The floating villages are located on the Tonle Sap, a lake and river system that extends throughout Cambodia. It is the largest lake in South East Asia as well as a UNESCO Biosphere site due to its ecology and endangered flora and fauna. It is of extreme importance to Cambodians who live on it and earn their living from fishing.
The Tonle Sap is unique because the water feeding it changes directions twice annually. As a result the lake bottoms out during the dry season but can then swell by over 10 meters in the rainy season. For this reason villages like Kompong Khleang, Kompong Phluk and Mechrey are considered “floating” – homes are either on stilts or are literally buoyant through the use of petrol tanks as bouys.
The lake is rich in ecology and serves as the life-blood for many Khmers who depend on it for survival. The majority of families living on the water earn their income through fishing in particular and, through their work, are able to feed the greater population of Cambodia.
As you will learn during your visit, the Tonle Sap is an endangered environment. Overfishing and pollution has decimated local species and wreaked havoc on the lake, forcing dolphins and rare birds to converge in confined locations. After being designated a world heritage site there have been many improvements and the government and local NGO’s are working to conserve the Tonle Sap’s biological diversity, landscape, and ecosystem.
“Recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for it’s unique and endangered flora and fauna, The Tonle Sap is the largest lake and water ecosystem in Southeast Asia. Home to 100,000’s of Cambodians, on both its shores and in floating villages on the lake, it is the lifeblood of the country and responsible for feeding the nation.”
Our team has designed very unique tours that meet the interests of adventure seekers, athletes, historians, foodies, humanitarians and more.
Our guides participate in child protection trainings, respect the community, and a percentage of profits are reinvested in the floating villages itself.
Help maximize the impact of your tourist dollar and improve the standard of living in Cambodia by supporting locally owned tour companies.