Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia that is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. 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 Tonlé Sap River to reverse its flow.
Tonle Sap Floating Villages
There are actually several so-called floating villages located on, and around the Tonle Sap Lake (Boeung Tonle Sap) and they are all somewhat different. The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest feature of the map of Cambodia, and is an important natural resource in terms of fishing and wetlands.
In the rainy season, the Mekong River backs up into the lake, and it swells to more than 5 times its size in the dry season, flooding the surrounding forests and plains. Of course the best time to visit ‘floating villages’ is during the wet season when the water is high. You can try a ‘do-it-yourself’ tour, but it can be a hassle, and there are stories of people having problems trying to do it themselves. The four main ‘floating’ villages are listed below.
Being far from Siem Reap, it takes about 2 hours by boat from the Phnom Krom boat landing. There is an outer floating village, and an inner tall stilted village. It has the largest population of all the villages on the lake. Visited by few tourists.
Tonle Sap Lake
In the dry season, the lake becomes very shallow, and large boats sit on the bottom of the lake. During this time, villages on stilts are left high and dry, and floating villages move out onto the lake. Also, forests are dried up, and some bird sanctuaries cannot be reached.
Location: Near Siem Reap
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