TONLE SAP LAKE

 

The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Sourtheast Asia.During the dry season the lake drains into the Tonle Sap River which flows into the Mekong River.But in the rainy season(June to October)the huge amount of water in the Mekong causes the Tonle Sap River to reverse its flow.The combination of flowing into the lake,and the backup of the Tonle Sap River swells the lake to 5-time its size in the dry season.This increase in size floods the surrounding floodplain and forests,creating an incredibly diverse and rich eco-system.

The four main "Floating villages "are listed below :

Floating houses on Tonle Sap Lake

-Chong Khneas

 The floating village nearest to Siem Reap ,it is the one most visited by tourists.In the wet season,it really is floating village,with houses,shops,schools,etc.all bobbing on the water.Even though it is somewhat."touristy",it is still interesting and worth seeing.stops usually include a souvenir and snack shop,and the Gecko Environment Center.

-Kampong Plug

This is not actually a floating village as the houses are built on tall stilts.In the dry season the village is high and dry with the tall stilted houses lining the road.When the water level is high the stilts are submerged and the houses seem to "float" .This is also the place where you can take boat rides through the flooded forest.It is visited by relatively few tourists.Home-stay is availble.

-Kampong Khleang

Being far from Siem Reap,it takes about 2 hours by boat from the Phnom Krom boat landing.There is an outer floating villages and an inner tall stilted villlage.It has the largest population of all the villages on the lake.Visited by few tourists.
 
 A somewhat smaller floating village,it is the starting point for bird watching tours to the Prek Toal core area of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve.(see Bird Watching) this is an important habitat for many endangeres bird species.There is a Biosphere information center and a water hyacinth weabing center.Overnight stay is possible,but is not well organized,and may not be suitable for all visitors.