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Tonle Sap Lake Scam

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Tonle Sap Lake Scam

Dear fellow TA members: please read the following link from TA prior to deciding whether or not this attraction is for you. Essentially, it is a scam.


Unfortunately, for us we missed this attraction review and unknowingly were scammed like many have already mentioned in the link above.

If you want to see a floating village, Kompong Khleang, though farther away is more worth while and genuine.

In summary- our tuk tuk driver on day 1 recommended this place and I even asked him if it was worth seeing and he said yes.

They charge $20usd pp for a ticket on the boat which is way expensive for Cambodia standards. Next my spouse and I were put on this boat alone and taken along with a boat driver and boy around 18 years old which at the time I presumed was an assistant who anchored and docked the boat, etc.

20 minutes into the boat ride he says that he's from one of the floating villages and that he's a volunteer. Next asked us what we did for a living and said that we can ask him any question we liked. As we passed along the houses where people lived on the lake he was explaining the area and the geography, at the time I even thought of giving him a tip upon our return to the dock.

Later he started going into how he was a student and one can guess the rest(I felt something was fishy at this time). They stopped at a floating market next, and the boy leaves us to look around at some junky souvenirs and later shows us cat fish that he claims are from the lake. He also showed us crocodiles held under a bridge not even from the lake. If I wanted to see crocs we would have went to a zoo!.. Tourist traps.

What's next is he tells us he will then take us to a floating school on the lake where he went to school and we can donate to the orphans if we like. He also tells us we can buy rice at the market and the rice will be used to feed the children.

I cut him off at this point and said nicely that we donate directly to our own charities and wanted to go back, using the excuse that it was hot. Mind you that only my spouse and I were on this boat alone with the shadey boy and boat driver so we were very vulnerable, in the middle of a huge lake and had no means to contact anyone for help. So calmly and mentally I coerced them to take us back.

Once I told him I didn't want to see the school or buy any rice, his face turned 360 degrees and then he pulled out a cigarette and started to smoke in our faces. At the corner of my eyes I also noticed him text messaging someone on his phone. As we pulled back to the dock, they pulled into a very empty area without any other boats or people behind and the boy started to prompt me to tip him and also the boat driver so that he can go to school. Not to judge a book by a cover but he by no means did he look like a student, the guy looked like d a thug once he started smoking and took of his sunglasses.

During the boat ride I even tested him and said your English is so good why don't you go back to your school and help to teach the kids..he totally ignored what I said at that time which confirmed the scam and his purpose on the boat.

Long story short, we were unfamiliar with the area and were put in a very vulnerable position and so I sacrificed' to him $5usd as a tip once we got back, but it was more to buy our safety since I was alone with my spouse in a very empty side of the dock when we pulled in. The boy also had the audacity to ask for more money despite the $5 that I already gave.

I told my driver this and he said he will report the place, but I know nothing will be done as laws here are laws of the jungle, regardless of complaint. Underneath the tourist side there are many political and corruption occurring like this one that continues to make the people suffer.

I wanted to to post this as an ALERT for all those even considering coming here so you can ready the link above and also learn from my experiences. I would rather give the $40 total we paid to a driver or someone working hard for their money not thugs exploiting tourists from the operation selling the tickets to the boy and boat driver.

Amsterdam, The...
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21. Re: Tonle Sap Lake Scam

Absolutely correct. The only way for it to wane is if the tourist numbers are cut in half there. If that could ever happen I don't know especially since I am sure a lot of the visitors must be those large tour groups mostly from Asian countries whose tour operators and hotel owners may not be in on the 'charity' scams but must be getting kickbacks on ticket fees from the other foreign company Sou Ching who runs the Chong Khneas concession.

22. Re: Tonle Sap Lake Scam

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Removed on: 14 November 2014, 05:17