there is a variety of ways to visit the tonle sap lake from siem reap. The Tonle Sap Lake is located just 8 kilometers south of Siem reap and you can hire a tuk tuk to go there or a taxi or be part of a big tour group or a private tour. Whatever kind of transport you choose, the travel time is roughly 30 minutes along a mix of paved and unpaved roads with views of the country side, rice fields, lotus fields, the zig zagging siem reap river. There is only one boat station that caters the assorted tonle sap tours and that is the Chong Keas Boat Station, located along a tributary 8 kilometers north of the Tonle Sap Lake where you can board your boat and have a tonle sap tour to the many floating villages and mangrove forests around.
Fondest memory: the drive to and from tonle sap lake from siem reap
The tonle sap lake remains relatively small for most of the year, measuring about a meter in depth and covering around 2,700 square kilometers and just a depth of 2 to 3 meters at it's deepest. However, the river that connects to the lake starts to swell during the monsoon season as water that flows from the Mekong river reverses, helping to expand the Tonle Sap up to 16,000 square kilometers with a depth up to 9 meters deep. Hence the floating houses lining the lake and it's tributaries also moves to more shallow areas and the permanent structures like temples and big stores has concrete stilts and stairs as a foundation so that these structures are not swept away.
Address: Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia
Fondest memory: assorted floating stilts on houses and temples
As all of you must know by now, I am an adventurous person and that I can go on a tour by myself or with friends and others but one thing is clear, I don't scrimp on travel except on airplanes hehehe. So here in Siem Reap, me and my friend took a private tour for 3 days around the Angkor Wat Complex, Tonle Sap and Around Siem Reap complete with our own private tour car and guide and driver via Angkor Travel & tours (ATK) and one thing on a private tour is that you are not rushed for time and you can tour the sights at your own pace!
Plus, our tour guide gave us valuable tips around siem reap hence I had lots of pictures of around Siem Reap and Pub Street and had night outs there.
Having a private tour with a car is cheap in Cambodia, unlike having a private day tour in Las Vegas in a limousine that will cost you about $ 300 for a day.
the ATK tours (Angkor Travel and Tours) and their office at Siem Reap is located at:
#117, Street 6, Salakanseng, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, kingdom of Cambodia.
Tel nos: +855 63 963 320
fax: +855 63 963 620
Other Contact: fax: +855 63 963 620
Phone: +855 63 963 320
Fondest memory: the convenience of having a private tour in a car in going around.
I've came to realise one important point - Where ever there're tourists, there are also checkpoints to make sure that you have paid the entry fee, be it the temples or Tonle Sap Lake.
As for the checkpoint just before the Tonle Sap Lake, I'd commented to my wife that the people who gets the best cut of this deal are usually the government officials, and not the people who live along the lakes.
Well, this is the one checkpoint that you'll have to pass before entering the Chong Khneas area. An area where I'll term it as...erm..."vacuum cleaner"!
Hope they give some money to the villagers there...which I really doubt it.
The Tonle Sab ranks first in the world for its fish productivity and fourth for its total catch despite the small size of the country. At the peak of the fish migration 30 ton of fish -meaning about 3 million individual fishes- is caught every hour. That means that the contribution of the fishery to the income, employment and food security in Cambodia is higher than in any other country.
Except large and middle scale commercially operated licensed fishery during the fishing season, there is also a lot of small scale fishery permitted throughout the year, which conduct families to exist. Many different types of fishing gear, developed by indiginous knowlegde, are used. For the large scale fishing during the migration the firshermen use bagnets and barrages. For the small scale fishery smaller gear like castnets, dipnets and traps are used.
Fondest memory: It's was very interesting to watch all these different types of fishing gear. Especially the huge pivoting dipnets on bamboo rafts were very impressive.
The Tonle Sab is an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The major ecosystem type is tropical dry or deciduous forests, freshwater lake and wetlands.
The Tonle Sab area has a big botanical diversity. The bird communities are the most striking natural feature, particularly in the dry season. More than 400 species of fish have been identified, but also many species of mammals and reptiles.
The official description:
'' ....The Tonle Sab consists of a lake and its floodplain with three distinct zones: an open lake at its center, a freshwater swamp forest surrounding it and seasonally flooded grasslands at the margins, mainly in the eastern shore. The hydrological regime of the Mekong River which feeds the area is highly characteristic: the area underwater in the dry season is five times less than in the rainy season and the mass of flood water reverses direction between seasons. Swamp forest is the most characteristic habitat which is critical for the ecosystem productivity (fisheries) and biodiversity (particularly waterbirds and reptiles). Only 10% of the area is covered by tall-tree forest, mainly along streams and wetter places...."
Mr. Rex won the first place at 2003 Snooker Cup Championship of Tonle Sap lake.
He proudly shown me the prize he won was cash US$5.00 and a bicycle.
Favorite thing: A commonly seen sreet view on market place. People busying on buying, selling or you can even see some exchange things here.
Favorite thing: She sells lunch box to the prople live nearby. The rice mix with fried vegetable, meat and fruite and drinks. She even have a mini fridge on her lettle wooden boat.
This floating church move from village to another village. Christian here take rotation to attand Sunday Prayer.
Fondest memory: It makes sense of 5 biscutes and 2 fishes.
Favorite thing: This little elemetary school devided into 2 classed, elemetary 1, 2 and 3. The other class is Elemetary 4, 5 and 6.
Favorite thing: The first thing i would like to observe is the school. There have only one elementary school in the floating village in Tonle Sap Lake.