With a Cambodian trip in the floating season, you have a chance to explore the most famous place in Cambodia – Tonle Sap lake, also known as the Great lake where the volume of freshwater fish is the largest in the Mekong river. Besides Ton Sap lake, Cambodia owns many other attractive destinations. You can get more information from Things to do in Cambodia.
It is suggested that you should spend time on going along the lake by a wooden boat and drop in the houses of local people to get more understanding about their miserable life. This is not only home to Cambodian residents but also the people from other regions such as Vietnam. Many of Vietnamese people have immigrated to Tonle Sap lake, Cambodia for the settlement and earning a living for a long time.
General information on Tonle Sap lake
Tonle Sap lake is 25 kilometers from Siem Reap city center. It will take you about 30 minutes by car. The water surface area in the dry season is 2,700 square kilometers with the depth of about one meter. Meanwhile, in the wet season, the water surface has an area of about 16,000 square kilometers and the depth of about 9 meters. When the rainy season comes, the water inundates the fields and forests, turning this area into a huge lake, which creates good conditions for the reproduction and growth of species of fish. This is considered a large freshwater lake owing the diverse ecosystems.
Tonle Sap lake is estimated to supply the amount of freshwater for 3 million people living on the lake and 75% of freshwater fish for the Cambodian people. The lake possesses the significant output of freshwater fish all around the world. For this reason, this lake has considerable importance to Cambodia. The Great Lake also supports the Mekong Delta in Vietnam with 50% of the water in the dry season and provides the protection during the rainy season.
In 1997, this lake was recognized as the international biosphere reserve in Southeast Asia by the UNESCO.
Residents on the Tonle Sap lake
Residents living around the lake are mostly Vietnamese and Cham people. Vietnamese people migrated to this region in the first half of the 20th century. Their life is quite hard and has no opportunity to receive an education. They mainly live by fishing by primitive tools. The local people gather together, forming floating villages and have busy trade activities here. This lake draws a lot of visitors from Occidental countries due to its own unique characteristics.
Tonle Sap lake today
Nowadays, schools, churches and temples are constructed here by donors and some of them organize small tours to visit the Tonle Sap lake in the form of ecotourism in the flooding season. This destination provides the boat rental service for tourists to watch the beautiful scenery with green forests in the immense space.
If taking a trip to Cambodia, you should spend time in Tonle Sap lake. This lake will certainly be an amazing place for the exploration.