Cambodia Day 4 – An Afternoon at Tonle Sap (The Great Lake)

After the mornings harrowing visit to the Land Mine museum in Siem Reap we had lunch near the guesthouse at a local restaurant then had a rest back at the Guest house before heading out to Tonle Sap (The Land Mine post provoked quite a discussion at Tomorrow).

Of course with lunch was some Angkor beer, kind of compulsory ๐Ÿ˜‰

Angkor Beer

Then grabbed some Banana Fritters on the way back (Pisang Goreng), quite different from the Malaysian ones I have to say..They take the banana then put in a plastic bag with some powder and whack it so its flat, then they batter it (The batter has poppy seeds or something in it) and fry it, so it’s crispy and fluffy and just great.

Banana Fritters

I bought a couple extra and gave them to the kids at the side of the road who did actually look like they were starving. I told them to share it too, and they did, which was nice to see.

Banana Fritters

After that we took a rest for a while, then around 2pm we headed out to Tonle Sap.

The Tonlรƒยฉ Sap (meaning Large Fresh Water River but more commonly translated as Great Lake) is a combined lake and river system of huge importance to Cambodia. It is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hotspot that was designated as an UNESCO biosphere in 1997.

The people living at the side of the lake are very poor, what’s worse is they actually have to move their houses according to the tides of the lake and the season..Plus what’s worse is the tourist trade to the lake (which incidentally is not benefiting them at all) is covering their houses in dust and eroding the road.

Tonle Sap Poor People

There are a large number of boat operators there, as you can see, catering for different languages such as Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Tamil and English.

Tonle Sap

The people who actually live on the lake seem better off than those at the roadside, well of course they can afford a house, a boat and supplies. The floating village is more of a city with shops, schools, churches and restaurants.

Tonle Sap


Tonle Sap Church

They live there, eat there, cook there and work there.

Tonle Sap


Tonle Sap

Hitching a Ride.

Hitching a Ride

Then there are these little vietnamese kids rowing around in bowls…yes BOWLS..some of them are extremely pushy in begging, so I chose to take a picture of this kid, he looked like he’d just finished school and he wasn’t pushy, so I took my picture and gave him a few hundred Riels.

Vietnamese Kid in a Bowl

We were there for the sunset but it was pretty cloudy, and we wouldn’t see anything, so we headed back before it got dark.

The boat trip will set you back around $10USD per person.

Great Experience.

Cambodia Day 1 – Leaving on a Jet Plane to Siem Reap
Cambodia Day 2 – Itinerary – Morning in Angkor Thom and Bayon
Cambodia Day 2 – An Afternoon at Angkor Wat & Sunset at Phnom Bahkeng
Cambodia Day 3 – Morning at Banteay Srei, Ta Som, Neak Pean and Preah Khan
Cambodia Day 3 – An Afternoon at Ta Keo, Ta Prohm and Old Market – Siem Reap
Cambodia Day 4 – A Morning at Lolei, Bakong and Preah Ko (Roluos Group)
Cambodia Day 4 – An Afternoon at the Cambodian Land Mine Museum




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9 Responses to Cambodia Day 4 – An Afternoon at Tonle Sap (The Great Lake)

  1. kimberlycun March 6, 2006 at 11:16 am #

    omg pisang goreng!!!!111oneoene

    kid in the bowl damn on sial

  2. Fireangel March 6, 2006 at 11:51 am #

    boy in bowl so sad and cute.

  3. spiller March 6, 2006 at 12:49 pm #

    how much was the boat tour?

  4. bUttsH4k3r March 6, 2006 at 1:15 pm #

    those fritters look damn tempting. nice of you to share with the underpriviledged kids.

  5. Arth Akal March 6, 2006 at 7:47 pm #

    Good thing to know you’re generous…

  6. Cheesecakeerian March 7, 2006 at 4:09 pm #

    The pisang goreng looks so yummy!! *drool* Oh.. and the kid in the bowl looks so kesian hehe

  7. James March 8, 2006 at 2:48 am #

    Wondering what camera you are using…

  8. ShaolinTiger March 8, 2006 at 9:43 am #

    spiller: Have edited in, it’s about $10usd per person.

    James: Canon Powershot A70, old 3.2 megapixel camera. It’s not about the camera, it’s about the photographer ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. Stefan March 13, 2006 at 2:33 am #


    I read with great interest your posts on Cambodia and will return to check for more.

    Please also have a look at my own humble blog on traveling in Cambodia

    Keep up the good posts,