Five provinces have surrounded the area of Tonle Sap Lake, more than three million people live around the lake and 90% of them earn their living from fishing and agriculture. As you can see from the map of Cambodia Tonle Sap Lake stretches across the northwest section of the country. It is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Its dimension changes depending on the monsoon and dry season.
During the season from June to October rains, the lake is filled by water flowing Mekong with 14 meters deep and expands the area of 10,000 square kilometers.
In the dry season from November to May 3,000 square kilometers in size with two meters deep and the water flows from the lake to the Mekong. The flooded forest surrounding the lake is the best shelter for all kinds of fish, ideal for breeding. This lake provides many biodiverse, more than 300 freshwater fish species, as well as snakes, crocodiles, turtles and otters. Over 100 varieties of water birds, including storks, pelicans, etc.
The lake is also an important commercial resource, providing more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia. In harmony with ecosystems, human settlements on the banks of the lake are diverse. Floating villages with towering stilted houses, huge fish traps, and a way of life deeply interwoven with the lake, fish, wildlife and rising and falling cycles of the lake.
The pier is located about 15 km south of Siem Reap; you can board a speed boat across the lake and join Phnom Penh through the village of Chong Khneas. The journey takes only six hours, and this trip we can recommend it during the monsoon season. In the dry season, the boat can get stuck in the mud for lack of water. There are several ways to see the culture and wildlife of the lake area depending on the amount of time you have available and your interest.
Chong Khneas is the name of the famous floating village by the lake. It locates in the south of Siem Reap town about 15 km, and takes only 30 minutes by car to the pier where there are always boats waiting for visitors. The boat trip through the floating village takes about two hours. Guests can explore various Khmer families, Muslim and Vietnamese households, floating markets, clinics, schools, basketball field, piggery and other duck farm ...
Chong Khneas was very interesting before, but now the area is owned by a private firm, they increase the price and the area is more commercial. The boat trip normally includes two stops: one at a floating village with a gift shop and a snack, and the other to the Gecko Centre strongly recommended environment, which offers exhibits and information to introducing the ecology and biodiversity of the lake area