Tonle Sap Lake
Apart from the famous temples, one of the must see tourist destinations before leaving Siem Reap is the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake that occupies most of Cambodia.
There is more to the mushy brown waters of the lake: it is home to different crocodile farms, vast mangrove plantations, and a huge variety of fishes that are harvested to supply half of Cambodia’s fish industry. Tourists can witness firsthand the unique lifestyle of people — mostly ethnic Vietnamese –inhabiting the area: families from floating villages live in the most basic circumstances, stay inside floating houses, and even attend floating schools. The place may not be as picturesque compared to the other landmarks of Siem Reap but one attraction in Tonle Sap Lake, houses that are raised upon stilts that stand up to 10 meters high, has made the place a popular tourist destination.
Tonle Sap Lake is located at the Lower Mekong Basin, 15 kilometers south of Siem Reap.
Opening Days and Hours
Five-hour tours to Tonle Sap Lake begins from 8:00-8:45.
Entry Fee and Bookings
Book Tonle Sap Lake tours starting from USD 39.
How to Get There
- Fly to Siem Reap via AirAsia, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines, or Thai Airlines.
- From Siem Reap, take a tuktuk (USD 15 for rountrip) to the lake entrance.
- Board the boat to the floating village (USD 25).
- Solo Travelers/Backpackers
- Groups of friends
Time to Spend
A half-day tour around Tonle Sap Lake and its villages takes 4-5 hours.
Popularity and Best Time to Go
If you want to see more of Tonle Sap lake more than the houses, the best time to visit is between October and February. If you prefer to see more of the stilt homes, schedule your visit between July and December.
Floating restaurants like Vietnamese Tonle Sap Floating Restaurant and Queen Tara’s offer tourists with an enjoyable food experience featuring authentic Cambodian juice.
- Ta Prohm Temple
- Banteay Kdei
- Angkor National Museum
Hotels like Villa Nissa, Bunwin Residence, Sojourn Boutique Villas, and Metta Residence and Spa that are widely available at Siem Reap offer accommodations at rates ranging from USD 20 to USD 150.