The 5 Best Floating Villages in Cambodia to Learn More About Local Culture

Not only jam-packed with exquisite temples and pagodas throughout the country, Cambodia is also home to some of the most traditional floating villages hardly touched by modernity. Visiting floating villages in Cambodia is an authentic experience that gives travelers a taste of local life in this incredible country. Look through the list of best floating villages of Cambodia brought to you by Top Mekong Cruises and enjoy an extra day to explore these delightful attractions during your journey in Cambodia.

1. Chong Kneas Floating Village

Chong Kneas is the closet floating village in Siem Reap (about 16 kilometers from downtown Siem Reap) with more than 5,000 residents, many of them are descendants of Vietnamese immigrants. Nestled at the edge of Tonle Sap Lake – the biggest lake in Cambodia, Chong Kneas floating village offers a nice glimpse of rural landscapes and local way of life.

A view down the river of the Chong Kneas floating village in Siem Reap

There is no better way to experience the local life and take in the river view than enjoying a boat tour around the village. Be careful with the boat tours that are not owned by local community, trying to take you to an overpriced restaurant and souvenir shop. You may think you are helping local community by paying entrance fee or buying souvenirs, but in fact, the locals get nothing of it. So if you have a chance to visit or meet a local family in Chong Kneas, feel free to tip them.

Life on water in Chong Kneas

The village is also filled with Korean cuisine, so if you are a fan of Korean food, check out one of the Korean restaurants (make sure you read the review beforehand). In general, Chong Kneas is one of the typical floating villages in Cambodia, there is not much to explore here except enjoying a boat trip around the stilted houses and meeting local villagers.

Suggested Read: Top 10 Luxury Mekong Cruises to Vietnam and Cambodia

Chong Kneas floating village in Siem Reap

2. Kompong Khleang Floating Village

Kompong Khleang is one of the less-visited floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia. Although it does not attract the number of tourists as other Cambodia floating villages, it’s still a go-to destination for travelers looking for a more authentic look into the real Cambodian village life. Cruising around Kompong Khleang village, you can see both stilted and floating houses as well as other buildings such as schools, temples and a hospital.

Colorful stilt houses in the floating village of Kompong Khleang by the Tonle Sap Lake

There are about 1,800 houses living on stilted houses that stretch into the horizon. Most boat tours here are owed by local residents which means your money is supporting directly the local community. The locals here are so friendly and they love to see visitors, so feel free to ask them to take pictures with you.

This beautiful floating village in Siem Reap is also a great place to learn more about Khmer culture and fishing and experience the normal life at the village.

Local family in the floating village Kompong Khleang on the Tonle Sap Lake

3. Kampong Chhnang Floating Market

As an easy getaway from Phnom Penh, Kampong Chhnang floating village is a great way to experience the Cambodia rural life and the diversity of culture and local way of life. Lying on a river near Tonle Sap Lake, this typical floating village consists of different wooden houses on stilts. The village is home to various different ethnic groups living happily together.

Floating house along the Tonle sap River, Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia

Winding your way through the neighborhood on a traditional long boat or joining one of our Cambodia river cruises, you will see every aspect of life in the village from the buildings to the local activities, all on the water.

A floating catholic church in Kampong Chhnang

4. Kompong Phluk

As one of the famous floating villages of Tonle Sap, Cambodia, Kampong Phluk is another popular must-see attraction in Siem Reap for those in search of authentic experience in rural Cambodia. Located right in the main entrance to the Tonle Sap Lake, Kompong Phluk village offers a special opportunity to experience the wonder of a floating village with its rich culture and serene surroundings.

Picturesque Kampong Phluk floating village with multicolored boats and stilt houses

As Kompong Phluk floating village is just a normal village rather than a tourist spot, it isn’t a match for you if you’re looking for tourist activities, but it’s a good place to get to know more about the local culture and explore what is it like to be living in a floating village. Kompong Phluk community mainly earn their living by catching fish on the river but during dry season, they also harvest some land crops.

Siem Reap Tonle Sap Kompong Phluk boat ride under mangrove tree canopy

5. Mechrey Floating Village

Mechrey floating village is 25km southwest of Siem Reap and an entry point into the Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve which offers guests some best bird-watching spots. If you are a wildlife lover, Mechrey floating village Siem Reap is a perfect place to check out.

Village of Mechrey Tonle Sap near Siem Reap

Whether you’re taking a full day or half day trip of this unspoiled floating village, you can take in the beautiful atmosphere and countryside landscapes, especially in the afternoon when the village is at its best. This off-beaten-track journey provides you charming views of rice paddies, daily life activities of the villagers, stilted houses, kids playing in the water and small pagodas.

Sitting on a traditional boat in Mechrey, Siem Reap

Floating villages in Siem Reap have become something of an interest for travelers visiting Cambodia. Whether you’re taking an adventure or going on one of our cruises to Cambodia from Vietnam, a visit to these fascinating attractions will be the highlight of your trip. Experience the local life, explore the unspoiled village and amazing wildlife, learn the culture that remains unchanged for centuries, Siem Reap floating villages have all of it.

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