Discover Tonle Sap Lake - Siem Reap
Few people can say that they've seen authentic cities that float over the water, but you can certainly see them upon going to Kampong Kleang. While you're there, you can visit the Tonlé Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. If you'd like to make the most out of your trip, Trip Guru suggests that you visit the Tonlé Sap Lake and Kampong Khleang floating village.
As the largest lake in Southeast Asia, this great body of water is fed by the Mekong River. During the wet season, it can grow up to 20km and can be anywhere from 2 meters to 10 meters deep. In the dry season, the water level lowers, exposing the stilts that these great houses stand upon. This enormous lake nourishes a large portion of the region, enabling thousands to be able to find work to sustain a healthy lifesetyle. Living here are floating villages, which are a marvel in itself.
The entire floating village of Kampong Khleang moves according to the season, because as the season changes around the lake, so does the water level. And here is where the people spend their lives on top of the water--complete with floating schoolhouses for the children, and even a Catholic church floats on top of water. It's an example of a lifestyle that is definitely less travelled, and they rely on the water for nearly everything. They are experts in fishing, shrip farming, even scrounging up crocodiles for a crocodile farm. The river is where they wash, fish, bathe and swim for recreation. Its a fully functinal community as well--they even have clinics, a generator and a police station.
You can reach the Tonle Sap Lake via the NR6 from Siem Reap, and take a boat to Kampong Khleang. From Siem Reap, using a rental car, continue to NR6, and continue driving for 3 minutes. Turn right towards Charles De Gaulle, then turn left onto Charles De Gaulle. Afterwards, drive to River Road. The ideal time to visit is in the morning, about 8am. The wet season is from May to October, so plan your trip accordingly.
What our experts tell about this experience.
Riding along the waters of Tonlé Sap Lake was the perfect way to end my adventure in Cambodia. Everything was so serene and calm. I am still dumbfounded the people have been living in those stilt houses for a very long time. It’s just one way of living life I guess.