The meandering Tonle Sap River serves as a lifeline to Cambodia’s people, many of whom have even taken to living aboard its waters in floating villages. Literally translated to mean Large Freshwater River, Tonle Sap is indeed that; in fact, it is the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia and its size quadruples in the wet season when much of the surrounding area floods. This river and adjoining lake are home to some of the most important sites in all of the country, and we have specifically designed this tour to let you enjoy the serenity of this calm river, whilst sleeping in luxurious comfort on board the boat. Over a period of three days you will be introduced to some of the most unforgettable parts of the region, making this one of our favorite Cambodian experiences. First up, you will get to see the capital of Cambodia between the years 1618 and 1866, Oudong. Much of the town suffered from American bombing raids during the 60s but a set of 509 steps survive, leading up the famed hill to a temple and fantastic views across the surrounding area. After seeing or even buying some of the wonderful silverware that the region produces, the cruise continues to Kompong Chhnang. This community takes its name from the earthenware pots it makes and provides a beautiful site of stilted houses set amid flood plains that fill up during the wet season, providing the town with an abundance of fish, for which it is now famous. Here, the river joins with the lake of the same name and you will get to see the intriguing villages scattered about its canal system. This tour will include the largest of them all, Kompong Luong, before your final night on board the boat and disembarkation from what we are sure will be an unforgettable trip.
Day 1: Phnom Penh – Kompong Chhnang (L-D)
Arrive at the boat jetty at 0800 and depart up the Tonle Sap River for Oudong where you can see spectacular views over the surrounding country. Then, continue to Prek Kdam to visit Koh Chen, a small village specialising in silverware. Lunch is on board, followed by a visit to a wonderful pagoda at Kampong Tralach. Overnight on board.
Day 2: Kompong Chhnang – Kompong Luong (B-L-D)
Continue to Kompong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports in the area, to take a trip round the market where you will see old colonial mansions and a ceramics-making village. Afterwards, sail on up to the point where the Tonle Sap River joins the great Tonle Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. After lunch on board, continue to Kompong Luong, one of the biggest floating villages on the lake. Dinner will be served anchored at Kompong Luong. Overnight on board.
Day 3: Kompong Luong – Siem Reap (B-L)
You will take a morning cruise around the canals leading off Tonle Sap Lake to see the famed floating homes and villages in the area. Enjoy lunch on board before disembarking at around 13:00.
Note: Tour runs from July to January departing from Phnom Penh on Friday. The same tour can be done in reverse departing from Siem Reap on Wednesday. Maximum 20 passengers.
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