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Kompong Phluk, Siem Reap Overview

Kompong Phluk is one of the floating villages located on Tonle Sap, the largest lake in South East Asia. The village is home to thousands of locals who have been inhabiting the place on the banks of the lake known for its fertile ecosystem, living amidst nature. Located about 30 km from Siem Reap, visiting Kompong Phluk is one of the popular day trip options for the tourists visiting Cambodia to experience the unique life of locals.

Kompong Phluk is bigger than the touristic Chong Kneas and consists of three neighbourhoods housing a market, a few official buildings and houses. Depending on the season you arrive, you could see the floating village by boat tours through the canals or stilted houses on muddy roads, making it one of the unique attractions.

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Kampong Phluk Tour

Depending on the season you visit, you can plan your day trip to Kampong Phluk accordingly. If visiting during the dry season, arrive at the village and explore it on a walking tour covering the streets lined with stilted houses. During the wet season, you'll have to take a guided boat tour from the pier. You can easily spend about 2 hours checking out the neighbourhoods.

Being a permanent settlement, touring around this village gives an insight into the unusual life of people here. Water rises to more than 10 feet deep during the wet season causing high currents, which brings in water from the Mekong flooding the lake. As the summer approaches, water levels in Tonle Sap subside clearing the muddy roads built at the stilt levels of the houses.

Most of the houses and the other buildings are built on stilts to adapt to these varying water levels. These buildings appear to be floating with water levels coming up to their door front during high tides.

Fishing is the primary source of livelihood for all the villagers when the water levels are up. During the dry season when the water levels recede, villagers do farming in the nearby villages. If you visit during this time, you can enjoy the views of beautiful lush forests surrounding the town, which remain flooded during the rest of the year. The entire village also looks like a place with a series of wooden skyscrapers, thanks to the stilts.

If you take a guided boat tour, you can get a chance to visit the houses of locals, shop in the little floating markets where you can buy the traditional products. Kompong Phluk has also become touristy of late, unfortunately, so beware of the tour agents that ask you to donate to the villagers. Cruising through one of the largest lakes in the world, you can enjoy the pleasant views of these houses, beautiful forests and many rare birds.

You can also take a private tour and freely navigate making your routes under the stilted houses through the various canals. Watching the local life observing old traditions and interacting with the warm and friendly locals makes it for an exciting day trip from Siem Reap.

Time Required

You need at least an hour to explore Kompong Phluk and another 2 hours for the return journey. The best way to plan this trip is to take a day trip to the village, where you can also cover the other two communities Chong Khneas and Kampong Khleang on your way back.

Best time to visit Kompong Phluk

As mentioned above, you get to experience Tonle Sap and Kompong Phluk differently depending on the season that you visit. From October to January, the village looks picturesque floating above the water surrounded by greenery after the rains. If you visit during the onset of summer between February and May, you'll encounter muddy roads with little water and the lake almost dry, during which the village doesn't float.

How to reach Kompong Phluk

It takes about an hour to reach from Siem Reap. You can go up to Chong Khneas dock by taxi, and a round trip of the same costs about 50 USD per person. From there, you'll have to take a boat to get to Kompong Phluk. The total time to travel to the village and back would be around 2.5 hours excluding the time spent there.

The boat ride lasts between 1 to 1.5 hours through the town. The cost of the boat tour varies according to the season. During the dry season, you can take Kompong Phluk boat trip for just 5 USD per person. During the peak season, it costs around 20 USD per person, which is worth it given the unique experience. These tours are usually arranged for a group consisting of 7 to 8 people. You can also take a private trip at an increased value.

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