Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kampong Phluck Floating Village

As part of our tour, we visited the village of Kampong Phluck. Located in Ton Le Sap lake, a motorized boat took us to this floating village. Homes here were built on tall stilts or floating foundation. Getting into a boat and going from place to place looked as natural as getting into a bus. Children dressed in uniforms hurried down the steps of the school to reach the waiting boats at the pier below. Our boat buzzed past stilted homes made out of palm frond thatch, monks getting their head shaved by the river edge, and women rowing boats heavy laden with vegetables just purchased from the small market. 

Chickens clucked about and pigs lazed around in floating cages. Underneath some homes were large collections of rather small fishing traps. Not surprisingly, most of the 3,500 villagers are fishermen. The collection of stilt buildings soon gave way to scattered ones, after which the mangrove trees became more common - but no where as dense as those in the Sunderbans. After a bit, we were in the main Ton Le Sap lake - the largest freshwater lake in South Asia. Of interesting trivia is that that the Ton Le Sap River flows north for about half the year and south the rest of the year, as dictated by the floods of the monsoon rains.

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