Kampong Khleang Floating Village Needs Improved Tourist Services

Kampong Khleang floating village needs improved service and renovation to attract more tourists in the future, a tourist operator said. Photo: Rin Ousa

SIEM REAP – Kampong Khleang floating village needs improved service and renovation to attract more tourists in the future, a tourist operator said.

Kampong Khleang floating village is a potential tourist site about 40 kilometers from bustling Siem Reap. With rich natural resources and potential, the tourist operator, however, urges more renovation and improved service to attract abundant tourists in the future.

The floating village is located in Soutr Nikom district, on the floodplains of the Tonle Sap Lake, about 40 kilometers from tourist hotspot Siem Reap. To adapt to the annual flooding of the lake, houses are constructed on 10-meter wooden stilts.

Tourists can take boat rides from and around the village to discover the village’s rich natural resources, and observe and learn about the daily life of the locals by immersing themselves in the community. 

Yet, the village still lacks tourist infrastructure to accommodate visitors. As of June 2024, only four homestays provide meals and accommodation for visitors.

Chhay Sivlin, the president of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents (CATA), said this community – made up of 1o villages – has rich tourist potential, given that its members perpetuate a traditional way of life.

Tourists are attracted by the Tonle Sap Lake, the flooded forest and the daily activities of the villagers, on top of which fishing, when they visit the area, she said.

“To draw in more tourists, the community must enhance services and sanitation and provide clean spaces for tourists to stay and enjoy,” Sivlin said.

With many years of experience in tourism, she noted that community residents have decent and clean lifestyles. However, she said it is not enough to attract more tourists, suggesting each household decorate their home with flowers and plants.

In addition to creating a harmonious atmosphere, it will contribute to tackling locally the rise of temperatures, she stressed.

Suong Kok, a 65-year-old vegetable seller, opened a homestay eight years ago in the village. She says her small business has improved her family's comfort and livelihood, as they no longer have to spend long days in the rice fields.

“My house can accommodate 20 guests and provide the best staying experience to tourists,” she said. “My restaurant that overlooks the Kampong Khlaing stream can accommodate 60 guests.”

Accommodation costs $8 per person and $5 per meal. Most customers are foreign tourists, staying one, two or even three nights if they come as a couple or family.

In the past, the community of Kampong Khleang was faced with waste management problems. But many campaigns have been organized to solve this problem, both in households and at the community level.

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