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See Southeast Asia Differently

Tonle Sap or Great Lake

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Tonle Sap “Great Lake”, the largest freshwater lake in the Southeast Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997. Tonle Sap connects to the Tonle Sap River to meet of lower/upper Mekong and Bassac at the confluence “commonly called Chaktokmuk”. The river has a length of about 120km, The River flows crossing Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Kandal and Phnom Penh City.

Tonle Sap is a freshwater wetland covering an area of 250,000 – 300,000 km2 in the summer and have a larger scope than 5-6 times during the rainy season. The system of wetland is one source of freshwater fisheries in the world, and this ecosystem is very important in the supports to biodiversity, the livelihoods of people’s lives around the lake (5 provinces – 3 millions) and provide nutritious protein for Cambodians until 70% of the total nutrients. This lake is the greatest shelter to provide home, food to hundreds species of fish where the fish spawning and fertilization, and then travel to the Mekong river or creek and is the water reservoir for the dry season as well as for detoxifying seawater flowing in and helps conserve mangrove forests in the Mekong Delta region.

Travelers can visit Tonle Sap floating communities in Kompong Chhnang if they travel from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, or visit it at Chung Kneas or Mechrey villages but Mechrey is more suitable because the journey goes passing beautiful rice paddies which is considered as the best landscape of all. All provide fantastic sightseeing when the boat cruising close to floating communities where you can see a lot of fishing activities come to local life as well as you can unlock the livelihoods of people living in the floating houses.

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