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Why Kampong phluk is special ?
Kampong Phluk is a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap about 16 km southeast of Siem Reap. The villages are primarily Khmer and have about 3,000 inhabitants between them. Flooded mangrove forest surrounds the area and is home to a variety of wildlife including crab-eating macaques.
What to explore at Kampong phluk?
The houses of this kampong (kampong means ‘village’) are built on stilts as 2-story high. On rainy season when the water level is high, the stilts are covered in water giving the impression that the houses are floating.
On dry season, when we went, the stilts are exposed. Which, we think, makes it even look more impressive. The houses seemed to soar way high over our heads.
I always feel a little awkward during these ‘voyeuristic’ type of excursions. But I can see the appeal as well: It’s fascinating seeing other people do the same things we’d do ourselves back home: doing laundry, dishes, etc but in a completely different setting – in this case, a watery setting.
Instead of a car, each house had a wooden boat parked in front. Instead of a garden, they’d have floating potted plants. Doing laundry and dishes, and taking a shower involved climbing down a rickety set of ladders (or done on a canoe!).
And of course you get to see things you don’t normally see back home either, like pigs raised on a floating platform.
How to get to Kampong phluk?
Any guesthouse in Siem Reap can arrange a visit there for $20 a person (cheaper with a bigger group). It will be just your group. You can get there indepedently by renting a tuk-tuk yourself, and as long as the driver knows where Kampung Phluk is, he can help you with entrance tickets and getting a boat. The boat and the tuk-tuk alone will cost around $35 per visit – regardless of the # of people.
- Kampong Phluk through the eyes of of a true local
- Great visit after you have seen all the temples
- Floating Village - An experience
- Real village lifestyle away from the tourists
- A great experience
Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Tips for you
From August to January the water level is still high enough to flood the forest surrounding the Tonle Sap Lake. For the remainder of the year you will not see a flooded forest but the houses of the village will appear as like standing on gigantic stilts which makes a visit to this village worthwhile all year round.Weather
"A great experience" A few people have had bad experiences and I can understand why, it can be uncomfortable. But don't let it deter you. My wife and I went yesterday during dry season by tuk tuk with a driver organised by our hotel for $18. We left at 3pm. The ride out to Kampong Phulk takes about 1 hour 20 minutes and the road is dirty and so will you be, so if this is a problem take a car for $35. The price at the checkpoint was $25 each and the road got really rough down to the boat. The water level was low and my wife slipped in the mud getting on the boat. Because we didn't come with a tour we got our own boat and our driver negotiated us through very tight waterways and spectacular scenery. With stilted houses on both sides, kids playing, other boats trying to get out of the way, bamboo bridges and lot of rubbish, it was an experience you cannot get many other places. We broke out of the river and entered the vast lake with a unique view of floating villages. We stopped at a pontoon, no one tried to sell us anything but beer and food and sat to watch to sun go down. We left before sunset, mindful of the road home. If you go by tuk tuk the ride back is dirty and the odd bug, just cover your face and eyes and it's fine.