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There are a couple of options for seeing the water villages of Tonle Sap (the big lake at the heart of Cambodia). The first is Chong Kneas, which is a truly floating village, but being the nearest to Siem Reap can get very touristy.

The other option is a visit to Kampung Pluck; this village doesn’t float, but rather is constructed on massive bamboo poles to keep the houses above high water levels. A lot of the village does float though, including: pig pens, chicken coops and crocodile pens…

I got there by tuk-tuk and boat, it wasn’t very well explained what was going to happen, so this is what you do:

The road to the village is quite poor once you turn off the main highway, although it is very interesting; passing through incredibly green rice fields and small villages. It can be very bumpy and dusty – you might prefer a car to a tuk-tuk.

Cambodia - rice fields

Cambodia – rice fields

On approaching the village there is a ticket booth where you have to pay for a boat. Actually there are 2 boats to pay for, large and small – no explanation given!

The large boat is approximately a 6 seater and will take you through the village – there is no other option, this is water-world.  The small boat is a 2 seater row boat which will take you through the flooded forest at the other side of the village.
You have to have the first boat, the second part is optional but I would recommend it; the flooded forest is quite  extraordinary and strangely peaceful – even though it only lasts about 20 minutes.

At January 2013, the cost for the 2 boats was US $45, I paid this for one (the problems of solo travel), but the rate for 2,3 or 4 would probably be about the same, as you are paying for the boat hire.

There is a restaurant at the point you change boats – drinks and snacks available. After the flooded forest your ‘main’ boat will head out in to Tonle Sap, wher you can swim if you wish before the return journey through the village.

This is simply one of the most extraordinary places I have ever been and it is highly recommended, you will not be the only tourist, but so far the village is not swamped – so to speak.

As we returned I wondered why the ticket office was so far from the village, when it dawned on me that this is how far the water rises! The lake almost doubles in size during the rainy season.

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