Toby Keps

Travelled to 12 countries / regions

Written 42 briefs
Backpacked across Thailand and Cambodia in 2019



Asia > Cambodia > Tonlé Sap Lake > Useful Info
Updated on Feb 02, 2020 Useful Info

How to get to Tonlé Sap floating villages from Siem Reap

  • Tonlé Sap Lake is located 15km directly south of Siem Reap. There are a number of floating villages all around the lakeshore that you can visit, but the best one is Kampong Phluk (located here). The one that's closer to Siem Reap is called Chong Khneas (located here) but it's a complete tourist trap with terrible terrible review
  • Regardless of if you're going to Kampong Phluk or Chong Khneas, the best way is to sign up and go with tour from Siem Reap. The alternative is to take a car/tuk tuk yourself to the lake then transfer to a boat. The reason it's best to go with a tour is twofold: first, it's very stressful to go on your own because from the moment you get off the tuk tuk, you will be pressured by the boat drivers to pay high fees for the boats, and on top of that they will also try to make you buy a lot things (like guilt tripping you to buy bags of rice "for local orphans", or provide unsolicited back massage services while on the boat). Second, it's actually much more expensive to go on your own than with a tour, because again the boat drivers charge very inflated prices to the "walk in" customers. If you haven't realized already, the boat drivers there are very pushy and borderline scammy

  • Option 1) Tours from Siem Reap
  • This is hands down the best way to see the floating village and I can't emphasize this enough: go with a tour, don't go on your ownUser submitted photo of Tonlé Sap Lake
  • You can book tours online through Viator and Klook:
  • The price for a half-day tour including pickup and drop off from Siem Reap starts at USD$18 per person. You pay by credit card through these websites and then you're good to go
  • On both Viator and Klook, just search for "Tonle Sap" in the search bar and you will see all the available tour options. There are lots of different tours no just the $18 dollar ones
  • Instead of booking through a website, a cheaper way to book a tour is to do so at one of the local travel agencies in Siem Reap old town. There are lots of tour agencies in Siem Reap. Go to any of them and ask them about tours to Kampong Phluk or just "floating village" and they can book you something. You can usually get something up to 20% cheaper than what you can get online
  • Once you've booked, you don't have to think about anything the tour will organize all your transportation to and from Tonle Sap from Siem Reap. Just remember to tip $3-$5 USD to your tour guide at the end of your tour

  • Option 2) Get there on your own by car/tuk tuk then boat
  • I strongly discourage this option because it's very stressful and borderline scam, you'll be pushed and pretty much harassed by the boat drivers, and you'll most likely end up spending lots of money to see a bunch of tourist traps. Just read these Tripadvisor reviews and you'll see what I mean
  • But if you insist on DIY, then what you need to do is to first get a car or tuk tuk in Siem Reap to take you to the Siem Reap Pier (located around here). You can have your hotel call a car for you, or find a tuk tuk on the streets outside. The price is going to be around $15-$20USD per passenger including the waiting time at the lake. Right off the bat, this is already pretty much the entire cost of the tour. The transportation from Siem Reap/Angkor Wat to Tonle Sap Lake pier takes 30-45 minutes each way
  • The car and tuk tuk will take you to the lake by the boat ticket booth. Here, you will need to negotiate a price for the boat. Most people end up paying $25-$35USD per person for the boat. Make sure you specify whether you want to go to Kampong Phluk or Chong Khneas. The boat tour segment will last 1.5-3 hours depending on where you're going
  • After you get on the boat, there's a high chance that the driver or a "tour guide" onboard will start talking about all the orphans, poor villagers, or their how desperate their own families are. This is to prepare you to buy bags or rice or other supplies as donation, which are not cheap (like $30-$50USD). And you might be taken to crocodile farms and various other "attractions" that you have to pay additional fees for (ranges from $10-$30USD)User submitted photo of Tonlé Sap LakeIf you don't pay, you will get the silence treatment and attitude from the driver and the guide. And finally they'll still ask you to tip them at the very end