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The Great Lake Tonle Sap & Floating Village

Five provinces circled the area of Tonle Sap Lake, more than three million of population inhabited around the bank of the Lake and 90% of them earn a living by catching fish and making agricultures. As you can see on the map of Cambodia It stretches across the northwest section of the country.


The Lake is the largest fresh water in South East Asia. Its dimension changes depending on the monsoon and dry season. During raining season from June to October, the lake is filled by water flowing from the Mekong with 14 meters in depth and expands the surface of 10,000 square Kilometers. In dry season from November to May its size 3,000 square kilometers with two meters in depth and water flows out from the Lake to the Mekong, in and out flowing is the natural phenomenon occurrences. The flooded forest surrounding the edge of the lake is the best shelter and also very important for all kinds of fishes spawned and breeding babies. This lake providing many of biodiversities, over 300 species of fresh water fishes, as well as snakes, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles and otters. More than 100 varieties water birds including storks, pelicans, etc

The Lake is also an important commercial resource, providing more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia. In harmony with the specialized ecosystems, the human occupations at the edges of the lake is similarly distinctive - floating villages, towering stilted houses, huge fish traps, and an economy and way of life deeply intertwined with the lake, the fish, the wildlife and the cycles of rising and falling waters

The lake located about 15 km south of Siem Reap town; you can make your journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh by express boat crossing the lake and dock at the village of Chong Khneas. Its takes only six hours, but this trip we may recommend you during Monsoon season. In dry season the boat sometimes stuck in mud because the water is low. There are several ways to see the culture and wildlife of the lake area depending on the amount of time you have and your interest.

Chong Khneas is the name of famous floating village at the edge of the lake. It locates at Southern part of Siem Reap town about 15 Km, and takes only 30 minutes by vehicles to the boat dock where there are always boats waiting for visitors. The boat trip through the floating village takes approximately two hours. You will explore the different of Khmer, Muslim and Vietnamese floating households and the floating markets, fisheries, clinics, schools, basketball course, pigsty and other boatloads of tourists.

Chong Khneas, was before very interesting, but now region is owned by private firm they did increasing prices and the area looks more commercial. The boat trip usually includes two stops: one at a touristy floating 'fish and bird exhibition' with a souvenir and snack shop, and the other at the very highly recommended Gecko Environment Centre, which offers displays and information introducing the ecology and biodiversity of the lake area.

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Kampot - Sea Foods

Is a small town on the Tuk Chhou River, 5km inland from the sea. Fishing and farming are the main activities; durians and melons grow in abundance.

To the south end of town is a large dusty traffic circle with three hotels arrayed around it – Phnom Kieu, Phnom Kamchay and Tuk Chhou.

Each has its own restaurants; Tuk Chhou offers a seedy nightclub. Also on the circle is Prachummith Restaurant, close by is Amar Restaurant.

To the south near the river is the GPO and telecommunications building. At the north end of town, about 1.5 km away, is the Central Market, with foodstalls. All Kampot transportation is concentrated within range of the market-cycle, motors, taxis, trucks, and buses. The railway station lies farther north.

KampotThere’s zero of interest in Kampot except to walk around town and look at crumbling French-built blue-shuttered shop fronts. Previously Kampot was a stepping-stone to Bokor and Kep. You can reach Kampot by irregular plane service from Phnom Penh. It’s not advisable to get there by car. It takes about 5 hours to cover the 150 km from Phnom Penh to Kampot.

From Sihanoukville it’s 105 km to Kampot by a jumping and dirt road. The train from Phnom Penh to Kampot takes seven hours. It used to be a frequent target of the Khmer Rouge - in a 1994 ambush, three foreigners were captured by them.

