Tonlé Sap, Cambodia
Photo by Philippe Body / age fotostock
Cambodia's Great LakeAlthough the temples at Angkor Archaeological Park are a potent symbol of Cambodian pride, no one site around Siem Reap is more important to the country than Tonle Sap. As one of the world's most varied and productive ecosystems, the lake is of vital importance for the provision of food in the country. Indeed, its presence helped maintain Angkorian civilization for centuries. Today, the lake is a popular destination for visitors. However, boat-ride hawkers at the main staging posts of Chong Kneas and Kompong Phluk have made organizing an excursion a somewhat fraught experience. If you aren't willing to run the touristic gauntlet and haggle hard, the best way to experience the lake is arguably to see it on ferries between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh or Battambang.
AFAR Local Expert
over 4 years ago
Life on the Lake
Kompong Phluk is a floating village locaed in Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Cambodia and southeast Asia. The town is set on stilts to protect homes when the water rises and washes away the "main street" strip of land during the rainy season. Many villagers rely on the lake for commercial fishing and harvesting rice.