As you may know, the Tonle Sap lake, the largest body of water in SE Asia and the home of the floating villages of Siem Reap, is unique in that the water levels change based on the season. When it is the rainy season in Cambodia they will swell several meters high but, when the rain stops, the water levels slowly recede. In addition, just like the rest of the world, the sunrise and sunset changes depending on the time of year.
Due to the change in water levels and late sunset our tour of the floating village can change logistically from that listed on our website. Below you will find an updated itinerary for the month of September, 2017:
Guests leave Siem Reap slightly later (usually by 2:30pm) but still make the same stops on the way (sticky rice, donuts, and sometimes a market tour). The reason we leave slightly later is so we can try to catch the beginning of the sunset which sets a little bit later during this time of the year.
We depart from the co-op tourism center at the beginning of Kompong Khleang and not as the pagoda which is in the middle of Kompong Khleang. This is because the water is very high so we are able to take a longer boat ride through the village. It is also because the Khmer and ethnic Vietnamese floating villages have moved closer to Kompong Khleang.
In September we stay for most of the sunset but not all of the sunset. This is because it sets late (which would mean arriving in Siem Reap very late). That being said, on the boat ride back, you will still be able to see the entire sunset if it’s not cloudy.
We will go near but not all the way to the Tonle Sap. This is due to both the distance and the fact it can sometimes be choppy this time of year. That being said you can still view it from the boat.
We will get back to the community tourism dock between 6:15pm and 6:30pm depending on the quality of the sunset. If it is very good we will stay longer but if it is cloudy we will return earlier. We will arrive in Siem Reap between 7:15pm and 7:30pm.
As you can see, the September 2017 tour is essentially the same as listed on our website. The major differences are logistical in nature – we depart from the beginning of the village to see more of it, we don’t go into (but can see) the Tonle Sap, and we stay for most of but not all of the sunset. That being said the the tour itinerary is exactly the same.
If you have questions about how we will be conducting the tour on a particular date feel free to email us in advance and we’ll be able to provide more information. Thanks again for taking time to read this blog post and for your willingness to support our organization!