Explore Tonale Sap Cambodia’s Lake – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia

Tonale Sap Cambodia’s Lake is currently the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. This is a combined system of lakes and rivers of great importance to the country of Thap Pagoda. Let’s explore this interesting Cambodia tourist destination with Passionate Travel right now.


About the Great Lakes of Cambodia

Tonlé Sap or the Great Lakes of Cambodia is a combined lake and river system of great importance to Cambodia. This lake was formed around 5500 BC by the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia.

Cambodia’s lake is also the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and was recognized by UNESCO as a world biosphere reserve in 1997. Tonlé Sap means “big freshwater river” but is usually translated as “Great Lake”

In the dry season (from November to May), the depth of the lake is only about 1m and the area is about 2,700 square kilometers. But when in the flood season from June to October, the Tonle Sap river turns against the flow, bringing water from the Mekong River, causing the lake’s water volume to rise significantly and the area of Cambodia’s sea and lake up to 16,000 square kilometers. up to 9m deep, flooding neighboring fields and forests.


Where is Tonale Sap Cambodia’s Lake?

Cambodia’s lake is located in the province of Siem Reap (Sieam Reap) and about 25km from the city center. So visitors can easily travel to Cambodia in just one afternoon, taking about 30 minutes by car.


People living on Tonale Sap Cambodia’s Lake

Tonlé Sap in Cambodia is home to the Vietnamese and Cham communities living in floating raft houses. Life floating on the river, when visiting here, visitors will find their life quite hard and difficult. People mainly depend on fishing with rudimentary tools and trade on boats just enough to feed them temporarily.

From about the first half of the twentieth century, Vietnamese people have migrated here. According to the Cambodian Overseas Vietnamese Association, there are currently over 1,500 households of Vietnamese origin in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, living in floating villages by the lake. These people live mainly by fishing and fishing on the Tonle Sap. Most of the people are from the Mekong Delta provinces such as Dong Thap, Vinh Long, An Giang, Kien Giang… His father’s life followed the Mekong River up to the Tonle Sap to fish for a living, then married here. I live from day to day.

People live on floating rafts, when the water rises they follow the water to move closer to the shore near Siem Reap town, when the water recedes they also move away from the water, sometimes up to 2km. Their lives are also concentrated in the style of villages, creating a floating village that is very attractive to foreign tourists because of its unique culture.

According to the tour guide, people living on Tonle Sap in Cambodia are poor in money, poor in knowledge, but very “rich in children”. Any family with a small family will give birth to 4 to 5 children, with a large family, they will give birth to 10 or 15 children.


What is there in Tonale Sap Cambodia’s Lake?

Cambodia’s lake is an ideal place for many freshwater fishes. Tonle Sap Lake is one of the freshwater lakes with diverse ecosystems and the largest fish production in the world, feeding 3 million people and providing 75% of freshwater fish production and 60% of protein for people. Cambodia.

The importance of Tonle Sap is not only in Cambodia but also very important for the lower Mekong (Mekong Delta). Thanks to Tonle Sap Lake, the amount of water in the Mekong River Delta in the Mekong Delta is regulated in the rainy season, helping to limit flooding. Besides, the lake is also an additional source of 50% of water for the Mekong River in the dry season.

When coming here, the first impression for every visitor is the peaceful and gentle space. Floating raft houses are located close together, including schools, churches, temples, etc. Some famous fishing villages that attract many tourists when traveling to Cambodia are Chong Khneas, Kampong Phluk, Kampong. Khleang, Prek Toal,…


Experience when traveling to Cambodia Lake

Currently, the service in Great Lake is gradually developing, humanitarian organizations donate money to build schools, churches, and temples. There are a number of small-scale ecotourism service organizers, with fresh specialties serving in the heart of the Tonle Sap.


Sitting on a boat to enjoy the view

Sitting on a boat to admire the scenery is one of the interesting experiences when traveling to Cambodia. Visitors will be able to sit on a boat on the calm lake, enjoy the cool breeze and watch the activities of the local people.

Visitors will be startled to see a giant python wrapped around people on a number of boats running right next to them. This is a not uncommon and extremely impressive and interesting thing in the trip. The tour around Great Lake also takes tourists to a floating restaurant on the lake to admire and enjoy cool coconuts.


Visiting fishing villages

In simple floating houses located close together, local people will live and live here. Although not as modern and spacious as the mainland, on Tonle Sap, there are schools, medical stations, temples, etc. You can learn about people’s lives when visiting some famous fishing villages such as Chong Khneas, Kampong Phluk, Kampong Khleang,…


Visiting the mangrove forest

Visitors will be able to sit on a wooden boat to walk around this famous mangrove forest. The green forest surrounding the fishing villages is a destination not to be missed when visiting the Lake.


Explore the Prek Toal bird sanctuary

An interesting attraction in Siem Reap, Prek Toal bird sanctuary is located northwest of the Great Lakes of Cambodia. There are many precious bird species in danger of extinction such as the milky white stork, gray-footed pelican, gray-headed eagle, etc. Besides, you can also climb up to the high observatory to admire the whole scene with your own eyes. The great natural scene here.


Experience Tonle Sap Cambodia’s Lake tour with Homestay

Great Lake in Cambodia has not developed much in terms of tourism services, due to its location on water, not on land, so here you can learn about the “local homestay” service. Local homestay is where visitors can rest in the homes of local people. This will be a great opportunity to experience the peaceful river life, immerse yourself in the local life with the locals.


What to eat in Tonle Sap

After visiting, do not forget to enjoy the typical cultural features of the cuisine of Great Lake. The attractive dishes made from freshly caught Cambodian lake fish will make visitors have a memorable meal.

Dried snakehead fish in Cambodia’s sea and the lake is a famous specialty loved by many tourists.

Wish you have a complete trip to Cambodia.


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