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Tonle Sap

The Tonle Sap Lake (otherwise known as the Great Lake) in Khmer means (vast body of fresh water) is a combined lake and river system in Cambodia. It is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is part of the Mekong River system and the richest fishing lake in the World. the Tonle Sap lake is also inscribed on the UNESCO world network of biosphere reserves since 1997. The lake was formed many thousands of years ago, due to plate tectonics, when and due to the Indian plate collision and collapse of the Euro-asian plate, creating a huge depression.  (Current water levels on lake are  5 meters (middle of February 2024). Weather is blue skies  (making our sunset cruisers even more beautiful). nice warm mornings and quite hot from 10am to 2pm, www.accuweather.com>... >Siem Reap. Did you know the Tonle Sap Lake varies in depths each year, from 1 meter to 10 meters? as such the floating villages are either moving out onto the lake (low water levels) or back into the river systems in the High-Water levels, so no one visit to the lake will be the same.Yes the flooded forest is still flooded so we use our special row boats for this,

The Tonle Sap Lake is a unique ecological hot spot. Its flow changes direction twice per year, and the lake itself expands and shrinks by four times its size with the changing seasons. In the dry season, the Tonle Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh, you can actually see this change occur daily, and when the monsoon rains begin in May/June, the Tonle Sap grows from approximately of 2,700 square km to 16,000 square km ! This provides a perfect breeding ground for fish and birds and is one of the many reasons why the Tonle Sap Lake has been designated a UNESCO Biosphere.

Did you know: there are many different floating villages within easy reach via boats from Siem Reap? and we cover them all, after 20 years we certainly know all the rivers, lakes, flooded forests and stilted villages, hidden rare bird nesting areas and much more with our expert local guides who were born in the villages we visit). that is one of the many reasons, most major hotels, Guesthouses and travel agents in Siem Reap, recommend the Tara Riverboat tours. We are also recommended by leading international travel experts including GetYourGuide, Tripadvisor, Viator, Lonely Planets, along with leading educational institutions.

Tara Riverboat tours are all eco-friendly, our team of staff on the boats are all from the Tonle Sap lake, we have a program of cleaning the lakes and rivers of old car and bike tyres, also plastics and old fishing nets, we convert them into unique furniture and we believe recycling is better than land fill or river fill. we run most of our boats on solar power, we also have the largest boat by far on the lake,the boat is a ex cargo boat, we also restored and converted into a floating restaurant and bar, she is almost 100 years old.

It is one of the most productive fishing lakes in the World, supporting over 3 million people and providing over 75% of Cambodia’s annual inland fish catch and 60% of Cambodians’ protein intake. there are over 200 fish species and both Siamese Crocodiles and some saltwater crocodiles have been known to be sighted, the colossal floodplains host ‘flooded forests’ which spend much of the year under meters of water with only their top branches visible. The local population has also adapted to the unique ecology of the lake with floating villages and stilted houses.

The Tonle Sap Lake is a natural wonder and a spectacle to behold. It is often overlooked by tourists visiting Siem Reap for the Temples of Angkor, who do not realize that less than 15 km South lies the Great Tonle Sap Lake. (The best way to explore and discover the numerous floating villages and flooded forests is by the Tara Riverboat Team, LONELY PLANETS)

So look no further, we have the lowest prices with the best guides, we cover most of the floating villages, including daily trips to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Battambang, and many more rural villages.

Guaranteed No more to pay

With all our cruisers and tours our no more to pay policy means just that, all fees, taxes, transport, all included, no hidden costs, NO MORE TO PAY.

All our prices are clearly advertised on the website, and we are committed to deliver at this price.

Sail into an adventure with Tara Riverboats today.