Cambodia’s stunning floating markets are on top of your to do list when traveling Siem Reap. It is a great way to experience the unique culture which you cannot get anywhere else. You will be fascinated by the scene of floating houses, floating restaurants, floating schools… Our Cambodia travel guide below provides you with in-depth insights into all Siem Reap has to offer.
During the rainy season, which is from June to November, the water level rises above the height of the constructions. On the other hand, in the dry season from December to January which is when the water level is at a lower rate, you have a chance to see all the houses on balancing on a very thick, wooden trunks.
4 main Siem Reap villages
Chong Kneas is the closest village to Siem Reap (about 16 km), so if you have limited time, you should consider adding this village to your day tour list in Siem Reap.
In recent years, this village has been swamped with tour groups and “earned” the bad reputation for tourist traps and scams. However, Chong Kneas is a very scenic place to witness sunrise and sunset. The place is filled with Korean cuisine, so if you are a fan of Korean food, this village is a great go-to place for you to check out. One thing you know for sure is to read the review beforehand.
Another one is the boat tours here are not owned by the local community, even though you can see a lot of people coming in and out, locals see no money that comes from tourist. So if you have a chance to visit or get to know a family in Chong Kneas, feel free to tip them. In short, Chong Kneas is a typical tourist destination, so if you are an explorer type of person, there is not much to explore here.
Kampong Phluk is famous not only for its rich culture but also the flooded mangrove forest which surrounds the village itself. It is actually a combination of three smaller towns, this floating village is about 30 km from Siem Reap which makes it a perfect destination for a half day tour or one day tour.
The road trip and the duration of the river trip here is quite short compared with other floating villages. If you decide to visit Kamping Phluk, there will be a private company that can guide you through all the main destinations. Since Kampong is more like a non-touristy floating village, this probably is not a match for you. In the other word, visiting this village is a good way to get the know the culture, and explore what is it like to be living in a floating village.
We highly recommend you contact with local tourist companies (you can only meet them when you are at the village), since the village itself is very poor, and although there are tourists coming in, most of them go with an outsider tour not tour from local business.
This village has both stilled houses and floating houses, as well as other building types. There are no tourist traps or scams, and it runs at a more relaxed pace. Although, this is the furthest village to travel to from Siem Reap, Kampong Khleang is probably the best village to visit in Cambodia.
The boat to Kampong Khleang is operated by locals, meaning by paying to get to Kampong Khleang, you are supporting the people here. Your tour guide will take you up to Khleang river and from their you will travel to a floating village.
Traveling Kampong Khleang, you will have a lot of chances to explore wildlife in Cambodia. The flooded forest here has many authentic birds which you cannot find anywhere else. Additionally, this village is a great place to get to know more about the Khmer culture, experience a normal life at a floating village, and meet friendly locals.
The tours start at 8 AM and end around 3 PM, so if you have a whole day, this is a great experience to try out.
Located 25 km from Siem Reap, it is an entry point into the Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, with a dusty ride and red soil road. The village will give you the best view of what is it like to be living in the countryside of Cambodia. The village offers you some best bird- watching spot on. If you are a person who is into birds or wildlife, this village will be a perfect place for you to check it out.
The best time to visit Mechrey is in the afternoon, when the children get back from school. You can experience the hustle and bustle of a floating village and have a great time to take pictures.
It is no wonder that you surely have a nice time when visiting all four villages. However, the point is that floating villages is another great way to experience culture.