Siem Reap is the gateway to Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake—Tonle Sap Lake. Surrounded by lush rice fields, lotus flowers, and flooded forests, the lake is an ideal launching point for a visit to traditional Cambodian floating villages. Here are your options for boat tours of Siem Reap floating villages.
On the northeastern shore of the lake, Kompong Phluk offers the most accessible floating village tour, an experience made easy by a local guide. Depending on water levels (which vary between the wet season and dry season), most tours arrive by road, before switching to a small boat to paddle around the floating markets, stilted houses, fish farms, and rice paddies. The star attraction for visitors is the floating restaurant, where guests can dine on Khmer cuisine with a magnificent view over the lake.
A little further afield, Kompong Khleang floating village sees fewer tourists, making for a more tranquil experience. It’s possible to visit the village on a half-day tour from Siem Reap. Some 1,800 families inhabit the stilt houses that stretch into the horizon, and visitors can explore the pagodas and schools that make up the thriving community, while learning more about daily life and culture from a local tour guide.
One of the most popular floating village tours is to the lively fishing village of Chong Kneas. Tours often include a visit to a local crocodile and fish farm, a cruise around the lotus fields and rice paddies (depending on the season), and dinner onboard the Queen Tara floating restaurant, the biggest boat on the lake. Tours often include hotel pickup and dropoff and may be all-inclusive.