- William Wordsworth
Kompong Khleang is another dwelling on the magnificent Tonlé Sap lake, and one of the Siem Reap attractions that should not be missed as part of a trip out to the great lake. Kompong Khleang is a traditional stilted village community found living high above the lake's waters and the village provides homes for some 20,000 residents - it is teh largest single community on the fringes of the lake.
Life here has existed for centuries before us, the residents living naturally in harmony above the Tonle Sap making their livings from the ecosystem that the lake provides. The proximity of each house to the water will vary according to the time of year and season. At the end of the wet season after continuous heavy rainfall the lake will rise so that each house will be raised less than a meter above the water level. In the dry season on the other hand one may have to descend several meters to reach the water. At the very lowest levels, boat access is sometimes not possible
Kompong Khleang is actually 10 times the size of nearby Chong Kneas, another one of the many floating villages out on the lake. Chong Kneas is nearer to Siem Reap and hence sees a significantly larger share of tourists than Kompong Khleang. We definitely believe it's worth making the journey that little bit further to avoid the crowds and see Kompong Khleang in all it's glory. Here you will be able to explore and make your own routes through the waterways and under stilted houses. Life here is energetic, the locals are extremely friendly and you can observe century old traditions of life here watching the fisherman or boatmakers going about their daily work. The center of the village is actually an island on which there is a lively market, a pagoda and a school. Even Angkorian remains still exist near the pagoda, signs that the empire spread as far as here.
There is no entrance fee to Kompong Khleang, but you'll need to take a boat to get there. Boats cost around US 20 and can usually take up to 7 people.
To reach Kompong Khleang from Siem Reap, including transport out there and the boat to the village itself, we'd recommend allowing around 2.5 hours with approxiamtely 45 minutes spent at the village itself.
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