So you have checked off all your bucket list sights and attractions in Siem Reap, and wondering what to do next? We highly recommend you to spend half a day venturing off the beaten path to explore one of the floating villages in Siem Reap! Not only will you have a city escape, but you will also get to experience what the daily life on the river is like. Check out our complete guide on Kampong Phluk Floating Village below 🙂
Read more: How to spend 3 days in Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Kampong Phluk Floating Village
You have a couple of options if you decide on exploring one of the floating villages outside Siem Reap. We asked the locals, and they all recommended a visit to Kampong Phluk Floating Village. And oh boy, are we glad we listened! This ended up being our very favorite thing to do during our days in Cambodia 🙂
The locals who live and work here, have built hand-made houses that are balancing on thick wooden trunks. Even their temples and schools are above water. You will see children paddling to school, fishermen preparing fishing nets, and families cooking food. This is truly a unique way to learn more about life on the Cambodian countryside.
Daily life in the floating village
There are over 4,000 people living in Kampong Phluk Floating Village, and while most of them are fishermen, you also find farmers located further out. The village does not have any running water, so the locals rely on the water from the river to do their laundry and cooking.
There are also a lot of crocodiles in the area, which they attempt to trap. Sailing by the village you will see wooden cages containing captured crocodiles in the area. They do not kill them, and they release them far away from the village to ensure they do not hurt any of the residents and visitors.
Visiting Kampong Phluk Floating Village is certainly one of the most unique experiences in Cambodia. For us it was a way to witness the challenges the local people face on a daily basis. We left with more understanding and impressions of the Cambodian life.
The Mangrove Forest
When you glide through the floating village, you will also pass a beautiful mangrove forest. Imagine our excitement when we realized you can explore these further for an additional USD 5 per person! Yay!
A friendly local lady took us through a watery maze surrounded by mangrove forest. You can and should experience this when visiting the floating village in Siem Reap. The atmosphere was everything, and this was certainly one of the most authentic local experiences we had during our time in Siem Reap. This part lasts about 30 minutes.
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How to get to Kampong Phluk Floating Village
You have plenty of options when it comes to transportation. You can either join an organized public/private day tour, or you can venture out on your own. If you decide to go on a tour this will cost you approx. USD 50 – 80 per person. We decided to go on a tuk-tuk adventure, as this is both cheaper and provides a more private and relaxed experience.
Once you have purchased the entrance ticket to the village (20 USD per person) you will be picked up and escorted to your own longtail boat. You should have seen our faces when we realised that a 10-year old kid would be driving our boat! It was perfectly safe, and he was a very good driver. It just felt a bit… strange?