August to January, Best Time to Visit Kampong Pluk Floating Village: Director

SIEM REAP – Located 30 kilometers south of Siem Reap, the floating village of Kampong Pluk is known as one of the best places to discover the traditional way of life of the fishermen of Tonle Sap Lake. Every house, restaurant and school in the village floats on the lake's waters.

Becoming increasingly popular among national and international tourists, who enjoy the quietness of the village to watch the sunset, this nature-based site is evolving. Villagers slowly turn their backs on fishing to offer tourist services instead.

As of 2024, the community depends 30 percent on fishing, 50 percent on tourism operations, and the rest on small businesses like boat rides and souvenir sales. 

“Since starting their own tourism operations such as boat rides, people in the community have shifted from living off fishing to making profits through tourism,” said Sang Kung, the director of the Kampong Pluk Tourism Community, which was created in 2013.

He added that the best time to visit the village is from August to January, when the water level is at its peak.

One of the main tourist activities is to ride a boat across the 48-hectare flooded forest surrounding the village. 

The community is also well-known for watching the sunset in the village’s floating restaurants, which offer a breathtaking view over the immense waters of the Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia’s largest freshwater lake.

Following a severe loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic, the community is now trying to revive the tourism in the village.

Poy Morea, the owner of a floating restaurant with six staff, said the tourism flow has yet to fully recover but the number of visitors is slowly increasing.

“There are days when only a few tourists come, but there is no longer a day when no one comes at all,” she said. 

Morea’s restaurant is one of the most isolated in the village. It takes around 30 minutes by boat to reach it from the shore, but it offers a peaceful environment for anyone who enjoys nature.

Community Director Sang Kung said the village’s activity is season-based. While the community prioritizes tourism during the rainy season – when the water is high – it relies on fishing during the dry season.

However, villagers still provide tourism services during the low season and have found other activities to show their way of life to visitors. One of these is making traditional dried fish that they catch in the lake.  

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