This great lake in the heart of Cambodia is not only the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia, it’s also a UNESCO-designated biosphere, due to its truly remarkable natural features. The flow of water in Tonlé Sap changes direction twice during the course of the year, and the lake expands and contracts with the seasons. From November to May—the country’s dry season, the lake empties into the Mekong River. Once the rains begin, however, the waters reverse to form an enormous lake popular among both locals and travelers. 

Visitors can embark on boat trips across some of the lake’s 4,000 square miles in both rainy and dry seasons, but travelers agree that the floating houses that make a trip to Tonlé Sap so unique are less spectacular when water levels are at their lowest.

Practical Info

Those looking to experience the lake at its peak should visit Tonlé Sap between August and September, when water levels are at their highest. Water levels are at their lowest between April and June.

Tours & Tickets

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Sunset Cruise with Optional Buffet Dinner from Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, null
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Sunset Cruise with Optional Buffet Dinner from Phnom Penh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 19 Reviews

On this 2-hour Sunset Dinner Cruise, enjoy the sunset, listen to live traditional Khmer music, coast past floating villages, see the Royal Palace, and see ...  Read more

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $15.00
Mekong and Tonle Sap River Sunset Cocktail Cruise with Dinner Option, Phnom Penh, Dinner Cruises
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Mekong and Tonle Sap River Sunset Cocktail Cruise with Dinner Option

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 9 Reviews

Upgrade from the base cocktail cruise and enjoy an exceptional dinner cruise . Enjoy a barbecue dinner made from fresh ingredients and try some delicious ...  Read more

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $26.00
Tonle Sap Cruise Small-Group Tour, Siem Reap, Night Cruises
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Tonle Sap Cruise Small-Group Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 47 Reviews

Discover Siem Reap's secrets by remork (Cambodian tuk tuk) on a half-day, small-group tour. Take a boat trip on the Tonle Sap lake through floating and stilted ...  Read more

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $40.00
Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake Sunset Tour, Siem Reap, Day Cruises
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Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake Sunset Tour

An excellent, unique tour of the great Tonle Sap Lake, and the beautiful floating village of Kompong Phluk. You'll be able to relax on the largest boat on the ...  Read more

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $75.00
Kompong Phluk Village and Tonle Sap Lake Half-Day Tour From Siem Reap, Siem Reap, Cultural Tours
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Kompong Phluk Village and Tonle Sap Lake Half-Day Tour From Siem Reap

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

Discover the beautiful village of Kompong Phluk with this unique small-group tour and experience the real Cambodian village way of life. Travel by road and ...  Read more

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.00
3-Day Siem Reap Tour: Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon and Tonle Sap, Siem Reap, Day Cruises
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3-Day Siem Reap Tour: Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Bayon and Tonle Sap

4.5 star rating: Recommended 9 Reviews

Discover Cambodia’s mystical temples at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Angkor Archaeological Park. This three-day Siem Reap adventure brings you face to face ...  Read more

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights

From USD $370.00
Private Koh Dach Bike Tour from Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Multi-day Tours
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Private Koh Dach Bike Tour from Phnom Penh

Ride a bike with a private guide to a Khmer village on the rarely visited Silk Island, known locally as Koh Dach. From Phnom Penh, you'll cycle over the Tonle ...  Read more

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $112.50
Udong Day Cruise Including Lunch and Unlimited Drinks, Phnom Penh, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
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Udong Day Cruise Including Lunch and Unlimited Drinks

On this tour, enjoy a beautiful cruise along the Tonle Sap River with its scenic landscapes and traditional river life. Explore Cambodia's ancient capital ...  Read more

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $49.00
Full-Day Tour of Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake by Boat, Siem Reap, Day Cruises
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Full-Day Tour of Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake by Boat

1 star rating: I do not recommend this 2 Reviews

This unique tour will take you on an adventure through the famous floating villages of Cambodia. You will travel by boat on the Chong Khneas and the great ...  Read more

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $60.00
Kompong Khleang Floating Village from Siem Reap, Siem Reap, Day Cruises
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Kompong Khleang Floating Village from Siem Reap

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

This small-group tour takes you on an adventure by minivan and boat to Kompong Khleang, one of the less visited floating villages on Siem Reap's Tonle Sap ...  Read more

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $72.00

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