Tourist attraction:

Teuk Chhu Resort
Is the natural resort locating at Snom Prompi Village, Mak Prang Commune, Kampot District in eight- Kilometer distance, north of the provincial town. The resort has water flowing from Phnom Dam Rey – Phnom Kam Chay. The water is cool and clear flowing down over the big rocks for year round. At Teuk Chhu resort, there are valuable and delicious fruit like Durian, Mangostreen,

Rambutan, Mak Prang, Pineapple, Grape fruit, Custard apple, coconut etc.

Kampot

Prek Ampil Resort
Is the beach rich in white sand, mangrove and coconut trees, and locates at Koh Touch Commune, Kampot by the National Road No 3. At the resort, we can enjoy the fresh seafood like crabs, cuttlefish, lobster, snail, and varied sea fish.

Bokor Resort
Locates at 42Km distance from the provincial town of Kampot, and was found by a French people 1922 during the reign of the King, Sisovath Before, Bokor was a leisure place for French colonists who need to exchange atmosphere from the plain area to the mountain area at seaside.

The Mountain of Bokor has 1,075-meter height, good weather and beautiful natural view with big trees and rocks shaping up as animal figure. In Sang Kum Reas Ni Yum, there were public buildings, which look like a city there.

At seven-kilometer distance from the mountain, there is a swimming spot locating the water ‘Po Pok Vil’. On the top of the mountain, we can view the beautiful scenery of Kampot town, Kep, Sihanouk Ville and blue water of the sea.

Kampong Trach Resort
Is the rocky mountain having caves and natural wells where arranged and worshipped by the tradition of Cambodia, China and Vietnam. The resort locates in 38Km distance, East of Kampot town by the National Road No 16. There is a natural well having 30m diameter and other small natural wells having four-meter stair and artistic stone look like animal or object shape. From these natural wells, there is along cave that we can go through to the La Ang Viel Sre 100 and La Ang Thmar Dos.

At these natural wells, there are some evidences remain which prove that the wells were the main filming place before the 70th decade. At the front valley, there is a pagoda of Chinese and Vietnamese. In front of the cave, there is a Cambodian pagoda, which has been now maintained and arranged by the pagoda committee permanently. Among the above four resorts excepted Teuk Chhu have not been renovated and well organized yet. However there are tourists and researchers visit the resorts.

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Siem Reap the Land of God



This section as intended as a guide for visiting the monuments at Angkor. It can be either read in advance of a visit or afterwards to reinforce the experience, or used at the sites to enable the visitor to be an active spectator. Historical quotes from early visitors to Angkor are included where appropriate to try to capture the spirit of its past glory.

Legends and symbolism are also included whenever feasible to give the visitor additional background for a better appreciation of Angkor.


VISITING THE MONUMENTS

It is based on the amount of time the visitor has to spend at Angkor and take into consideration the roads, proximity of the temples, and favorable light conditions.

For some temples it is important to begin at the principal entrance to perceive the space and decoration as the builder intended, and entrances are indicated in the text. The monuments are oriented according to the four points of a compass which can be used as a point of reference. the temple of Angkor Wat is covered in detail in this book because of its importance, complexity and size.


Angkor provides wonderful photographic opportunities. the monuments and the surrounding jungle afford unlimited textural and lighting opportunities for composing a picture.

Clouds are common and tend to diffuse the light which is somewhat flat even though it is intense. As most of the temples face east the best lighting conditions are in the morning except for Angkor Wat where the best light is in the afternoon because it faces west. the temples surrounded by jungle such as Ta Prohm and Prah Khan can be photographed with good results when the sun is directly overhead and shining through the foliage. Just as one is never prepared for the enormous size and overwhelming beauty of Angkor, one is never ready to leave it. With photographs and visions etched in memory, one need never say good-by to Angkor, for its magic will go with you wherever fate and the gods may take you to colour your thoughts and dreams to life's very end. The name of the monuments at Angkor are often modern ones designated by Cambodians or early European travellers. In publications by the French the enclosures of a temple are numbered starting from the central sanctuary and progressing towards the enclosing walls. The system used in this book reverses the order for the convenience of the visitor. Thus the first enclosing wall the visitor encounters when entering a temple is number one. the numbers ascend from the exterior to the interior of the monument. In many distances, though, only traces of the enclosing walls, particularly the outer one, remain.


