I went for a short trip to see the sunset over Tonle Sap Lake in April. This is the dry season in Cambodia and the water levels are very low. Around the Lake are a sprinkling of floating villages. Because of the low water level you don’t really get to see a floating village, it looks more like a stilted village in the dry season. The dwellings tower over you as you pass by them.
To get there, it takes about a 30 minutes drive from Siem Reap, to reach a dirt road where it takes a further 30 mins (or so) to drive along a very undulating, dusty and rough raised embankment. Passing through small settlements along the way. Fascinating and disturbing all at the same time due to the obvious poverty and resourcefulness of the people that live there.
This is our destination. To the right is a man made muddy narrow canal that is reached by walking down a steep rough embankment. Where the boat mooring is (relative term, i.e a load of boats are just roped together). If you’re into health and safety, you’d best stay in England.
Here’s the engine it’s really, really loud! The spray is where the propeller is spinning around churning up the silt in the shallow water. Were sitting on very old rickety wooden chairs that move around the boat. Villagers homes can be seen in the distance.
Boats moored up to the wooden posts. Housing can bee seen at the far end of the photo.
Three men fixing a wooden stilted pontoon.
Villagers going about their business, whilst the silly tourist photographs them. Large brimmed hats are essential to protect you from the strong sunlight, it was 35 degrees C with 90% humidity.
Housing and a restaurant right out on the lake. The lake is enormous, you can’t see the other side.
The setting sun, backlighting the fishing area.
What did I take from this experience ?
I should stop moaning.
Some people have a really hard time. This would be a really tough place to live and work.