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“Great experience...”
Review of Tonle Sap River

Tonle Sap River
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Mekong and Tonle Sap River Sunset Cocktail Cruise with Dinner Option
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Private Phnom Penh Sunset Cruise
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River Cruise from Oudong To Phnom Penh
Ranked #233 of 438 things to do in Cambodia
Attraction details
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
67 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great experience...”
Reviewed 3 March 2013

We booked the tour through the hotel USD$38 each for us a group of 4 inclusive of the boat ride to see the fishing village with stilt houses. I don't think this is the same as the floating village. We were picked up in a aircon mini van which is good as you go through dusty road with leaves covered in reddish dust instead of green. Imagine getting there in tuk tuk. It was costly though as we realised you can do half the price from the travel agency but probably check if you need to pay extra for boat ride, etc.

The van took us to the dock for boat transfer, it's just for the four of us with the guide telling us about the village made up of more than 600 "pure" Cambodian families. According to him, we were brought to the middle of the village to show us around. The river was murky. You can't see anything beneath it. The houses were built high up on stilt to combat flood during the season. Yes, you do see naked children running around, playing in the river as part of their life. Oh, they are updated with Gangnam style dance and song and were enthusiatically showing off. Then we stopped to have a walk up in the village and the village is preparing a celebration of thanksgiving. We were lucky to catch this celebration with woman preparing food and religious setup. It's also interesting to meet local teacher teaching English to kids of different age and the kids were just shy to interact in English with you. Then there is a school where the seller sells you overpriced stationery for the children. The guide brings us to the classroom and we were introduced to the kids with the stationery for distribution. If you planned for this visit, bring your own stationery or clothes, toys that you can give away to them. That will be great.

Back to the boat, we were offered a small boat to row on our own which we declined but there are tourists who did. It's a big lake out there and we head back to rest in a floating restaurant for lunch / drinks. We had a taste of fresh fried snake fish USD$10 that was caught in the net before returning to the hotel. I still can't forget that snake looking head fish on the plate till now!

It's a great experience overall but too expensive for the price we paid!

Visited February 2013
1 Thank TravelSmug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 reviews from our community

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English first
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“I would avoid the floating market”
Reviewed 29 December 2012

We went to the floating market December 27,2012 on the advice from out tuk tuk driver. It takes 30-45 minutes down dirty dusty roads to get to the boat dock, Where you will then pay 25.00 per person to take a ride on the boat to the market. This is another 30 minutes before they drop you off at what looks like a bait shop with penned up crockadiles and catfish and kids wearing half dead snakes around there necks.

It was really boring and lack luster, and mediocre on all points. I have boated most of my life and the same pictures could be taken in Louisiana, or many gulf states, or Oklahoma where I am from. Wasted 3 hours of time we could have spent at the temples, and it cost more than the temple passes

For the money and time spent, I felt it was a total rip off. They will try to up sell you to take you to an orfanage so you can donate money to it for food, Plus there ArE big signs that tell you to remember to tip the boat drivers. It's really just a big cash cow for them and you don't know how much it sucks till its too late

Visited December 2012
3 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
312 reviews
116 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“Interesting trip to Battambang”
Reviewed 7 November 2012

I travelled by boat to Battambang, which took about 6 hours from Siem Reap. We passed an amazing array of floating homes, shops and schools. The people were so happy and friendly. It was a great experience and I am glad I chose that route than overland. I believe there are day tours from Siem Reap to see the floating villages, which would make an interesting change from the temples.

Visited December 2011
2 Thank Finlay122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, Ohio
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Better than any Floating Market”
Reviewed 23 March 2011

We had half day off in Siem Reap and our driver recommended the boat tour to see the Floating Villages (one Vietnamese, the other Cambodian). After driving 15-20min we reached the place where we could hire the boat (looks pretty bad, old). there are hundreds of boats and we noticed that they hired one boat per group. We were 2 in a boat for 20pax. We were absolutely not impressed by the surrounds (poor, dry, not for tourists I guess). So, after much hesitation, we paid USD20 pax. It took 20-30min in the boat to reach the open lake. Then what a surprise, a huge lake, you can't see where it ends and the Floating Villages. JUST GREAT. People living in such condition! That is real life in Cambodia. There was no market to see, things to buy. Eventually we reached a bigger boat where we could see the crocodiles underneath the houses and buy a Coke. Loved it!

Visited March 2011
14 Thank Sucazi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The Tonle Sap River Cruise to Siem Riep”
Reviewed 4 February 2009

To get the Siem Riep, the Base for visiting The Angkor Wat and other sites around it, we chose the boat trip rather than taking the bus. And am gald we did.
While we were initially wary of the many touts and agents presenting different stories and photos of the Boat, we chose the speed boat with the deck on top.
Take the first shuttle out of Pnom Penh. Though it leaves really early, its worth it. Do go early and occupy a nice spot on the deck as they are priced positions. The Noise of Diesel engine can be annoying but with a good Mp3 player and a book to go with, you are all set for the journey. Ticket sellers will tell you it is 3 hours, but it actually takes 5 hours give or take 20 mins depending upon the current.
Another tip is to buy breakfast the previous day or visit the bustling market ( on the road parellel to the one along the river) to pick up breakfast early. You get chilled beer and soft drinks on the boat sold by vendors but not any food).

As the river leads into the tonle sap lake the site is breath taking. Do carry a good hat and sun glasses for the boat trip and Siem riep. There is a lot of walking once you get there.

Take the bus back as it is not worth two trips and one is likely to be tired. The bus is great if you want catch some eyeshut.

5 Thank Findbhaskar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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