I stayed in Siem Reap for 8 days last February. In that duration, I was able to spend spend most of my mornings either exploring the Angkor Wat and the rest of the temples (Temple Overload!) or staying in bed ’till lunch time. At night, we would go to the Pub Street to eat, shop or just walk around. Just happy that this trip pushed through since a PTB meet-up took place. Thanks to several budget airlines for these cheap airfares for making wanderers happy. Just book it!
When I decided to extend my travel, we were able to take the Tonle Sap Lake Tour as suggested by my awesome friends. We booked the Half Day Tour of Chong Khneas thru the Tara Boat website and received a confirmation right away. I am truly curious about the Floating Village.
For $26 each, we’re scheduled to explore this interesting part of Siem Reap.
A van service picked us up from Victory Guesthouse before 10AM, our scheduled time of departure. We met Mr. Soupond, our tour guide for the day. He was nice and answered my queries right away. Another guest from Serbia went with us.
I was a bit surprised upon our arrival at the boat dock. Woi, Tonle Sap Lake!
The boat we used is quite big and there’s only three guests that day. As the boat trip progresses, Mr. Soupond would mention interesting details about the floating village and its people. I can’t help but wonder upon passing through several floating houses and kids who are paddling boats. I can almost see what’s inside these floating houses.
I am amazed and at the same time feel bad for them. With tourists coming in and out everyday who takes pictures (like me), what is the definition of privacy to them?
Still, I am curious about this kind of lifestyle. I’ve seen boats pulling floating houses to a new location, ladies washing clothes or cooking food for lunch, kids taking a bath and many more. In short, the water within the lake is not that safe. I wonder how they keep up at night especially when there’s a heavy typhoon within the area.
When we passed by the Chong Khneas Elementary School, we saw some kids who were about to go home. Four kids were in one boat (around 6-7 years old). One is busy paddling while two were fighting by hitting each other’s heads. One was just quiet. I am quite scared that they might fall!
Our first stop is the Crocodile Farm. Our tour guide told us that some of them sell these crocodiles for $150-$250 and they’re really big and scary 0_0
There’s also an area for the cat fish. There’s also a souvenir shop that sells expensive items. Later on, kids riding in a basin with snakes in their necks approached us. One dollah for one shot. I gave them even if others wouldn’t. Why not, right? It is one way of helping them.
For lunch, we went to this big ship transformed into a restaurant. The cool breeze made me happy and more hungry.
On our way back to civilization, I was able to chat with Mr. Soupond. He is a big fan of our very own Manny Pacquiao. He also narrated his story about his past job and how he became a tour guide. In times like these, we need to learn constantly to make a living 🙂
More conversations about Cambodians and Filipinos.. Pacquiao and Dyesebel. Now I wonder how the Khmer movie industry is. I might look for Cambodian movies soon.
Up to this day, I still can’t get over this short but interesting tour. I do suggest that you try one of the Tonle Sap Lake Tours. I miss Siem Reap, really.