Enjoy a full day tour as we pick up from your hotel at 7:00 AM. We will drive 15 km south of Siem Reap to the boat docks of Chong Kneas. We’ll then board a local boat for a pleasant ride onto the Tonle Sap, passing through the floating village of Chong Khneas. Tonle Sap is the largest lake of Southeast Asia and stretches across the northwest portion of Cambodia. The lake is economically important as it serves as major source of many kinds of fishes. It swells to ten times its normal size during the wet season, bringing diverse aquatic resources. It also serves as habitat for several species of water birds. Chong Khneas is a floating village at the edge of Tonle Sap. It is largely a floating settlement with some permanent buildings. Explore the floating households, composed predominantly of Vietnamese people, and recognizable because of the brightly colored houses. Take a glimpse of the floating village life as we pass along floating houses, schools, clinics, sports hall and even pig farms. We will stop at Gecko Environment Center where you can learn more about the ecology and rich biodiversity of Tonle Sap and its surrounding floodplains.
We will continue our boat trip to the fishermen village of Kompong Phluk. Houses here are built on stilts. This village is almost exclusively composed of Khmer origin. The villagers move houses depending on the season. They dwell on stilts during rainy season and move to small huts near at the banks during dry season. You will visit the pagoda, the only building in the village that is not built on stilts, and observe villagers going about their daily activities. You will then transfer to a small canoe (Aug-Jan as optional) to be paddled by villagers, to take you deep into the dense mangrove forest. The mangroves are uniquely adapted to the flooded environment and can impressively survive being completely submerged during a part of the year.
We will then stop for our picnic lunch and enjoy fresh atmosphere by the lake. After lunch, we will board back to our boat for a 2 hour trip to the fishermen’s village of Kompong Khleang. Due to its remote location, Kompong Khleang is not frequently visited by tourists. This makes Kompong Khleang relatively less commercialized than Chong Khneas. Home to over 20,000 inhabitants, it is one of the largest communities in Tonle Sap. Houses here are also built on stilts, rising amazingly as high as 10 meters above the bottom of the lake. During wet season, the houses become inundated to within one or two meters of the buildings. Living at the floodplains of Tonle Sap, people at Kompong Khleang depend largely on fishing to make a living. Observe how fishermen get catch from the lake, dry their catch or prepare smoked fish.
We will then return to the boat dock in Kampong Khleang and travel back to Siem Reap in the afternoon by car.