Kampong Khleang Floating Village
The Siem Reap town has just about everything that would attract any kind of tourists. Traditional food, monasteries, lakes, street food and natural beauties. Speaking of natural diversities, this very town has a river that was chosen as a UNESCO biosphere reserve back in 1997. Home to around 300 species, this river alone should be the reason why you should visit the river and the floating villages on the river.
Tonle Sap is a sacred and holy river to the Cambodians, and it is a must-visit place. But we’re not here to talk about Tonle Sap, we will be talking about the floating villages around the river, one in particular. It’s known as the Kampong Khleang Floating Village. Before we dive deep into the details of the village, first let’s check the route. It’s really simple, you can book a tour plan from your hotel authorities or go by yourself, rent a boat and travel through the beautiful waters of Tonle Sap.
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Why should you take the tour?
The richest cultures of Cambodia is based on the temples and the ruins of the ancient past. Cambodia has always had a classic and enduring culture, and the ruins are a livid proof of the elegancy the country held in ancient times. the country isn’t only about the heritage and age-old temples. It’s also a country where people endure all obstacles and live a happy life. They may not be rich, but they aren’t sad about it. They earn less but they know how to make a living out of it. This ideology should be a brief remark on what to expect when you join a tour of the floating villages.
En route to the Khleang Floating Village, you will come across two more floating villages. Time to discuss them as well.
1. Chong Kneas:
To be very honest, of the three floating villages, Chong Kneas is the most infamous one, mostly because of the overcharging and overexploitation by the locals. The water is heavily polluted, and the boat trips are unnecessarily expensive. Moreover, the whole trip is run by a single private company, so the locals don’t even get the revenues properly. Scams are another problem here. So, unless you’re really into the Angkor food, our suggestion would be not to pursue this floating village.
2. Kompong Phluk:
This village is smaller than the other two, so you’ll have short boat rides, expectedly. The boat services here are also run by a single private company, meaning more misery for the local people. The natural beauty isn’t very scenic here, pretty normal considering the overall beauty of Cambodia. Altogether, this village isn’t that appealing either.
3. Kampong Khleang:
This is the floating village the article is all about. After reading quite disappointing reviews of the other two floating villages, Kampong Khleang would make your mood better. This is the farthest from Siem Reap, almost 35 km southwards. This means two things. One is that most travel companies won’t take the hassle to take you there, and two is that you won’t find a lot of visitors there, and can observe the daily lifestyle of the floating village with ease and without any disturbance.
To get the essence of a floating village, the first thing you need to do is have a non-touristy experience. You have to feel what they feel, you have to live their life when you’re there. Kampong Khleang floating village offers you that raw feeling. You’ll be left in awe to see houses, schools, and pagodas floating above the water! The village is an ever-moving one, with its movements depending on the current and the season.
If you’ve set up your mind about visiting the Kampong Khleang Floating Village, you should know places not to miss in there. Here are a few tips for you on that:
4. Roam around the village with a boat excursion:
It goes without saying, that the first thing one should do on a floating village tour is to do the boat excursion. Roam around the stilted houses with a boat and enjoy the beauty of nature. If the season is dry, you’ll see a good lot of stilted houses and their stilts. If you’re lucky to visit it during the wet season, the houses will seem like they’re floating. You can also cycle through the countryside for a bit and then join the excursion, for better viewing experiences.
5. Explore the local residences and share a meal (if possible):
The sole purpose of visiting a floating village should be to know the culture of Cambodian people and to discover the lifestyles of floating people. Doing a brief visit to a local’s place adds to it. You can see for yourself how they overcome challenges like poverty through hard work. Deprived of basic things like electricity and cellular phones, they still put a smile on their faces and do their deeds. If the hosts feel generous, you might even get invited for a meal there!
6. See the Vietnamese community’s village:
amese community’s village is a bit far from the usual stilted houses. It does look like a little Vietnam section on the river, but the whole village is floating. All the houses are built on floating objects and they move from place to place during different seasons.
The community has a floating school too, proof that education never stops no matter what the obstacles are. They have a floating pagoda, and a crocodile farm too nurtured all by themselves. Traveling to the village might be tiresome, but it’s worth it.
In final words, like most other developing countries, Cambodia is also facing issues like poverty and corruption. The poverty is in such a stage that tourists are instructed not to help the beggars, for that will initiate more beggars on the street. The poverty also causes locals to go rogue and plant scams on tourists. A very sensible way to tackle this and help the poor people in Kampong Khleang can be booking a tour there through reliable companies, the ones that share the profit with the locals. That way, you can be a part of a humanitarian cause, a very noble one.