Floating Village in Cambodia – Unique Way of Living on Water!

Cambodia is famous for its strange floating villages that have become tourist attractions because of its uniqueness. The villages are constructed by the residents who live next to Tonle Sap Lake and floating is a way to keep up with the river’s seasonal variations.

Why are they floating?

During the rainy season the water levels in Tonle Sap expands from 3000 square kilometers and 2m depth in the dry season, to a whole 10,000 square kilometers with 14 meter depth. Water flows into it from the great Trans boundary river Mekong during the rainy season. The rainy season ranges from June to October, where as NovembeUrban Adventure Toursr to May is a dry season.

The villages are made of small houses and are clustered together giving it a unique charm. During rainy season they go through dramatic transformation, where floating villages rise up and down with any change in the water levels. During dry season however, people live close to the shores, where houses are built on stilts.

Life in a floating village:

The communities practically live on water. Most of the people are ethnic Vietnamese and from Cham communities. These people make living from fishing on the lake. The lake has an abundant stream of fish with almost 300 different species as well as crocodiles, turtles and snakes, which makes it the main source of living. The lake feeds more than 3,000,000 people.

Land in Cambodia is priced too high for residents to buy. Many people are forced to live on the water mostly because they do not own land. Those who cannot afford it choose to live in these floating villages regardless of any risks involved.

The wondrous floating villages also feature floating shops, schools, churches, hospitals and other institutions that allow its people to live in total comfort above water. Many of these amenities are built on stilts. Most of the basic requirements have been set up keeping up with the needs of the people, including a mechanic shop and a crocodile farm! For tourist there are fancy restaurants and sundeck from where one can gaze into the expanse of water, marveling the beauty of the strange way of living!

Visit to floating villages:

There are three main floating villages around Siem Reap namely; Kompong Khleang, Chong Kneas and Kompong Phluk. Being closest to Siem Reap, Chong Kneas is the most popular of them all. There are approximately 6000 people in Kompong Khleang, 5000 in Chong Kneas and 2800 in Kompong Phluk. The largest floating village is Kompong Khleang with the floating houses extending far and wide.

Chong Kneas is just 15 kms from Siem Reap, and can be easily reached by a boat in less than an hour. Boats are available at ticket booths all day long. It takes around 2 hours for a trip to the village. These boats pass through smaller villages on both sides of river. One can spot small kids with snakes wrapped around their necks, they are soft drink vendors, who jump from one moving boat to the other without the slightest hesitation! You can’t resist buying a can of soft drink for $1, after seeing a daring stunt like that from a kid barely 7! Boats can also be hired for a day long trip to visit Kompong Phluk and Kompong Khleang.

Best time to visit:

You can visit Cambodia any time of year. The place has a tropical climate that is well suited for all visitors. However, if you want to marvel at the full extent of the floating villages, the rainy season is the best. December and January are the most favored months with relatively lower humidity levels.

Cambodia is full of attractions but if you just want to experience a daring and creative lifestyle; it is worth to visit these inspirational villages on water. Enjoy the rich cuisines in some of the floating restaurants.


  • If you have finished visiting other attractions in Siem Reap, make a trip to one of the villages late in the afternoon and enjoy the sun setting in the back drop.
  • One can also accommodate a trip to a village in the late afternoon, on the day of the arrival in Siem Reap, before visiting Angkor Wat the next day.
  • Read more about Cambodia on ilovetripping

http://www.ilovetripping.com is a travel blog of Priti Zararia, an avid traveler, explorer, photographer and a travel blogger! A global citizen, she believes one does not need to be a backpacker or rich to travel around the world. Priti has traveled to various countries, exploring cities, villages, mountains, beaches, heritage, history, local culture, people and the food! She can be hired for travel photo assignments or travel blogging for tourism promotion for any country or a state. Write to her on ilovetripping111@gmail.com

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A Better Opportunity to See Vietnam

Urban Adventure Tours

On 1 July 2015, a new agreement came into effect between the Vietnamese and British governments that allows British visitors on tour or on business to enter Vietnam for a stay of up to 15 days without a visa. This is a considerable improvement on the old system that required prior application for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy in London or an alternative arrangements to receive a visa on-arrival. It is to be expected that this easement in entry regulations will encourage many more British people to visit Vietnam, boosting the country’s income from tourism and establishing more business contacts.

Speaking to people in England about places they would like to visit frequently reveals Vietnam to be a priority holiday aspiration. Its great scenic beauty is well known internationally and curiosity about its long war and how the country has progressed and prospered since adds to the interest. Neighbouring Thailand has for many years been a popular holiday destination for British tourists and many would like to move on to explore new countries in the region. Now with equal access, Vietnam can expect a good share of that onward movement.

Vietnam has the basic features needed to attract tourists of all tastes. For the typical sun and sea lover, the country has beautiful sandy beaches, offering all-year-round sunshine in the south and spring and summer (May to September) sunshine in the north. Its two great cities: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, have modern hotels of all grades and excellent restaurants, as well as state-of-the-art shopping malls, cinemas and swimming pools. The two cities are well connected by air services that are frequent, comfortable and reliable, with a journey time of two hours. It is recommended that most visitors to Vietnam should take advantage of this air link to see the two rather different parts of this long narrow country.

Vietnam is full of unusual topographical features from the two thousand mountains in the sea at the UNESCO world heritage site at Ha Long Bay, to the steep hillsides and winding roads around Sapa and the rivers through the mountains in Ninh Binh. Man-made wonders include several famous pagodas, cathedrals in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and the Vietnamese army’s celebrated secret weapon in the war in the south: the underground tunnels, barracks and hospital at Cu Chi. Vietnam cannot be fully appreciated in fifteen days but that is the length of the standard holiday. Those who fall in love with the country will be welcome to come back, visa free, again and again.

