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Why Chong Kneas Floating Village is special ?
Chong Kneas Floating Village is now extremely popular with visitors wanting a break from the temples, and is an easy excursion to arrange yourself. If you want something a bit more peaceful, try venturing to one of the other Tonlé Sap villages further afield. Visitors arriving by boat from Phnom Penh or Battambang get a sneak preview, as the floating village is near Phnom Krom, where the boat docks. It is very scenic in the warm light of early morning or late afternoon and can be combined with a view of the sunset from the hilltop temple of Phnom Krom. The downside is that tour groups tend to take over, and boats end up chugging up and down the channels in convoy. Avoid the crowds by asking your boat driver to take you down some back channels.
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What to explore at Chong Kneas Floating Village?
Visitors should stop at the Gecko Centre, an informative exhibition that is located in the floating village and helps to unlock the secrets of the Tonlé Sap. It has displays on flora and fauna of the area, as well as information on communities living around the lake.
The village moves depending on the season and you will need to rent a boat to get around it properly. However, Sou Ching, the company that runs the tours here has fixed boat prices at an absurd US$20 per person, plus a US$3 entrance fee. This makes it very poor value by comparison with the temples of Angkor. In practice it may be possible to pay just US$20 for the boat shared between several people.
One of the best ways to visit for the time being is to hook up with the Tara Boat, which offers all-inclusive trips with a meal aboard its converted cargo boat. Prices include transfers, entry fees, local boats, a tour guide and a two-course meal, starting from US$27 for a lunch to US$33 for a sunset dinner.
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How to get to Chong Kneas Floating Village?
There are many ways to arrange your trip to Chong Kneas, but the cheapest I’ve found is $15 through The Villa Siem Reap tour. That does not include a sunset experience however.
There is also another company that advertises heavily around town, Tara Boat, where you can do a normal cruise for $20 and a sunset cruise for $30. Both of those choices include at least one meal and one drink.
Both The Villa Siem Reap and Tara Boat include the transport to Chong Kneas and back in the price.
If you are much more interested in using the services of regular Cambodian people, you can do what I did and arrange this with a tuktuk driver. As I said, it was $25 for a sunset with no meals and drinks, but at least you know that your money goes directly to the smaller players.
- “Very Cool Experience!”
- "Very beautiful village"
- "Unique floating village"
- "Great day out"
- "Great and different experience"
Tonle Sap, Siem Reap, Campuchia
Tips for you
There are so many terrible reviews on here and I had to go figure it out for myself. Best way to get there is to hire a tuk-tuk driver for the day (around $20) then have him negotiate a deal with the boat people. For the four of us we ended up paying $50 which seemed to be fair as we had the boat for over 3 1/2 hours. The floating villages experience is as unique as it gets, where you will see things you will never see anywhere in the world. The reason why that most people call it a "tourist trap" is that because they havent travel to other countries like Cambodia or just didnt negotiate the price and what they exactly wanted out of the whole thing. I really enjoyed going to that little school as we met some kids and give them pencils, papers and a little bit of money. The market was also pretty cool but there again, one must negotiate the prices pretty well. And then you had the ultimate amazing sight; Children floating around in small saucers with HUGE SNAKES around their necks! And to make it worst, most of them had holes in their saucers which they had to clear with a pastic container so they didnt sink. Overall, I thought it was a pretty cool experience and I'm very happy I did it. I personally think its a must do while in Siem Reap, but make sure you have your tuk-tuk driver there negotiating for you!
Fascinating bec of the minivillage floating structures - grocery, lumber, school, and orphanage. Thanks to the Korean govt, the village is being assisted with livelihood projects. Part of the tour is to buy in their grocery for donation to the school (orphanage). Sad to say, the entrance/boat fee to the village - allegedly none goes to the village people. Minimal fee goes to boat operators. We had the opportunity of a tour guide (accompanying the boat driver) who is proficient in English despite non-schooled. If you like to help - aside from the grocery items available, you might want to bring clothings and other food items (non-perishables)