Kampong Khleang, Cambodia

 Kampong Khleang is a fishing village located on the northern shore of Tonle Sap Lake, about 35km east of Siem Reap.

Kampong Khleang is the largest village on the lake with approximately 30,000 inhabitants living on house boats that move with the annual tide, which changes the lake from an area of 2,500 to 12,000 km². Others live on stilt houses that are raised up to 10 meters above ground.

During the dry season (November – May), the stilt house inhabitants move about the village using bicycles, motorcycles and trucks. During the wet season (June – October), they use boats. The most beautiful time in the harbour is either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. During sunrise, the fishermen head out to the lake to collect their traps. Just after sunrise, you’ll see the villagers waking up, preparing breakfast for the family, heading out to the market, on their way to school or meeting with their neighbours on a flooded crossroads.

During midday, it’s best to get cover from the sun, taste the local snakehead fish soup and just relax. A few adventure tour companies have homestays available in the market section of Kampong Khleang, where you can hang out with a local family, have some lunch and explore the only patch of dry land available during the wet season. The late afternoon is again a good time to explore the village by boat. The fishing vessels are now returning with their catches, children are returning home from school, laundry is being taken in, and everyone is enjoying the end of another good day.

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