Tonlé Sap is a freshwater lake located only 15 km south of Siem Reap. In the wet season, it is one of the biggest lakes in South-East Asia: it can extent from 2,500 km 2 to 12,000 km. Since 1997, the Great Lake is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, an area recognized for its terrestrial, maritime and coastal ecosystems. Indeed, Tonlé Sap has a rich and diverse fauna and flora. It hosts more than 100 species of waterbirds, including several endangered ones, and over 200 species of fish. It is also the natural habitat of turtles, crocodiles, monkeys and otters that live in the mangrove forest.
With its complex eco-systems and its hugeness, the lake provides more than half of the fish consumed in Cambodia. It offers a crucial resource to the country and its inhabitants. About one-third of Cambodia’s population live in the provinces surrounding it. On the edges of the lake were built 90 floating villages that house more than 130,000 people. Their way of life is deeply linked to the fish, the wildlife and the lake, and the occupations are adapted to the rhythm of rising and falling waters.
Going to the Tonlé Sap Lake, you can experience a cultural tour through the villages or a nature tour to see the birds and the wildlife.