Tonle Sap River, Phnom Penh

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  • The Tonle Sap River
    The Tonle Sap River
    by Etoile2B
  • Boats on the Tonle Sap River
    Boats on the Tonle Sap River
    by Etoile2B
  • View of the Tonle Sap from our hotel balcony.
    View of the Tonle Sap from our hotel...
    by Etoile2B
  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Enjoy the Tonle Sap River, the heart of Phnom Penh

    by Etoile2B Written Sep 11, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Tonle Sap River
    2 more images

    Fondest memory: Phnom Penh lies along the Tonle Sap River and the Riverfront area is definitely popular among tourists and locals alike. A walk along the river is a great way to relax and enjoy the view, as well as observe locals living their daily lives. Many of the shops, hotels, restaurants and bars along the Tonle Sap can be more expensive than elsewhere in the city, but you can find an affordable place to stay if you’re looking for a bargain. Most of the budget travelers stay along the lake, but if you look the riverfront can be reasonable too. A walk along the Tonle Sap is a treat. Street vendors hawk their wares, families picnic along the river and we even saw a man out “walking” his pet elephant! Even if you’re not staying along the Tonle Sap it’s worth checking this area out for an evening stroll or a drink at one of the many bars along the way.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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  • DrewV's Profile Photo

    Riverside Blues

    by DrewV Updated Jul 9, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Czechoslovakia forever?

    Favorite thing: The riverside has become a city park, much as in many cities across the world. The beaten and ragged flags of communist countries still fly from flagpoles along the banks. Still, the view of the peacefully flowing rivers makes for a lovely setting for family get-togethers and heroin deals. If you can get past the stench. A stinky river, this. Rather like Savannah, Georgia. A bit putrid.

    The river itself makes for an interesting, but sad, story. The Tonle Sap river flows from the Tomle Sap lake, which covers a large portion of northeast Cambodia. The lake is an essential part of the local agriculture. Every year, as the Mekong floodwaters roar down from China, the waters become so great that they cause hte Tonle Sap to reverse its flow, bringing live-giving soil and fish to the Cambodian hinterland. For many years, the reversal of the waters was celebrated as an annual thanksgiving holiday.

    Recently, however, Chinese dams have reduced the flooding to nearly devestating levels, causing massive damage to Cambodia's agriculture. This merely confirms one of my deepest-held beliefs. Mess with nature to your peril. If God had meant for the Mekong (or Colorado or Columbia or Nile etc. etc. etc.) to be dammed, he would have created hundred-foot-tall beavers.

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    Sisowath Quay by Tonle Sap river

    by picek Updated Mar 10, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    afternoon out here at Sisowath

    Favorite thing: I liked sitting here in the evenings every day. I went out by myself or not, sat down and watched river of people in all moods and shapes moving here, selling something or talking. This is like center of activites here in Phnom Penh. On the large lawn families and friends would lay mats and have picnic and drink when I first visited Phnom Penh - very lively then, but the things were different next couple of years on my returns (no more mats and families on the grasses, well, prehaps they prohibited them so that grass stays nice).

    Fondest memory: There is always something going on... if there is festival, women sit with white lotus flowers to sell, or caged birds which you can release if you pay (and they will be caught later), there are loads of snacks on the stalls to buy, and other men, children get close to you to sell you a drink or another kind of snack, and beggar come to ask for money. It all happens here. On the other corner of the lawn ladies come out for regular exercise. Sometimes someone go to swim in the river behind, but there can be as well lots of trash on the bank and rats will be many.

    You can easily find someone local to talk to - well, most likely they approach you to practice English.

    This is Phnom Penh's riverfront promenade.

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Arts and Culture

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  • Svitata's Profile Photo

    When in Phnom Penh, the most...

    by Svitata Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: When in Phnom Penh, the most happening place to be will be at Sosowath Quay, by the river. That's where most of the restaurants and pubs are, and that's by the most dust-free and cleanest street in the city!! It's a nice place to be whether in the day or in the evening (although it feels a lot safer in the day!).

    Fondest memory: Having a cup of coffee by the river!

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  • henri123's Profile Photo

    Interesting festival in south asia = Bon Om Tuk

    by henri123 Written Mar 27, 2012

    Favorite thing: We were in siem reap last year for this festival.

    I would recommened this activity; Don't stay on a bridge with too many people.

    You may see the boat races from about everywhere all day long.

    have a nice trip

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Arts and Culture

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  • DrewV's Profile Photo

    Down by the River

    by DrewV Updated Jul 9, 2003
    Two come in, two come out

    Favorite thing: Down by the river, I shot my baby -- Neil Young

    My, that's depressingly fitting.

    Phnom Penh is built upon the banks of the Tonle Sap River, at the point where it flows into the Mekong. The two rivers mingle and then separate into the Mekong and Bassac rivers as they flow out of Cambodia into the massive delta in Vietnam.

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  • DrewV's Profile Photo

    Riverside Architecture

    by DrewV Updated Jul 9, 2003
    L'influence francaise?

    Favorite thing: Decaying French colonial buildings grace the Phnom Penh riverside. The French influence remains fairly strong in Cambodia, certainly more so than in Vietnam. Omelettes seem a popular breakfast, and baguettes are served as standard Khmer fare. Also, my French knowledge seemed kinda sorta helpful, although to be honest, English has become VERY popular in Cambodia. You'll be hard pressed not to find someone who speaks English.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    riverbank living

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    Favorite thing: an early morning exploration of the west bank of the Chrouy Changvar peninsula, the finger of land at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. This shot was taken as I cross the Japanese Friendship Bridge. Just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh, it's like crossing over into another world.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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  • pmarshuk's Profile Photo

    Life by the River

    by pmarshuk Written Dec 3, 2003

    Favorite thing: The rivers of Phnom Penh are the focal point for much of the local life. Here's a group swimming and fishing in the Tonle Sap. In the mornings there would also be people taking a bath there.

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  • sunnywong's Profile Photo

    Boat-house along the riverbank

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    Favorite thing: Chruoy Changvar peninsula is just a river crossing away from Phnom Penh. Along the shoreline of the peninsula where lots of boat-houses that poor people use to live there.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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