You will not want to miss a visit to Kampung Phluk the next time you visit Angkor Wat, because this river village is nothing like you’ve ever seen before.
When your boat slows down as the first houses come into view, you can’t be helped but be awestruck by the sight of them. Houses supported by bamboo stilts, sitting up high 10 meters above the water.
The village is huge! The sheer volume of houses built closely together was overwhelming as you will see houses after houses after houses. And that’s not all.
As you go further into the village, your senses will be assaulted by that salty smell that is not entirely pleasant. It comes from their fish, crocodile, and pig farms.
They also ‘grow’ their vegetables. This water hyacinth on the left grows naturally, and they eat the young ones as part of their diet.
Kampung Phluk is practically located at the edge of the Tonle Sap lake, where every year the water level rise and fall, depending on the season.
During the wet season, the lake ‘overflows’ and floods the area surrounding it. During the dry season, the opposite happens.
This flooding ritual is why houses on the village are constructed on the stilts. The Cambodian villagers adapt to the yearly change by adjusting the house height up and down, depending on the water level.
Floating market for everyone. Get this picture as your wallpaper!
As the boat slowly moves further into the village, you will see Cambodian people going on with their lives, whether washing clothes, trading, cleaning newly caught fish, or relaxing in the house safe from the hot sun.
The village has all the basic facilities for its residents- a temple, a stupa to keep the ashes of the departed, monastery and schools. There is no western hospital, and for minor illnesses, people still prefer their traditional medicine. Only in serious cases do they go to a hospital in Siem Reap.
We went to Kampong Phluk during the dry season, so we could actually walk on ‘land’. During this time, the water level falls so drastically that kids can walk to school. But in the rainy season, this ‘road’ is completely submerged under water. You can see how high the house is built, in anticipation of the wet season.
|During the dry season, you’ll also see the villagers take advantage of the available dry space to dry their shrimps. After dried, they’re then seasoned, and later packaged to be sold.|
Life at the village is also not without fun! This boat is the pride and joy of the village, having won so many races against other villages, and competed with other countries.
After spending some time around the village for a while, do not miss out on seeing the great Tonle Sap lake that is a very short boat drive away.
Being on the lake is more like being on the sea; you cannot see the edges of the lake.
I was getting worried after a while that we’d be lost =)
Lunch At The Mangrove
After floating on the lake for a while, we stopped to have lunch among the trees. Since our boat was too big to actually go inside the mangrove, we settled on parking the boat just outside of it to enjoy our lunch. After a long walk under the hot Cambodian sun, the rest was very much welcomed! As we ate, Sokha, our guide continued to tell us stories and facts about Cambodian life.
So In Short…
We really enjoyed the visit to Kampung Phluk, and could not imagine leaving Cambodia without seeing it. Even my brother, who earlier that day complained about the long ride to Kampong Phluk, liked it very much that he recommended this village as a must-see day trip to other travelers that we later met.
We hope that when you visit you will like Kampung Phluk as much as we did. It is a great chance to step into an entirely different world. Do not miss this number one must do and see on our Cambodia activities list!
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<h3″ align=”left”>What Other Visitors Have Said
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Kompung Phluk is an interesting place in Siem Reap
Kompung Pluk is an interesting place that i actually can’t forget that place. I always want to go to visit that place again and again. If you go to visit …
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