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As one of the largest fresh water in South East Asia, the Tonle Sap lake has five provinces that are situated around the lake. This lake has been rendered as rich in fish and water which has been a source of livelihood for the locals. Located in the northwest region of Cambodia, this is a diverse haven for different animal species such as the hundred types of water birds and more than three hundred species of fresh water fish.
This place has also been the first of its kind used as a commercial resource. However, it is also considered as a tourist destination for its wonders. Wonderful floating villages are found here where you will get a taste of authentic Cambodian culture. The best activities that you can engage here is touring and taking trips. Located fifteen kilometers from the town of Siem Reap, travel experts would highly recommend that by journeying through the lake, an express boat to be boarded from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
A wide array of choices in discovering the rich wildlife here in Tonle Sap Lake are available. The most popular ways would be through a boat tour to the Chong Khneas village. You may avail of the boat tours at the village dock or arrange a tour through a reputable operator based in Siem Reap. The Chong Khneas boat tours would depart the docks all day long. To arrive at the dock, you may take a taxi ride or tuk-tuk from Siem Reap. The rates for each tour would depend on the places and routes that would prefer so it would be best to inquire for the prices first before you start to pick as to refrain from paying too much.
The boat trips would usually last at two hours. During such, you would be able to see firsthand the floating markets, homes and establishments. Some of these trips would generally be destined for two stops. The first of the stops would be the floating fish and bird exhibition where you could buy snacks and souvenirs at the shops nearby. The second would be at the Gecko Environment Center where displays of information about the Tonle Sap’s diverse environment would be featured.
Usually, you would be advised to take a full-day trip to other floating villages instead of limiting your experience to going around Chong Khneas. A far area located by Tonle Sap would be the Kampong Phluk. This place is made up of three stilt villages built on a flood plain located about sixteen kilometers southeast of Siem Riep. The villages are packed with Khmer people and surrounded by flooded mangrove forests. Going to Kampong Phluk would not only allow you to witness the diverse wildlife in the area but likewise expose you to the simple lakeside village’s way of life.
Another must-visit village situated on the northern part of the Tonle Sap Lake is the Kampong Khleang. This village is larger than Kampong Phluk but is less visited because of its isolated location. The village’s stilt houses of about ten meters and surrounding flooded forests are some of the top reasons why tourists would love to swing by here.
There also lies the Preak Toal Bird Sanctuary in the Tonle Sap lake which is the highlight of the trip. Here, birds find a peaceful home as it is rendered as an all-important breeding ground for the threatened large water birds in Soun
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