Asia Cambodia

Kompung Khleang, Angkor Province, Cambodia

A Travel Bloggers Guide to Off the Beaten Track in Angkor, Cambodia.

This blog post focuses on my return visit to the community of Kompung Khleang, Angkor province, Cambodia. This is a village largely centered on and living off the Tonle Sap Lake and river that feeds into it. It is not a pretty, or sanitised tourist place, but rather, offers a glimpse into the reality of life for most of Cambodia’s population i.e. poor. This was my second visit and I am once again struck by the warmth and open generosity of the people who live and work along its shores. It is also a place that few who marvel at the many sights or Angkor and Angkor Wat will see, as it lies off the beaten track and has not suffered a tourist makeover. But for those who have a genuine interest in how the majority of Cambodians live and survive in this part of the country it is a good starting point. From a personal perspective I cannot imagine visiting any country, and particularly one steeped in such a profoundly  creative and important history, and not be interested in the inhabitants, who are after all the ancestors of it creator’s. Behind the laughter smiles and warm welcome lies the cruel truth of a life expectancy of 40 to 45 years due to Dengue fever and Malarial mosquitos. Still the children will rush forth at the mere sight of a stranger using it as an opportunity to share their few words of English “Hello mister, where you from?” They are quick to smile and delighted when asked to gather for a picture. It is also a place full of strong colour form the vibrant blues of the clear sky mirrored in the shades of blue in the house and building and set dramatically by the rusty burnt orange colours of the mud roads. The road eventually terminates in the village square beside a monastery school and boat jetty where we take our river and lake trip out to the vast expanse that is Tonle Sap Lake and the floating villagers who call it home. I cannot imaging visiting Siem Reap or Angkor again in the future and not paying yet another visit to this fascinating place.

 

Stilt House on Tonle Sap River

All houses are built high on stilts as the water level raise dramatically in the rainy season.

Girl on bridge with takeaway lunch.

Man descales fish kept company by a cat that bizarrely seems disinterested

Kids at play

Village kids pose and smile for a group photo

The Smoked Fish Trader

A blanket of fish drying in the sun

The Crossraods

Alms collection for the local Wat

A tarpaulin re-imagined as a sun shade. The sun here gets scorching hot

Shrimp drying in the sun

The vegetable seller

Boy securing a bag of rice to carrier on his bike

Sleepy corner shop

Dramatic view of the main stilt village on the banks of the Tonle Sap river

The banks of the river are a hive of industry and trade

The river and the stilts supporting the buildings may be dull but the houses never are and are a riot of blues, reds, greens and browns, all contrasting beautifully with the deep blue skies and fluffy flaoting clouds

Fisherman takes a break in his small wooden dugout boat and fishing net

The journey home from market.

Dramatic skies and clouds along the banks of the river

The great Tonle Sap Lake shimmers in high sun

Life on the Lake

Typical floating house Tonle Sap Lake

Young girl shelters from the sun looks wistfully out to the lake beyond

Mother and children relaxing in hammock

Funeral procession on the river

A Buddhist Temple on the road to Kompung Kleang

 

Getting there

Trips from Siem Reap are easily arranged and you can make the trip by Tuk Tuk although it is a bit far for this method of transport of alternatively you can travel by car with a guide.

We included our trip here as part of the 3 day package with our Angkor Tour Guide.

Next stop: Phnom Penh

#TravelWise #TravelWell #TravelThere

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