The Tonle Sap Lake (otherwise known as the Great Lake) is a combined lake and river system in Cambodia. It is the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and the richest fishing lake in the World. (current water levels on lake are high at 2.2 mts and dropping as of April 2022) Weather is blue skies with quite a few clouds (making our sunset cruisers even more beautiful). nice warm mornings and quite hot from 10am to 2pm, www.accuweather.com>... >siem reap. Did you know the Tonle Sap lake varies in depths each year, from 1 mts to 10 mts? as such the floating villages are either moving out onto the lake (low water levels) or back into the river systems in the High Water levels, so no one visit to the lake will be the same.
The Tonle Sap Lake is a unique ecological hot spot. Its flow changes direction twice per year, and the lake itself expands and shrinks by four times its size with the changing seasons. In the dry season, the Tonle Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh,you can actually see this change occur daily, And when the monsoon rains begin in May/June, the Tonle Sap grows from approximately of 2,700 square km to 16,000 square km ! This provides a perfect breeding ground for fish and birds, and is one of the many reasons why the Tonle Sap Lake has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere.
Did you know: there are many different floating villages within easy reach via boats from Siem Reap? and we cover them all,after 20 years we certainly know all the rivers,lakes,flooded forests and stilted villages, hidden rare bird nesting areas and much more with our expert local guides(who where born in the villages we visit). that is one of the many reasons, most major hotels,Guesthouses and travel agents in Siem Reap, recommend the Tara Riverboat tours. We are also recommended by leading international travel experts including GetYourGuide,Tripadvisor, Viator, Lonely Planets, along with leading educational institutions.
It is one of the most productive fishing lakes in the World, supporting over 3 million people and providing over 75% of Cambodia’s annual inland fish catch and 60% of Cambodians’ protein intake. there are over 200 fish species and both Siamese Crocodiles and some salt water crocodiles have been know to be sighted, The colossal floodplains host ‘flooded forests’ which spend much of the year under meters of water with only their top branches visible. The local population has also adapted to the unique ecology of the lake with floating villages and stilted houses.
The Tonle Sap Lake is a natural wonder and a spectacle to behold. It is often overlooked by tourists visiting Siem Reap for the Temples of Angkor, who do not realize that less than 15 km South lies the Great Tonle Sap Lake. (The best way to explore and discover the numerous floating villages and flooded forests is by the Tara Riverboat Team, LONELY PLANETS)
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