4 Reasons Why You Must See The Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and an important part of Cambodia’s ecosystem. The area around the lake is suitable for agriculture and its fish-rich waters represent an important source of income for the local population. Tonle Sap is heavily affected by the monsoons, as its surface and depth increase during the rainy season. In recent years, the lake has become popular among tourists, due to its wildlife and unique local architecture, namely the famous floating villages built on its shores.

As Tonle Sap Lake is just 100 miles north from Cambodia’s Capital Phnom Penh, it could be used as a base for exploring the country and enjoying its diverse landscape, wildlife and stunning architecture. Sit back and relax as we guide you through the breathtaking landscapes of Tonle Sap Lake.

Angkor Wat is Closeby

The iconic temple complex of Angkor Wat, one of the largest and most elaborate Hindu and later Buddhist temples, is located only 10 miles from the northern shores of the lake. If you’ve always dreamed about walking around the sprawling, moss-covered ruins of the ancient Khmer temple, it’s certainly worth the effort to make a short journey from Lake Tonle Sap to the town of Siem Reap from where it’s only a 20-minute drive to Angkor.

Tip: A further 2-hour drive east from Angkor is the Phnom Kulen National Park, famous for its hidden temples, waterfalls and mysterious ruins.

Explore the Floating Villages

Tonle Sap Lake is best-known for its picturesque floating villages that dot its shores and provide a home to several local communities. The local tourism is still developing, but you can still find restaurants with local food as well as souvenir shops in some of the larger villages.

Fishing is the main industry and the locals have their own way of life, unchanged for generations and largely unaffected by the modern world.

Tip: We recommend you take a boat tour of the lake as it’s by far the best option for tourists who want to explore the villages without interfering with the day-to-day life of the locals.

Check out the best Tonle Sap tours available in order to get out the most of your visit.

Discover Local Wildlife

Visiting Tonle Sap is all about getting in touch with nature. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the sheer beauty of the lake and the forest that surrounds it.

Don’t forget to visit the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve, a home to a number of bird species, including black-headed ibis and pelicans, among many others.

For those among you who take a special interest in wildlife, there’s also the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary. You may also take a boat tour of the bird sanctuary.

See the War Museum in Siem Reap

The War Museum in Siem Reap houses a large collection of weaponry from the period of the period of civil war that gripped Cambodia for almost three decades. It offers a unique – and chilling, insight into Cambodia’s past and also serves as a reminder of the long struggle Cambodians had to endure to win peace.

The museum is opened every day from 8 am to 17:30 pm local time.

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