As you would know by now, I'm an avid collector of kitschy refrigerator magnets and shot glasses and while on a Siem Reap and Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake, I must buy these favorite souvenir items of mine. You can buy the Assorted Tonle Sap Fridge Magnets at the Chnong Keas Floating Village or at the Boat Station to the Tonle Sap Lake. You can get them Even from the various Souvenir Shops lining the huge Angkor Complex north of Siem Reap or just buying them at the Souvenir Stalls along Sivutha Boulevard and Central Market, Old Market and Pub Street and Alleys near Pub Street or at the Airport. They are available in different designs and are either magnetized material or wood with magnets inside or Pewter with magnets or just Porcelain with magnets. Prices Start at $ 1 if you are good in Haggling or up to $ 3 if you are not.
The local people of the Tonle Sab area live on and at the water. It amazed me to see how overcrowded the small and narrow boats sometimes were.
These small boats are mostly used for transport between the floating villages, the bamboo huts at poles and the houseboats.
Sometimes these boats were also the playground for the kids. Where else to go to play ?
More inwards the area of Tonle Sab I saw besides the many floating houses also lots of houseboats. These houseboats are even more easily to move with the rise and fall of the water.
Also at these rather small boats people have their daily life with doing the laundry, cooking, washing the dishes. Most the inhabitants have a small canoe-like boat for transport. Most the houseboats were laying close to floating houses and houses on poles.
The water in the lake can change about 10 meter between the dry season and the rainy season. The reason of those huge fluctuations is that the Tonle Sap forms a natural floodplain reservoir . At one hand it is drained by the Tonle Sap River into the Mekong River. But when the level of the Mekong River is high the water flows back into the Tonle Sap lake.
The local people have adapted theirselves to these seasonal floodings by building their houses on high stilts. Sometimes the dwellings in the open watere look so fragile and vulnerable that I can hardly can imagine they will survive the heavy floodings, especially the ones built of natural materials. And maybe they don't.
The houses in the Tonle Sab area have to be adapted at the circumstances. By raising of the level of the river and lake the area of the water can increase from 2500 square kilometers in the dry season to 16.000 square kilometers in the rainy season.
The shoreline of the lake changes enormously with the rise and fall of the lake. The floating villages like Chong Kneas move as many times the shoreline changes. But also families, living more inwards the wetlands move their floating homes by boat, when the lake level changes.
Some floating houses look rather permanent like houses at the land, built up by wood and plates. Other houses look almost temporary or not very different from the houseboats.
Well.. actually you see people you see people in Cambodia using a lot of hammocks, but along Tonle Sap is an exceptionally high concentration.
How relaxed they look juz lazing the time away in their hammocks..
Along the 'Nothing -to-do' cruise, the are a lot of Alligators Farm, you may need to pay US$5.00 for the entrance, there have a factory to show to the tourist how they process the Alligators skin into your luxurious hand bag.
During the dry season, the size of the lake become smaller, so the people here move to the middle of the lake which they follow the water line. It is about 200kms away from the original shore (lake-side).
They have some of the most interesting pets.. This little fella was enjoying himself by swinging on the hammock!
People here wash, shower, drink and eat with the water from the lake..
They have no choice as the government here doesn't provide the tapping water to them.
This man invitedd me to have a dive into Tonle Sap Lake with him, but my drive advice not to do that.
This Alligators Farm could be dangerous also, some of the alligators escaped ot from the cage and it turns harm to the local.
This kid crossing the river by swimming, you can see he was having his luggage in an `Air Container' so it won't get drench, besides, it float on the water make this kid crossing easily.
Foreigner Are Prohibited from Swimming, the water of the Tonle Sap lake is to dirty to swim, foreigner whom do not have the anti-biotic may simply get sick easily.
The lake may goes as deep as 10m, most of the children know how to swim well but still about 500 kids died in lake yearly.