A boat trip at Tonle Sap
- PREK TOAL: Boat trip to Prek Toal takes about one hour from Me Chrey boat dock, upon arrival meet Prek Toal Environmental Research Station for guiding tour to birds sanctuary. The Research Station has information on the area's flora and fauna. There are also basic overnight accommodations at the Research Station if you want to stay the night to take full advantage of the sunset and early morning viewing hours. The entrance free for birds watching for two persons cost 25$ each, 3 pax up cost 20$ per person including boat guided tour to birds sanctuary. Your entrance fee expense use to help promote responsible tourism in Cambodia, and contributes to the conservation of the area especially educate children, villagers about the importance of the birds and the unique flooded forest environment, all your expenses go through to local communities
The 'bird sanctuary' at the Prek Toal core area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve has been called "the single
- Kampong Khleang is located on the northern lake-edge about 35 km east of Siem Reap town, more remote and less touristed than Kampong Phluk. Visitors to Kampong Khleang during the dry season are universallyThe area
can be reached by boat from the Chong Khneas docks or by a combination of road to Domdek on Route #6 and then boat to the village, the best method depending on the time of year. During the dry season, boats cannot get all of the way to the main villages.
awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In the wet season the waters rise to within one or two meters of the buildings. Like Kampong Phluk, Kampong Khleang is a permanent community within the floodplain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. But Kampong Khleang is significantly larger with near 10 times the population of Kampong Phluk, making it the largest community on the Lake.
- Kampong Phluk is a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap. The villages are primarily Khmer and have about 3000 inhabitants between them. Flooded mangrove forest surrounds the area and is home to a variety of wildlife including crab-eating macaques. During the dry season when the lake is low, the buildings in the villages seem to soar atop their 6-meter stilts exposed by the lack of water. At this time of year many of the villagers move out onto the lake and build temporary stilted houses. In the wet season when water level rises again, the villagers move back to their permanent houses on the floodplain, the stilts now hidden under the water. Kampong Phluk's economy is, as one might expect, based in fishing, primary in shrimp harvesting.
Kampong Phluk sees comparatively few foreign visitors and offers a close look at the submerged forest and lakeside village life as yet unperturbed by tourism. The area can be reached by boat from the Chong Khneas or by a combination of road and boat.
- Chong Kneas: From Siem Reap it takes less than 30 minutes to reach the harbor (see the first picture) where you hop onto a private boat which takes you to the closest floating village fromp:Chong Kneas. For 20USD per person, you have a private boat with a captain and a guide. The entire trip lasts about one hour and thirty minutes. After a fifteen-minute drive you enter the actual lake and start seeing water dwellings: private houses, shops, garages, churches (see the photo of a Catholic church), temples (see the photo of a Buddhist temple), schools etc floating around more or less in harmony.
- Me Chrey is one of the more recently discovered floating villages lies midway between Siem Reap Town and Prek Toal. It is about 25Km from Siem Reap Town. There are fewer tourists there comparing to busy Chong Kneas. Me Chrey is prettier during the wet season when houses are anchored around an island pagoda. This village moves with the water level!