Floating house on Tonle Sap Lake - Cambodia.

Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia.

Tonle Sap Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in South-East Asia - during the dry season the lake covers an area of around 2500 square kilometres but during the monsoon can easily increase in size to over 12000 square kilometres. With a depth of 2.5 metres which can increase to over 10 metres. Kompong Phhluk stilthouses, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.The changing depth and area is caused by the heavy monsoon rains but additionally by the flow of the Mekong River - which during the monsoon flows backwards from Phnom Penh along a 100 kilomtgere long channel. This process is reversed at the end of the rainy season as the Mekong recedes. The lake not only provides an excellent habitat for fish and birds but also irrigates the flood plains which are primarily used for growing rice.

About a boat trip from Kompang Phhluk village (near Siem Reap) out to Tonle Sap Lake looking at stilt houses on the way.

There are several villages along the lake which can be visited whilst staying at Siem Reap - including Kompang Phhluk which is around 16kms from the town. A tuk-tuk out to the lake costs around USD16 to 18 depending on your negotiating skills and the route follows Route 6 for a while and then, having just passed the Roluos Group of Temples, cuts off to the right. So a visit to the lake could be combined with visiting those excellent Temples (providing you have the entrance ticket already from the ticket office!).
Tourist boats waiting at Kompong Phhlu, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk boat trips
Mud bank and stilt houses - Kompong Phhluk, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
A single stilt house at Kompong Phhluk -  Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Kompong Phhluk local boats, Tonle Sap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Once off the main road the way down to the lake goes via quite an open area of fields and passes through several small villages eventually to arrive at the ticket office. The boat fare is a very expensive USD20 per adult - trying to get a clear idea of what the trip involves is virtually impossible but they assure you that part of the trip involves going right onto the lake itself for a while. Incidentally by the ticket office there is a toilet available and also a stall where you can buy cold drinks. From the ticket office your tuk-tuk will then go along a tremendously dusty and very pot-holed track for maybe 2 more kilometres to arrive at the boat station.
Boats and stilthouses - Tonle Sap channel, Kompong Phhluk, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Kompong Phhluk village near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Kompong Phhluk, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Kompong Phhluk stilthouse - Tonle Sap Lake near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk
Kompong Phhluk local village boat, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk boat
Tall stilthouses - Kompong Phhluk village near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk boats
Kompong Phhluk bamboo foot bridge, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk bridge
Kompong Phhluk fish farm, Onle Lake channel, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk fishfarm
Kompong Phhluk fishing pots, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk fishing pots
Kompong Phhluk village fish farm, near Siem Reap in Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk fish farm
Tonle Sap Lake - forest, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tonle Sap forest
Kompong Phhluk stilthouse, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk stilthouse
The area where you get on the boats has no semblance of a landing stage available - if the water is low you have to clamber down a mud bank and then sort of clamber up onto the boat - not that easy. The trip along the channel is very interesting as you pass through forest areas and seeing many different types of stilt houses which in some cases are more than 30 feet above the water line. There are locals fishing with nets, several small fish farms and all sorts of other boats coming and going. Eventually the boat reaches the end of the channel and gets onto the lake itself - this part of the trip is where the problems may occur. The boatmen simply want to go a few hundred metres out onto the lake to stop at one of the several moored floating restaurants. If you do not want to have anything to eat or drink then as far as the boatman is conerned that ends the trip and he will want to return. So you will not get to see any floating houses and will spend a minimal time on the lake itself. At USD20 per person this is pretty expensive!.
Kompong Phhluk village, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk village
Kompong Phhluk bridge, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk bridge
Kompong Phhluk village, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk village
Kompong Phhluk stilthouses, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk stilthouses
Kompong Phhluk slightly leaning stilt house, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Kompong Phhluk stilt house
Tonle Sap houses, near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tonle Sap houses
Tonle Sap Lake floatng restaurant near Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tonle Sap restaurant
Small part of the huge Tonle Sap Lake outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Tonle Sap

Siem Reap travel, attractions and sightseeing including trips:
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