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Tonlé Sap
Tonlé Sap

Tonlé Sap

Lower Mekong Basin, Cambodia

The Basics

Most travelers choose to experience Tonlé Sap by boat, whether en route between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh or during a daytime or sunset dinner cruise. Depending on the option chosen, a sightseeing boat ride might include a visit to Chong Khneas floating village of stilted houses, a fish and crocodile farm, and a meal at a traditional Khmer floating restaurant.

Those with an interest in the lake’s biodiversity can opt for a day trip to Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, a biosphere reserve that’s home to more than 150 bird species.

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Sunset Dinner on Tonle Sap Lake with a Floating Village Tour
Sunset Dinner on Tonle Sap Lake with a Floating Village Tour
$39.49 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Dining in the sun
Initially we started viewing the custom of growing commodities such as rice and girds very informative,then proceeded to cruise along river and view sustainability along the water,(wow) things we don’t know! However the dinner was limited and cold lack of variety.guides were wonderful very understandable....would go back!
Steven_F, Feb 2020

Recent reviews from experiences in Siem Reap

star-4
Great experience
JeanPhilippe_M, Jun 2020
Kompong Phluk Village and Tonle Sap Lake Half-Day Tour From Siem Reap
Pleasant sightseeing with a nice guide to understand the amazing way of life of the local people according to the level of the lake.
star-5
Great birding place..
Sheau_S, Mar 2020
Sunset on Tonle Sap Lake
Tonle Sap great birding place and nice sunset.. The guide is friendly, knowledgeable, speak excellent English.. After the trip, we also make other arrangement with him to Kratié for the Irrawaddy dolphins and even enroute to Phnom Penh.. Yes, I surely recommend him..
star-4
Tonle lake
Brian, Mar 2020
Sunset Dinner on Tonle Sap Lake with a Floating Village Tour
Great trip. The magnitute of the lake is very impressive, even in the dry. The meal did leave a lot to be desired, but all in all well worth doing.
star-5
A Great Trip
Julien_H, Feb 2020
Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake Cruising Tour from Siem Reap
Our guide Nak was excellent.He is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic .It was a brilliant trip.The market that we saw on the way was fascinating and of course the village on stilts quite amazing.We totally recommend this trip and this guide.
star-5
Fabulous
Ben_R, Jan 2020
Sunset Dinner on Tonle Sap Lake with a Floating Village Tour
Really enjoyable trip. Picked up on time from the hotel, interesting tour of a lotus farm before riding in the river boat around the floating village. Lovely stop for sunset on a beautiful old ship, great drinks and food before the trip back. Your was excellent and a great experience.
star-4
Half day Kompong Phulk and Tonle saplake
28radhar, Jan 2020
Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake Cruising Tour from Siem Reap
Half a day limping phill and Tonle sap lake was a good experience Wonderful stilt houses all the way in floating village with a beautiful Pagoda and hugely vast lake with restaurants The guide Mr Nak chum was very enthusiastic and informative and friendly
star-4
Good time filler before flight out
Kathleen_P, Jul 2019
discover floating villages and tonle sap lake by boat
Enjoyed the outing it included small boat to look at floating village up close. Lunch was a long time coming.
star-4
Amazing insight into Cambodia
Lynne_C, Dec 2018
discover floating villages and tonle sap lake by boat
Thoroughly enjoyed trip to floating village. Informative guide, good food and drink.Would advise brushing up on history before visit to get best out of it.
star-4
Very interesting
Thara_B, Jan 2020
Kompong Phluk Village and Tonle Sap Lake Half-Day Tour From Siem Reap
The Tour was great and very informative. The tour lasts for about 3 hours only. The tour starts with a visit to the local market and the tour guide invited us to taste some fruit and two local sweets/cakes. The tour to Kompong Phulk village was very interesting and informative. The tourists can interact with the school children and a set of books can be bought and sponsored to the children. The lake looks very muddy. It was very enlightening to see how the locals live in such harsh conditions and yet they are so happy and content with what they have. Although the tour states light fruit lunch, don't expect a sit down, the lunch is just the tasting of the fruit at the local market.
star-5
Private tour
Boydyne_R, Jan 2019
3-Day Majestic Angkor Wat, Siem Reap and Tonle Sap Lake Tour
This tour was exactly as described. Since I was traveling by myself, I really wondered if I would just be included with someone else, but no, it was a private tour, just a driver, tour guide and me. It was perfect. I hate heat, so I was able to cut some of the temple visits short, which was great. Also skipped the market on the last day, as I'm not a shopper. Tour is very well designed. You go different directions so you are able to see more of the area. Temples are magnificent but there is a lot of walking and up and down stairs. You need to be in good shape and put up with the heat. Tour guide Nak, I called my handrail, he was so kind and very knowledgeable. The driver, Phearom, was very conscientious and drove safely. Both were outstanding.
star-5
Worth a visit
Senthilvel_K, Dec 2019
Kompong Phluk and Tonle Sap Lake Cruising Tour from Siem Reap
Had half a day after visiting Angkor Temples. Prompt pickup at 8:30 and returned hotel around noon. The place is unique and definitiely worth a visit. The guide was quite enthusiastic and kept us engaged all through the travel.
star-5
Amazing experience!
Sol_C, Nov 2019
Sunset Dinner on Tonle Sap Lake with a Floating Village Tour
Thanks for a lovely tour! Everything, from food and drinks to the lake visit was top quality. We were mostly impressed with the tour guide! He told us a lot of things about Khmer culture that we didn't know. Only think I would suggest to dismiss is the crocodile farm, I think we shouldn't support this kind of "animals for entertainment / tourism" initiatives. Besides that, it was one of the best tours we have been to, a beautiful memory from Cambodia we would never forget.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Tonlé Sap is a must-see for adventure travelers and first-time visitors.

  • Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat when cruising the lake.

  • Many boat tours on the lake include hotel pickup and drop-off.

  • Tonlé Sap day trips can last anywhere from four to nine hours, depending on the option chosen.

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How to Get There

Most tours of the lake depart from Chong Khneas, located 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) south of Siem Reap. The easiest way to get to the lake is on a guided tour.

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Trip ideas

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Ways to Experience Khmer Culture in Siem Reap

Siem Reap Floating Villages

Siem Reap Floating Villages

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap

How to Spend 2 Days in Siem Reap


When to Get There

From November to May—the country’s dry season—Tonlé Sap empties into the Mekong River, making the lake’s natural features much less spectacular. If you want to get out on the lake when it’s at its largest, plan to visit during the rainy season (August and September) when the waters reverse and the enormous lake forms. Water levels are at their lowest between April and June. The best bird viewing happens between December and April.

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The People of Tonlé Sap

Spend some time on the lake, and you’ll quickly realize that most residents of the stilted houses and floating villages are fishermen. Many of these families are ethnic Vietnamese who’ve been in the trade for decades. For the most authentic view of life on the lake, head farther afield to the villages near Kampong Chhnang and Pursat.

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