The Cambodian floating village, Kompong Khleang offers a completely different insight during dry and wet seasons. During rainy season which occurs from June to October, the water in the lake can reach as high as 14m, whereas during dry season (November to May) it drops to only 2m.
There are other floating villages that are closer to Siem Reap such as Chong Kneas or Me Chrey but after having read quite negtive comments about how tourists got ripped off on travel scams, I decided to avoid them and go to the most remote and probably the most authentic one !
How to visit Kompong Khleang floating village ?
I went to the Kompong Khleang floating village end of February during my stay in Siem Reap. The dry season has already started and the high temperatures could be felt.
The village is situated 55km from Siem Reap and the best way to go there is by tuk tuk. Once you approch the village, you will have to purchase a boat ticket. If you’re travelling in a group, the prices will be lower than if you’re travelling by yourself. So basically if you share a boat with other people you’ll pay 20$ instead of 30$ like I did. The advantage of travelling solo is having a private boat. I could sit on a front deck and ask my captain to take me some pictures 🙂
Nevertheless, if you have limited time organising it by yourself, I strongly recommend booking an excursion from the verified GetYourGuide site. It is the best deal I found, so I drop you the direct link below to book with a pickup in Siem Reap:
Is it worth to visit Kompong Khleang during dry season ?
The rain highly affects the water level in the Tonle Sap Lake. During rainy season, the Mekong river pours some additional 10m of water into the lake. The dry season makes the water reverse back into Mekong.
Since the houses in Kompong Khleang are built on stilts, the low level of water reveals the impressive wooden structures below them. The Kompong Khleang community is the largerst on Tonle Sap river, thus the village life is vibrant and you can get an authentic insight into Cambodian rural living. The tuk tuk ride to get to the village offers beautiful green landscape contrasting with copper soil and colorful houses.
So is it worth to visit Kompong Khleang during dry season ? It totally is ! Even if the houses are grounded on stilts, the boat offers a ride on the great Tonle Sap lake where you can see a floating ethnic Vietnamese community that relocate there with their floating school when the water is low !
Taste the local bamboo sticky rice
On the way to Kompong Khleang, you will see a plenty of stalls on the road selling bamboo sticky rice, called Kralan. The rice with coconut milk and red beans is cooked in a bamboo stem over the fire. It’s such a delightful Cambodian snack for only 1$ !
Read more about other floating villages at Tonle Sap lake here to help you decide which one you want to visit. What I liked about this article is that it points out which villages have their own boat service run by locals as opposed to private companies, so the money coming from tourism directly benefits the local community.
–> For other authentic experiences near Siem Reap, visit the Phnom Kulen waterfall and the 1000 Lingas
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