ADMISSION FEES

You must possess an admission pass (an 'Angkor Pass') to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. One-day tickets only can be purchased at the secondary tollgate on airport road entrance near Angkor Wat and at Banteay Srey.

Passes are sold in one-day ($20), three-day ($40) and seven-day ($60) blocks that must be used on consecutive days. Photo taken on the spot with free of charge is required at time of purchase.

Visiting hours are 5:00AM - 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. Always carry your ticket. It will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples. There is a significant fine for not possessing a valid ticket inside the park. A regular admission ticket is not required to visit Phnom Kulen, Koh Ker or Beng Melea, but there is a separate entrance fee of $20, $10 and $5, respectively.

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Sihanoukvill Beach Resort

Beautiful Cambodia Beach and Island

'Beach town', 'port community', 'fledgling resort destination' - all describe Sihanoukville, Cambodia's premier beach town. Sihanoukville's white sand beaches and warm Gulf of Thailand waters combine with a laid back, beachy atmosphere to provide a great little tropical getaway. Sihanoukville is a place to unwind by the beach, enjoy the fresh from-the-ocean seafood, take in a snorkeling or scuba trip, and generally slow-down, lay back and chill-out.

Sihanoukville has a different look and feel than most Cambodian towns. Constructed as a port city in the late 1950s, the town is much newer, more urban and cosmopolitan than most Cambodian provincial cities.

Nowadays, Sihanoukville is as much a beach town as it is a port town, catering to beach-going weekenders from Phnom Penh as well as a steadily increasing number of foreign visitors. Still, the pace of life in Sihanoukville is very relaxed.

Cows occasionally wander the main road, outside town foreign faces draw smiles and curious stares, and most of the beaches offer only beach umbrellas, thatched roofed eateries, and a growing number of restaurants, bungalows and hotels.

Sihanoukville has a more than ample supply of accommodations, including a 5-star resort complex on Sokha Beach, several mid-range places downtown and at the beaches, a few 'upscale' three-star hotels, and dozens of budget guesthouses, especially on Weather Station Hill (Victory Hill).

Sihanoukville Beach

Considering the moderate number of visitors to Sihanoukville, the town offers a surprising number and variety of restaurants and bars.

Fresh seafood, especially crab, prawns and ocean fish, has always been one of the town's biggest draws, but there is also a wide variety of places offering foreign cuisines - Australian, French, Indian, German, Sri Lankan, British, Italian, pizza places, a couple of western bakeries and even a espresso coffee shop.

And these days Sihanoukville offers a pretty good night life as well with a wide variety of bars staying open well into the wee hours, especially on Weather Station Hill, in the downtown area, and the beach bars on Ochheuteal, ‘Serendipity’ and Victory Beaches.

ORIENTATION
Sihanoukville is not a small place, and the best way to get around is to hire a motorbike.  Sihanoukville itself is east of the main backpackers' beach and close to the more mid-range Ochatial Beach. Due south of town is tiny Ko Pos Beach, which ha a solitary mid-range hotel, and the larger Independence Beach, which has the crumbling Independence Hotel - slated for redevelopment.

INFORMATION
Cambodian's only deep-sea port is located here and considerable international aid has been spent to improve the infrastructure in the province. Although tourism has increased over the past few years, the beaches of Sihanoukville are some of the most unspoiled in all of Southeast Asia. It is a prefect tropical getaway, filled with lovely beaches and facilities for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving or just sunbathing. Boat trips are also available to many of the nearby islands. There are several hotels and local restaurants serving fresh, delicious seafood on the beach. On the weekend, there are many local visitors from Phnom Penh to relax, swimming and enjoy fresh seafood.

Read more about Sihanoukville

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