Kampong Phlok is a floating village close to Siem Reap. The entire village is built on sticks and depending on the season, water level could be up to the door or way lower. There are mangrove forests near the village and you can canoe through the mangroves, listening to the bird calls and spotting occasional water snakes. The River that runs through Kampong Phlok empties into Tonle Sap, a large fresh water lake.
We booked with Beyond Unique Escapes Looks like they go to another floating village now, but it is a very similar tour. The 5 -6 hour small group tour is $35 each and so worth it! Our trusty tuk tuk driver drops us off at the tour company office early morning at 8:00, right after breakfast and we were on our way in a mini bus. There were about 10 people in our group, mostly French and 2 Germans. The guide was multi lingual and explained in French, German and English. He gave us a short history of the people who have lived in the village for generations, mostly subsisting by fishing and growing various fresh produce in their yards that they sell in Siem Reap market. When we got to the river, we boarded a small motor boat to go down the river and take a trip on the lake.
Here is a fisherman getting his catch out of the floating barrel and a family on its way to sell their produce in the market.
Tour guide asked us if we would like to go inside one of the houses and watch how people live. We did not want to go into somebody’s house and observe them like animals in a zoo so we politely refused to do that. Some of the other people in our boat, paid a short visit to one of the houses. We also floated on the Tonle Sap lake which is quite a large body of water. There were many boats since tourists spend quite some time on the lake which evidently provides very good fishing experience.
Our next stop was the mangrove forest where we got into canoes to float among the mangroves. For me that was the best part of this trip!
After the mangrove canoe ride, we got back on the minibus to return to Siem Reap. There were many scooter riders transporting pigs to the market. I don’t even know how they balance so many pigs on a tiny scooter 🙂