John Powell

John Powell weaves a tale of tension and intrigue into the lives and loves of the Mainu family and their friends, against the rich social, cultural, economic and political background of the first four decades of Ghana’s independence, in his two novels: The Colonial Gentleman’s Son and Return to the Garden City.



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Eating Out in Hanoi

Hanoi - Vietnam

Eating out in Hanoi’s Old Quarter

Hanoi, in common with most modern capital cities, offers a wide range of gastronomic experiences and dishes to suit most palates and pockets. Although local Vietnamese cuisine is dominant, and offered in a variety of forms, restaurants of all the major international food purveyors are well established: Chinese, Thai, Indian, Japanese, Italian, and even an Irish pub for those who favour a lunch of the liquid kind. Cuisine in Vietnam is underpinned by more than 70 years exposure to French culture so one can be sure of good basic standards and being served crisp freshly baked bread.

Hanoi is a
city of lakes and two are of special interest. Located at the centre is the lake of the redeemed sword (Ho Hoan Kiem), home of a famous giant turtle. Circled by roads and narrow strips of parkland, it is the social centre of the city and a place where many people congregate in the evenings and at weekends. For the tourist, it is a number-one priority and an excellent place to first sample Vietnamese food. One can choose between eating on a terrace at the lakeside or on a balcony several storeys high, enjoying a panoramic view across the lake. To the north of the city lies the West Lake (Ho Tay), much bigger than Ho Hoan Kiem and the home of fair-sized ships. Here one can experience a romantic dinner on an evening cruise and afterwards sit at a lakeside terrace enjoying a drink accompanied by live music.

Hanoi is full of towering office and apartment blocks, some combined with shopping malls, cinemas and swimming pools. In one such commercial complex to the west of the city known as ‘The Garden’, is a good Italian restaurant which also offers some Mexican dishes. In the more central district of Dong Da, just off Thai Ha street, is a highly recommended restaurant offering sushi and other Japanese dishes.

For those on a limited budget, looking for an alternative to American fast foods, one can recommend the numerous small restaurants offering the typical Vietnamese dishes of beef noodles (Pho Bo) and chicken noodles (Pho Ga). For a price of about one dollar one can purchase a tasty and satisfying meal, often with hot or iced green tea included. Some noodles restaurants also offer alternative inexpensive dishes of fried rice.

However modest one’s budget, one should take care to eat at a properly established restaurant on a busy street where one will find tables with chairs or stools of normal height, and a generally clean and airy environment. It is best to avoid the cheapest establishments in alleyways with low stools and tables, where standards of hygiene may not be to international standards. Rest assured that following these few guidelines, eating in Hanoi is as safe as anywhere, and one can be free to enjoy the full range of gastronomic delights that Vietnam has to offer.

John Powell

John Powell weaves a tale of tension and intrigue into the lives and loves of the Mainu family and their friends, against the rich social, cultural, economic and political background of the first four decades of Ghana’s independence, in his two novels: The Colonial Gentleman’s Son and Return to the Garden City.



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Koh Rong Island Cambodia

Cambodia may be widely known as the home of the magnificent ancient Angkor Wat Complex; but a number of travelers do not know that this Southeast Asian country also has an absolutely gorgeous archipelago with miles and miles of white sand beach, which has remained undeveloped and untapped.

Koh Rong is the name given to the main island and the whol


Cambodia – Tropical Paradise!

e archipelago around it. It is also referred to as the Monkey Island, known among locals for its folkloric tales and air of mystery. Although it has gone under the radar, travelers are starting to realize that the 78-square-kilometer Koh Rong has all the potential to be the next big island destination in the Southeast Asian region.

If your ideal vacation is leisurely relaxing on a beautiful sandy stretch most of the day, Koh Rong is the perfect place for you. The island has seven major bays and plenty of beaches. But the interior region of the island has barely proper roads. That is why, when you are going from beach to another, you usually need to trek or take a boat.

Long Set beach, just north of Koh Touch is considered to be one of the best beaches on Koh Rong in terms of scenery. The white coral sand Seven-Kilometre beach at edge of Sok San village is also very idyllic. Although it does not have much modern infrastructure, there are still activities in Koh Rong that will keep you active. There are nice diving and snorkeling sites around the island. Fishing is also a great option as well as trekking through the island’s thick rainforests.

Perhaps the most prominent village and beach in Koh Rong is Koh Touch. This is where most of the late night bars of the island are located, so some people choose to come here for the party scene. Koh Touch is especially popular among backpackers and divers. But if you are looking for beaches that are quieter and more secluded, you can easily find them. They are the types of places where the sounds of nature dominate the evening and induce visitors to go to bed early.

But major changes are about to come to Koh Rong in the coming years. There have been reports of major developers planning to make the island a top commercial eco-resort. So if you prefer the stripped down natural version of Kong Rong, make immediate plans and you will most likely not regret it.

Most places on Koh Rong have collections of small rustic resorts with bungalows. Aside from Koh Touch, the sleepy village of Sok San has the biggest number of accommodation. This is where you can find over-water stilted bungalows in addition to the usual basic beach huts. However there are also options for people who seek the ultimate luxury. One of those viable options is the Song Saa Resort, which is located on the northern part of the island and is said to be the chosen hangout for millionaires.

Koh Rong’s seclusion is the main reason why there are no ATMs and internet cafes on the island. These days, some bigger hotels may offer free WiFi. The island’s electricity comes from generators, and most of them are shut down at a certain time at night. You can reach Kong Rong by taking a boat from the town of Sihanoukville. There are also faster privately-run boat services that take you directly to the key sections of Koh Rong.


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