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A place like no other

It is already late afternoon. A heavy rain in the morning forced us to change plans from exploring Angkor Wat to visiting a floating market. Although it turned out to be a bit more than just a market…

We have been on the road for 30 minutes when Chumrum (our tuk tuk driver) turned right on a narrow reddish clay path.  As we went on, children smiled and waved their hands at us saying hello while riding their bikes, making us feel very welcome. Chumrum would navigate around  the cows that were walking idly on the tiny path as we looked at the houses made of a sort of wood and bamboo. We were intrigued and excited to be there.

After 10 minutes we arrived to the banks of a river and moved over to a boat.

See you guys in a couple of hours!

What? A couple of hours? Where are we going now?

To the village and the Lake.

Okay, I guess we will see you then. 

Adam and I looked at each other confused but in a good way, liking the surprise.

This is not the kind of market we were thinking; this is a village, a floating village! The town is called Kompong Phluk, 4000 people live here and it can only be visited by boat.

The boat ride to the aquatic town was very peaceful, only a couple of boats with tourists passed us. We had flooded mangrove forest surrounding us all the way until we arrived at the actual village.

It was very, very interesting to see a place like this, their kind of life and absolutely unusual infrastructure. My guess is that they started this community because it’s very convenient for all the fisherman. They even have a school! Kids paddle to school in their canoes (at least they don’t need a driver’s license).

There were a couple of restaurants and mini stores in the village. In general people seemed very happy and friendly. Little kids were showing off, jumping into the water, others were splashing around and having fun.

The school

After the village and the mangroves we stopped where the river dumped into the Tonle Sap Great Lake. There was nothing but water as far as I could see; everything was still and quiet.

Until Adam decided to break the silence and jump from the roof of the boat into the lake. I regretted not having a bathing suit.

It was really cool to visit this place, especially because it was totally unexpected. Imagine your neighborhood surrounded by water all the time, using canoes or swimming from one place to another, and eating the catch of the day for dinner. Crazy eh!?

A unique place for sure!

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