Since we were a bit "templed out" after our 1st day in Siem Reap, Mr. Sok suggested visiting one of the three "floating villages" in Cambodia off the Tonle Sap Lake. Wanting to see a bit more of the everyday life of Cambodians, Nate and I were in! When Mr. Sok picked us up from our hotel, we asked if we could donate or bring anything for the locals. He told us school supplies for the children of the village are much appreciated #done #shoppingspree After a quick stop at a local shop for these, we were on our way for about an hour drive outside the city.
Views along the way
So even though Kampong Phluk is called a "floating village", it actually depends what month you visit. A majority of the houses and buildings are on 16 ft stilts which look crazy during the dry season but during the rainy season (June - Nov), the water level from the river rises and they "float".
We arrived at the outskirts of the village, and took a colorful boat into the heart of it. Along the way, we passed many colorful houses and it was almost comical to see the balancing houses high in the sky and people going about their daily business.
It was eye opening to see people living in this community and their day to day lives, of people doing laundry, fishing, cooking etc, or climbing up the steep, swaying ladders into their high, balancing homes. The primary business of this community is fishing (duh) and shrimp harvesting. I don't think I'll forget the views of passing through this community on the river - what a great reminder of how diverse this world is that we're living in!
We docked and Mr. Sok asked one of the locals to let the kids know we had school supplies to give out. It was emotional seeing how excited the kids got for every day things we take for granted like erasers, pencils, and notebooks. #grateful This day was one of our most unforgettable ones from living abroad and is a daily reminder for how lucky we are and the life we live. Thanks Mr. Sok for arranging this! Look at how happy all the kids are!
During the dry season they'll also create makeshift homes/classrooms on the ground under the stilts. We got to go visit one of these too and find other info on how to donate from abroad :)
If you want to donate - see info below!
We got to walk around the village some more exploring and handing out the rest of our supplies to children who had found out it. We got to see the shrimp drying out on the road from their daily catch.
After that unforgettable experience, we hopped back on the boat to go explore Tonle Sap Lake which translates to "great lake". It's the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, and the lake attaches with it's river to Mekong River.
It was massive. We got to see some alligators in cages which was cool - I've also seen beautiful photos of this place at sunset. #missedopportunity
After our visit, we headed to go get lunch, and then head back into Siem Reap
We saw a local wedding taking place on our way out. #prettycool #lookatalloxen!
We found a little touristy spot for lunch in the middle of no where but it was refreshing and delicious. Just what we needed from the heat!
We made a quick pit stop at the hotel and then had Mr. Sok take us to a cool spot I read about called Sombai.
So I first stumbled upon Sombai on TripAdvisor during my research for the trip. After reading more about it we had to go. They make local drinks infused with local fruits and spices to give them a delicious, unique flavor. They then have the bottles painted by local artists, and they offer free tastings! #what?! #definitelygoing
They have 8 flavors:
They started our tasting with a quick tour around their shop, showing us the different liquors being stored and infused.
After the yummy tasters and seeing the hand painted bottles we knew this had to be one of our souvenirs. We bought a few bottles for ourselves and even a few to bring home to my parents. #supportthelocals
After our tasting, we walked down the street to meet my friend I had randomly seen at the airport (Melissa), her husband, and their friends for dinner at Haven. Not only do they have yummy food but they support their local community by offering a training program at the restaurant for young adults and underprivileged young adults from rural areas. They take in around 15 trainees annually and help train and teach them life skills on a daily basis. #howcool I wish more restaurants did this type of local support - makes me enjoy eating even more!
After dinner, we headed to the treehouse bar downtown for a few drinks before calling it a night and heading back to our hotel. Another great day in Cambodia!
Follow in our Footsteps:
Mr. Sok (best Tut Tut driver!) - we hired him all 3 days we were here and he found a great variety for us to do. Seriously use Mr. Sok on our your trip to Cambodia!
Book him on Facebook or email him firstname.lastname@example.org
092 9493 79 or 098 9291 12
Why he's awesome:
On the Tonle Sap, Siem Reap, Cambodia
176 Sombai Road
Salakamreuk Village & Commune
Hours: 8am - 8pm
Website (I recommend setting up a reservation)
Chocolate Rd, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Hours: 11:30am - 2:30pm, 5:30pm - 9:30pm (closed Sundays)
Asana Old Wooden House
Street 7, Siem Reap, Cambodia
+855 92 987 801
Megan Bond - AUTHOR
Just a girl raised in California and loved exploring Southeast Asia with my husband! We're back in the States but still exploring the world as much as we can!