Chong Kneas Floating Village, Siem Reap

On one of the later days during our trip in Siem Reap, we took a trip out to one of the three floating villages near the Tonle Sap lake. While I have heard good things about the other two floating villages, I can wholeheartedly recommend staying far far away from Chong Kneas as it is a total tourist scam.

The cost of the boat ride was $10 a head, and the boat journey to the village took a little under 30 minutes. Along the way, a family in a boat stopped alongside our boat to beg for money in return for photos of their daughter with a python.  This was just the start; as when we reached a viewing deck, we were then immediately harassed to buy overpriced souvenirs and by more children with snakes. According to the many negative reviews on TripAdvisor, we didn’t experience the worst of it. The main attraction was a small crocodile farm under the viewing deck, and a little display about the fish of the Tonle Sap.

Children begging and selling souvenirs unfortunately is standard fare when you visit Cambodia. While you feel you should help out, giving money or buying from them just encourages their parents to send them out again instead of sending them to school. This just perpetuates the cycle, and there are better ways to help. So I would advise giving this floating village a skip, and perhaps donating the cost of your tuktuk and boat journey to one of the many NGOs around Siem Reap who make a real difference, like ABCs and Rice or the Landmine Museum.

The only positive from this journey was the colours on the river- the murky muddy low water of the river, the brightly coloured boats and houses, and the greenery growing in the water.

Floating Village Cambodia

Tonle Sap Boats

River Houses Siem Reap

River Boat Cambodia

Floating Village Siem Reap

Floating Village Pub

 

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