Stilt Village, Cambodia-Rising Waters-Life On Kampong Phluk

The Tonle Sap is the largest fresh water lake in all of South East Asia and provides more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia.  Many floating villages, and communities made up of  houses raised on giant stilts depend on the resources of the lake as a way of life. Intertwined with the rising and falling of water levels.

From Siem Reap it’s approximately 15km to the lake, about 20 minutes or more by tuk tuk. It all depends on the time of year. If it’s the wet season, it’s long and sometimes the routes are restricted or just unbearable to drive. I’m here in the dry season so it’s not so bad, until you hit the dirts roads, then it’s bumpy. My driver Davin has a tough go with dodging the dips in the road and constantly checks to make sure his bike is OK.

Chong Kneas is one of the most famous floating villages of the area and is close to the boat ride that takes you to Battambang. I’ve decided to travel to another village Kampong Phluk instead. It’s a little more out of the way at about 40km from Siem Reap but less touristy, although there still is an air of commercialism with floating restaurants and dugout boat rides through forests of sunken trees. I  also left Siem Reap early in the morning so as to avoid bumping into the large groups that still manage to make it out this way.

Tonle Sap Lake is quite small during the dry season from November to May with a 1 meter depth throughout  the lake and an area covering 2700 square kilometers. When water is pushed up the Mekong River where it  converges with  the Tonle sap  at Phnom Phen the lake increases in size to 16,000 square kilometers with a depth of nine meters. The expansion results in a perfect breeding ground for fish. It’s at this time of year that fishing is banned so as to allow for an abundant season. Excerpts from “Rising Waters-Life On Kampong Phluk Stilt Village, Cambodia”.

About the Author John Saboe

I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.

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