Giant water snakes and crocodiles at Siem Reap’s Floating Villages

Floating Villages of Siem Reap
Ready for our adventure on the river to the Floating Villages of Siem Reap

This is a trip that is definitely for the adventurous traveler! It started with a dusty tuk-tuk ride down a pot hole filled road to a long open boat on the Tonle Sap lake. One of the things that make Asia so unique and special are the floating villages and markets you find on most lakes and rivers. Each floating village is quite unique with its own character and atmosphere created by the people. 

The boats we were travelling in were very basic, the small pillow didn’t quite cushion the hard seat but who needed luxury when on an adventure. 

The Floating Villages of Siem Reap
On our way to the Floating Villages we passed some fisherman taking a midday nap

My mom and I were super excited about visiting the floating village on the lake as we have heard a lot about it and it was mentioned to us by our fabulous tuk-tuk driver. He drove us out to Tonle Sap lake and helped us arrange this Floating Village tour.

Floating Villages of Siem Reap
On our way to the floating village

This was very tranquil on the lake and we were getting a glimpse of a unique lifestyle. As we floated past people would wave and some would even pose for a photo ot two. To think they spend most of their time on the water, fishing or living in a floating house. Even their shops and schools are built to float around on the lake.

Floating Villages of Siem Reap
I love that these floating houses even have their own little “gardens”

As we approached the village we were again reminded that we were outsiders observing this  unique way of living.  There were floating pigpens, flower markets and villagers going about their everyday life. On the river bank all the homes were built on stilts, and most had decks outfitted with container gardens with Lemon grass, herbs, vegetables and ornamental flowers. 

and we had soft drinks at a small floating restaurant.
The Floating houses even have their own gardens
Chong Kneas floating village
Arriving at the busy Chong Kneas floating village

Chong Kneas floating village
Woman selling bananas at Chong Kneas floating village

Our first stop was Chong Kneas floating village which featured absurdities such as small kids sporting huge water snakes and so-called crocodile farms which in reality are small ponds where dozens of crocodiles are crammed together.  

Young children in small canoe like boats paddled past us and smiled broadly for photos, posing with their snakes. Women with small boats filled with fruits and vegetables docked next to the floating restaurant trying to sell their produce.

 

Chong Kneas floating village
A little boy posing with his snake at Chong Kneas floating village

Chong Kneas floating village
A girl trying to sell some fresh bananas to the tourists

Not only was there a floating restaurant but also a local temple and schoolhouse that one could visit. The floating restaurant was very basic, it had drinks and cooked shrimps for sale for very little money so this is where we had our lunch before continuing our adventure.

 

Chong Kneas floating village
The snake is even bigger than the little girl holding it!

There were no postcard pushers as in the city and all the other usual tourist sites, just village people going about their daily life in this tranquil setting.

Kompong Phluk
The quiet floating village of Kompong Phluk

We floated past Kompong Phluk a small village which is truly authentic. Thanks to its low number of visitors. It felt genuinely untouched and peaceful.

Kompong Phluk
The fisherman at Kompong Phluk busy with boat 

maintenance 

I’d recommend this as a nice restful break between temple visits if you ever have the opportunity to visit Siem Reap. 

Kompong Phluk
Kompong Phluk floating village

Weekly Photo Challenge: Floating Markets From Above

The Floating Market is one of the most visited tourist sites on the outskirts of Bangkok
The Floating Market is one of the most visited tourist sites on the outskirts of Bangkok
Bangkok Floating Market
Bangkok Floating Market

Change your perspective on something by looking at it from above is this weeks photo challenge. The best view of the floating markets of Bangkok is definitely from Above.  One of the most famous pictures of Thailand, and one of the most visited tourist sites on the outskirts of Bangkok, is the famous Floating Market. 

While visiting Thailand, going to the floating markets was definitely one of my highlights of Bangkok. I headed out to the floating market on a morning tour and loved walking around the market in the midst of the buying and selling bustle.

Buying and selling of delicious looking fruit at the market
Buying and selling of delicious looking fruit at the market

The original canals which now make up the Floating Market were built in 1866 on demand of His Majesty the King of Thailand to help ease communication in the province. The actual Floating Market started in 1967 and today thrives with hordes of tourists from all over the world.

The Floating Market is such a unique place
The Floating Market is such a unique place

Most of these boats are mobile food stores selling anything from fruit to barbecued chicken. I sampled quite a couple of the different delicacies that were on offer. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious but I ended up only sampling all the little things freshly cooked on these floating boats.

It is early morning, before the heat of the day sets in
It is early morning, before the heat of the day sets in

If you are ever in Bangkok, make sure you visit a floating market and be sure to do it on an empty stomach!