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We had a great tour guide, Va, who was absolutely wonderful and made it a great day. However, I feel like this tour was touristy and not quite worth the money. The description on Viator says that the tour includes the floating village, which it did not, and it was less than 4 hours, not five. That is why I took off four stars as the description lies and is misleading as to what to expect. However, this should not be held against our guide who did his best.
- Bumpy, van ride with no AC down to the lake
- Loud boat through the stilted village - arguably the coolest part, neat to see the village and how the people live. Felt a little bad about watching them, almost as if they were in a zoo and we were looking in. It was hard to hear our guide over the loud motor
- Get rowed through the flooded forest, where a random child will jump onto your boat so a local vendor can then harass you and try to make you feel bad enough to buy the child some food. We were caught off guard and bought ourselves some terrible underripe mango and then the child a juice, which she didn't drink and most likely just returned to that vendor later on. This was very unexpected, and I would prefer for the tour group to ask us to bring a few extra dollars to tip the local rower rather than be harassed. Other than that, this part was relaxing if not very educational
- Get driven 10 feet out into the lake to learn about local wildlife. With the tour time, if they didn't plan on taking us to the flooded village, they should have taken us at least around the lake more to see it/kill some time, rather than feel like we were being rushed to head back
- Walk through the town: This was good to see how the locals lived, but should have been done upon arriving as it was very, very hot that hour of the day and no relief from the heat once we were walking. The town burns its trash, so it was hard to breathe with the fumes and diesel from the boats.
- Get back in overheated van. Since we finished so early, our guide asked if we wanted to see a crocodile farm for 3 extra each. We agreed, expecting more of a half day activity in general. The farm was interesting, with a ton of crocodiles, but was filled with trash and smelled terrible. If this was a planned stop, it should have been included in the price since we did not see the floating village.
There was way to much focus on tourists buying stuff from the locals. With the prices they charged, these guys can't be poor. 5USD for a small bag of candy. A lot of focus on the poverty and no chances to get away from all the sellers when they sent you on a private rowing tour. Guide said little.
The boat part of this tour was actually scary! The boat was very old and in terrible shape - it kept taking on water and the tour guide would drive it which the local bailed water out. The motor actually quit a couple of times, but eventually the local did get it started again. However, there was very little power and the boat moved extremely slowly - when we finally entered the lake, we sat in one spot for a long time while the local worked on the motor, eventually we turned around and slowly made our way back down the river. Of course, there were no life jackets on board, and we were extremely concerned about the seaworthiness of the long-tail boat, especially when we entered the lake. Viator and/or the local tour company should be inspecting the boats, and this one should definitely NOT have been used! However, our tour guide was great and we enjoyed the village and scenery along the river. However, I would not recommend this tour because of the extremely poor condition of the boat.
Mr Sapon (sorry if i got it wrong!) Is our loca guide. Him and Ben the general manager were great guide. Tried their best to fill you in on locals happening, history, or facts on things. Unfortunately we came at wrong season.when the lake hasnt swell yet with monsoon! It would be lovely to see it!
I went on this boat tour and left disappointed, It was my experience that they were more concerned about charging a larger amount with offering little value and the aim of the trip felt more about giving to the poor villages and not about gaining a worthy experience. Being over charged to get little back wasn't my purpose of going to Cambodia. The infuriating part to me was the fact that high prices were demanded and it was sold as Supporting the local community Call me cruel but I was there for an experience of a lifetime and was willing to pay happily. We were in a boat that was barely strung together and the water was so low that we got stuck in the mud several times. The driver after digging us out took us on a quick ride around the lake. We then went back and that was the end of the trip.
For 51.00 USD, I was given a 25 minute bus ride, a 10 minute boat ride, and was shown how poor the indigenous population was.
Do not do this tour - it's a rip off and a waste of time.