So you’ve seen Angkor and are now wondering what else to do in Siem Reap. “Go visit the Floating village” is the most common answer you’ll get from fellow visitors, tuk-tuk drivers and travel agents alike. And we agree! Going through an authentic Siem Reap floating village is a real treat for those who have never seen similar things before. However, the quality of your experience will largely depend on which floating village you go to. Kompong Khleang is our favorite and recommended. At this point of time we would not recommend visiting others.
Kompong Khleang is the only floating village we would recommend to anyone who wants to visit a floating village around Siem Reap.
First off because it is truly authentic.Thanks to its low number of visitors (most travel agencies and tuk-tuk drivers prefer to take their clients to Kompong Phluk and Chong Kneas because they’re closer to Siem Reap), Kompong Khleang feels genuinely untouched and peaceful. When we arrive by the small pier in the late morning, there generally are only a few visitors’ cars or mini-vans already parked, if any.
The second reason we choose to take people there is that it is the most beautiful village out of the three. Consider this: Kompong Khleang is the home of about 1800 families, more or less 6000 people altogether. This means that when you arrive in Kompong Khleang, you will see stilt houses as far as the eye can see. More than a village, Kompong Khleang is a small town with its schools, its 3 pagodas, its clinics and everything such a large community requires to function. For those of you who have never seen such things before, it is a truly mind-boggling experience.
Kampong Khleang is located on the northern lake-edge about 55 km east of Siem Reap town, more remote and less touristy than Kampong Pluk. Visitors to Kampong Khleang during the dry season are universally awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In wet season the waters rise up to one or two meters of the buildings. Like Kompong Pluk, Kompong Khleang is a permanent community within the flood plain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. But Kompong Khleang is significantly larger with nearly 10 times the population of Kompong Pluk, making it the largest community on the Lake.