Tonle Sap – life on the water

P1050341The boat from Siem Reap to Battambang is something you take for the journey, it is definitely not the quickest (or most comfortable) way from A to B. The journey took us across the vast Tonle Sap lake, past a number of floating villages. For us it was a unique insight into life on the water. Tonle Sap is the largest body of fresh water in South East Asia and is at the centre of life for millions of Cambodians.

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(That isn’t the edge of the lake you can see, but masses of floating pond weed)

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After the mostly sparse scenery of the lake – which went on and on – our boat took us along the river to Battambang.  Fishing clearly is a big part of life here and we saw all sorts of fishing methods; including massive bamboo contraptions.

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Apparently the journey is a birdwatchers paradise and ecological hotspot, but we didn’t see that much wildlife ourselves. We did, however, see many floating animal pens, mostly containing crocodiles/alligators and a few chickens.

IMG_2917The journey took us eight hours (although this time varies considerably depending on the season). The wet season is the time to travel, as the journey is quicker – due to higher water levels – and the boat is less likely to be over crowded as its the low season for tourists. The journey did drag on a bit at times (take some music or reading material – my kindle is a must have for travel) but it was worth it for the portions of the journey where there was plenty to see. Despite two sore bottoms, we were glad we didn’t opt for the cheaper and quicker coach journey. It was definitely a trip worth experiencing, but not one I will be doing again. I think Matt would concur.

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