Jul 3, 2012

Amazing Floating River Villages in Siem Reap

Kampung Phluk – An exclusive world
Cambodia Tours, Cambodia Travel - Kampung Phluk village
From Threeland Travel's Blog - July 2012
Whilst visiting Angkor Wat, visitors cannot skip through Kampung Phluk because of its unique on-water world. Kampung Phluk is practically located at the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake and completely surrounded by mangrove forests, where every year the water level rises and falls depending on the season.

Tourists will absolutely be awestruck when it comes to the site of sequential houses constructed on bamboo stilts, sitting 10 meters above the water. The atmosphere is absorbed in a mixture of typical salty smell, coming from fish, crocodile and pig farms nearby. The village has all the cultural and social sites for its residents - a temple, a stupa to keep the ashes of the departed, a monastery, and schools. There is no western hospital, and the people still prefer their traditional medicine for minor illnesses.

During the wet season, the lake overflows and floods the area surrounding it. That is the main reason why local houses follow the special structure. The Cambodian villagers adapt to the yearly change by adjusting the height of their houses depending on the water level.

During the dry season, the water level falls so drastically that visitor can actually walk on land. The villagers often take advantage of the available dry space to dry their shrimp. After the shrimp are dried, they are seasoned and later packaged to be sold.

As the boat slowly moves further into the village, tourists will see the peaceful Cambodian on-water life. People are busy washing clothes, trading, cleaning newly caught fish, while some are relaxing in the house safe from the hot sun. At last, after spending some time in the village, do not leave Kampung Phluk without taking a look at the great Tonle Sap Lake, which is just a few minutes boat ride away.

Kampong Khleang – An unspoiled river land
Cambodia Tours, Cambodia Travel - Kampong Khleand village
Kampong Khleang
From Threeland Travel's Blog - July 2012

Kampong Khleang is located on the northern lake-edge about 55 km east of Siem Reap town, more remote and less tourist than Kampong Pluk. Visitors to Kampong Khleang during the dry season are universally awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In wet season the waters rise up to one or two meters of the buildings. Like Kompong Pluk, Kompong Khleang is a permanent community within the flood plain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. But Kompong Khleang is significantly larger with nearly 10 times the population of Kompong Pluk, making it the largest community on the Lake.

The area can be reached by charter boat from the Chong Khneas dock takes about two and a half hours or by a combination of road to Domdek on Route 6 takes one and a half hour reach to dock and then meet a boatman drive another one hour 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.

Chong Kneas – A well-constructed floating village
Cambodia Tours, Cambodia Travel - Chong Kneas village
Chong Kneas
From Threeland Travel's Blog - July 2012

Chong Kneas is a floating village at the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake that is more popular than Kampung Phluk and Kampong Khleang. It is one of the major attractions in Siem Reap, just about 20 – 30 minutes from the province’s center. The route to this village is lined with attractive paddy fields, stilted houses and the Phnom Krom hill – which has an ancient temple at the top. As entering the village, the first thing that impresses visitors will be rows of tourist boats docked.

There is a seemingly-most famous Cambodian school in this village. That students go to school on boat makes hilarious scenery. The school even has a separate floating basketball court and definitely, visitors cannot imagine how it was able to be built. The protective rails on the sides of the court restrict the ball and players inside. Besides, do not miss out on the catfish farm – probably the ‘highlight’ of the Chong Kneas visit. Visitors have the chance to feed them. There is also a crocodile farm with about ten crocodile right next to the fish farm. A fantastic view of the Tonle Sap Lake and the floating village can be seen from the second or third storey of the farm.

The floating river villages are within the top must-see places whilst visiting Cambodia. If you want to take an all-inclusive trip to enjoy the on-water life, please visit Threeland Travel Indochina and email us at help@threeland.com. We will get back to any enquiry as soon as possible. 


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