They are popular with some visitors. Local tourist boats are available for hire on the riverfront in Phnom Penh and can usually be arranged on the spot for between USD10 and USD20 an hour, depending on negotiations and numbers.
Very pleasant ant interesting trip to make is a smal boat trip on the Tonle Sap River.
Or you can do this on day time, just walk along the boulevard of Sisowath Quai, at the river side and ask a boat if he is ready to make a tour of about one and a half hour. The price is about 10 us$/pp and when more passagers, you can negociate.
He will wake a tour on the Tonle Sap before, and afterwards on the Mekong river.
You will have excellent views on the city of Phnom Penh, the fishermen, the nomades living on the overside of the river, and the local water transport.
Very relaxing trip. When full sun, don't forget a hat and some sunprotection lotion !
A walk along the Tonle Sap River's waterfront presents a variety of different parks, pubs, restaurants, shops and other businesses. Of course tourist boats line the way as well if you are so inclined.
The confluence of where the Tonle Sap meets the Mekong is the location of one of the most interesting natural phenomenons. During the wet season (May to October) the level of the Mekong rises causing the Tonle Sap to actually reverse direction back towards its source lake. This helps to make the river one of the richest sources of freshwater fish as flooded forest makes for great spawning grounds.
The reversal of the river flow has caused more than one person to remark that, "this country is so messed up that even the river doesn't know which way to go."
This road runs alongside the Tonle Sap by its junction with the Mekong. On the riverside is a broad pavement which gets crowded with Cambodians in the evenings. The other side is lined with a collection of French colonial buildings, now mainly converted to hotels, restaurants and bars.
This picture was taken early afternoon on a very hot day in the dry season while I enjoyed a cool iced tea in the FCCC. Locals have more sense than to be out at that time of day.
The river front of the Tonle Sap river is a nice place to walk. There is some nice restarunts and your better hotels are there. there is a long line of flags on the River Front. It is pleasent to walk around, and it is a little cooler.
A stroll or cyclo ride along the riverfront is a must. The view of the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap is geographically unique and the area near the Palace is a park - pubs, restaurants, shops and tourist boats line the way. Early risers, check out sunrise over the river in front of the Palace.
Le Deauville runs organized boat cruises, including lunch and dinner cruises on the river. Call 012-843204. Alternatively, small tourist boats can be found along the riverfront north of Street 178. They offer 1-2 hour cruises along the river in front of the Royal Palace.
Walking along the banks of the river is a pleasant way to escape the bustle of the city centre. One finds many Cambodians just hanging around - a good insight at the SE Asian pace of life.