We started our Day 3 journey after a breakfast with an excursion to Chong Kneas Floating Village. The journey is about 30 minutes. Along the way, we saw large paddy fields and stilted houses from both sides of the road.
Arriving at the village, we saw rows of tourist boats docked closely together. There were also fishy smells as we are near the rivers.
Chong Kneas : Tonle Sap Lake Floating Village
Tonle Sap is Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, providing livelihoods for over 10% of Cambodia’s population. It is also an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997.
Chong Kneas is the floating village at the edge of the lake closest and most accessible to Siem Reap. Our tour around the lake started from the jetty. We took a ride by using a traditional wooden boat around the lake to experience the human occupations where we see floating villages, huge fish traps and an economy way of life deeply intertwined with the lake, the fish, the wildlife and the cycles of rising and falling waters.
During the ride, we saw one of the probably most famous schools in Cambodia, the Chong Kneas Elementary School. The school actually have a basketball court that has rails on all sides keeping the ball and kids safe.
We saw many several interesting spots i.e Catholic Church and restaurants.
The highlight of the trip is the floating “Fish and Bird Exhibition” where there was a souvenir and snack shop. Here, we saw fishes where we can feed the fish by throwing fish food in.
There were also a small crocodile farm with about 10 crocodiles in different sizes. Most of the crocodile were hiding but some of the larger ones were visible.
We head up to level 2 and level 3 of the farm for a great view overlooking the floating village and Tonle Sap Lake. It is a great lookout point. From the top, we could see how big the lake is.
The ride back to the Jetty showed us more interesting sights around the lake. We were lucky to be able to see children running around the school waving as the boat passes them.
After the memorable visitation around the lake of Tonle Sap Floating Village, we head back into Siam Reap to our next stop, Les Artisan D’Angkor.
Les Artisan D’Angkor is an Art School, a full-service crafts organization with an ambitious program which includes Les Chantiers Ecoles, an educational centre that trains rural young people in the traditional skills of stone carvings, woodcarvings, lacquer and silk weaving in their quest to preserve the traditional Khmer skills.
Les Artisan D’Angkor
After the short but very educational visit, we head off for our lunch in Sampheap restaurant.