A trip to the Angkor Wat in the Siem Reap province places you at a comfortable distance from another amazing place in Cambodia, the Chong Khneas, the most famous of its floating villages. The floating village is located just 15 km from the city of Siem Reap, which is most likely to be your camping grounds if you are interested in the Angkor Wat. It could take you not more than a drive of half an hour to take you to the Lake Tonle Sap where this amazing village is floating. If you plan to visit the place from Phnom Penh or Battambang, a ferry trip on the Tonle Sap River can get you there, but reaching the village from Siem Reap is much easier.
The economy of Cambodia is largely dependent on fisheries, which is the reason why large number of Cambodian population lives along side water bodies. Floating villages like Chong Khneas has a population that uniquely happens to live on a water body, but of course it becomes understandable when you come to learn about the Cambodian economy and society. But this necessity has surely given rise to a unique setting, which has become a tourist attraction in its own right.
Among the most important attractions of the floating village, the fish and crocodile farms are really popular. You can get very close and spectacular views of the crocodiles, which can offer you a good opportunity to take a snap or two to share with your family and friends. But obviously, it does not need any elaboration to caution you not to get too close. There is also a catfish farm next to the crocodile farm. Tourists often find it interesting to feed the crocodile and the catfish. You will hardly believe it when you would also see floating farms with chicken and pigs.
Another important attraction in Chong Khneas is the elementary school of the floating village. Tourists often take great interest in it and it can really be a really exciting and unique spectacle if you could time your boat round in the Chong Khneas just at the time when the children would be leaving the school for their homes. But even more important attractions are educational in nature for the tourists as well. The Gecko Environmental Center and the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary near the resort are very useful guides to the flora and fauna of the area around Lake Tonle Sap.
Probably the first sight that will await you in Chong Khneas is a crowd of boats along the banks of the river when you will arrive there from Siem Reap. While a boat ride is what visiting Chong Khneas is all about, many prefer to time their trip to enjoy a sunset boat ride. But a sunset boat ride could cost you more than a regular one. It is not difficult to find a boat ride at all, but if you go for better quality, such as a boat with meal and drinks, you will be charged quite a high fare. A ferry ride from Phnom Penh could cost you as much as $35, but the local boats can cost much less, especially the tak taks.
Chong Khneas is the most famous of the floating villages, but there are many more places like this to see as well. In fact, these days many tourists are not content with the crowded Chong Khneas, and are prepared to explore the floating villages deeper into the Lake Tonle Sap to find the ones which are more unadulterated and traditional. Just near the Chong Khneas, Kampong Kleang and Kompong Phluk are the best alternatives. On the other side of the lake, Kompong Luong is yet another spot in the Pursat province, which is gradually gaining popularity for a similar attraction.