While houses on stilts can be quite common in Cambodia (you’ll often see people relaxing in hammocks strung underneath the houses, homes on stilts in a lake…well, that’s a bit more unusual. Kompong Phluk is a set of villages that are located on the floodplain of the Tonle Sap Lake, about 10 miles (16 km) from Siem Reap. The community, which consists of about 3,000 villagers, mostly live in stilted homes and depend on fishing and tourism for their livelihood. During wet season, this area will be completely submerged (hence the houses on stilts) and Kompong Phluk truly becomes a semi-floating village; in the dry season, the same stilted houses may rise up to 18 feet (about 6 meters) above the water.
Also of interest is a mangrove forest that is also “flooded” during the rainy season, creating an atmospheric journey through the submerged fauna. Usually a trip through this area is part of the standard tour. While the scenery is gorgeous and visiting a stilt village is interesting, perhaps the best part of visiting Kompong Phluk is the opportunity to see a unique way of Cambodian life.
Getting to Kampong Phluk sees fewer tourists than nearby Chong Khneas, so it might be worth the effort to get there. The best bet is to hire a tuk tuk or moto and then take a boat (during wet season only) from Roulos village. A round-trip to Kampon Phluk from Siem Reap will cost about $40 to $60.