quiet atmosphere while the two natural ponds on the compound keep the farm refreshingly cool and even more pleasant. Cute farm animals, especially rabbits, are also being raised here making a complete ecosystem on a big plot of land.
Ren Chanra, Operation Supervisor for the farm states, Amarak was created in 2009 first only as a personal farm but later transformed into a public retreat after the owner, a wealthy businessman, saw the demand for a good hideaway for Phnom Penh residents.
“The owner built the farm for his retired father to enjoy farming – which was his hobby at old age,” Chanra says. “He grew organic vegetables and sold it to people who cared about their health.”
“The people who came to buy his vegetables fell in love with the place and kept asking him to turn it into a place for everyone, which he did a few years ago.”
Resembling a leisure farm in a Western country, Amarak is an ideal place for both nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts who want an escape from the city.
You can get physical by renting a bicycle and exploring the beautiful property or get into one of the lake boats to test your strength or fish in a relaxing atmosphere. You can also swim in the public pool after you’re done cuddling and playing with the lovely animals.
Or of course, sometimes you simply want to take a good rest to relieve your stress and fatigue. You can read or take a nap peacefully at the picnic area, just next to the lake, while enjoying the sounds of nature.
The farm also has space to throw a party with your family and friends. Only costing you 5,000 Riels you will be provided with eating utensils and barbecuing tools, which allow you to enjoy your party without having to worry about doing the dishes.
Amarak Farm also has something for the kids with a playground containing swings, teeter-totters and metal slides, a tree house and so on. They offer a good chance to introduce your children to your childhood, the one before the smartphone and social media were invented.
For food, Amarak Farm has a restaurant providing vegetables and meat from the farm itself and all at a reasonable price.
You can enjoy a dish of Chicken and Rice or Kimchi Fried Rice, with spinach sprinkled at only $2.50. Or the vegetarian $4 Caesar Salad and Farm Salad are a good option too.
Amarak Farm is open to the public from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, if you don’t want to leave the venue at sundown, you can use its homestay service.
Featuring pool views, the rooms have a private balcony, refrigerator and access to the terrace. The price varies according to the type and size of the accommodation. All include breakfast and provide the perfect opportunity to get up early without a headache and experience the stunning sunrise.